My full Tokyo hotspots guide is here, you guys! :) As you know, I had been dying to go back to one of my favourite cities in the world for a while, and it was so amazing! We booked this trip pretty last-minute, but made sure to still catch the cherry blossoms - definitely one of the prettiest sights in Tokyo always. We left on April 1 and stayed for almost 2 weeks, so that the long flight would at least be worth it. :) It was Gabriel's first long flight (stay tuned for my tips on how to travel with a baby soon!) and I couldn't have asked for a better first faraway trip with the 3 of us! We made so many amazing memories that I'll cherish forever. Read along to find out my favourite things to do, see and eat in my Tokyo hotspots guide below...
WHERE TO STAY // HARAJUKU DISTRICT
Often named as Tokyo's epicentre of fashion, the Harajuku district is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in the city! Because we were traveling with an 11-month old baby we opted for a 2-room apartment instead of a hotel, close to the most amazing park (see below) and many yummy food spots. There are so many things to do in this part of Tokyo, from nature-y walks to hitting up the most on trend shops and exploring the historical alleys. If you're going on a frist trip to Tokyo, I'd definitely recommend this area (there are also many amazing hotels, if you prefer!).
WHAT TO EAT // SNACKS & SWEETS
It's probably no surprise that I'm a HUGE fan of the Tokyo food scene. :) I've shared my favourite hotspots for the 3 prettiest snacks and sweets in this post. Additionally, I also really liked the out-of-this-world pretty ice cream cones at Eddy's Ice Cream (don't forget to have your Lady Gaga/Beyoncé moment against the pink telephone wall!) and the super cute pastries at Dominique Ansel bakery. You won't know where to look first!
WHAT TO EAT // LUNCH
There are tons of ramen or noodle places in Tokyo (yay!), but for me, Afuri is definitely one of the best ones! The menu is not overwhelmingly extensive but well curated. The food is delicate and delicious, and comes in tidy little bowls - so very Japanese. :) Afuri has restaurants all over Tokyo, but the atmosphere is never chain-like. Definitely worth a visit!
Another spot I really like for a healthy lunch is Re:Nature, a veggie restaurant with lots of healthy options. They mostly use organic ingredients, perfect to do a mini detox after one too many sweets! Apart from the fixed options, there are daily suggestions such as a brown rice plate and a veggie curry. If you're in for some desert (always) there are nice raw treats to choose from (most of them are topped with flowers, to make sure your IG feed's in on the party too).
WHAT TO DO // CITY LIFE
As one of the most impressive cities in the world, Tokyo has lots of spots to fully take in the hustle & bustle of the city life. The Shibuya crossing is a world famous classic, with people pouring in from literally every corner once the lights turn green. And yes, this is probably the spot where you'll find the most Asian people with a protective mouth cap at once! :)
Another 'very city' area is the Akihabara game district. If you're into anime and manga, or you're a bit of a tech nerd like Marcio (haha), this is the place to go! Needless to say, the endless colours & bleep sounds are also a big hit with mini eyes and hands - like father, like son?
WHAT TO DO // HISTORICAL
Exactly the opposite of the hyper modern city life, Tokyo also has lots of historical hotspots that are worth a visit. The Nezu Shrine is one of the oldest ones in the city, and if you visit between April and May, you'll have a chance to catch the Azalea Festival on location. It's also a popular venue for traditional Japanese weddings, which is always fun to witness, right? :)
We obviously didn't go too crazy with the Tokyo nightlife scene, but if you're into discovering the most authentic taverns and cafés of Tokyo, the Golden Gai alleys will totally be your thing! The area is also pretty fun to take little daytime strolls in the narrow meandering streets. It can get a bit crowded and packed, so keep that in mind before you set off.
WHAT TO DO // NATURE
One of the things I love most about Tokyo are the many truly amazing green spots. We stayed right next to the Shinjuku Gyoen garden, named the most beautiful park in Tokyo by Time Magazine. It's big enough to never feel too crowded, so perfect for a little afternoon picnic. A bit further down is Inokashira park that has lots of cute traditional bridges and lush greens. You can also rent a swan-shaped boat to peddle your way through the park, the perfect kiddo entertainment. :) And speaking of peddling, at Kitanomaru park you can rent a boat as well, and we had the best time spotting all the cherry blossoms on the side!
Apart from all the gorgeous parks, the Nakameguro river area should also definitely be on your must-do list too! As a world famous spot to see the cherry blossoms (and signature pink lanterns) it can get super busy, so make sure to go early to avoid the biggest crowds.
Have you been to Tokyo lately? Any other spots I shouldn't miss next time? :)
Outfit details via @sofievalkiers