Here is a very useful Japanese phrase: 良いの日 ..."ii-hi"
To say this properly you can say the letter "E" combined with "HE" and you have basically just said in Japanese "what a good day!"
This past Saturday was an E-HE forsure.
The plan was to meet my friend Yuki in the afternoon to go to the Vietnamese festival at Yoyogi park. Vietnam will always hold a special place in my heart since I have been there twice with my sister-in-laws family and have made many memories there! The weather was seriously so nice...80 degrees, a little overcast, not too humid...ahhh.
I had time in the morning to walk around and take some photos of Omotesando area before meeting up with Yuki. One thing I've notice about living here is that I will often see random extremely long lines of people inevitably waiting for some tiny delicacy or hyped up food item. Sure enough, this line was for lobster sandwiches...no thanks, I'll pass.
Is it a cafe....or a wall?? Also shout out to my elder homie over there. I was tempted to walk over and join the convo...
OKAY THIS STORE IS CRAZYYY. I stumbled upon this place while walking to Harajuku station from Omotesando and immediately said to myself, "wait. what. is this place real. why have I never been here before??" It was literally full of incredible textiles, navajo prints, Japanese dyed fabrics, incredible leather shoes, intricate pottery, bedazzled and embroidered vintage dresses...HEAVEN. (couldn't take pics inside) I soon realized that EVERYTHING was out of my price range ($60 keychain anyone?) but I was still obsessed with the place and claim this spot and Dover Street Market the two top stores in Tokyo. Check out their website HERE
Harajuku station is a small station that is always jam packed with people so I was laughing when I eventually found Yuki because it was just two Japanese girls trying to find eachother in a sea of Japanese people lol. Then we walked over to Yoyogi park for some food!
YESSSSS. Chicken+amazingspicysauce+rice. I could eat this everyday, without a doubt.
The chicken pho was bomb! Can't compare to the pho I've had in Vietnam...but still really really good. Especially with all that cilantro on top...YUMMMM. Fun fact: in Japanese, cilantro is called パクチー (pakuchi) and most people HATE it.
There were a bunch of vendors selling every kind of amazing food...there were also live performances and other food booths there which made me laugh (Indian, thai, hawaiian...haha) because I was confused if this was the "Vietnamese festival" or the "call-every-asian-food-booth-in-Tokyo-festival"
Had to get my hands on some vietnamese coffee. The man who was selling this spoke perfect English, Japanese, and Vietnamese. Impressive.
The festival was poppin!!
This is Yuki. She is so laid back, loves shopping at Zara with me, drinking coffee, and trying new restaurants...basically the perfect Tokyo travel friend!
She wanted to try taking a shot on my camera... so here you have a rare photo of me in front of the lens.
Yoyogi park is an awesome place to chill on the weekends. People were having picnics all over the place!
There is something quite magical about a piece of the forest hidden in the middle of a big big city.
After enjoying the festival, strolling through the park, and then shopping at zara...we walked over towards Aoyama area to grab our traditional coffee+cake (we always find ourselves at a cafe when we are together!) This time Yuki took me to Coutume...yet another super hip and cute coffee shop that felt very European.
I took the train back home at a decent hour and while I was sitting there on the train back I was thinking of how much I really do love this city.
For now, this in my home...and sometimes I feel so comfortable here that I forget it is not for forever. On this day, I was reminded of how rad it is that at this point in my life, I get to explore Tokyo on every free weekend I have filling up my calendar with experiences like eating pho at a Vietnamese festival in Yoyogi park!
So I am staying thankful for every day here and I am also gearing up for all that summer has to offer! (i.e, a lot of sweating, cold drinks, AC, and wishing it was winter)