Click for snippets of Tokyo.
Eat: Sushi fresh off the boat at 7am at Tsujiki market. I highly recommend Daiwa (大和), it’s a teensy tiny sushi bar restaurant along a row of similar looking teensy tiny sushi bar restaurants, they speak limited English but there’s one sushi chef who’s incredibly entertaining and makes the wait so very worth it (he tried to explain snapper sperm using a combination of broken english, a sprinkling of mandarin, and a whole lot of gesturing). The distinguishing character is the loooong line that snakes half way down the block, often obscuring the neighbouring sushi joints, so get there early or it’ll be a long wait. It’s omakase so the chef will serve you whatever he thinks is best that morning, which is a good thing cos these guys they really know what they’re doing.
Shop: ESTNATION. Where do I begin? Imagine if you took Lane Crawford, Club21 and Intermix, threw them altogether and then added crack cocaine to the mix. This place is a fashionista’s mecca, it is my new personal shopping heaven. I love that it is high-end without being over-the-top unaffordable, I love the layout and the product mix (it’s a capsule-sized one-stop-shop with everything from make up to accessories to RTW, but it does all this without being mammoth-sized and overwhelming), I love the impeccably dressed staff and their impeccable service, and I love that it has an incredible range of international designer brands, home grown Japanese super stars, and a very chic in-house label. Oh yeah, and their buyer must be superduper talented cos everything in the store is just so damn cool.
Walk: Through the imperial gardens, they’re pretty and scenic and tranquil, and they provide a nice slice of history to a city that’s fastforwarding into modernity, and a nice break if you’ve had too many days of city-living. Try tagging along on one of those guided-tours so you’ll get an explanation about the city of Tokyo and how it fits into the history of Japan, which is interesting stuff, Shoguns vs Emperors and all that.
Sleep: Near Tokyo Midtown. Everything’s there and it’s really really fabulous. I spent morning’s skulking around Dean&Deluca checking out their delectable treats and breathing in the heady aroma of steaming hot coffee, afternoons wandering through their gourmet grocery store (Japanese grocery stores are in a class of their own, everything’s so beautifully packaged, neatly arranged and pristine), and evenings meandering in and out the many little boutiques located in the building picking up nonsensical knick knacks and snacks. Roppongi Hills is in walking distance so you get not one, but 2 wonderfully immaculate incredibly designed Japanese malls.
I ♥ Tokyo!