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My Photo Journey of A Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo

This past weekend is another perfect example of why Tokyo is my favorite city on Earth. I’m seriously scared about moving back to the States, fearful about becoming perpetually bored. Tokyo has everything imaginable and its energy is radiant in a way not even NYC can compete with. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to find a place or a city in the world that simply “gets you,” and every single day feels like a perfect fit in my reality. Typically, our weekends in Japan are simply extraordinary.

The past week I meant to post a bit more on the site, but I came down with some kind of mild flu virus and it made me so weak that I struggled with simple basic functions. But yesterday, my energy peaked for the first time all week and we pretty much made the most out of a beautiful Saturday in Tokyo. After all, we are moving in April so time can’t be wasted. So here’s what a brilliant Saturday in Tokyo looks like. And by the way, the best days are completely unplanned. I find this city offers more when you’re simply ok with wandering. It seems we wandered around half the city…

Brunch in Aoyama

After waking up, we wanted to grab some brunch. It’s the normal routine. We have our go-to spots in the city, but we wanted to try something new. I’ve been meaning to try the Clinton St. Baking Company, a famous brunch spot in Aoyama that originated by a husband and wife chef team from NYC. New York Magazine voted their blueberry pancakes the best in the city, twice. So you can guess what happened when they opened their second location in the world’s densest pancake capital? They opened a location much too small with a fifty foot line wrapped around the corner. Needless to say, we didn’t eat there. I’ll go back during the week sometime.

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Instead we tried a place down the street called the 3rd Burger. Actually, the burgers were pretty good. They kinda tasted a bit like In-N-Out Burger (a little!!), and the fries were super. And you can order spinach smoothies. yum.

Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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 Strolled Tokyo’s Champs-Élysées…

Of course Tokyo has its own Champs-Élysées and although it doesn’t end at the Arc de Triomphe, it’s in many ways more impressive and is home to some of the finest architecture in the city. This particular side of Omotesando runs through Aoyama and is home to any number of sophisticated fashion brands you’ll spot at your local Nordstrom. Alexander McQueen, Tod’s, Saint Laurent, Chanel, Celine, Delvaux, Louis Vuitton, Theory, James Perse, MoMA Design Store, Prada, Mark Jacobs, and Miu Miu are just to name a handful of popular designers that populate the streets alongside local designers.  The stores and cafes are all beautiful and the contemporary architecture and design is some of my favorite in all of Tokyo. We strolled around Aoyama for a couple of hours and wandered in and out of boutiques, shops, and cafes.

Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Hit up Reuse and Vintage Shops…

I stumbled into a shop in Aoyama and it’s definitely one of the nicer re-sell shops I’ve been to. This light blue Prada tote caught me eye through the window. I’ve been eying this bag for awhile now, although a slightly different model. I do love this color. Really like this Celine bag too.

Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Then I discovered Smythson of Bond Street…

I wandered into a store called Vulcanize London. They sell a lot of crafted leather goods and some finer brands from London. Sadly I’ve never been acquainted with Smythson of Bond Street before but I instantly fell in love with their stationary, notebooks, and leather carrying cases. WOW. This green travel wallet carries your boarding pass and even contains a tab for tickets, etc. I’m convinced I need it now. But Smythson has been making luxury stationary and goods for over 125 years and is even a supplier of the Royal Family. Of course they are. But seriously, how pretty is this traveler’s wallet?!?

Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo: Smythson Travel Case
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And we explored Kiddyland toy store…

Kiddyland has been on my list FOREVER though I never seem to make time for it. If you ever owned a Tomagotchi pet growing up in the 1990s, this place started it. I happened to look up on our way to Aoyama and we literally stumbled upon the store. I screamed and ran inside. The Japanese make everything with superb craftsmanship and creativity so checking out the city’s most popular toy store chain felt like a must-see. The store in Omotesando is about 4 stories high and we ended up buying two different toys. If you’ve never heard of fridge pets before, well let me introduce you. These things are freaking adorable little creatures and they live in your fridge and talk to you when you open the door. Yes, they talk to you and say things like “are you hungry,” “what are you going to eat?” “close the door, it’s getting hot.”  It’s also mostly in Japanese too but it seems they’ve picked up a bit of English since bringing them home last night. But it’s quite literally like keeping gremlins in the refrigerator. Brilliant. I LOVE THEM!!

Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Second, we gravitated towards these dolls that in my opinion looked exactly like the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz. They also look like a hybrid of a child and a monkey. Kinda creepy honestly, which is why I bought one for my nieces and another for myself. But, the pics here are boy dolls and look A LOT creepier than the females dolls I bought. The females are actually very cute. This toy is very popular in Japan and it’s called a Monchhichi doll.

Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo: Monchhihi
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Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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A necessary stop at Magnolia Bakery…

Although I eat gluten free now due to an unfortunate food allergy to most all things that give me pleasure in life, few things still excite me more than big beautiful cakes and a 1950s-styled bakery. Magnolia Bakery opened up in Tokyo and is in the heart of Omotesando. Right after Kiddyland, we headed to Magnolia for a treat. I personally love the iced chai lattes, and there is one gluten free treat in the entire bakery, it’s a flourless chocolate cake. I guess that’ll work!

Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Hit up the Prada Flagship in Aoyama…

I’ve been meaning to get to Aoyama actually because there’s a Prada Flagship store there with some radical spaceship architecture. It looks very interesting. And I’m a big fan of the new Prada Saffiano totes which are displayed all over the store. I sneaked a few pictures despite their no photography rules, lame. I found the furry hangers most interesting.

Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Then I fell in love with these flowers in Aoyama…

Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Then we discovered an Apple Pie Cafe

Since 2012, (I love how they proclaim this credit!), The Granny Smith Apple Pie & Co is quiet cute though you’ll need to wait for a table. The cafe itself is rather small, but it’s adorable and they even offer a delicious dutch apple pie.

Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Stopped by Bookmarc…

Marc Jacob’s Bookmarc is only found in a few select cities around the world. You can find lots of fun stuff and mostly contemporary art books and a lot of contemporary photography. This is the only small place I’ve been to that simultaneously carries books by Alexa Chung and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Pretty awesome.

Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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A stroll through Harajuku…

A trip to Omotesando on a Saturday night wouldn’t be complete without a stroll through Harajuku. We wandered in and out of some vintage shops and I hit up one of my favorite sweets cafes in Tokyo, Untouchable Toffee Co. The chocolate toffee is to die for.

Then I shot a dog’s portrait…

Another #onlyinjapan moment, we stumbled upon this cutie waiting for his pack leader outside of a Lawson.

Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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And I spotted some cat fashion…

Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Then I bought my dog a Japan National Soccer Jersey…

It looks beyond adorable on him and now my husband and my pup have matching national jerseys.

Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Then we walked by the Prime Minister’s Residence

After heading to Roppongi…

We passed by The Hotel Okura

Sadly, we haven’t stayed here yet but walking by this hotel you can just feel the history emanating from here. It simply jumps out at you. It’s in the government quarter, right down the street from the Prime Minister’s Residence. Hotel Okura was built in 1962, and has hosted every President of the United States since Richard Nixon. Yea, James Bond also stayed there, seriously. This place is pretty effing cool, especially if you enjoy both history and luxury.

Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Nobu

After passing Hotel Okura we headed to Nobu which is right down the street. Nobu is very popular in the States for trendy over-priced and extremely pretentious sushi, but honestly the restaurant in Tokyo is in a whole different league. The architecture and design of the restaurant is one of its major appeals but the food is also outstanding. And for a Saturday night, we didn’t need a reservation. I guess it’s a bit out of the way from the rest of Roppongi, but it’s not too far. I ordered the pork filet with wasabi sauce and it was insane. Daniel ordered the sushi and thought it was excellent. The restaurant is quite expensive so this isn’t a place we eat at often, but it’s a treat if you’re looking for something edgier in town. I love the bar. It’s so….Tokyo.

Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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Ninja Resturant Akasaka

A friend of ours is in town and made reservations at the Ninja restaurant in Akasaka. After nearly 4 years in Japan, this was our first time here. Sad, I know since it’s so popular with expats. We really had no idea what to expect although I expected more of a Ninja show and less of an emphasis on the food. After already eating a complete meal at Nobu, we arrived to find out that our Ninja experience comes with seven courses!! Honestly, I completely underestimated this restaurant and the food turned out to be outstanding. And the service was even better. So yes, we ate two delicious consecutive dinners and interestingly, the wagyu beef at the Ninja restaurant was perhaps even better than my dinner at Nobu. And the “ninja” magic tricks were impressive. Sadly my camera died but I’ll never forget my plate of steamed veggies over dry ice.

I ended the night in Akasaka in front of the Hotel Excel Tokyu, the first place I ever stayed at in Tokyo. It was in November of 2010 when I first flew to this country and met my husband here for a weekend while we debated whether or not to chance it and move out here for a new start. I was scared, freaked out, and at one point felt completely unsure about moving to the other side of the world. And then I went to Tokyo. And I stayed at the Hotel Excel Tokyu, and a part of me fell in love with this place and ever since then, that feeling never went away. Hopefully you can get a glimpse as to why Tokyo is in my opinion the best city in the world.

Photo Journey of a Typical Amazing Saturday in Tokyo
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9 Comments

  1. March 3, 2015 at 9:56 pm — Reply

    I loved getting to go through a Saturday with you in Tokyo! I can see why you love this city so much. I love that last picture of the sleeping men on the metro, hehe, and the hip dog too, of course! I can’t believe you’re moving so soon. Where are you going next?

    • March 4, 2015 at 9:07 pm — Reply

      Thank you Anna! It’s seriously the best city. It’s so funny seeing guys asleep on the train at night lol! I’m so sad to leave Tokyo, but I’ll be moving to Boston which is also really exciting too. But there’s no place like Tokyo! 🙁

      • March 7, 2015 at 11:06 am — Reply

        How funny! You’re leaving my dream destination (Tokyo) and coming to my temporary home (Boston). I’ve been 6 months here and will stay for 3 more and I have to admit that it is nice here and there are lots to do and see and experience!

        • March 7, 2015 at 4:11 pm — Reply

          I’m really glad to hear that you like Boston!! Leaving Tokyo will be so hard, we’ve built a life here. But I’m excited about moving to such a great city and Boston seems to have so much. Have you been to Tokyo before? Do you have any plans to visit?

          • March 26, 2015 at 1:00 am

            No I haven’t been to Tokyo before! It was my plan to go to Japan for honeymoon, but then my husband got a scholarship for a masters degree in Boston and came here for 9 months, so our Japan travel plans are on hiatus!

  2. Camille
    March 2, 2015 at 11:58 am — Reply

    I’d love to see Tokyo one day! Your pictures make me want to go now!! Makes me think of Lost in Translation. Just bookmarked your post for the future x

    • March 2, 2015 at 5:23 pm — Reply

      Thank you! Yea hope you can visit soon!

  3. March 2, 2015 at 1:35 am — Reply

    That toy store looks so awesome. I’d love to wander in there…and go to Japan in general!

    http://itsjpei.wordpress.com/

    • March 2, 2015 at 5:21 pm — Reply

      Hope you can check it out!

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