Dumping all my photos from my short stay in Tokyo last May in this post, because I already posted a separate entry for Akihabara, and I’ll be posting another separate entry for Aoyama!
Japan temporarily gives me an infinite source of energy. It’s unreal how much I’m able to do in such a short span of time. When I’m here in Manila, all it takes is one blink for the whole afternoon to pass!
Safely arrived in Shibuya! I usually stay in Shinagawa because I like going home to a more peaceful station. This time, however, I had to book a hotel in Shibuya for convenience.
It’s not that I dislike Shibuya! It’s just that the station and the areas around the station get really chaotic at times, and I have crowd phobia (i.e. just looking at Laboracay photos makes me sick - what more if I go there?).
When I say everything in Japan is kawaii, I mean everything.
I posted this on my Instagram and people really thought it was GD. I doubt GD would be able to freely roam around the streets of Shibuya without being mobbed by fans.
Literally had no time to breathe, but it was all good because I never seem to get tired in Japan!
The elevator at Shinjuku LUMINE EST was so pretty.
Dropped by the Laduree at Shinjuku to buy myself some macarons.
My new favorite place to shop for accessories and iPhone cases is Me% in Shinjuku! You can also find this store in Shibuya 109.
Spotted at Bic Camera Shinjuku. If this were not so expensive (4,100 yen is a little too much, I think), would you get it?
That evening, I had an important meeting with some important people! They took me to a fancy restaurant in Shibuya where we had the most awesome dinner!
Their project just got approved by the Japanese government, and I can’t wait to share it with you once all the nitty gritty preparations are done! Keeping it a secret for now!
I usually don’t like anything with red bean, but this was glorious.
My view every night I go back to my hotel.
My second day was my only free day, so I went to Akihabara to meet up with friends! Wrote about it here.
Here’s a photo of a rainy Shibuya crossing, taken as I went down the elevator in my hotel.
With Ashley and Emika in the middle of Shibuya! You can tell that Ashley and I were in total spring mode, lol.
Emika rocks black all year round! Made me miss my all-black style circa 2010/2011 (?)
We queued at the new Kiki & Lala Cafe, found on the 7th floor of Shibuya Parco. It only took us less than an hour, and I say “only” because on weekends, people line up for 2-3 hours! Crazy!
The cafe also sells official Kiki & Lala merchandise! Japan, just take all my money.
Even the menu is irresistibly adorable! We wanted to order everything!
Kiko and I got Kiki & Lala lattes that come with star-shaped sugar wands.
Ashley and Emika got Kiki & Lala sodas topped with ice cream.
I heard the reason why people don’t mind lining up for this place is because it’s only going to be open for a limited time. Kind of like a pop-up cafe!
Later that night, I met up with my friend Kumiko-san at Cheese Table, also found in Shibuya Parco.
Yes, almost everything in this restaurant has cheese in it, omg! I opened the portal to the cheese dimension, and I just wanted to stay there forever.
We had fondue (not in photo because we were too excited to eat it) and pizza. Nom!
After Tokyo Anime Center, Animate, maid cafe and cosplay purikura with Kiko, Izumi and Emika at Akihabara, Kiki & Lala cafe with Ashley, and Cheese Table with Kumiko-san at Shibuya, I spent the rest of the night with one of my favorite people in the world - Gervin! We talked for hours at the Starbucks in Shibuya (the one that’s visible from the scramble crossing).
I ended up going back to the hotel past midnight already. I told you - Japan gives me super powers. Super extroverted powers.
The next morning, with barely 5 hours of sleep, I met up with the lovely Ogawa couple (Sachie-san from CANMAKE Philippines, and her husband Tomo-san who owns a clothing store in Shinjuku) for breakfast. They took me to this popular french cafe in Shibuya where they served different kinds of bread and jam.
I swear we didn’t plan our matching outfits!
Wore some of my new purchases from EMODA Shibuya 109. Blogged about the store here.
Speaking of EMODA, their global webstore currently has sale going on! Up to 70% off! I’m so torn whether or not to splurge again because I already bought so much stuff in Tokyo last May, huhu. SHOULD I STILL…?!
Went back to my hotel to change! On this day alone, I changed outfits 3 times - once for breakfast with Sachie-san and Tomo-san, once for dazzlin touchMe show, and once for MURUA touchMe show.
Or 4 times, if you count my nighttime pajamas.
Super ladylike style for dazzlin! I was obsessive enough to match my outfits according to the brands’ concepts. I blogged about the dazzlin A/W 2014 touchMe Collection here.
After the dazzlin show, Shogo (who gave me his extra ticket to dazzlin) and I went back to Shibuya Station, where he took a cab to another work meeting, and I went back to my hotel to change outfit one last time. Then I waited for Ashley (I gave her my extra ticket to MURUA) at the station before heading back to belle salle for another show.
After the MURUA show, Ashley and I wanted to try out the Alice-themed cafe in Shibuya. I feel like you can never run out of places to go to in Tokyo alone!
I can’t remember where it was exactly, but I think it’s in the same building as Bershka.
There was a giant merry-go-round kind of structure in the middle of the restaurant. Wish we had similar themed restaurants in Manila too! I can already imagine all the pretty photoshoots.
The menu. CAN I TAKE IT HOME?
We ordered drinks just because they made them sound and look so interesting in the menu, but TBH I’d stay away from them next time! They tasted quite funky, though they were definitely Instagrammable.
Alice cosplay. As expected from Japan.
While the drinks were disappointing, the food definitely delivered! Ashley and I loved this avocado and shrimp dish! It was shaped like a caterpillar too, so we couldn’t help but squeal (at the cuteness) when we first saw it.
Rabbit-themed pasta. This tasted good too! I’d totally come back to this cafe for this dish.
Apparently, this was part of a monthly special offer, so they gave us a free Alice gashapon at the end of our meal. YAY TOYS
My last night in Tokyo, and of course, some purikura had to be taken. <3
After this, I just have two more Japan posts (MURUA touchMe show, and quick Aoyama tour) before I start bombarding everyone with my US travel diaries! Please stay tuned!
These were mostly taken during my last whole day in Tokyo! Camille was already leaving later that afternoon, but we were both set on trying out this brunch place that my friend recommended. Even if it meant waiting in a long queue. Anything for good food!
On our way to the station, I saw a couple of girls wearing Japanese university graduation outfits called “hakama”.
We finally arrived in Roppongi! Camille and I got lost for a bit because we’ve both never been to Roppongi before. At least we got to familiarize ourselves with the area? *optimistic*
Roppongi (六本木) is popular for nightlife among foreigners. During sakura season, people come to Roppongi to do nighttime (illuminated) hanami!
While waiting in line for our turn at the restaurant (which we found after about 10-15 minutes walk), we took some photos!
Here I’m wearing a MURUA top and skirt, EMODA reversible jacket and socks, RANDA shoes and a new 3.1 Phillip Lim bag that I bought in Isetan Shinjuku the day before. Hype this look on Lookbook here.
MERCER BRUNCH (マーサーブランチ)! To get here, take the subway to Roppongi Station, NOT Roppongi-Icchome Station (our mistake). It’s quite near Tokyo Midtown.
Camille had some sort of coconut milk drink and I had a classic latte.
We shared two dishes - salmon with avocado and poached eggs, and steak with scrambled eggs. Both came with the most heavenly french toasts. Highly recommended!
The salmon was glorious. I want to go back! The 20-30 minute-long queue was definitely worth it.
Tokyo Midtown, home to the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo, the Suntory Museum of Art, and the tallest building in Tokyo.
I accompanied Camille to the station below so she can do some last minute shopping in Shibuya (or was it Omotesando?) before catching the airport limousine to Narita. Wish she and Laureen (who left the night before) could have stayed longer!
I stayed behind to do some sightseeing. Did some on-the-spot research and decided to go to Roppongi Hills. I was originally planning to head to Tokyo Imperial Palace (how geeky, right?) after this but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go around Roppongi since I was already there.
Spotted Arashi for Japan Airlines!
Roppongi Hills (六本木ヒルズ) is a popular building complex where you can find the Mori Tower with an observation deck on top.
View from the top. That’s Tokyo Tower right there!
Scene from a mecha anime?
Scene from a J-drama?
In the same tower as the observation deck was an Andy Warhol exhibit and an Andy Warhol cafe.
Yayoi Kusama goodies at the souvenir store!
Had nothing else to do in Roppongi so I went back to Omotesando!
Omotesando (表参道) is an upscale shopping area where you can find international luxury goods stores. Surprisingly, however, you can find some quirky stores, cafes and restaurants in the side streets.
Isabel Marant love.
Carven. Such a fan. I want to live here.
Went people-watching in front of Omotesando Hills, a super fashionable shopping mall along Omotesando. I wasn’t in the mood to do any shopping on this day, so I pretty much spent my time either constantly taking photos, or blindly walking around with no particular destination, lol. Best thing about traveling alone!
While being invited to Tokyo for the 100Tokyo campaign launch as a Cool Japan ambassador was fun (got to meet new people and experience new things) and convenient (they provided an awesome itinerary for us to follow), I also put a lot of value in my personal time. I blame the introvert in me! Traveling alone has never made me feel lonely. I’m even the type of person who needs to recharge after constant socializing by spending the next few days alone, lol. Proudly #foreveralone by choice!
I had some time to go around Tokyo on my own, and here were some of the photos I took.
After taking the train from Narita and settling down at my hotel at Shinagawa, I grew hungry and got myself a whole pack of giant Amaou strawberries from Fukuoka!
Pine berries or white strawberries, as most Japanese prefer to call them. They look like strawberries but taste like pineapples. They look pretty but I prefer the taste of regular strawberries!
Shinagawa Station. One of my favorite stations for a number of reasons.
During my first ever trip to Tokyo, we stayed in Shinagawa and this was the first station that I was introduced to. The feels!
The space is also quite big so it doesn’t get as crazy as Shibuya Station.
As always, Shibuya was my first stop. Found these Honda Keisuke (本田 圭佑) for Mintia billboards! I don’t really know much about sports, but I do know that he’s part of the Japanese national football team.
Late afternoon Shibuya stroll.
A view that I can never get tired of. Spot Ohno for Kirin!
Herschel backpack. <3
After killing time and taking photos in Shibuya, I went back to Shinagawa because I had a 6AM call time for a shoot the next morning. I had to get my beauty sleep, of course. I’ll be blogging about that shoot soon! Will keep you guys posted!
After the shoot, Kumiko-san, Chinami-san and I headed to Cat Street for some sightseeing. While it wasn’t my first time in Cat Street, I failed to take proper pictures during my last visit. Let me redeem myself with this post!
Thanks to my friends for accompanying this little tourist to Cat Street!
Matching brown spring trenchcoats! I can hang out in Cat Street the whole day because the street style is always gorgeous.
More brown trenchcoats for spring!
Awesome-looking place! Wish I went inside The Roastery by Nozy Coffee.
Pretty in plaid. Just because it’s spring doesn’t mean that you should just wear floral prints all the time!
Pointy toes and giant bows.
Retro style has been so popular in Japan this spring!
My favorite place in Cat Street is Opening Ceremony.
ALL THE PROENZA BAGS. My paprika PS1 still remains to be my favorite and most functional bag of all time. Should I get a PS11 next? *sound of wallet crying*
We took a break at this hipster-looking cafe somewhere in the back streets of Harajuku. I had no idea how we were able to get here. Chinami-san and Kumiko-san were also surprised that this cafe existed!
More Arashi x Kirin! We wanted to go to Asoko in Harajuku, but as usual, there was a long line by the entrance.
Went shopping at EMODA instead! Would never say no to that!
EMODA’s current selection of shoes. I wanted to buy the white pair but they didn’t have my size anymore!
Sometimes it’s frustrating to have a super common shoe size!
muse muse is one brand in the ground floor of Shibuya 109 that I always check out.
Finally, dinner at Kaikaya. They ordered a set course. Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.
Ashley followed, and we all had a great time!
These were only about 15% of the whole set that we got. CRAY.
Food coma ensued shortly after taking this photo.
SAKURA ICE CREAM WITH MILK. THIS WAS SO GOOD. /dies
Matching oversized EMODA jackets with pretty Ashley. These were from the F/W 2013 collection! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for EMODA F/W 2014. I tend to splurge a lot more on F/W collections than S/S ones!
On my next free day, I went to Shinjuku to visit the Randa store. You can read about it here.
Nozo, Nozo, Nozomiii!
Spot One Direction!
One of my favorite places to shop is LUMINE EST in Shinjuku Station! You can’t miss it! I usually end up shopping more here than in Shibuya 109. There aren’t as many people, and the selection of stores are fit to my liking.
I randomly bumped into Teban of @asian_impressions! He has great street photography! He follows me on Instagram and when he found out that I was in Tokyo, he sent me a message asking if we could meet up.
He’s a great guy who knows a lot of Filipino words and phrases, lol. So cute! He was like, “Ikinagagalak kitang makilala!”, and I was like, nobody really uses that anymore, hahaha
He took pictures of my outfit like a true street style photographer!
Met up with the Tokyo crew (Ashley, Gervin and Kiko from my October 2013 post) and met new friends at Shimokitazawa (下北沢) or “Shimokita”. I’ve never been to Shimokita before, and I’m glad I finally got to visit after hearing so many good things about it!
Lots of unique places and used-clothing stores can be found here. It’s quite a hipster neighborhood!
DARWIN ROOM! Definitely a must-see in Shimokita. It’s a natural science bookstore that sells stuff like biology, zoology, etc. books as well as interesting science-related stuff that you wouldn’t easily find anywhere else. Like preserved animals!
Broken Doll is a band with a fashion brand of the same name. The band’s guitarist is the designer and the owner of the brand. So creative!
Viva Cute Candy is one of Tokyo’s funkiest hair salons! Can you tell by the name and this sign that they specialize in crazy hair colors?
We tried to fit 8 people in a Purikura booth made for 2 people. IT WAS A SUCCESS.
Next challenge: 10 people?
Mizuho and Gervin had fun playing Taiko: Drum Master (太鼓の達人)!
Vivid floral prints, lace and stripes for spring/summer.
With Japanese Lookbookers Junko and Mizuho.
Also met Singaporean designer Josiah Chua! Amazing how he interned for Yohji Yamamoto and how he is now a student at Bunka Gakuen (world famous fashion school in Tokyo). Watch out for him, world!
Kaila, Emika and Mizuho! You might recognize Kaila from her super popular blog, Rainbowholic! She was a Kawaii Leader at NHK World Kawaii International, and I dub her the kawaii ambassador of the Philippines!
Thank you so much to Ashley for bringing us all together again! Without you, this wouldn’t be possible. Much love, as always!
Next Tokyo post will come sooner than you think! I’ll be going again next week, and I have another 2+ weeks in the US. Need to rush everything before I leave!
Early this year, I booked a flight to Tokyo for work and a supposed vacation. After a few weeks, I was invited to Tokyo by Google Japan and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and coincidentally, the dates overlapped the trip that I had just booked. Talk about fate!
METI invited different bloggers from all over Asia to be ambassadors for Cool Japan (クールジャパン), a government funded initiative to bring more attention to Japanese contents such as anime, manga, food, fashion, etc. to other countries.
The main purpose of this trip was for us to participate in a new campaign called “100Tokyo”. “100Tokyo” is a new website which hopes to present Tokyo’s 100 best places and things to experience. This explains all our #100Tokyo hashtags on Instagram and Twitter.
I can never, ever get tired of going to Japan. I already went multiple times last year, but I still have tons of things I want to try. Thanks to METI and Google Japan for bringing us to different places so we can experience the best of Tokyo for ourselves.
On the night before the main activities, we had a welcome dinner at Ginza Sushiko Honten, a one-star Michelin restaurant that dates back to 1885.
You can find it at Marunouchi Bldg. 35F, 2-4-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6335.
Easily the best sushi I’ve ever tried in my entire life. Everything just melts in your mouth!
I was able to watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi a few years ago, and have since included eating in any fancy sushi place in Tokyo as part of my bucket list.
After watching this documentary about Jiro Ono (an 85-year-old sushi master and owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a Michelin three-star restaurant), you’ll definitely want to go to the nearest Japanese restaurant for a quick sushi fix! So inspiring, and not to mention, visually appetizing.
Similar to the documentary, the sushi chefs at the restaurant we ate in also experienced years of rigorous training and hard work.
The next day, we went to Nihonbashi Hunatsukiba and rode a boat limo to experience the “Venice of Japan”. I’ve never been to Nihonbashi before so this was a new experience even for me.
With Laureen, Camille and pretty Thai blogger Melissa.
Rainy days always get me down! But dark!Nihonbashi was still gorgeous nonetheless.
Nihonbashi (日本橋) literally means Japan Bridge. The area was built around the first construction of the bridge in 1603, thus the name. Because it was the starting point for “Edo Five Routes”, a cluster of roads that connected Tokyo with outlying prefectures, Nihonbashi served as an immensely important place where people interacted and traded with each other.
Nihonbashi boasts of Japan’s first public company, postal system, bank and department store.
I’ll definitely come back to this place when the weather is better! I’m so intrigued after Miho from METI expressed her genuine love for Nihonbashi. I really want to check out Haibara, a 200-year-old shop that specializes in washi (type of Japanese paper). Their products have always been so good that it became part of the Vienna World Exposition in 1873 and the Paris World Exposition in 1878.
Another place I’m interested in is Yoshino-zushi Honten (吉野寿司本店) where the toro nigiri (fatty tuna) originated! Food is always a priority! NOM.
It’s both a good and bad thing that the JR Yamanote Line exists. I heavily depend on it to go to places like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Shinagawa (where I like staying), Tokyo, Ueno, Yoyogi, Harajuku, and Akihabara, but sometimes it is too convenient that it discourages me from trying all the other subway lines!
To get to Nihonbashi Station, you can go on the Ginza, Tozai and Asakusa lines or Mitsukoshimae Station on the Hanzomon and Ginza lines. Nihonbashi is also a 5-10 minute walk from the Nihonbashi Exit of Tokyo Station.
After the boat ride, we headed to a new mall called COREDO Muromachi! It just opened on the day of our visit!
Our first agenda? Dressing up in kimono/yukata! Another dream come true!
Kyorakutei/Megurian (橋楽亭／囲庵)in COREDO Muromachi 3 is a place where you can immerse yourself in Japanese culture. This includes tea ceremonies, kimono dressing, etc. Definitely a must-visit for tourists.
We were free to choose the design we wanted to wear and I chose black and pink with hot pink color accent simply because it matched the lipstick I was wearing, lol. And because BLACK!
We had to strip down to our undergarments before these lovely ladies helped us to dress up. 3 layers and lots of ribbons to secure the layers in place, but it was all surprisingly very comfortable!
Tried it on once and I still have no idea how they were able to do this. I heard some people have to put on kimonos and yukatas on their own! It’s definitely not an easy feat!
There were some ladies who also volunteered to fix our hair and tie them hair up with cute floral clips to match our outfits! How thoughtful of them!
Cool Japan / 100 Tokyo crew and representatives from the Philippines (Me, Camille, Laureen), Thailand (Melissa), Taiwan (AiAi), China (Lala), Singapore (Xiaxue, QiuQiu), Malaysia (Cheesie) and Indonesia (Stella).
There was a kimono exhibit in the same mall so we went there to check it out.
We were allowed to wear our kimonos for a while so I can definitely attest to its comfort! I was so sad when my little dream sequence had to end and I had to go back to wearing normal clothes! /CRY
Took detail shots of the patterns and embroidery on the exhibited kimonos. It’s no wonder how some of these go for tens of thousands of dollars.
Would love to wear this dainty-looking one.
Kimonos are definitely works of art!
Patterns printed on washi. These became my iPhone wallpapers for a while.
You can find a cute souvenir shop at the mall’s ground floor. Here’s a quirky fan that needs no introduction.
It’s traditional x modern/pop culture collaborations like this one that give me so much life! Japan will never be not cool.
Calling all Hello Kitty fans!
The next photos are all about the stores and products that you can find in the new COREDO Muromachi.
Because it’s Easter today, here are some bunny chopsticks at a chopsticks store that sells so many different designs and colors!
Not your ordinary slippers.
World-famous Tabio socks that are proudly made in Japan.
Unique design from a glasses store called POKER FACE (ポーカーフェイス). The items are produced in Sabae, Fukui Prefecture, the leader in Japanese glasses production.
Can I live here?
Looks like my future house, lol.
Team Singapore/Malaysia decked out in pastels! Too adorable not to post.
Lunch time at Hounenmanpuku, still in Nihonbashi! Finished this in about 10 minutes. SO GOOD.
I heard getting a visa to go to Japan won’t be required anymore for Filipinos. I noticed there are more flights from Manila to Tokyo too. It’s definitely our year! You can check out the 100Tokyo website as you plan your itinerary. You can also refer to my blog’s Tokyo tag to read about my own experiences.
Happy Easter! <3
Lunch dates with Crissey last February. I met some of her lovely friends (Riz and Keita) and we all had the nicest food. For some reason, Trissey’s luck is extra high every time we’re together. We never end up at a bad restaurant!
She also gave me a late Christmas gift - the Laduree keychain that I wanted since last October! We spotted it in Hong Kong but ultimately decided not to buy it because it was quite pricey and we’d rather buy macarons. Of course, Trissey being Trissey, food has to be the priority, lol. She remembered that I wanted it so badly, and had someone in Japan buy it for her. So sweet! I immediately put it on my favorite bag as soon as I arrived home that day. Hopefully, it won’t snag my clothes. :D
Merci mon amour!