Before I get into all the details about where I stayed, where I shopped and where I filled my belly I thought I should do a little de-brief. So we went to Japan for a month in total (Nov 1 - Dec 1 for those reading this in the future). Usually when we travel we like to try stay as long as we can in each town or countries if we are doing a few countries in one trip. I find it really hard to get a grasp or an opinion on somewhere after a few days so we really focus on a few places, stay there a while rather than trying to see and do everything that is on offer. Japan was the same, we stayed two weeks in Tokyo, 5 days in Kyoto and over a week in Osaka to end the trip. So naturally, that is the same order that I will be publishing my city guides in. First up - Tokyo.
I am one of those people who hates planning holidays, but luckily enough Michael loves it and has never let us down in that department. So usually when I land in a place I don't really know what to expect. I didn't really read any blogs or other city guides and had just really seen what had come up in my Instagram Feed or from photos from friends & family. To be honest, I thought it was going to be crazy. And yes, some of it was. Yes I saw dogs being dressed like they were being filmed for toddlers and tiaras, yes there is a specific cafe for most animals you have always wanted to pat and Harajuku girls but when I think back on Japan I don't think 'crazy'. I found it so interesting how the city, the lights, the colours could be so loud but the people so quiet, polite & thoughtful in their approach.
The other thing that I think Japan should be remembered for is their personal style. Nothing beats it. They are hands down the most stylish people I have ever seen. It didn't matter if they were old, young (or even their pets) they knew how to dress!
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed outside of Shibuya in a suburb called Daikanyama & our apartment was between Shibuya & Ebisu. This suburb for me was the highlight of our entire trip. It was quiet at night but in the day you could just people watch for hours. It might not be the place to say with all the lit up billboards but for us it was perfect. They had amazing little streets full of amazing boutiques & places to eat. There was a train station just around the corner and it was only one stop away from Shibuya Station which was a huge plus. We also walked down to Ebisu which took maybe 5-10 minutes to eat.
We stayed in Air Bnb accommodation again this trip and it didn't let us down. Our apartment was on the top floor and was spacious & filled with light which is unique for Tokyo accomodation. Downstairs there was multiple vending machines & a 7 Eleven which made things a little easier when we just needed a snack or a caffeine fix. I honestly could not recommend this apartment more.
Saturdays NYC - 1 Chome-5-2 Aobadai, Meguro
Good coffee and best little deck out the back. It's a must if you're in Daikanyama
Sarutahiko Coffee - 1 Chome-6-6 Ebisu
Good coffee and little muesli if you need a small breakfast.
About Life Coffee - 1-19-8 Dogenzaka, Shibuya
Go here for takeaway coffee.
Alfred Tea - 〒160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku
A pink lovers dream right here
Sign All Day - 19-4 Daikanyamacho, Shibuya
Why Juice? - 13-8 Daikanyamachō, 渋谷区 Shibuya-ku
Cafe Kitsune - 3 Chome-17-1 Minamiaoyama
Aoyama Flower Market Tea House - 〒107-0062 Tokyo, Minato
Be prepared to wait to be seated but it is so pretty that it is worth it!
Grove Cafe - 1 Chome-11 Ebisuminami
Good cocktails and the french toast looked amazing
Bills - 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya
Expect to wait for a table but the Ricotta hotcakes are worth it.
Mr Farmer - 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya
Perfect for your vegetable fix
Sidewalk Stand - Nakameguro
You must go here for toasted sandwiches and coffee.
Hacienda del Cielo - 〒150-0033 Tokyo
Would recommend going at dusk for the sunset & yummy Mexican
Frey's Pizza -〒106-0032 Tokyo, Minato, Roppongi
I am just going to put this out there that this was the best pizza I have ever had. Get the one with the egg on it, it sounds weird but it is so damn good.
Fry Bar - Ebisu
Pizza Slice - 1-3 Sarugakucho, Shibuya
If you're craving some American style pizza. This is your place
Cafe Havana - 〒150-0033 Tokyo, Shibuya
Great place for some Mexican and a few too many drinks.
King George - 〒150ー0034 Tokyo, Shibuya
The best sandwiches. Hands down. You must go here.
Coco Curry - Everywhere
Michael is vegetarian so it was harder to find a Japanese curry where the sauce wasn't from beef etc. CoCo Curry is a Japanese curry chain which has a menu for vegetarians with a few different options which were still really tasty.
Very Fancy - 12-16 Daikanyamacho, Shibuya
Pancakes & more pancakes. Get on it.
Spring Valley Brewery - 〒150-0034 Tokyo
Grigio - 〒150-0034 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku
I thought instead of listing every store that is amazing I would focus on three areas that you must visit for shopping.
Wander around here for amazing little boutiques you have never heard of and vintage or second hand designer gear.
This is where you're going to see your designer stores and consignment pieces. If you want your hands on Vintage Chanel - Amore Vintage is one for you. If your man is into hard to find street wear there is also lots to choose from here.
It is all about the small, niche stores here. This is a must visit for a leisurely stroll which peeping into a few different stores. If you are going in Cherry Blossom Season you have to go here.
If you want to check out Dover Street Market I would recommend going for a wander around this suburb.
Rag Tag - 〒150-0041 Tokyo, Shibuya
Second hand designer fashion but I found its Mens department more fruitful than the Womens.
Dessin Books - 2 Chome-11-1 Kamimeguro, Meguro
Cutest little bookstore not far from Naka-meguro.
Beams Womens - 〒150-0041 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku
Out of all the Beams we went to, this was my favourite.
Comme Des Garcon - Any of their many stores
You have to go into just one to stare at how beautiful these clothes are in person.
Itoya - Any of their many stores
If you're wanting to pick up brush pens or stationery pop in here.
Loft - Any of their many stores
Same as the above. If you're wanting to pick up brush pens or stationery pop in here.
Pigment 〒140-0002 Tokyo, Shinagawa
This is an art lovers heaven and is a must-visit.
Bonjour Records - 〒150-0033 Tokyo, Shibuya
Coolest little store. Full of records, books and merchandise.
Converse Daikanyama - 17-4 Daikanyamacho, Shibuya
Not like any converse clothing you have seen before.
Tsutaya Book Store- 17-5 Sarugakuchō, 渋谷区 Shibuya-ku
The Tsutaya at T-site is next level. I could have filled an extra large suitcase just with books.
Stalogy - 〒150-0021, 1 Chome-35-16 Ebisunishi
Cutest little stationery shop.
Mori Art Museum - Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 53F, 6-10-1 Roppongi
Gallery Speak For - Japan, 〒150-0033 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku
21 21 Design Sight - 〒107-6290 Tokyo
The National Art Centre - 7 Chome-22-2 Roppongi, Minato
Taka Ishii Gallery - 〒106-0032 Tokyo, Minato, Roppongi
Next stop, Kyoto!