Department stores

Japan is a consumer market, people love to spend, buy, they love brands, but they also love details, nice things, brands, luxury, quality. Along with that, for over a century, there have been a lot of department stores (Takashimaya, Matsuzakaya, Isetan, Mitsukoshi, etc)

My favourite remains Isetan for the B1F, food department and the 5F, tableware. I must say I also like Takashimaya historical building in Nihombashi for the architecture and the style.

They sell beautiful cakes made by Dominique Ansel and delicious Swiss Chocolate Laederach that I highly recommend

If you ever read The Ginger Tree, wonderful book written by Oswald Wynd, you will read part of the development of these stores in the early 1900’s

 

Ueno

Tourists have Ueno Park on their list because of the many museums set in the park, this is located in the northern part of Tokyo.

What I like about it is that it has a vibe, local families wander there, it is noisy and lively, the station has a shinkansen stop for trains to the north, there is a massive shopping gallery in the station with boutiques and not only big department stores, it does not feel as posh as Ginza but is so Japan

 

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By the station, is a hard rock cafe, nothing special, nothing fancy, but for some reason, Japanese people like to queue and stand there for ever,

At the back of Ueno, is a great part with a shrine and a cemetery, not sure how it is called but it is truly beautiful, follow towards the pagoda at the back and you will find it to your left

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Ueno also has a modern metro station, very bright and polished, one of those nice ones

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Happo-en Tokyo

On a Saturday lunch time, I went out to picnic in the Shirokanedai area, in the Tokyo University park. Across the road, I discovered the wonderful Happo-en.

This is a place that gives you serenity, calm, peace in the heart of the city, suddenly, you forget about the noise, the cars, and the daily life.

The park has a collection of bonsai, a banqueting space and a tea ceremony house that you may book although I have heard they dont always reply

 

Luxury Train

Japan has the Shinkansen but it also has the Mizukase Luxury Train and the seven stars cruise train in Kyushu.

While in Osaka, we saw it coming to the station and it was amazing, this train is heavily booked and the company currently takes reservations applications in May for travel as of October 2018!

Apply to the Twilight Express experience!