Life Through A Lens #23- Spring Has Sprung

Travel Must-Haves

It’s getting to the time of year where a lot of us are getting ready to jet off on another adventure. Whether it’s to the beach or to explore a new city, traveling can be excited, but also a bit stressful. Today I thought I would share my travel “must-haves” for vacations. I hope you find some of these things helpful, and let me know if I’ve missed anything that you have on your list. I’ll also link my “top 10 travel tips” post down below. Happy traveling!

Beach Getaway:

1. The first thing I always have to have for a beach trip is an array of cute bikinis. I love my suits and can’t stand to wear the same suit two days in a row (that’s just me though, haha!). One our beach vacations, we spend almost the whole day laying out by the pool or the beach, which means that we’re in our bikinis for a majority of the day. If you are going to be in the ocean, make sure the suits you bring stay on well and don’t fall off. The absolute WORST thing is having to spend the whole day hiking your bikini top up because it keeps slipping down.

2. Another must for a vacation in the sun is sun screen. I used to hate sun screen because I thought it kept me from getting tan, but I quickly learned that using sun screen isn’t only protective for your skin and health, but it actually helps you get a nice even tan that lasts. In addition to sun protection, make sure to pack some aloe vera or coconut oil to use as after sun care.

3. Bring sunglasses and hats! If you’re going to be out in the heat all day, you’re going to want to have different ways to keep your body cool (you do not want to deal with heat stroke on a vacation…not fun!). Look for cute hats and visors to slip on when you need to cool down, and make sure you have sunglasses on anytime you’re in the sun. Sun damage to you eyes is a real thing.

4. If you’re going to be lying on the beach all day, bring some entertainment. Whether it’s a coloring book, a fun group game app or a ball, we love having things to do when we want to get up and moving or just use our minds a little bit.

5. In addition to bikinis, I always have to have cute cover ups with me. I usually wear my bikini around all day (literally put it on right after I wake up), so having a cover up is easy to slip on whenever I need it.

 

City Exploration:

1. Outfits that fit the city. One thing you have to be careful about is making sure that what you wear is respectful of the culture or religion of the place you’re visiting. Some places don’t like women in shorts or showing your shoulders. Be aware and respectful. Dressing modest doesn’t have to be boring!

2. When I’m on a city vacation, I typically do A LOT of walking, so I always make sure I have comfy shoes on. They don’t always have to be sneakers or closed shoes, there are plenty of sandals that are super comfy to walk in. Find what works for you.

3. I’m a blogger and instagrammer, so this one is obvious for me: a camera. Some people think that it’s better to enjoy the views than to be behind the lens, but I say do both! It’s so fun for me to capture moments to share with others and as memories for me. I love going back through photos from old trips to remember all the beauty of the world.

Any trip!:

1. One thing I always have to make sure I pack for a trip is my workout clothes and shoes. I used to go on trips all the time without workout clothes, and used it as an excuse to not workout. Now, I always always always have my stuff ready to go so that I don’t have an excuse to skip a day of sweating. Even though you may not have a lot of time or space to get a workout in, you have to make it a priority. I’ll link my post about staying fit on the road if you need some inspiration!

2. A map (or virtual map) of the country or city you’re visiting. I love taking a little bit of time to look at the area I’m going to be visiting on a map, and also looking at a close up map to see all the places I wanna go/visit while I’m there. It gives me a better understanding of the kind of place I’m going to be in, and helps me plan out the activities for each day.

3. Toiletries! No matter how far away I’m going or how long I’m staying anywhere, if I’m going to be overnight anywhere in the world, I have to have all of my toiletries. This includes my skin care, my toothbrush/paste and floss, and everything else. It gives me piece of mind to know that I won’t be changing anything about my routines just because I’m away.

 

‘Top 10 Travel Tips’ Post: https://swimeatlove.com/2017/03/18/top-10-travel-tips/

‘Staying Fit on the Road’ Post: https://swimeatlove.com/2017/07/12/fitgirllife-staying-fit-on-the-road/

Union Pasadena

Union Restaurant is a small Italian place in the Old Pasadena area. Located in the backstreets, it’s tucked away amongst lots of other eateries. I had heard about this place and their food before, and knew immediately I had to go. While trying to make reservations, we found that Union is really popular and fills up fast. We ended up making our booking nearly two weeks in advance to get a table at a time we wanted. Pulling up to the restaurant, there were no big signs, but a small chalkboard next to the doors that read “Union”. The hostess was standing right by the door, and quickly walked us to our table, swerving through the tightly packed tables. Most of the tables were for parties of two, with a few tables for four. Dim light hung from the ceiling, suspended by steel rods. Next to the bar counter was a huge blackboard filled with information, all written in calligraphy looking font. On one side, they had their farmers market schedule, listing where they get their produce on each day of the week. The other side of the board was filled with Italian ingredients used in their dishes, along with an explanation of what they were.

After being seated, our waitress brought us the menus and explained what the special of the day was. The menu had four sections, “Start, Field, Pasta and Main”. At the bottom of the menu was a list of the kitchen staff. Reading through the menu, I was overwhelmed at the all the unique dishes. They had a salad made of broccoli sprouts, a homemade cheese dish with garlic and bread, and a cavatelli pasta with wild boar. After spending about 10 minutes racking our brains about what to order, we finally decided. I ordered the bread with house made cultured butter and sea salt to start and the squid ink Lumache with Maine lobster, fennel, lemon and truffle butter. My two friends each ordered the duck confit with charred treviso pickled currants and grapefruit, the smoked stracciatella ravioli with tomato orange fondue, whey and basil, and the special of the day which was a roast pork. They brought out the bread and duck confit after only 5 minutes. The bread was served on a thick board with a bowl of spiced pickles in the middle. The bread was fresh and warm, and the butter was amazingly soft and creamy. After devouring our starters, we waited for our mains which came out about 15 minutes after. I had heard about their squid ink Lumache for a long time and was so excited to try it. It came served in a deep white dish, and the little jewels of lobster popped out from the deep black color of the pasta. As soon as the plate touched the table, the fragrance of truffle and squid ink immediately hit my face. I was expecting the sauce to be a little thicker and creamier, but it was just a light coating of the truffle butter based sauce. The first bite I took was everything and more I had imagined it to be. Being a huge fan of squid ink, I had tried lot’s of foods with it before, pasta, break, risotto, and while I always love it, the taste of squid ink is not usually really strong. However in this pasta, the flavor of the squid ink was extremely strong. The little pieces of fennel were just cooked, adding a bit of crunch to the dish, and the lobster was perfectly poached and tossed in the butter. The Meyer lemon cut through the decadence of the dish and tied it all together. It was one of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever had.

After finishing our mains, we sat there content and full, ready to pay and leave. But before we could, the waitress brought us the dessert menu, and I was swayed to order the olive oil cake to share with my friend. It was served with two candied orange slices on top and a dish of vanilla creme anglaise to pour over. The slice of cake was warm and toasted on the outside, but unbelievable moist on the inside. We polished off the dessert, paid and left the restaurant extremely full, but extremely happy and satisfied. Our experience at Union was amazing, and though it was a bit expensive, it was worth every penny. If you check out Union, let me me know what you think in the comments below!

 

Go-To Makeup Products

Today’s post is going to be all about my recent favorite make-up/beauty products. I’ve spent the last few years growing my make-up collection and learning how to play with different colors and products, and I just wanted to share some of the products that I absolutely love. I’ll try to link as much as I can below, and will also link my Pinterest makeup/beauty board where I get a lot of my inspiration!

Face:

Moisturizer- I’ve used the same moisturizer for the last 2 years, and it’s the Curel Moisture Face Milk. It’s lightweight and not sticky, but is super hydrating. I always wash my face and use this before I start my makeup, and it works really well.

http://web1.sasa.com/SasaWeb/eng/product/viewProductDetail.jspa?itemno=107412202001&cm_mmc=google21intdyn

Primer- My favorite primer to use is the Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser. It does a really good job at blurring out your pores, and the foundation and concealer that I put on top of it goes on really smoothly.

https://www.target.com/p/maybelline-174-baby-skin-153-instant-pore-eraser/-/A-15007507?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&CPNG=PLA_Health+Beauty+Shopping&adgroup=SC_Health+Beauty&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&location=9030966&gclid=CjwKCAjwwbHWBRBWEiwAMIV7E_zTo6i3tavOJMylY30hc_bAjaCcIYRcwo6ms0ow8ZhkQ_TVbEuHOxoCM8wQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Foundation- The Maybelline Fit Me Matte Foundation has been my go-to for a long time. They have a huge range of shades, so it’s easy to find your match. It’s a heavy coverage, but light weight and doesn’t make your face look too shiny (perfect for oily skin).

https://www.maybelline.com/collections/fitme?gclid=CjwKCAjwwbHWBRBWEiwAMIV7EzDOtarqzJ8DZAtwFE8vMlYJRZeIPee2Z9_WMeyHYLhOKG4lFaX0WRoC1tcQAvD_BwE

Concealer- Going along with the foundation, but favorite concealer is the Maybelline Fit Me Oil-Free Stick Foundation. I love stick concealers because I think they’re really easy to use and help you put it on precisely. Just like the foundation, it leaves a matte finish and covers blemishes and scars really well.

https://www.amazon.com/Maybelline-New-York-Oil-Free-Foundation/dp/B00DRPSQ60/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1523412731&sr=8-3-fkmr2&keywords=maybelline%2Bfit%2Bme%2Bconcealer%2Bstick&th=1

Eyes:

Eye Shadow- I’ve tried LOTS of eye shadows and tested out different palettes before, but my absolute favorite is the Naked Heat Palette. I fell in love with it the second it was released, and finally got it for Christmas last year. The shades are beyond stunning and the mix of matte and glitter shades make it really easy to put together different kinds of looks. I use this for my everyday makeup as well as fancy/fun makeup looks.

https://www.sephora.com/product/naked-heat-palette-P420913

Mascara- I discovered my favorite mascara after receiving it in my Ipsy bag (check the link below to learn more about/subscribe to Ipsy) a few months ago. The PUR Cosmetics Fully Charged Mascara is one of the best I’ve ever tried. It’s super pigmented and high volume. Just one layer of it is really thick and noticeable.

https://www.purcosmetics.com/fully-charged?utm_source=google_shopping&scid=scplp951455030&sc_intid=951455030&mkwid=s_dc&pcrid=176391538273&pkw=&pmt=&gclid=CjwKCAjwwbHWBRBWEiwAMIV7EwpleDj4hKPSy-qo-5pDIYVzrOlfFgiaSjdOWpyfD3EbrFORDHiZzhoC2bEQAvD_BwE

Eye Liner- My favorite liner isn’t actually a black eyeliner, but it’s the Tarte glitter liners. I bought the three pack with rose gold, blue and gold, and I love them all. One side is a metallic liner and the other side is a glitter liner. I use the metallic side on my upper eye lid and the glitter side right over my eye shadow in the middle of my lid. They’re so stunning!

https://tartecosmetics.com/en_US/sale/limited-edition-tarteist-pro-glitter-liner-in-rose-gold/1043.html?dwvar_1043_color=rose%20gold&cgid=#q=glitter%2Bliner&lang=en_US&start=1

Cheeks:

Highlighter- I absolutely LOVE highlighters so I actually have three (I just can’t choose between them). The first is the Tarte Pro Glow Palette with 4 different highlighters. The second is the Fenty Beauty Match Stix in the shade Yacht Lyfe. It’s a rose gold-ish shade and I think the subtle highlight is beyond beautiful. I use this almost everyday. The last highlighter I love is more for crazy looks, and it’s the Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in the shade Trophy Wife. It’s a really bright gold, but goes on really subtly, especially on darker skin.

https://www.sephora.com/product/tarteist-pro-glow-highlight-contour-palette-P413462

https://www.fentybeauty.com/match-stix/shimmer-skinstick/23336.html

https://www.fentybeauty.com/killawatt/freestyle-highlighter/FB30002.html

Blush- My favorite blush is the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush. I got this one in my Ipsy as well and absolutely love it. They’re super pigmented, so even just one swoop with the brush will get a lot on.

https://tartecosmetics.com/en_US/makeup/cheeks/blush-cheek-stain/amazonian-clay-12-hour-blush/236.html?dwvar_236_color=natural%20beauty%20%28rosy%20red%29&cgid=#q=blush&lang=en_US&start=4

Bronzer- My favorite bronzers are the two in the Tarte Pro Glow Palette, one powder (shade) and one cream (sculpt). The powder one is beautiful and goes on and blends out really well, and the cream one is perfect for a good contour.

https://www.sephora.com/product/tarteist-pro-glow-highlight-contour-palette-P413462

Lips:

Chapstick- I always use chapstick before putting any lip products on because I think it helps my lips stay fresh and the product last longer. My favorites are the Burt’s Bees Lip Balms. I love all the smells, but my favorites are Wild Cherry and Coconut & Pear.

https://www.burtsbees.com/shop/lip-care/lip-balm/?dmp=LipBalm&gclid=CjwKCAjwwbHWBRBWEiwAMIV7E6_mXrZEzYdZ9UX2urDNEEVgZ9ySDtL_ca8CkUe5zpqeeLt85SVVeRoCwOEQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Lip Gloss- My favorite gloss is the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb. It’s a bit on the heavier side, but settles in nicely and lasts for a long time. It’s has a really pretty sheen over lip balm.

https://www.fentybeauty.com/gloss-bomb/universal-lip-luminizer/22513.html

Matte Gloss- My favorite matte gloss is the Kylie Lip Kit in the shade Candy K. My friend originally had this and when I tried it I knew I had to have it. I’m not a fan of bright red or pink shades, I prefer nudes, and I think this shade it perfect. I usually put on lip balm, then line the lips with the liner that comes with the kit and then fill in my lips with the gloss. I’ve heard from some people that the matte glosses crack, but I’ve found that using lip balm underneath stops it from cracking.

Candy K | Lip Kit

 

Brushes:

The best brushes I’ve ever used was from an It Cosmetics set. All of the brushes are super soft but do a really good job at blending, shading or whatever else you’re using it for. The set comes with brushes for your face and eyes, so you’re all covered.

https://www.ulta.com/your-airbrush-masters-6-pc-advanced-brush-set?productId=xlsImpprod11061200&sku=2274529&cmpid=PS_Non!google!Product_Listing_Ads&cagpspn=pla&CATCI=aud-370516521359:pla-332919100964&CAAGID=38703936941&CAWELAID=330000200000188544&CATARGETID=330000200001158132&cadevice=c&gclid=CjwKCAjwwbHWBRBWEiwAMIV7E7QQ9myF7P8TZD5SC2vNTKVI-ZyLzzDPW8NHHKj4cZpHRXbvXTK_0xoCMIcQAvD_BwE

 

My Pinterest beauty board: https://www.pinterest.com/aimefukada/beauty/

Ipsy: https://www.ipsy.com/new?cid=ppage_ref&sid=link&refer=xk1kw

Dallas Cafe & Bar

If you read my last post on ‘Top 10 Places to Eat in Singapore’ (linked down below, make sure to check it out!), you know that one of my newest restaurant finds is Dallas Restaurant and Bar, located at the Marina Bay Sands along the waterfront. I stumbled upon this place one day while walking around MBS with my family, and ended up going that evening for a night out with my girlfriends. The bar right on the edge of MBS, so it’s half indoors and half outdoors. We sat at a high table outside, and it was beautiful to see the Central Business District all lit up and reflecting on the water. We also had front row seats to the nightly light/laser show. Their drink menu had a huge variety with 21 cocktails and lots of wines, beers and other spirits.

As far as drinks go, they were super reasonable ($14 per drink) and big sizes. On Tuesday’s from 6pm-9pm (MBS happy hour), their Yuzu Mojito, Mimosa and Dark ‘n’ Stormy are all 50% off ($7). I had the Singapore Sling and the Salted Caramel White Russian, and they were both super yummy. One of my friends ordered a standard Margarita and said it was one of the best she’d ever had. We didn’t have any food, but it looked really good (I will go back and try it and update this). They do have a brunch/lunch and dinner menu (looked so good!), but they also had a bar food section with fries, calamari and fish tacos, which seemed perfect for a light dinner.

If you’re looking for a place to go for drinks on a night out in Singapore, highly suggest checking out this place for inexpensive drinks with a priceless view!

Website: http://www.dallas.sg/

Address: 2 Bayfront Ave, #01-85, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972

‘Mega Guide to Singapore’ post: https://swimeatlove.com/2017/11/16/top-10-things-to-do-in-singapore/

‘Top 10 Places to Eat in Singapore’ post: https://swimeatlove.com/2018/04/08/top-10-places-to-eat-in-singapore/

Top 10 Places to Eat in Singapore

Heading to Singapore soon? Looking for places to eat? Don’t worry, I got you covered. Today I’m going to share my top 10 places to eat in Singapore! Looking for more than food, check out my Mega Guide to Singapore linked down below. Happy eating!

1. Kaya Toast- One of Singapore’s most iconic foods, kaya toast stores can be found all around the city making for an easy, inexpensive and delicious breakfast before a day out on the town.

Website: http://yakun.com/

Address: All around the city

Pricing: $

2. P.S. Cafe- One of our go-to brunch spots, PS Cafe has a huge variety of western and Asian brunch and dinner options. A few of my favorites are the king prawn spaghetti, the turkey cranberry sandwich and their famous truffle fries (a huge plate, so make sure to share!). While they have a few locations around the country, the one at Palais Renaissance has the most chill and down-to-earth atmosphere.

Website: https://www.pscafe.com/pscafe-at-palais-renaissance/

Address: 390 Orchard Road, Palais Renaissance, Singapore 238871

Pricing: $$

3. Crystal Jade Palace- There’s lot’s of options for dim sum all over, but one of my favorites is Crystal Jade Palace for Sunday lunch. The food is super flavorful and authentic with a huge variety of dishes.  Some favorites are the stir fried carrot cake with XO sauce, Teochew dumplings and deep fried yam puffs.

Website: https://www.crystaljade.com/palace/

Address: 391 Orchard Road, #04-19, Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Singapore, Singapore 238872

Pricing: $$

4. Dallas Restaurants & Bar- I found this place when I was out with some friends last month, and it’s my new favorite bar. The drinks are $14 during regular hours, and $12 during happy hour (and they’re generous servings). To top it off, the bar has a beautiful view of the business district (located at the Marina Bar Sands along the water), and the lights of the city are beautiful at night.

Website: http://www.dallas.sg/

Address:2 Bayfront Ave, #01-85, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972

Pricing: $ (as far as drinks go)

5. db Bistro- We’ve been to this restaurant at the Marina Bay Sands twice now, and it was amazing both times. The cured tuna sandwich and the moules frites were some of our favorites. It’s on the pricier side, but generous servings and perfect for a nicer lunch or dinner out.

Website: https://www.dbbistro.com/singapore/

Address: 2 Bayfront Avenue, B1-48, Galleria Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018956

Pricing: $$$

6. Coffee Academics- Another favorite brunch spot, right in downtown Orchard. It’s a huge space with lots of different tables and seating, so it works for groups of any size. Some of my favorites are the acai bowl and the mac&cheese. The coffee is super good as well!

Website: https://www.the-coffeeacademics.com/

Address: Scotts Square, #02-01/02, Scotts Square,, 6 Scotts Road, Singapore 228209

Pricing: $$

7. Wine Connection- A family favorite for dinner. Their variety of cheeses and wine is incredible, and they’re all amazing. We love doing cheese board so we get to choose the cheeses and meats we want. The salad and tartines are also so good. Some of our favorites are the comte cheese, the cheese and mushroom and pan con tomate tartines and all the salads.

Website: https://www.wineconnection.com.sg/

Address: 11 Unity Street, #01-19/20 , Robertson Walk, Singapore 237995

Pricing: $$ (without wine), $$$ (with wine)

8. Imperial Treasure Steamboat- This place has quickly become one of our favorites, a place we bring all our guests and visitors too. The soup is a pork bone base, and adding all of the meat, dumplings and veggies  makes it delicious. But the best part is the tray of 16 different condiments (including chili, garlic, spring onions, sesame sauce, peanut sauce and so much more) to make the dipping sauce.

Website: http://www.imperialtreasure.com/restaurant/Imperial%20Treasure%20Steamboat%20Restaurant-10

Address: 2 Orchard Turn, #04-09/10 Ion Orchard, Singapore 238801

Pricing: $$

9. Ka Soh- This place in the business district of Singapore is known for it’s fish bee hoon (I personally am not a huge fan), but all of their other food is just as worthy of being known. There’s nothing fancy about it, just hearty, down-to-earth Singapore food with Taiwanese influence. The stir-fried kway teow was SO good, we’ve been back a few times already and love it every time. There are a few funky bars on the same road, and it’s just a 10 minute walk from Clarke Quay so it’s perfect for a night out.

Website: https://ka-soh.com.sg/

Address: 96 Amoy St, Singapore 069916

Pricing: $

10. Lantern- This is definitely not a place I would go all the time (on the pricey side), but for sure on special occasions. The restaurant/bar surrounds a pool and overlooks the Marina Bay Sands, sitting right on the water side. The drinks and the food are both amazing, but pairing that with the beautiful view just puts it over the top.

Website: https://www.fullertonhotels.com/the-fullerton-bay-hotel/lantern-rooftop-bar.html

Address: 80 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049326

Pricing: $$ (food), $$$ (drinks)

‘Mega Guide to Singapore’ Post: https://swimeatlove.com/2017/11/16/top-10-things-to-do-in-singapore/

TOKYO Travel Guide

Hello everyone and happy Thursday! Today’s post is going to be all of my favorite/recommended things to do in Tokyo. I grew up visiting Tokyo at least once a year (sometimes twice), and it has quickly become my home away from home. When I was younger, I didn’t really appreciate all the amazing city had to offer, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown more and more in love. There’s so much to do, so much to eat and so many places to go, but this is my little guide to spending time in Tokyo!

Food:

  • Crepes at Takeshita-dori, Harajuku- This first one is pretty basic, but it’s always a must for me when I’m in Tokyo. Walking down the chaotic Takeshita street, there are tons of little creperies selling crepes of all kinds. In the summer when it’s hot and I’m ready for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, I love getting a crepe to share with my family as a sweet treat.
  • Kohmen, Shibuya/Harajuku- I don’t think many people have ever visited Tokyo without having an amazing bowl of Ramen, it’s a staple. But with so many options, it can be hard to settle on one place to go. One of my family’s favorites is Kohmen, located in a small alley in the backstreets of Harajuku. My favorite ramen to get there is the ‘tan-tan men’ (ramen in a spicy peanut sauce). During the summers, they have a ‘hiyashi’ (cold) tan-tan men, which is everything I want on a hot summer day. In the winter, the hot tan-tan men is the best way to warm myself up.
  • Tiger Gyoza, Shibuya- My parents have been going to Tiger Gyoza for a long time, and we all just love it. While they do have regular sized gyoza, they also have giant gyozas (just like the name). And along with the normal gyozas, they also have funky fillings like lamb served with an amazing coriander sauce.
  • Tenkaippin, Meguro- Another one of my new ramen favorites is Tenkaippin in Meguro. It opened just about a year ago, and is SO good. They have loads of condiments and choices for your ramen, but nothing too fancy. Sometimes just a simple, heart bowl of ramen is all you really need.
  • Aponte, Ebisu/Meguro- My dad discovered Aponte a few years ago, and it’s quickly become one of our Tokyo favorites. Right by the Ebisu train station, it’s a tiny little place run by just a few young guys (they run the bar, kitchen and front of house). The kitchen is open and creates a really cool space for the chefs to talk with the customers. The place only has a few tables, and the rest are counter seats. They specialize in seasonal pastas, pizzas and mains, and have incredible desserts. HIGHLY recommend checking this place out next time you’re in Tokyo.
  • Anmitsu at Azabusado or Tatsutano- I’ve never been one to have much of a sweet tooth, but I love Japanese sweets/desserts because they tend to not be too sweet. Anmitsu is shaved ice with matcha syrup, anko (red bean) and shiratama (small mochi balls), just a whole lot of deliciousness.

Kohmen website: https://www.kohmen.com/

Kohmen TripAdvisorhttps://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g1066456-d1688885-Reviews-Komen_Harajuku-Shibuya_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

Tiger Gyoza Trip Advisorhttps://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g1066456-d8024519-Reviews-Tiger_Gyoza_Hall_Udagawacho-Shibuya_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

Tenkaippin websitehttp://www.tenkaippin.co.jp/

Tenkaippin TripAdvisorhttps://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g1066854-d1660242-Reviews-Tenkaippin_Meguroten-Shinagawa_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

Aponte TripAdvisorhttps://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g1066450-d4674051-Reviews-Aponte-Meguro_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

Shopping:

  • Backstreets of Shibuya- My absolute favorite place to shop in Tokyo is the backstreets of Shibuya. While a lot of people are drawn to the famous crossing (so am I, as you’ll read later), I love exploring the areas behind it. There’s Seibu, a huge Forever 21 and H&M, a Donquijote, and lot’s of little, small boutique stores. You’ll still get the crowds and the chaos, but a little more relaxed.
  • Karuizawa- Just a 60 minute bullet train ride from Tokyo Station, Karuizawa is a small town with a huge outlet mall right next to the station. From Kate Spade to Coach to Le Creuset, there are over 100 stores to shop at. Just on the other side of the station, you’ll find a quaint little neighborhood filled with vintage stores and onsens (bath houses). At the end of the day, there’s a whole strip of restaurants to eat at before heading back to Tokyo. If you want to spend the night, there are tons of little ryokans and hotels around the area. We stayed at the Karuizawa Prince Hotel for a few nights, and it was beautiful!
  • Takeshita-dori, Harajuku- I know this is pretty much on every list of things to do in Tokyo, but I couldn’t help but put it on here. As touristy as it may be, I just love the chaos and excitement of this street. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been here, but every time I go I find a new store or eatery that I end up falling in love with. If you want to see the peak of the craziness, go on a Sunday afternoon. If you want it to be a little more chill, try to go on Monday-Thursday mornings.
  • Roppongi Hills- Roppongi Hills is a huge shopping area/mall filled with tons of eateries and higher end stores. While I prefer the Shibuya-type shopping, I know my family loves spending time here (and I like going for the food:). It’s a really pretty half indoor, half outdoor area that we could easily spend half a day at.

Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza (Outlets): http://www.karuizawa-psp.jp/en

Karuizawa Prince Hotelhttp://www.princehotels.com/karuizawa-east/

Landmarks:

  • Shibuya Crossing- As mentioned above, I love the Shibuya Crossing. No matter how many times I go, I am always so amazed at what I like to call the “organized chaos”. The mix of local businessmen and tourists is always so cool to see, and the giant billboards and loud sounds always takes my breath away. If you are ever in Tokyo, going to the crossing is an absolute MUST DO.
  • Asakusa, Senso-ji temple- The huge red temple in the middle of Asakusa is stunning and beautiful, but the areas ans streets around it are just as amazing. A perfect morning is walking through the temple, and them strolling around the back streets before heading back into the city for the day.
  • Meiji-Jingu, Harajuku- If you aren’t able to make it out to Asakusa to see the Senso-ji temple, just hop over to Meiji-Jingu in Harajuku and walk around the area. The rock-lined walkway to the temple is a peaceful and beautiful walk, and is the perfect weekend afternoon activity.