Japan would have to be one of my favourite countries to visit! It perfectly combines modern and tradition in the one place and offers so much to do! We were lucky to time our visit to coincide with the cherry blossoms which is a must see! Below are some of my favourite areas and places around Tokyo – including where to view cherry blossoms.
I love coffee and I was surprised on my latest visit to Tokyo, how much the coffee culture had really increased over the years. Though not cheap, a decent cup costing around $6-$8 AUD, generally can be found in most areas. Sometimes I would go out of my way to visit a coffee shop, while some I discovered on my general travels around. I have listed the below by location to make it easier.
Saturdays Surf NYC – this has a lovely outdoor patio to enjoy your brew – see photo above
Fred Segal (Fred’s) – This was my daily stop on the way to the train station, very cute and the coffee was not bad!
Sarutahiko Coffee – this is a street away from Ebisu station – so get a good cup to go!
Blue Bottle Coffee – Hidden in the backstreets of Aoyama, it was great to see US chain Blue Bottle make an appearance and they also had great eggs on toast.
Cafe Kitsune – Just a stone throw away from Blue Bottle is Cafe Kitsune, lovely little outdoor area. Lovely to sit down and relax from all the shopping.
Bread, Espresso & – This is worth the walk through the back streets to find! We made sure we sampled the bakery treats to accompany our coffee.
Streamer Coffee – Has multiple locations around key areas, Shibuya is their flagship store.
Rose Bakery – This is located at the top of Dover Street Market, so combine your morning coffee with a little shopping!
From top to bottom
Meguro River – The trees run along the river which is just beautiful. As dusk falls, the lanterns come on and there are street stalls with drinks and food. It is also easily accessible by the train.
Imperial Palace – This was my favourite place to view the blossoms. We hired a boat and rowed our way up the canal, it was worth the two hour wait.
Ueno Park – This was a giant park with hundreds of Cherry trees, the viewing was good but it was so crowded (more than the other two locations)
To keep within our budget we didn’t eat at expensive places but tried a mix! Here are some places that we loved and would go back to!
Harajuku Gyoza – Do not miss this! A tiny restaurant in amongst the shops at Harajuku specialising in both steamed and fried Gyoza. I am pretty sure we went here for lunch and snacks about three times!
Modern Mexicano Daikanyama – located on top of a large high-rise, perfect place to enjoy a sangria next to the open fire place. If it’s a nice night, ask to sit outside near the fire pit.
Nicolai Bergman Aoyama – A beautiful florist with a cafe inside. I had the loveliest of salads here, a must for when shopping in the area (pictured above)
Cedros Daikanyama – Oh my gosh the food! This tiny restaurant is a must, especially if you like seafood.
Genki Sushi – This stop is more for the fun than the food. Select your dishes from a computer screen and see if arrive to you on a conveyor belt. Very fun and very touristy but a must!
Shirohige’s Cream Puff Factory – If your into Totoro then you can’t miss this place! Tiny Totoro in cream puffs!
Spring Valley Brewery Daikanyama – This gem houses a stack of beers brewed by Spring Valley. A great place for dinner and the food is great.
Bill’s – For all you lovers of a good Australian breakfast (think eggs and avocado) Bill’s will satisfy your cravings! The most fluffy scrambled eggs I have ever had! Go early to avoid the long queues.
Rose Bakery Ginza – This gets another mention for the delicious carrot cake! My husband had the pancakes which he said they were great (pictured above)
We only had time to do one day trip while in Tokyo this time and it was to Mount Fuji. We went with Viator and it was great! My husband had already done this trip with Viator previously and he said it was even better the second time around. We were so blessed that we were able to see Mount Fuji which apparently is quite rare. As you can see by the pics, it was so beautiful!
It wouldn’t be an Amanda May travel post without mentioning shopping! Below are the areas that I love to shop and what to get at each of them!
Cheap and cheerful with major chains such as Zara, H&M etc.
Matsumoto Kiyoshi – This is where you stock up on your cosmetics and skincare! You can find anything from SKII to Japanese cosmetics. Bring your passport so you can shop tax free! I love Japanese mascara, make sure you stock up.
This is vintage central. There are so many beautiful vintage consignment stores that are home to beautiful designer garments. I found a vintage YSL sweater which I love (see pics on my instagram feed), at the same store there was huge vintage Chanel collection a very reasonable prices!
My top pics for stores are:
Vinivini (great Chanel and YSL collection)
Mother Lip (Levi’s for days)
Slow (great selection of general vintage wear and designer)
If you love books, make sure you stop by the T-Site which is a huge complex of books. You could spend half a day here.
Go here for designer shopping central! Ginza is home to all your major designers – Dior, Chanel etc. You will also find Dover Street Market and Barneys here. Ragtag also have a store here which is worth checking out.
Aoyama – Omotesando
Apart from vintage shopping in Daianyama, this would have to be my favourite area in Tokyo. I spent days in all the little backstreets finding the cutest boutiques. Aoyama is also home to Isabel Marant, Acne Studios and many other designers. You will also find one off boutiques that house local fashion designers.
Harajuku is a mixed bag, over the years it has become quite commercial and I now prefer Aoyama. Though there are still gems to be found here. There are so many little streets to explore. I found Harajuku better for menswear and my husband bought the coolest Jordan’s from a store tucked away deep in Harajuku. I did stumble across Outro Sol which I purchased quite a few things from.