Tokyo Shibuya, Japan
From international concept stores to hidden shops in side streets and you can still find solace in this district in nearby Yoyogi Park and Meiji Shrine despite its fast pace and constant crowds.
- The cream of the crop: located one block away from the busy Shibuya intersection, step inside Shibuya Hikarie for a quick caffeine-fix. On the menu: drip coffee, espresso, iced coffees and their own range of products to take home. If you are looking for atmosphere visit their factory café in Koto located in a renovated warehouse building with nearby river views.
- miffy cafe: if a themed restaurant/ café is on your list there are plenty of options. At the miffy café the popular Dutch children's book character is the theme of the menu. All food, drinks and desserts reflect the miffy rabbit. Upon entering you can get your photo taken and shop for merchandising, too. Be prepared to queue here-
- The roastery by nozy coffee: this café has an excellent location on 'Cat street' and a center coffee counter taking up the majority of the place. Their philosophy: only single origin- simplicity at it's best.
- Margaret Howell Cafe: this does not sound like your typical Japanese lunch option; however I was drawn to the calm sunny terrace and simple lunch menu. The cafe belongs to the London based design shop just next door.
- Yoyogi Park: if you are in need of nature and green Yoyogi Park is one of Tokyo's largest city parks with wide lawns, ponds, forested areas. Ideal for jogging, biking or a picnic under the cherry blossom trees.
- Meiji Jingu Shrine: this is one of the most well-known Shinto Shrines in Tokyo. The 12 meter high torii gate at the entrance made of 1,500 year old cypress wood is most impressive. Before the prayer you purify hands and mouth at a water tank, write wishes, toss yen into the offering box then bow your head twice, clap twice and bow once more. On Sundays you might witness a traditional wedding procession. Watch out for the opening hours: sunrise to sunset.
- NERGY: I stumbled upon this sneaker/ sports store for women. How I wish they'd have this store somewhere else than only Japan, as this is my dream sports store! I also discovered the brand Jason Markk through them (love their Premium Shoe Cleaning Wipes). If you love sneakers: check out their range of care products online. They even have a flagship store in L.A. offering "the world's first drop-off shoe care service".
- Pilgrim Surf + Supply: Originating from Brooklyn, New York I was surprised to come across a surf shop in Tokyo. The shop combines the concepts nature and urban.