Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Travel Tuesday no.33 // Tokyo

Last summer, I spent a few days in my favorite city, Tokyo. It was an impromptu decision to join my brother there during his layover  - I literally booked my flight a week before the trip - but I can never say no to an opportunity to go to this place that's near and dear to my heart. My brother and I have both been here before so it was an interesting experience as we figured out our itinerary and how to include places that interested both of us. We ended up packing our days full and it turned out to be one of my most memorable trips of 2015.

Many of these photos may seem familiar since I've already blogged the mini-album I made for this trip (click to see all my Tokyo 2015 travel mini posts), but I figured I would post my favorites here and highlight some things we did for today's Travel Tuesday post.

This trip was one of the rare times where I opted not to bring my dSLR while traveling. Instead, I used a Sony RX100 MII camera which did a pretty good job in all scenarios encountered - low light, street photography, macro shots etc. I definitely did not miss the weight of my dSLR while walking around Tokyo!

I ended up booking a different flight than my brother and arrived earlier than him, so I spent the first day alone in the city. Once I checked into our hotel, I headed straight to a cafe in Omotesando called Aoyama Flower Market Tea House. This hidden gem was tucked inside a flower shop and it made me feel like I was in a greenhouse with the abundant floral details in every corner of the place. I loved the ambience and their assortment of teas and snacks.

The next day, we ventured to Shinjuku to visit Shinjuku Gyoen. This is one of my favorite parks in the city and I'd love to come back during cherry blossom season one day. For now, we enjoyed a quiet stroll around the gardens and the beautiful blooming hydrangeas everywhere.

Sushi-go-rounds (conveyer belt sushi) are our go-to places for a quick and decent meal. We ended up at a place that had no English, but managed just fine with the photos and our knowledge of what we liked to eat, haha.

Before leaving Shinjuku, we popped by Bake by Kinotoya for our favorite cheese tarts! We first ate these tarts in Sapporo (and got to try their other confectionery treats as well), and I was excited to discover that this famed Hokkaido brand opened up a small shop in Tokyo. We had to wait twenty minutes in line but it was so worth it. I prefer these cheese tarts over Pablo's, another popular brand that can be found in Shibuya.

Let's take a moment to appreciate how well packaged these cheese tarts are. The box was perfectly designed so that the cheese tarts wouldn't be crushed. Japanese packaging is amazing.

I've been to Meiji Jingu before but it was my brother's first time here. I love how such a serene place can be found in the middle of a bustling and busy metropolis. During our visit, we even witnessed a Shinto procession happening and though we didn't understand its significance, it was really interesting to get a glimpse into this aspect of Japanese culture.

One of my favorite adventures this trip - the search for Shirohige's Cream Puff Factory and these adorable Totoro cream puffs. The bakery was located in a residential neighborhood in Tokyo and was supposed to be only five minutes away from the subway station, but we got pretty lost (the residents in the area tried to be helpful but didn't know much English) and it took us about half an hour to find it. So glad we eventually stumbled upon the little place - we decided to have lunch here and the food at the cafe above the bakery was awesome. I convinced my brother we should try three cream puffs too (they each had different fillings) so we were both very satisfied with this adventure :)

Other notable eats: we headed to Odaiba next and spent some time at the Takoyaki museum, which was pretty much a food court with different types of takoyaki. I love takoyaki so it was fun getting to try unique variations of this Japanese snack.

And of course, I can't go to Japan without a visit to a stationery store! Tokyu Hands, Loft, and Traveler's Factory were all necessary stops. Sigh. Stationery shopping in Japan is the absolute best.

The trip was so enjoyable but way too short, as usual. Japan is my favorite place to visit and I'm already thinking about my next trip back! Thanks for sticking around...I plan on covering Taipei next. Have a great Tuesday!


  1. yay!!!! I love your travel posts...well, I love all your posts♡ Pinned this in hope that I get back to Japan this fall...your photog is AWESOME.

  2. Really enjoyed this post! ...Just added Tokyo to my bucket list ;)