All posts filed under: Tokyo

Goodbye Tokyo, Goodbye Universotokyo 「さよなら東京, さよなら Universotokyo」

You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place”-  -Miriam Adeney   I started this adventure in Tokyo, many many years ago, and has now come to an end. If you have followed this blog or ended up here randomly or you know me personally, you know how much I love Japan. I have nothing but gratitude for all the wonderful years I’ve spent in Tokyo. Maybe there’s someone out there who can relate to that ambiguous feeling of wanting to go back to your country, to old friends and family, and the feeling that your life, as you know it for the last years, will be soon uprooted. Thank you Tokyo for all the adventures you gifted me, the friendships I have forged and the countless memories I’ll cherish for ever. I have shared many of your treasures here with readers, followers and guests. Universotokyo will stay active but it won’t be updated. Hopefully, the information featured here …

A Pleasant Stroll in Hiroo 「広尾の散歩」

Nestled in between Shibuya and Roppongi, you’ll find Hiroo, a peaceful hideaway and lovely neighbourhood.  Hiroo has always been the expat’s community area and it’s home to Embassies, international schools, supermarkets, cafes and restaurants and you can also find English-speaking services Hiroo’s atmosphere is very welcoming for those who want to live in a more relaxed manner. And it has that thing I love, when you have the coolest little shops besides these old wood homes. Old “Senbei” shop in Hiroo. Senbei is a type of Japanese rice crackers that come in various shapes, sizes, and flavours.  They are usually savory but sometimes sweet and often eaten with green tea as a casual snack. I love everything in this shop…the wood boxes, the big glass jars, the hand-written labels, the old posters on the walls… charming old Tokyo! Arisugawa Park, very close to Hiroo station, occupies a large chunk of this area. The park has lovely paths and walkways, a baseball field, soccer field, children’s playgrounds, a waterfall and a lovely pond full of koi fish, turtles and ducks. Hiroo offers a nice selection of restaurants. I’m usually around this area, so …

A Pleasant Stroll in Shimokitazawa 「下北沢の散歩」

Shimokitazawa  is a very cool neighbourhood on the western side of Tokyo. Shimokita, as known by locals,  is well-known for small independent fashion boutiques, second-hand and vintage fashion retailers, cute cafes, theaters, bars and live music venues.  There are many narrow alleys and streets surrounding the station… perfect to explore them on foot! Simokita train station divides the area in two parts: North and South.  I started exploring the North Exit first. It has an edgy and cool atmosphere. It reminded me a bit like Yanaka, where you can find lovely boutiques right next to warehouses and old homes. Since Shimokita is a little less mainstream than Shibuya, Harajuku or Daikanyama, it’s also a little bit cheaper and more laid back. I then crossed the railways and walked around the South.  The southern part is where you will find the live music venues, “pachinko” and arcades centres, tattoos parlours and the well-known Honda Gekijō and Suzunari theaters. I had Lunch at Kate Coffee, a very cool and relax cafe in Shimokitazawa (South Exit).  This is probably one of those places frequented by Shimokita’s locals. I didn’t stay long but it felt like you can order …

A Pleasant Stroll in Yanaka 「谷中の散歩」

Old Yanaka, Nezu and Sendagi are three charming and traditional neighbours in Tokyo where you can enjoy a taste of local colour. My friend and fellow blogger Lori and I visited Yanaka. Yanaka escaped damage from the bombing in World War II, so there’s a historical vibe lingering in the narrow alleys and old wooden houses, a special kind of vibe that makes this area feel like removed from the rest of modern Tokyo. Yanaka has a few interested places to check out: The Yanaka Cemetery Park (famous for its cherry blossoms) the Nezu-jinja Shrine (there’re lots of shrines and temples sprinkled here and there), super cool art galleries like Scai the Bathhouse, and the lovely Yanaka Ginza. As usual, I suggest you walk around. Nothing like getting lost to find the best hidden gems. Yanaka Ginza is a narrow, old-time style street with colourful retro shops that offer from souvenirs to snacks and food.  Go down the Yuyake Dandan steps and enjoy it! A lot of craftspeople who keep traditional techniques alive also reside in this area. Wander around and soak up the old …