We wouldn’t dare let our graphic designer, Tina Miyakawa, escape to Tokyo without promising to share her take on the feverish, captivating, and often mysterious city. Read on for her recommendations, from peaceful gardens to local eateries.
The small cultural differences in Japan are so wonderful… the efficiency, the logic and the attention to detail—women with impeccable style, a small spoon and milk with every coffee, and so many babies with tiny backpacks. We bought an $11 sweet potato from a department store and ate Ramen from a train station vending machine—both amazing.
We had a lot of recommendations from friends! It was really helpful to have some direction because there is so much to do in Tokyo… and I can only speak a tiny bit of Japanese.
We discovered this on the way to Blue Bottle Kiyosumi, which was also great. A peaceful space filled with Japanese Maple and a pond with water turtles. There is also a beautiful room on the water where you can drink tea by reservation.
Recommended by Airi Isoda of Wrk-Shp. A really interesting mix of contemporary and traditional. We drank perfectly crafted cappuccinos in a small garden space filled with rocks and shaded plants.
A small local spot in Koenji with a line. Their specialty is a tempura egg over rice which can be eaten any time of day. Or everyday.
A beautiful park (every park is beautiful) filled with a strange combination of tourists and locals and food vendors and selfie sticks and women dressed in kimono. So many Cherry Blossom trees, the ground and lakes were blanketed with pink petals. So magical.
Shinkansen Bullet Train
We took a 2.5 hour train ride from Toyko to Kyoto on the high speed rail. This was by far one of the most fantastic experiences! You can sit back with a drink and watch the countryside pass by at an alarming speed—I think it’s about 200mph… beautiful views of strawberry farms, rural neighborhoods and Mount Fuji. I brought a book for the ride but my face was glued to the window.