Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

Tag Archives: Japan

My favourite places to visit and instagram in Tokyo, Japan.

I’ve been meaning to write about my Tokyo trip, but somehow hadn’t got round to it. So finally, here it is.

Five years ago, before I started blogging, I had read a lot about édition Paumes, a Japanese publication that showcased colourful homes all over the world.  I knew I had to search out their Tokyo shop called Galerie Doux Dimanche .

I was so pleased to find it, and bought two books, full of colourful interiors inspiration.

This is Takadanobaba, in the Shinjuku neighbourhood. I shot the colourful image from the train station on our way to Toshima. Tokyo instagram places Talking about Toshima, this is the place to visit if you or your kids love Pokémon.

There is a Pokémon Mega centre at the Sunshine City shopping centre, where you will find all sorts of Pokémon merchandise. In fact, Pokémon is so much part of Japanese culture, that you wouldn’t need to travel far to see them. There were Gatcha toy vending machines all over Tokyo, to satisfy your Manga, Kawaii or Pokémon craze. Here’s a giant sign board at Toshima for the Sega centre and Cat café.

Cat cafés were common in Tokyo and may be worth a visit if you like cats. If you are a foodie or are looking for Japanese technology goods, then you’ll have to visit Nakano broadway.
This was the best fresh mango pudding that I had ever tasted, and it was from Ginza Cozy Corner at Nakano. Another not to miss treat, is this 8 layer ice cream from Daily Chico, in the basement area of Nakano Broadway.

Here are the flavours of the 8 layers – Strawberry, coffee, milk, chocolate, banana, vanilla, bubble gum and matcha.
Tokyo is a city that doesn’t sleep, and especially so in the bustling streets of Shibuya, the place to visit for good food and nightlife.

We ate at Genki Sushi, where you can order your dishes via a computer screen at your table, and within minutes, your sushi would be delivered to you via a conveyor belt. If you fancy something quirky and eccentric, then you’ll have to try the Kawaii Monster café in the Harajuku district.  This is the beautiful Ueno Park temple in Tokyo.  The monochrome lanterns found outside the temple, were scribed with the names of people who have donated towards the temple’s build and upkeep.

Behind the temple was this fun Swan boating lake.

Instagram Tokyo

My kids really enjoyed their time on this pink swan boat.

Before you leave Tokyo, you’ll have to try this delicious Totoro cream puff from Shirohige’s cream puff factory. They come with vanilla, rose, matcha or peach flavoured creams.

After Tokyo, we set off for Fuji. This is a snap Mount Fuji across from Lake Kawaguchiko.

If you fancy reading more about Japan, then do check out my post on Kyoto.

Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my favourite experiences and Instagram spots in Tokyo. Wishing you a wonderful week.

( All photography are copyright of Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell)

The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection hotel.

I realise I’ve already been back for 2 months from my Summer trip to Tokyo, and I still haven’t written about it.

This is a Tokyo post, but more to thank The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection hotel, for hosting our very short overnight stay after Kyoto, en route to Hong Kong.

The Prince Gallery Tokyo is located in the Nagatcho business district, sandwiched between the Imperial Palace and Crown Prince’s residence. It is on the top 7 floors of a 26 storey tower (photo above).  As we got off the lift, we were greeted with double height ceilings and far reaching views over the city.

This is the impressive reception area, surrounded by floating sculptural pieces of art and a contemporary fireplace.

Aren’t those curved seats beautiful? What do you think of this little bar area encased in marble? The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho Feast your eyes on the view from the reception area.
Our bedrooms were pure luxury. You can see the amazing picture frame window at the far end.

As we gazed out of our window, this was what we saw. Here is the elegant desk area with a super large television. Here’s a little tour of the bathroom. Our hotel room had the most amazing facilities. Here is the walk in rain shower and bath. All the bathroom fittings were beautifully curated.

Outside the hotel was this Classic House at Akasaka Prince, built in the 1930s and now home to one of Prince Hotel’s restaurant, bar and café. We ate at Akasaka Prince. It was Western food, which was a relief as we had been eating Japanese for most meals, so welcomed the change.

The food was delicious. There were more restaurants at the hotel, but since it was only a stopover for us, we didn’t get to sample the other venues. We did however enjoyed the wonderful hospitality at the Club Lounge on the 34th floor. I really wished I could have stayed longer.

The next time I visit Tokyo again, I will definitely return to the Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho.

(All photography are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. )

Claska hotel

Claska hotel in Tokyo Meguro and Gakugei-Daigaku.

I have always wanted to go to Tokyo, and it was wonderful to have finally gone last week.

We got to explore many of the districts of Tokyo, each bursting with their own personality. I will be writing about them soon in further posts.

We stayed at CLASKA, one of Tokyo’s design hotels, on Meguro Dori. It’s a quiet district in between Meguro and Gakugei-Daigaku.

The area reminded me a little bit of Shoreditch in London, only less busy, but definitely with an emerging hip vibe.

If you love mid century modern furniture, then this is the place to be, as peppered around the area, were beautifully curated second hand furniture stores.

Check out the external design of the CLASKA. Its architecture and style is very 1970s. To me, it looks iconic for that era, almost like the Trellick tower is to London. CLASKA has 20 rooms, categorised into 4 design themes, designed by Japanese architects and designers.

We stayed in 2 rooms on the 6th floor. Our first room was the Tatami room, designed by Kaname Okajima. It has been described as a room of East meet West.

There were the traditional tatami mats, but rather than sleeping directly on the floor, we got comfortable low beds.
Doesn’t this space feel so Zen? There were wooden window screens, paper lantern lights, and low pebble shaped cushions. Our second room was the newly designed Un-Colored room, and it was covered in cedar wood, which felt and smelt divine.

There was also a coloured version of this bedroom on the same floor, painted in pastel hues, and unsurprisingly called the Colored room.

I loved the minimal and  pared down simplicity of this space. It felt very serene. Here’s our bathroom, designed with a similar aesthetic to the bedroom. Even the toiletries looked minimal and stylish, all made of natural ingredients.
You can really tell that CLASKA has a passion for design, just look at all those cool magazines they subscribe to, found in the lobby.

Kioku, the hotel’s restaurant, also seen in the photo above, served both Contemporary European and Japanese food.

In the morning, you could have a tasty English breakfast with all the trimmings, or a traditional Japanese one, with grilled fish, white rice, miso soup, soft boiled egg, tofu and pickles. One of the highlights of my stay at CLASKA, was exploring their design store DO. I have taken a few photos to give you a feel of the shop. Everything was so beautifully curated. I could have shopped there all day.

There was also a gallery space nearby, showcasing artwork by emerging talents. If you fancy wandering out of the hotel to eat or drink, I highly recommend Factory and Labo, 2 doors down, for their on site freshly roasted artisan coffee. If you fancy something sweet, I recommend their custard cream puff pastry. Gakugei-Daigaku is a cute little district, about 15 minutes walk from CLASKA. There was an underground train station there too.

There were numerous independent food stores and restaurants there, buzzing with locals, away from the packed streets of central Tokyo.

I have tried and tested a few of the eateries at Gakugei-Daigaku. Here are a few of my recommendations:

1.The Tonkatsu ramen was delicious at Ichiryu.

2.The best Thai food I have tasted at Thai Cafe Piimai. ( You really have to try the food here, totally authentic Thai, and we ate everything we ordered).

3.Breakfast at Bakery Cafe Antendo. The freshly baked savoury goods were so light, fluffy and delicious.

Last, but not least, you have to sample the cute donuts from Floresta. All donuts have been handmade using natural ingredients.

Hope you have enjoyed my review of CLASKA, with their beautifully designed rooms. I will be back soon with more posts on Japan. If you fancy seeing more, then do keep an eye on my Instagram account and insta-stories.

Have a lovely day all.

( All photography are by me, Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. I stayed at the Claska hotel as press. My opinions and views here are my own).

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