It has been a while, dear readers and friends, I was under the impression that I was mostly writing for myself about things I already knew and could not see the point any more so simply took a break.
Lately, as I had visitors again, they all asked about the posts and I regained the energy to share my experiences. Needless to say that a lot happened in these 4 months of silence, I will not be able to catch up with all but will try my best (gambarimasu) to share some of the highlights.
As always, thank you for your likes, shares, comments, questions, let me know your thoughts, feedback, questions and anything you would like me to add.
Happy to have you!! Arigato gozaimasu.
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
Japan has a fascination with cartoons, manga, anime of all sorts. What a surprise to find in one of those anime shops that you can buy THE Willy Wonka Chocolate….
Should I check whether I get the golden pass in one of those?
There is a way when you move office apparently. You have to offer an orchid to the mover, he ends up floaded with orchids of all sorts and cannot make the difference, cannot remember all of them I suppose.
I tried hard to change this as its very expensive, one bunch of flower or one orchid costs around JPY 27000 to 35000 average!! but there is no way so I respect and stick to the way “it should be”. So, flower shops prepare in numbers and deliver in numbers too.
Japan has so much to offer when it comes to food. I have 2 friends visiting currently for 2 weeks and both of them never eat raw food nor seafood. I thought this might be a challenge but we are reaching the end of the 2 weeks and we have not finished yet our wishlist. this is endless and always so delicious, oisshiii!!
I took them for lunch on a couple of occasions, restaurants are a commodity here and you can get a set lunch for JPY750 to JPY900 easily and that will always include a bowl of rice, pickles, a bowl of miso soup and the main dish, sometimes a fruit portion, it is excellent value, almost always good and healthy at all times
50mn train away from Shinjuku Station is Takao San, a mountain in Tokyo’s doorsteps. it is an easy hike, about 2 hours up, a lot of nature and peaceful moment. so it can end up being crowded but it remains a nice place.
Spring is nice, you avoid the heat in town, if you go in the morning, it is not that packed and the square close to the cable car has shops and cafes for a break
Taking the cable car also take you to a panorama, there is a cafe with terrace there that has barbecue in the late spring as well as beer garden
in the autumn, it is a scenic place to admire the autumn leaves so get ready for long queues, lots of people, packed trains. this is 95% Japanese tourism and not very known by foreigners (yet), I hope it stays like that
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
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
Ueno also has a modern metro station, very bright and polished, one of those nice ones