With two and a half days on either side of our two week journey through Japan, we initially stayed in tourist hub, Shibuya at Granbell Hotel. Only steps away from the train station, I loved beginning our travels in Shibuya as it placed us close to key attractions like the Shibuya Crossing, Yoyogi Park and the Hachikō statue. It was also close to a few of the restaurants and cafés I wanted to visit because what trip is complete without a bit of café hopping, am I right? The hotel itself was one of the few boutique properties in a city known for its global, towering chains.

Only a short bike ride from Shibuya is Daikanyama, a quiet local area where you’ll find Tokyo’s (maybe even the world’s) most beautiful bookstore, Tsutaya Books. I was seriously tempted to fill my suitcase with dozens of coffee table books and magazines. Nicknamed, “A Library in the Woods”, the building itself is gorgeous and reminiscent of California-style architecture. I couldn’t help gazing at the people inside as well, all impeccably dressed. Be sure to grab a drink on Log Road, similar to New York’s High Line, you’ll find freestanding bars, stores and cafés. My favourite was Spring Valley Brewery. A particularly local area, Daikanyama manages to feel quiet and community-focused in bustling Shibuya.

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My two favourite cafés in the area were Little Nap (pictured) and About Life Coffee Roasters. There’s a whole street of ramen restaurants right across from Shibuya Station, so you really can’t go wrong!

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One of the most remarkable things about Shibuya are the buildings’ facades. They are often discreet and perfectly tidy; yielding incredible shops, restaurants and cafés inside. Michelin-starred ramen shops sit beside aged apartment blocks and world-renown cafés (Kafe Mameya, for instance) are hidden deep within tiny alleyways. Shibuya is a labyrinth, an area that would take years to fully experience.

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This series reads more like a general guide because Tokyo is best spent wandering and exploring, rather than following a typical tourist agenda.

 

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