Hanako’s Street Cred
I was born in Tokyo, and still split my time between Tokyo and New York. My parents are the founders of the Japanese womenswear brand FOXEY, and so I traveled to different cities during my childhood, but there is no place like home–and certainly no place like Tokyo. I love the unique mix of traditional Japanese culture and the new youth culture that’s sprung up in recent years. In no other city can you experience a traditional tea ceremony and shop amongst throngs of Harajuku girls. It is truly one of the most special places on Earth, and serves as a constant source of inspiration.
Where to Stay
The Grand Hyatt Tokyo in Roppongi Hills is on the top of my list. I love its central location–the hotel is very close to many of the best museums and restaurants. Take the five minute walk to the Mori Art Museum, where they recently held the Kusama Yayoi restrospective, and the National Art Center, where the Giacometti exhibit is currently taking place.
When you are tired from exploring the city, you can head straight to the Nagomi Spa inside the hotel, where they have the best massages in town. Nagomi is the best place to relax in the city, complete with an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, and a relaxation room fully equipped with healthy treats.
Where to Shop
One of the best places to shop is the newly opened GINZA SIX shopping complex in Ginza. There are over 200 stores in the building, with everything from fashion, art, music and food. The third ADEAM store in Tokyo is located inside GINZA SIX, so I always stop by for a stroll inside the building.
When I’m in Ginza, I also love going to the Higashiya Café for tea. They have traditional Japanese sweets with a modern twist. My favorite is the “Hitokuchigashi,” which are one-bite treats made of seasonal fruits and nuts.
Where to Eat
I’m often asked of the “best sushi” in Tokyo, and my personal favorite is Kioicho Mitani in Akasaka. Mitani is a very unique culinary experience because the chef pairs each sushi piece with a different sake or wine. One of the most interesting pairings I’ve had there was a bright burgundy served alongside fatty tuna. I had never thought of having red wine with sushi, but it paired very well because of the meatiness of the tuna. These are the kind of surprises you can expect when dining out in Tokyo.
Under normal circumstances, drinking half a dozen cocktails in an hour would be a recipe for disaster. But @bar_gen_yamamoto’s 6-cocktail tasting menu is restrained, harnessing the finest seasonal ingredients and balancing them with fine Japanese spirits as in the freshly squeezed kumquat and sweet potato shochu drink above. @katieparla #FRTakeover #FRantasyTravel
For a non-traditional culinary experience in Tokyo, I love the cocktail tasting menu at Gen Yamamoto where you can expect a series of cocktails all made using local, seasonal fruits. My favorite drink during a recent visit was the mikan (Japanese tangerine) paired with shochu from Kumamoto prefecture.
One of my favorite places in Tokyo is the Aoyama / Omotesando neighborhood. This area has many hidden shops and cafés, where you can spend all day walking around.
The ultimate beauty destination is THREE Aoyama. THREE is a Japanese beauty brand established by makeup artist, Rie Omoto, who’s worked internationally with photographers like Peter Lindbergh and Steven Klein.
I love THREE because they are dedicated to using organic, natural ingredients. One of my favorites is their Shimmering Lip Jam, which has a very light texture and the sheer color does not conceal your natural lip tone. THREE Aoyama also has a café, where they serve vegan, gluten-free dishes.
When you need a break from shopping, I like having tea at Sasha Kanetanaka. It’s a hidden Japanese teahouse in the center of Tokyo, and the café has a beautiful garden. I love enjoying their frothy Matcha with traditional Japanese sweets while looking out into the garden.
Daikanyama is one of the more underrated areas in Tokyo, but there are a lot of small boutiques and galleries in the neighborhood. Daikanyama T-SITE is a modern bookstore with a lounge, café and extensive selection of art books. I go to T-SITE for inspiration, when I’m brainstorming for a new collection. For music, Bonjour Records is the place to go. They have a very extensive electronic / alternative music selection, and you can listen to most albums that are on display.
During warmer months, I like going to my beach house in Hayama, which is an hour drive from Tokyo. It is an amazing beach town close to Tokyo, and you can enjoy fresh local fish at the restaurants.
Hikage Chaya is a traditional Japanese restaurant in Hayama, where they serve Kaiseki cuisine. They are known for their omakase, or chef’s choice, tasting menus, but I love their Tai Chazuke lunches. They serve thinly sliced snapper sashimi marinated in sesame soy sauce on top of steamed rice, and you pour hot tea over the dish to enjoy the sashimi medium rare as it cooks under tea. It’s the ultimate comfort food after a day at the beach.
From: Harper’s BAZAAR US