All posts tagged: japan

maito.

Another reason why the Kuramae neighborhood in Toyko is my current favorite: Maito! I visited this beauty of a shop en route to our ink making appointment and drooled over everything. All the items in the shop are hand dyed and handmade, and soooo pretty. The colors they achieve are gorgeous. The shop is small, but I spent some time looking around. There was so much to admire. You can purchase dye kits and it appears they also teach workshops in the store, too! I ended up picking out some craft supplies (of course). I found two mini skeins of yarn and a set of buttons – all naturally dyed using locally sourced plant life. The reddish orangey pink was dyed with madder root and the light pink – sakura! I showed the worker my sakura nails because I was so excited. She said ‘kawaii!!!’ I’ve started to use some of the yarn to make tassels. I’ll have to decide on a few more special projects for my pretty finds! Any suggestions? Ahh, I want …

shopping culture.

The shopping culture in Japan is like whoa. Gifting and packaging play a key role. Shops often provide additional bags and tissues for gift giving. And if you’re lucky, your items will be wrapped with pretty paper and you won’t want to open them because the wrapping will be too lovely to mess up. Everywhere you go – a shopping plaza! Train stations had stories of shopping, too. In Toyko, the Ginza shopping district has big brand shops. It also has Itoya, an eight-story categorized shopping experience. It was on my must-see list. A floor for planners, a floor with cards, a floor dedicated to craft and one for fine papers… I visited an origami shop. Calligraphy and paper stores were also popular – I loved stumbling across these shops; the workers were always so friendly and curious where I was visiting from. My favorite crafty shop find: Wrapple Wrapping & DIY Cafe, a small boutique DIY bar and cafe with co-working space filled with washi and paper and decor items. We also visited the …

itadakimasu.

I travel for the food. How about you? Drool with me now; it’s time for my Japan food recap! Itadakimasu! Sushi for breakfast, Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo This is what dreams are made of. We woke up at 11:30PM Friday and waited until the Tsukiji Fish Market opened at 7AM Saturday. Yaa, we had reverse jet lag. Before breakfast we strolled the Kachidoki Bridge for some just-after-sunrise views. I had the maguro salmon don (left) and Hubby had a kaisen don (right), plus miso soup with a big helping of seaweed. That’s wassup. That fish was fressssh. And I am obsessed with sushi rice. Noodles for breakfast, Rokurisha, Tokyo I’m a big fan of being able to eat out somewhere I can have rice or noodles for breakfast. And if there’s a place open by 10AM in the States I am a super fan. It took Hubby and I a while to find the tsukemen (dipping ramen) restaurant on our must-list because buildings in Tokyo are confusing. I saw a line and no English restaurant …

sakura.

I went to Japan! Kicking off Japan posts today. 🙂 My number one reason to go to Japan in the Springtime: to see the sakura (cherry blossoms)! I followed the 2019 Sakura forecast on the interwebs and picked Nagano as my prefecture of choice for spotting the blooms (it worked out with the dates we were able to travel). I monitored the forecast up until we left for Japan, just in case we had to change any trips. The timing was perfect! We spotted so many different types of sakura. Here’s where we went: Garyu Park, Suzaka, Nagano, Japan The trees weren’t fully bloomed yet, but it was still worth the trip because the park was so peaceful. The reflection on the water made for some postcard-worthy shots. We enjoyed food on sticks from a local vendor and strolled around the pond. Ueda Castle, Ueda, Nagano, Japan Here, the trees were in full bloom. So impressive! We arrived in the afternoon so it was a bit crowded with both tourists and locals, but it was …

minamoto kitchoan.

Kawaii sweets! Minamoto Kitchoan carries Japanese specialty treats with unique flavors and impressive packaging (and super realistic fake food displays!). I stumbled upon this cute shop a few years back and love stopping in whenever I’m in the area. They have lots of jellies, red bean treats, mochi, and cream-filled sweets. I enjoy the pancake treats most, but it’s fun to try different things. They always have special holiday treats. On this visit: Year of the Dog red bean jellies. Each item is ready for gifting; you can purchase individual treats or gift sets. If you’re a regular, they’ve got a rewards program, too. For every $100 spent you get $10 off your next purchase. If this is any indication of what treat shops are like in Japan, I’m in big trouble when I eventually get to visit. Everything is perfectly portioned and wrapped. Can’t wait to have another occasion/reason to return and try more delights. I particularly have my eye on these rainbow waffles. Ohh la la… Do you have a favorite super kawaii sweet treat …