Monday, May 17, 2010

Visiting Japan

We visited Japan last year and fell in love with Tokyo.  We have booked plane tickets for another trip to Tokyo next month.

Here are some of the highlights for me from our last trip.

1.  The national pastime in Japan seems to be shopping.  On the weekend the main streets of Tokyo’s major shopping districts are closed to cars and lined with little cafe tables.  Perfect for taking a break in between all that shopping.

Image taken in Ginza, Tokyo last year

2.  Chocolate brownies from the food hall basement of Printemps Ginza, a French department store in Tokyo.

3.  Eating shabu shabu (Japanese fondue) - boiling broth in which you cook wagyu beef or pork strips, noodles and vegetables, served with condiments.  Yum!

4.  Riding a single-speed bicycle around Kyoto to visit the Imperial Park, Nijo Castle and other monuments.

5.  Buildings - from the neon lights and billboards of Shibuya to the designer stores of Ginza, where the Louis Vuitton building is monogrammed, the Cartier building is gold and the Dior building sparkles.

Image taken in Ginza, Tokyo last year 

6.  Loft was the first place we visited after dropping off our suitcases.  This store sells everything - traditional Japanese fans, bento boxes, kimonos, cutesy stationery, Japanese designer furniture and homewares, etc.  They had a little charcoal modular sofa that would have been perfect for my little inner-city Sydney home... unfortunately it wouldn’t fit in my hand luggage.

7.  Making okonomiyaki (described as Japanese pizza, but it’s more like a savoury pancake or omelette).  We made ours with pork, prawns and noodles, complete with little dancing fishes (bonito flakes) on top.

Image from Japan Guide

8.  Paumes books, available in Australia from Kinokuniya in Sydney or Lark in Melbourne.  With text in Japanese, these books are filled with images of artistic homes in Europe.

I will try to remember to take lots of photos (in between all of my planned shopping and eating) to share with you when I get back.

1 comment:

  1. A colleague at work went to tokyo last year around about the same time i headed to europe.

    she absolutley love it. must add it to my destinations list. how exciting for you to be heading back. great to be able to go back relatively close to the last trip and revisit all the the things you love and catch the places you missed.