In this post, I’m going to provide you with links to all my favorite places in Tokyo, because I know it can be difficult sometimes to find this sort of information.
My stay in Tokyo was way too short. I was only in Japan for 8 full days, so it felt like a whirlwind trip, especially since I spend three days traveling to and from Okaya.
I spent my last day in Tokyo doing like last minute errands…. i.e. shopping. I have some products that I can only get in Japan, so I had to make sure I got all that I needed before heading back to the US of A. Once again, I headed out to Shibuya to do my shopping, dragging my mom along. I suppose I could have done my shopping anywhere else, but I’m so familiar with Shibuya, I knew that it would take the least amount of time here, since I already know where all the stores are that I need to go to.
I went to LOFT first to buy some highlighters. I can only use Japanese highlighters. They come in so many different, pretty colors, they are shaped nice and sleek (American ones are so bulky!) AND most importantly, they don’t bleed through the page! And since I’m doing a lot of studying again, I need these! At LOFT, I also picked up a few cute Bento-box goodies. For example, a veggie cutter that cuts out shapes of Winnie the Pooh! haha! Only in Japan…
For those of you who’ve never been, LOFT is a department store for practical, every-day items, and not fancy, brand name clothes and such. LOFT has a few stores throughout Japan, and the one in Shibuya has a great stationary section.
Next we needed to fuel up (shopping is a great workout, I promise! So much walking….) so we went to my favorite pasta place called Tapas x Tapas. This is a chain restaurant with a Mediterranean theme, and my family has been going to these restaurants ever since I can remember! They have very reasonably priced, VERY delicious meals! I had my Favorite, the Tapas Spaghetti. This pasta dish has a Japanese twist to it, flavored with garlic and soy sauce, and includes shrimp and squid, and is topped with sea weed (Nori). It’s not a heavy pasta dish at all; it’s actually pretty light, and before you know it, you’ve polished it off! I love it because it’s a flavor you can only get in Japan! (Click HERE to see all the other yummy pasta flavors)
Then I went to the Drugstore chain Matsumoto Kiyoshi to buy some stuff. I like going to this drugstore because they generally have really good prices on all their stuff. And in Shibuya, they have 2 Matsukiyo (Japanese people abbreviate everything!) right next to each other, so if you can’t find something in one store, you can bet the other store will have it!
Then we met up with some old family friends. We have been friends with Aya-chan forever now, but I hadn’t seen her in a long time, with me living in Santa Barbara, and her being in the Takarazuka, the prestigeous dancing/singing troupe in Japan. I got to see her perform last December, but did not have a chance to meet up in person. So it was nice. We went to the shrine to pray for good luck!
We then walked about 10 minutes towards Aoyama to go to the Lululemon store. But Oh NO!!!!!!!! They had gone out of business in July!!!!! I was extremely disappointed to say the least, becasue Lululemon is my favorite store! Oh well 😦 I will just have to go to the store at Paseo Nuevo Mall when I get back to SB!
We then went to eat again! We went to the L’occitane Cafe, at the busy Shibuya intersection. This was a new place for me! It wasn’t there when I was last in Tokyo in December. It was surprisingly peaceful, bright, cheery, and the food was GREAT for a cafe! Mom and Aya-chan had yummy salads, Aya-chan’s mom had a bowl of soup, and I had this very elegant and fun looking tea. (Still full from lunch!) It was a Kyoho grape juice infused earl grey tea with a bit of grape sorbet floating on top. Very refreshing, not too sweet, and cold!
And of course, since no afternoon is complete without a dessert, we headed to Tokyu Food Show to go to my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE gelato place. I have to come here EVERYTIME I come home to Tokyo. The name of the gelato store is called Pariya, and they always have the most GLORIOUS flavors that change seasonally.
I had two flavors that I shared with my mom; Fig sorbet, and Chestnut Shortcake. OMG, Heaven!!!! The fig sorbet tasted exactly like figs! I love it when ice creams/sorbets actually taste like the fruit, not sugar. It was very light, mildly sweet, and fruity! The Chestnut Shortcake was rich and creamy, decadent, and filling. I loved them both.
Yummy. Oh boy. I want some more right now! I wonder what kind of new flavors they will have next time?
After this, we parted ways, and I went home to pack for my journey back to the states.
And here are some more of my favorite places and links to them:
Roppongi Hills (Read my post about it) A very posh and elegant cluster of shops and restaurants
Tokyo Midtown (Read my post here) Kind of like Roppongi Hills, but not nearly as fun
Difino: The BEST hair salon! The staff are VERY knowledgeable, skilled, and frinedly. I’ve been going here for the last two years, and have been very satisfied! You may have noticed that in this post my hair is different from my first posts about Japan. They did such an amazing job! My stylist is Hanawa-san. He is GOOD. Apparently, Difino isopening a store in LA! How exciting!
Tipness: A great health club
Happy Oji-san: In Okaya, my Uncle’s bakery
Tokyu Food Show: A food lover’s PARADISE. It’s an entire floor devoted to yummy foods! It’s a collection of booths from famous bakeries, delis, restaurants, pastry shops, and cafes throughout Japan. There are always seasonal flavors, and seasonal food. Experience a wide range of Japanese cuisine!