As I just came back from Japan, I am finally breaking the silence of this travel blog with an update of my last Tokyo post which goes way back to 2014. I fell in love with Tokyo all over again, the spring palette of pastel colors was replaced by the most luminescent autumn shades: the parks were blazing with golden, amber, crimson and maroon leaves, fueling my soul with the most poetic images and thoughts. Tokyo is by far one of the most “civilized” city in the world where urbanity has never been so far from being a jungle. It’s not about the beauty of its architecture but its unique way of life… that can only be found in Japan!
Not feeling adventurous at all and just wishing to grasp the atmosphere of the city, we decided to mainly go back to the places we had loved so this post is only featuring additions to my previous Tokyo-post.
Tsutaja bookstore worked its magic once again… The disk bar was playing Isabell Lundgren’s new album “Hit the road to dreamland” and it was not hard to convince me that I was in dreamland… a temple for music and books!
We had an early breakfast out on the terrace at the neighboring Ivy which was very pleasant.
Indigo being my favorite color, I found everything I love at : Okura.
Just out of our shopping route, we discovered this heavenly retreat, the Kyu Asakura House, the former house of a local politician, now a museum preserving the elegant turn-of-the-20th-century atmosphere of this part of the city.
Later on we had a late lunch, on the Nakameguro canal, at Aobaya’s terrace, relishing our delicious poke bowls as much as the stylish defile of the Japonese fashionistas.
Omotesando - Harajuku - Shibuya:
It was a must to go back to the Nezu Museum. I am particularly fond of its traditional garden: it was mesmerizing to discover its radiant autumn foliage. I stocked on lovely cards at the museum shop (as in many other shops all around Tokyo!).
We had the most relaxing and delicious afternoon tea (sake and mochi) break at the remarkably zen Kanetanaka.
And yes we did go back to the Shibuya crossing… just for the unique lively-crowd and bright-neon experience!
Mind that the Tsukiki wholesale fish market closed for good last October…
I went to Ginza area with two main objectives, visiting stationary shops and eating the best sushi.
Itoya is another of my dream place for shopping the best stationary items Japan has to offer.
We had a memorable sushi dinner at the counter at Kyubey, warm and skilled chefs introduced us to exquisite flavors (at a relatively "reasonable" price if such thing may exist!).
I think its particularly nice to walk in Ginza area at night when all the stores are illuminated. Quite easy to do in the fall as it gets dark by 5 pm.
Ueno and Yanaka:
We made our way back to the splendid Horyuji treasure gallery at the National Museum and it was totally worth a second visit.
Then we headed to my favorite area in Tokyo, the Yanaka neighborhood. I don't know how many hours we spent strolling in these tiny streets, hopping from one temple to a cemetery, to a shop or a coffee-beer place… You can also rent a bike at the very stylish Tokyobike gallery which serves a delicious coffee.
We ate again in the street on Yanaka Ginza, buying fresh food from different stalls and enjoying the crowds passing by.
Our new discoveries:
The Asakura museum: the house of the famous sculptor, Asakura Fumio, is a treasure not to be missed from top to bottom (don't miss the roof top overlooking the roofs of Yanaka).
This was a new addition to my exploration of Tokyo. I went there by myself on a quiet Monday afternoon and did not expect, when entering the park, that I would be spending almost three hours there, walking through the different areas of the park, admiring its landscaping and its impressive variety of species. I sat under the trees, the gingkoes, the mapples, the cedars… and felt as I was surrounded by beautiful souls.
After the frantic cherry blossom excitement in the spring, I discovered the frantic enthusiasm for golden gingko leaves in the fall (worth stopping at Gingko avenue in Aoyama both for the beauty of the trees and the bustling atmosphere) and totally adhered to it!
Just as an addition to my previous list, which I am copying bellow, I was impressed by the glass architecture of the National Art Center which hosts seasonal exhibitions and is really worth checking, don't miss going inside to the top floor in order to get a panoramic view of the building.
- Mori Tower: exhibitions with an impressive view at night
- Nezu museum
- National Museum (Horyuji treasure gallery)
- 21-21 Design site: exhibitions – architecture by Tadao Ando
Check my former list and addresses mentioned above in this blog.
Unfortunately Teyandei closed
Uoshin Nogizaka: fresh food in a casual and fun atmosphere, great ambiance. Roppongi area
Nishiazabu Ogi: refined tasting menu with great service and quiet atmosphere. Roppongi area
Robataya: fresh skewers at the counter, warm and fun atmosphere. Roppongi area