Tokyo City Shopping Guide 01
Japan is one of the countries I've longed to visit and it took me almost 23 years for the opportunity. Growing up in a huge family, I never had the chance to travel as it was rather costly to fly the whole family anywhere. My parents worked 7 days a week for as long as I could remember. End 2017, I finally had the chance to visit Tokyo with Lumine and then subsequently, another personal trip for a holiday.
I'll always be a city-girl and Tokyo remains as one of my favourite cities in the whole world. For anyone visiting Japan for the first time, when planning the itinerary, you should take into consideration the number of days you have. We only had 5 days to spare for the holiday, therefore, keeping the trip only within Tokyo. Any trip longer than that, travelling to different parts of Japan (Kyoto, Osaka, Hokkaido) is a must! Tokyo is a destination for a healthy balance between shopping, eating and sight-seeing. Luxury shopping is amazing due to the automatic tax deduction, wide collection offering and the most BEAUTIFUL designer stores (even Paris can't compete). (Think 4 stories Chanel boutique complete with Chanel cafe, Chanel branded lift, light displays, Chanel art installations and the list goes on)
Dining/Cafes to check out. (Food)
- Omoide Yokocho Alley, Shinjuku (Piss Alley); Also known as yakitori alley, it is a collection of small eateries and bars offering everything (ramen, soba noodles and yakitori). Restaurants are extremely cramped so you're advised to drop off shopping bags at hotels before going for dinner.
- Eggs N Things, Harujuku; (Insta-worthy*) The popular Hawaiian pancake house serves pancake stacks with light whipped cream, waffles and crepes. Great for tea-time, families and for insta-snapping!
- Bills, Omotesando; (Insta-worthy*) Owned by famed Australian chef and food writer Bill Granger, this is a must visit if you're a brunch lover. Go early to beat the lunch crowd, I went at 9am for breakfast and secured a seat by the window. Must try food items include ricotta pancakes (honeycomb butter + bananas), chia seed pudding and scrambled eggs
- West Aoyama Garden, Aoyama; (Insta-worthy*) Classic Japanese hot-cakes, for sharing. Great for breakfast and tea-time. Be prepared to queue during peak hour. Best to go before lunch crowd at 8-9am.
- Cafe Gitane Tokyo, Ebisu; (Insta-worthy*) New York City's Cafe Gitane first international branch. Famous for its avocado toasts and french-japanese offerings. Popular signatures include avocado toast, skirt steak with japanese vegetables, salads). I personally preferred the mains to the avo toasts as I prefer my avo toasts chunky instead of a blended paste.
- Tsukiji Fish Market; GO WITH AN EMPTY STOMACH. I made the mistake of going after breakfast. Oh boy, it's a haven of all things tasty. Uni, mochi, crepes, tamagoyaki, yakitori, raw fish, Alaskan king crabs. Lots of produce, dried seaweed, nuts and dried fish that you can buy back for gifts.
(Shopping, vintage, luxury)
- Ginza Six; The best luxury shopping street. Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Celine main branch in Tokyo. Each boutique is at least 3 stories high and include exclusive designs, key seasonal pieces, accessories and ready-to-wear. Service is one of the best in the world with champagne, tea, chocolates and bottled water.
- Omotesando; Great for street-wear shopping, vintage and sneakers. The area is filled with Tokyo's best dressed individuals.
- Dover Street Market, Ginza
- United Arrow Flagship, Roppongi; Though you can find United Arrow almost anywhere in Tokyo, the Roppongi outlet is my favourite. The selection of designers include Mansur Gavriel, No.21, Manolo Blahnik and more,
- Vintage Qoo; (Vintage Chanels) If you're an avid collector like me and true Chanel fan, Qoo is a vintage haven for you. The insider's best and cleanest section of vintage luxury bags. What’s old is new again, and vintage will always be forever. In Tokyo, there is no shortage of vintage stores, what sets it apart is it's offerings, almost brand-new like vintage luxury bags and the owner's dedication to hunting down the rarest Chanels.
- Amore Vintage, Omotesando (Vintage Hermes, Ferragamo) Upon entering the store, you will be greeted by a wall of Hermes ranging from all colours of the rainbow and materials (leather, reptile, canvas, denim). Amore offers a more diverse range of designers that include vintage Fendi, Dior, YSL, Ferragamo and more.