I never imagined I would completely fall in love with Tokyo until I visited earlier this month. I was only there a few days, so I had to make the most of every last minute and see as much as possible. I walked, ate and shopped my way around the districts of Shibuya, Harajuku, Roppongi, Shinjuku and Minato. Exploring a foreign city which is illuminated by lights and lanterns at night was a pretty dreamy way to get lost in translation in Tokyo.
It’s true what they say about visiting Tokyo for the first time, the food is just unbelievable, you can easily buy a kimono, Japanese tea services are a must-try, the Tsukiji fish market will surpass your wildest dreams, the jet lag is insane and the loos are mind blowing. For first time visitors (like me!) it is hard to anticipate the many wild, crazy and typically Japanese items you will stumble across. In case you are headed to Japan sometime soon, here are my top eccentric souvenirs from Tokyo:
Just when you thought Oreos couldn’t be any more addictive, add a dash of neon coloured green tea to the equation and you have struck the cookie jackpot. My only regret is not buying more!
It’s a mystery why these enhanced Kit Kat flavours haven’t made it to the UK or US as I have no doubt they would fly off store shelves. I now prefer the strawberry Kit Kat to the original. Further reason for my next visit?
The Japanese are such fashionistas that the umbrella of choice to be seen using in Tokyo is translucent in colour – to match every outfit of course! Downpours have never looked so chic.
You have to see these elevated beauties in person to believe they exist- or that it’s humanly possible to walk in them! The achingly cool Harajuku girl platform shoes worn by Tokyo’s youth must make Lady Gaga proud. Rabbit tail pom pom footwear accessory sold separately.
For the couple that has everything, behold these stylish male and female kimonos for your wine bottles -Valentine’s Day present solved!
Prosecco is soo last season. Get the party started with sparkling sake – it’s bound to be a crowd pleaser.
There are no words to describe seeing an entire aisle of baby makeup in a Japanese department store including powders, lip gloss and designer scented baby wipes for your little one. You can never start pampering yourself too early?!
Keep shampoo out of your eyes with this revolutionary stylish shampoo ‘support hat’. Great for unruly tots or granny, although I can imagine the shampoo hat application could get tricky.
This self-application foam mask takes feeling bright and breezy to a whole new level!
One of the latest beauty fads to hit Tokyo is the snail essence face mask from Korea. This slimy moisturizing beauty treatment smells surprisingly nice and practically injects collagen into your face upon application.
Perhaps one of your best chances of getting upgraded on the flight home is applying a snail mask mid-flight. This mask is great for combating jet lagged skin – all hail the snail!
It took me a while to figure out how this duck shaped dog muzzle worked, but essentially it humiliates your dog to stop it barking. Quacking mad right?! A new dog training trick to try when Fido misbehaves…
Another shocker on store shelves was the doggy kimono. Halloween can never come too early right? Just when I assumed this outfit was for pint sized pooches only, along came these rather fabulous kimono clad huskies.
One of Gwen Stefani’s songs, Harajuku Girls, speaks about Japanese school girls’ fatal attraction to cuteness – aka, items that are super ‘kawaii,’ which means super cute in Japanese. And now I see what she meant. The rather ridiculous plush toys in Japan are so utterly adorable, it is hard not to instantly fall in love with them.
The only other advice I would give anyone traveling to Tokyo for the first time, would be to bring your camera charger and not be ashamed about transforming into that tourist with a camera at the ready. I said “Konichiwa” (which means ‘hi’ in Japanese) to these teenage boys and this was their reaction!
Sayonara for now Tokyo, next time I’m packing a larger suitcase!