Journeywoman's Top Tokyo Tips...
Coulter, a twenty-something Canadian Journeywoman loves working
and living abroad. A teacher, she has just spent the past six years
in Tokyo, Japan. Laura has gleaned a nice list of great places for
women to eat, drink, shop and relax. She'd like to share what she's
learned from experience with other JourneyWomen worldwide who will
be travelling to Tokyo in the future.
first piece of advice is to check out the food halls located in
the basement of every department store. They're
colorful, full of wonderful smells, taste-tests galore and friendly
staff happy to show you their wares – rows of seafood, vegetables,
deli treats, exotic wonders, etc. In one section, you can check
out the 'gift fruit' where a watermelon can cost $100 or 4 peaches
can total $200. Each piece of fruit is perfect and packed, ready
to be sent to someone as a luxurious gift. In the food halls,
you can get various bits to eat and put them all together for
your dinner. Each stall will give you a oshi-bori (wet napkin)
and fork/chopsticks. You can also buy cookies and cakes and they
will be gift-wrapped – a wonderful 'thank-you' present to
someone in Japan or a souvenir for your trip home.
for 100 yen shops...
souvenir shopping, hit the 100 yen
shops. Everything in the store is 100 yen (about $1) and there
is an amazing assortment to chose from. Some shops, Harajuku,
Shinjuku, Ikebukero are multi-levels and the items are divided
into sections – kitchen, home, beauty, etc. The selection
is endless – dishes, napkins, chopsticks, washi paper, snacks,
charms, hair accessories, slippers, etc. This is the place to
pick up things for your trip – travel-size shampoo bottles,
extra toothbrushes, mesh bags for dirty laundry, socks, locks
for backpacks, and also places for souvenirs and gifts –
funny stationary with Engrish on it, kimono print notebooks, lanterns,
etc. You can go crazy inside – everything is just about
is for perfume...
perfume is an excellent bargain in Tokyo – cheaper than
by the demand for luxury goods and an incredible shopping obsession,
several shops have popped up in Harajuku and Shibuya, offering
all the brand perfume at low prices. Kimoriya in Shibuya and several
along Takashita-dori in Harajuku offer great deals.
Along the bargain
hunting line, Yamaya,
is an international liquor and food store, selling an amazing
selection of wines, cheeses, spirits and beer. This is a great
place to get a bottle of Japanese whiskey as a souvenir to take
home with you, wine for your hotel room, or just some snacks.
They do home delivery for the locals and have prices lower than
duty-free. There are forty-five locations within Japan, several
in the Tokyo areas – Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukero, etc.
ones love 7-11 gifts...
to bring something home for a little one? Stop at the 7-11
or any convenience store and take your pick of the “weird”
candy – funny names, great character designs on the box
and unique snacks that you won’t find anywhere else in the
world. Fran, Pocky, Melty Kiss, Green-tea kitkat, seaweed potato
chips, coffee gum, etc. are all decorated with little characters,
katakana writing and neat designs. Makes for an affordable and
easy to transfer gift.
you feel tired and achy and want to get in touch with your inner
Zen, check out one of the many yoga studios that are popping up
in the city. I highly recommend Sun
in Meguro. Owner, Leza Lowitz, is
friendly and calm – this is a no-frills, basic and warm
yoga studio – attitudes, lattes and mobile phones can be
left at the door. Beginners are most welcome and there is a drop-in
rate if you just want to try a class or a reasonable package of
four lessons, if you are going to be in town for a few days. All
equipment is provided and it’s close to the subway station,
so easy to find for new-comers to the city.