summer in tokyo

summer in tokyo

Where to thrift? Where to shop? Where to eat? 

But first - here are 5 things I wish I knew before landing in tokyo:

5 essential tips 

  1. Wear comfortable shoes - All the train stations have stairs, and lots of them! Carrying suitcases up flights of stairs then down another to exit the train station was a memorable introduction to tokyo. 
  2. Pack very very very light - there are so many great shopping places that I think I could've packed one set of clothes and I would have enough to last me three weeks. 
  3. Know your way to the nearest 7-Eleven by heart. 7-elevens in Tokyo are on another level entirely. From stationery, make up products to a wide range of high-quality (compared to aussie 7-eleven) food - you could survive the whole trip off 7-eleven. Also most restaurants don't open until 11am so getting breakfast from 7-eleven is useful - I recommend the frozen fruit (specifically peaches) and another favourite is the spicy salmon pollock roe onigiri !!
  4. It's compulsory that each person orders a meal in the restaurant. So 4 people = 4 meals - I'm used to sharing meals with others so this surprised me. But it's a custom that helps sustain the business because food chains are less common whereas street restaurants and vendors appear everywhere!
  5. Some more customs that I didn't expect were; 1) line up before entering a train carriage - people enter the train carriage in lines so it's like follow the leader 2) let 'em cook - actually let them serve is more accurate - they pride themselves in their service so those that are serving will do everything they can to serve you, don't try to help them help you and 3) in trains, elevators and accommodations after 8pm - use your soft, inside voice

On Shopping in Tokyo

Thrifting in Tokyo → 

Tampopo House Ueno-Hirokouji 

I would rate this one a 7 out of 10.

The pros include 1) nice clothing at low thrift prices (105 Yen = $1.05 per top/bottom), 2) very neat arrangement, you carry your clothes in a little bag provided, 3) there's a whole section dedicated for women downstairs, men on the main floor and dresses upstairs 4) second-hand clothing quality is WAY BETTER - hasn't been infiltrated by fast fashion as of yet

The cons include 1) didn't realise there was a women's section downstairs, 2) gets a little dusty downstairs (I was sneezing a lot), 3) coming across thrift finds is just as difficult - more aimed at general public, it's not curated thrifts.

That said - I did find some tops :) - all for a total of $2.10!


Shopping in Shibuya → 

Shibuya 109

I would rate this a 6 out of 10

Shibuya 109 is a true fashion hub. From memory, it has 12 storeys of clothing, jewellery, makeup, perfume etc. etc. The catch? There are no seats - to get a true shopping experience you would need to dedicate a couple hours, but without seats anywhere - even comfortable shoes don't cut it.

The pros: 1) customer service is top-tier, 2) clothes are relatively cheap, 3) lots of selection of jewellery and clothes, 4) if you tried on a style of clothing at one store you can probably find the same style of clothing of better quality, cheaper price or better fit at another store

The cons: 1) lots of the brands in this mall are of lower quality - they value trendiness over a certain clothing style/aesthetic, 2) NO SEATS

On Eating in Tokyo

Food in Japan is unmatched - I have not come across categorically distasteful food. Food here is either of typical or better than typical quality. 

Here's a snapshot of tokyo meals (in asakusa):

Breakfast Places:

1. 7-eleven

2. Misojyu - onigiri

3. Fish markets - Tsukiji market (my parents recommend the eel unagi) and Toyosu market (if you get there at 5am you can watch the auctions on all the fish) - Sushi here was amazinggg!

Lunch/Dinner Places:

1. Nearest supermarket will have nice sushi

2. For cutlets - Syura Ku Ra Seran - this is near Senso-ji temple as well

Pro Tip: In Table-log - anything above 3.2 is considered a high rating (the rating standard is different in Japan)

3. For takoyaki - WaraTako - like a street vendor - this place is surrounded by lots of high-fashion stores and the architecture around here is so cool to see

4. Random noodle with Italian twist place we found - Tokyo Tarako Spaghetti Harajuku-Omotesando

Hope you enjoyed this mini recap! I'm working on a rough vlog :)

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