Not too long ago, my good friend Steph sent me a text about cheap flights to Tokyo and the possibility of her coming out to visit. I noticed a three day weekend in the middle of October and told her to aim for that timeline. With only a month or so to spare, she booked her flight to Narita and stayed with me 5 days!
Steph and I met when we were 14. We were teeny tiny little teenagers chosen to be a part of the 12th Yonsei basketball team. Ever since we were young, Steph has been the planning type. On our Yonsei team she was basically the team mom, planning our Christmas parties, tournaments, and even our senior trip to hawaii together! (pic above from that trip in 2009) I knew having her in Tokyo would be a breeze, and that she would research all the best places to go before I even had to worry about it.
Sure enough, she came and we hit up some new spots that were all amazing. We cruised all over Tokyo and then spent the holiday (Monday) in Yokohama.
First stop in Tokyo...RAINBOW PANCAKE. Steph is a huge fan of pancakes and really did her research on this one. I had never even heard of it and I'm the one who lives here haha! Rainbow pancake is located in Omotesando and is famous for these insanely fluffy and delicious pancakes.
Steph ordered the Macadamia pancakes which were OFF THE CHARTS good. Forsure some of the best pancakes I've ever had. I ordered the seasonal Flower and honey pancake special which was almost too beautiful to eat. They somehow managed to infuse floral taste into the whipped cream (beats me) and the honey tasted magical on the fluffy cakes.
Good coffee + pancakes...does it get much better than that?
After breakfast we cruised around Cat street and Omotesando on our way to Shibuya.
Cats street is definitely the place for hispters and fashionistas in the Tokyo area. I especially love the Japanese guys who dress like Justin Bieber haha.
Steph's younger cousin is a huge TsumTsum fan so we had to stop by the Disney store in Shibuya. Now that I have been to Shibuya more times than I can count...I will say that the scramble still gets me every time. It's always as crowded and busy as you would imagine...and I am always fascinated people watching.
Next stop..afternoon coffee in Nakameguro. Let me just say, I am so thankful Steph is not only a major foodie but she is a coffee addict as well! The perfect person to travel Tokyo with.
We looked up a place to check out in Nakamegs and Steph found this place...JAHO Coffee which I had heard of briefly before. It just opened recently and is in the perfect location by the river. IT IS SO CUTE INSIDE I ALMOST COULDN'T BELIEVE IT. TOO TOO GOOD.
There's also the most stylish clothing store in the back of the coffee shop that sells ridiculously soft expensive sweaters that I can only dream of wearing one day.
Talk about a cool look out spot. This place will be straight up MAGIC when it is cherry blossom season since all the trees along the river will bloom!
Introducing the newest member into my family...BAOBAO. Issey Miyake is one of Japan's most famous fashion designers and BAOBAO is his line of geometric bags. I had been eyeing this guy for a while so when Steph came I took it as an opportunity to splurge and get me a new Japanese made bag. To say I'm obsessed is an understatement.
The carrot cake was next level. And the drip coffee? legit.
I started chatting with the barista and I learned that she lived in the states for many years and is actually the owner of Jaho coffee! So cool. I asked if I could take her photo...isn't she the cutest? And I told her I would be back again soon. Japanese coffee people are seriously the coolest.
We ended up eating lunch at Afuri at 3pm or so (because of our large breakfast)...so at around 5pm we were due for a snack. We were around Roppongi area and picked up these really good cream puffs (in Japan they call cream puffs "shu-cream" which makes me think of "shoe-cream" and I laugh every time).
We ended our day with Soup Stock for dinner which always has flavorful soup, curry and bread. Can't go wrong with that!
A few more phone my phone...
Another spot we hit up over the weekend was Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki Paris, which was exactly as fancy as it sounds. We ordered the cake platter thing which came with 6 pieces of the most flavorful and beautiful little cakes! We also cruised around Akihabara area which offered us this nice sunset view.
Monday was a national holiday and we decided to take a trip (1.5 hrs) down to Yokohama. Yokohama is an awesome city with a very chill vibe, which I love.
We strolled around the red brick warehouse where they were having Octoberfest (went last year), grabbed coffee, and took in the nice ocean views.
Oh and how could I forget our incredible Sukiyaki lunch with the coolest entry way ever. The meat was amazing and the ambiance of the restaurant really added to the Japanese feel of everything. And yes, that is a raw egg that you dip your cooked meat into. The true way to eat sukiyaki.
On Stephs's last night here we decided to meet in Ginza (where her hotel was) and she found this udon place online. It was very unique dipping style and tasted amazing! Good call Steph. And we ended the night and our time together in Japan with parfaits from nanas Green Tea.
It was so nice having Steph in Tokyo for a few days. She is so chill, easygoing, yet simultaneously really good at planning and getting things done. That is probably the best type of person to travel with!