Kanazawa + Tokyo, Part 2: Around Tokyo with LK (+ extras)!

Continuing from my last post, in June of last year I met up with my long-time friend LK. We only had ~12 hours together, so we tried to maximize our time and went all around Tokyo. Looking back on our pictures, we ate a lot that day…

I will be using galleries for this post. Please feel free to click on any image to see it in a larger size!


Breakfast @ Nata de Cristiano & Fuglen

We strolled around the perimeter of Yoyogi Park to get to these two places. I’ve never been to an exclusively-Portuguese bakery before, and even though we got a bit lost, the pastries were a good reward for our effort. Fuglen was a place I had heard about from some hipster friends, and the decor did not disappoint! The biggest surprise though was the aeropress coffee. I’m not the type to drink straight coffee, but that cup was probably the best coffee I’ve ever had. I still think about it almost a year later…


Photoshoot in Yoyogi Park

After food, we passed through Yoyogi Park again on our way to Harajuku. I took this opportunity to experiment with my 45mm lens, and, er, convinced LK to blow some bubbles with me. It was ridiculously fun to connect with our inner children, and I learned a bit more about what I can do with my camera! These images are some of my favourites from this trip, second only to the ones we later took in Roppongi.


Cafe-hopping in the backstreets of Omotesando

After some shopping in Harajuku, we continued down Omotesando to find the Brooklyn Pancake House for some late lunch. They serve American-style diner food (but slightly fancier, because Omotesando) — it was there that finally I got to eat some proper spicy Italian sausage at last (I had been craving for those for years). LK really liked his burger, and my pancake was decent as well. We arrived at a good time, because when we left there was a line forming outside!

We next went searching for Omotesando Koffee. In retrospect, I’m really glad I got to see it at least once before they closed in December. As many other people have blogged, the aesthetics of this place are minimal but very pleasing. LK enjoyed his Bailey’s cappuccino, and I liked my iced coffee (but it couldn’t compare to Fuglen). It was a very nice break from the usual scenery of Tokyo.


Watching the sunset from Tokyo City View

Definitely my favourite part of this trip to Tokyo. It was my first time to Roppongi Hills, but there were a lot of English signs pointing the way to the Mori Art Museum (which is located within Tokyo City View). It was fun to be in a serious art gallery again, but the highlight was when we discovered halfway through our stroll on the observation deck that we could go up to the roof! Seriously, how cool is it to go all the way to the heli-pad and see the sunset without all the usual barriers? We’d had really good weather that day, so we were treated to a gorgeous sunset that evening. Really, it was one of my best experiences in Tokyo! (personally, I would choose this over going to the Skytree…)


Dinner @ Kaiten-sushi Nemuro Hanamaru

To end off our long day, we ate some kaiten-sushi near Tokyo Station. I had read good reviews for this place, and there really was a long line when we got there (thankfully, it moved quickly). The original store is from Hokkaido, so every now and then the other branches will have some seasonal seafood shipped from there. We got there too late for the king crab sushi that visit, but the other offerings were delicious too! I’ve developed a list of must-orders after all these years here, and for the most part Nemuro Hanamaru delivered. (I will say that the tuna tastes better in Osaka though…)

All in all, a good end to a hectic day with LK. (I hope I see you before another 4 years have passed…)



Extras from my other days in Tokyo

On the other days when I wasn’t in Kanazawa or with LK, I went around to some of my favourite places in Tokyo. Chief among them was T-Site, Tsutaya’s fancy complex of buildings that form one big bookstore. I also visited a branch of Sadaharu Aoki for some expensive (but yummy) cakes and macarons.

Most importantly though, this trip I finally visited the Ghibli Museum (and I can tick this off my list now!). It’s museum policy that photography is only allowed on the roof and outside of the gates (the idea is that you can engage with everything more fully, instead of through a screen), so very few pictures from there. The layout of the place is a bit of a maze, and it was very fun to explore all the different rooms! I can say it’s worth at least one visit, but it would be even more enjoyable if you go with kids. (If only I had been born in Japan…)

All in all, I’m glad I went!