I really cannot put into words what a special country Japan is. Truly one of my favorite places that I’ve ever traveled to. We only started to scratch the surface of this amazing place in our 2 weeks there. We were lucky enough to travel to Tokyo, Osaka, Koyasan and Kyoto. We could have easily spent the entire time in Tokyo and are already dreaming of going back to explore more of the country. I fell completely in love with the polarities expressed in Japanese culture. Really quite beautiful, and I found it resonated deeply with my own Gemini nature.
I’m by no means an expert, but I wanted to share the places that I loved most, some of which were shared with me by people I admire and respect. I also highly encourage following your intuition and getting a bit lost to find your own magical places. Japan really does not disappoint. The attention to detail and quality really make every experience memorable and fulfilling. All links are to Google Maps locations. I found it most helpful to “save” or “star” these places on my Google Maps app, so I could easily find them when out and about.
Nezu Museum – Make sure to visit the gardens!
Brown Rice Cafe – Cute vegetarian cafe/tea house
Aoyama Flower Market + Tea House – Tea and desserts to die for! And the flowers are just…!
Buik – Cutest cafe! Minimal + homemade vibes
Lisn – I didn’t even know I liked incense until I went here…
CPCM – THIS STORE!!! Make sure to go upstairs too.
Kiddy Land – A MUST!!! 6-floor Japanese toy store
Meiji Shrine – Obligatory.
Afuri – Favorite ramen in Tokyo. The Yuzu Shio with extra seaweed. They also have a seasonal vegan option. This location was my fave that we went to.
Tokyo Hands – All 8 floors – a must!
KushiWakaMaru – A lively yakatori with really yummy food
Tsutaya Books – Puts Powell’s to shame.
Walk along the canal in Naka-Meguro – cute shops and really pretty stroll
Kaoriya – This soba place is an experience – highly recommend!
FOG Linen Work – Just lovely.
Rojiura – Curry soup!!!
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden – Such a gorgeous place for a picinic and a stroll. Get picnic eats in the basement food court of Takashimaya Department Store.
Senso-ji – In old town – Asakusa. Wander through the vending stalls and eat lots of street foods leading up to the shrine. Can be touristy, but still nice.
RENT BIKES!!! Best way + most fun way to get around for sure.
If you go to Arashiyama – bamboo grove, which you should, get there no later than 7:45AM. By 9:00, it’s completely overrun with tourists and totally loses its magic. Head to Arabica% in between checking out the Tenryu-ji temple.
Taka – Simple, delicious food. Owners are so sweet and friendly.
Artisugu if you want Japanese knives. Naito if you want Japanese brooms.
Walk the Philosopher’s Path, eat soba at Omen and check out Honen-in temple
Nanzen temple – Don’t miss the gardens!
Walk around Gion and eat all the desserts.
Nishiki Food Market – definitely a site to see!
nest Robe – Very Japanese style clothing. I loved this store and bought a really beautiful shirt here.
Tarokichi – Amazing yakatori.