Like any seasoned traveller, Alexa Chung took on Tokyo with an inventory of districts to discover and sizzling spots to tick off. From the perfect espresso on the town, to the classic treasure trove and the unmissable robotic cabaret present, listed here are the eight Chung-approved locations to notice down on your personal journey in Japan.
It’s changing into simpler to trace down an oat milk flat white in Tokyo, and Saturdays is main the way in which. Okay, it’s technically an American outpost, however its downtown surfer aesthetic suits in completely with the fashionable Daikanyama district. Its espresso beans are sourced from Ethiopia, Brazil, Peru, and Hawaii, and the hand-crafted picket surfboards on show can be found for buy too. A very pretentious, and completely scrumptious, caffeine hit.
1-5-2 Aobadai, Meguro-Ku
Blink and also you would possibly miss it, Bar Piano will not be the music corridor its title would possibly counsel, however a small parlour accessible solely by a small ladder. Enter the plush pink lounge the place low-hanging lamps forged shadows on taxidermy and portraits of individuals from one other lifetime (earlier punters maybe?), and ring the bell for service. Apparently, the proprietor, Hayao Matsumura, is known for his calvados and recent fruit cocktails, however for Alexa’s crew it was whisky-and-cokes throughout. Message forward, or flip up late, to ensure Matsumura can squeeze your social gathering in.
There’s a day by day menu scrawled on a scroll of paper, however don’t fear about deciphering it. The charismatic cooks at Narukiyo Izakaya will fortunately convey out plate after plate of scrumptious morsels to the floor-level tables with cushions as seats. After washing down sumibiyaki (charcoal-grilled) greens and seasonal sashimi with sake, the proprietor will see you off into the night time with a free T-shirt. Neon orange or forest inexperienced, how will you resolve?
2 Chome-7-14 Shibuya
The division retailer promoting, fairly actually, the whole lot. You’ll by no means know you wanted a cat-shaped face masks or sushi rubber set, however you’ll go forth, buy and be so satisfied with the proper packaging that you simply’ll by no means look again.
5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya
From kimonos and Converse to marriage ceremony attire, Chicago is a treasure trove of classic treats. Its neon signal and the hipsters searching the rails spilling onto the pavement make the Harajuku landmark exhausting to overlook and inconceivable to not get lured into.
6 Chome-6-31-21 Jingūmae, Shibuya
Essentially the most charismatic adjectives can’t even start to explain the Robotic Restaurant. Seats are set out in rows, like a vogue present, and visitors are aware of a parade of lip-syncing dancers weaving their approach round remote-control equipment. All the pieces is neon, flashing and loud, whereas the air is a foggy mixture of smoke-machine blasts and popcorn. You’ll by no means expertise something fairly prefer it. An important Tokyo expertise.
1-7-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku
Isetan is the Tokyo equal of Selfridges, therefore Alexa’s determination to stage the pop-up store for her “Virginia” assortment there. Artist buddy Illy Jankovich remodeled the small house (located by Balenciaga and Marni on the third flooring) into a unusual tackle Charleston Farmhouse – the Sussex retreat of the Bloomsbury Group – full with bookshelves, an open (fake) fireplace and fluffy cat. As soon as performed searching the womenswear, head right down to the basement meals corridor for a sensory overload.
The truth that Tokyo is the motherland of karaoke closely influenced Alexa’s determination to showcase her fourth assortment there. Whereas many bars have screens tacked onto the partitions and microphones on the tables to facilitate impromptu singing, Alexa’s staff selected Rainbow Karaoke in Shibuya to belt out their selection of Britpop songs in. Each room is uniquely embellished – some even include a full band set-up so that you present your personal beats – and there’s a free ice cream machine within the reception. What extra might you ask for?
1-21-Three Jinnan, Shibuya