All you need to know about my favorite Tokyo districts

Asakusa

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How to get there: Tokyo Metro – Ginza Line, Asakusa Stop; Asakusa Line, Asakusa Stop

What to do: The most famous attraction in Asakusa is with no doubts the Senso-ji Temple, that’s situated a short walk from the Asakusa metro station. There you can also get your fortune told for 100 JPY!

I’d recommend you reach it passing by Kaminarimon Gate and walking through Nakamise Shopping Street, where from 9 AM till 5 PM you’ll find all sort of stalls selling traditional snacks and souvenirs.

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If you happen to have some more time left to spend in Asakusa and are looking for something a bit more “off-the-beaten-path” to do, aside from getting lost in its tiny streets, I suggest you should go to the Drum Museum (10AM-5PM, Wed. to Sun.). You can reach it by subway on the Ginza line, getting off at Tawaramachi station, or on foot from the Senso-ji Temple. The admission ticket costs 500 JPY and you will have to purchase it at ground floor before reaching the museum on the 4th floor by lift.

What to eat: Being an historical district, Asakusa has preserved the most genuine Japanese traditions when it comes to food as well.

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Make sure you try some traditional sweets (dorayaki, daifuku, taiyaki, sweet potato cakes, dango, melon pan) and snacks (takoyaki, rice crackers) at Nakamise Shopping Street (9AM-5PM) and around the Senso-ji Temple.

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Just in front of it there’s a stand that offers free tastings of either hot or cold matcha green tea. For a more hearty meal you can also check out the multiple traditional restaurants of the area, where you’ll be able to enjoy every sort of Japanese dish, from okonomiyaki, to tempura, to curry rice, to sushi and sashimi.

Why I like it:

 

Yanaka

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How to get there: JR – Yamanote Line, Nippori Stop

What to do: Yanaka is the only area of the town that hasn’t been destroyed by the big earthquake that hit it decades ago, nor by WW2, it therefore preserves the charm of the old Tokyo. It’s alleys are really tiny and there are wooden temples scattered all around the district. It’s also home to the biggest cemetery in Tokyo, where many famous people – among which the last Shogun – are buried.

Yanaka is particularly loved by artists and you’ll see lots of boutique cafés, temporary art expositions and artisanal crafts shops while strolling around. I happened to stumble upon a  contemporary art exposition where you could get any 10 beautiful hand drawn cards for free.

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You can get to Yanaka with a short walk from Ueno park, if you do so I recommend you walk the whole district until you reach Yanaka Ginza, a street full of street food stalls and shops. Nipper station is within walkable distance from this street, so you will be able to come back from there.

What to eat: In Yanaka you have two options, you can either choose to have a street food meal in Yanaka Ginza, or have a hearty unagi (eel dish) in the tatami room of a traditional restaurant. 

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Can’t decide? Well, then you can always do both!

 

 

Shimo-Kitazawa

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How to get there: Keio Line from Shibuya in the direction of Kijichoji, Shimokitazawa Stop (6 min – 130 JPY)

What to do: This is considered to be the hipster district of Tokyo, then why not do something hipster? Shimokitazawa is, in fact, an awesome place for thrift shopping and coffeehouse hopping. There’s tons of thrift shops all around, one of the most famous one being Flamingo’s. In a nutshell, it’s the perfect place to spend a very chill Saturday.

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This is also an awesome place to find some more Western-style clothes and, most importantly, Western sized clothes and shoes!

What to eat: Pancake Pie from Flipper’s. It’s basically a fluffy pancake in-between two crunchy cookies and it comes plain, with lemon cream cheese, with chocolate and in autumn with sweet potato.

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The prices range from about 250 to 350 JPY + tax and you can either enjoy this delicious treat while sitting at the tables inside the shop or have them for take out. If you decide to sit down, though, it might take some time before you get a seat.Shimokitazawa is also a good option for healthy and light meals, as there’s plenty of modern organic restaurants that offer vegeterian and vegan options scattered all around.

 

Beijing: eating poop at the restaurant?!

Before you freak out, no it was definitely not real poop, but still looked quite like it.

And yes, this themed restaurant actually exists, it’s called Modern Toilet Restaurant and you will find it at the fourth floor of Xizhimen Capita Mall! Continue reading “Beijing: eating poop at the restaurant?!”

Tokyo-style crêpes in Paris: «Princess Crêpe»

Do you happen to be in Paris’ IV Arrondissement and feeling a bit (or, even better, a LOT) peckish?

This is your lucky day, you can have a French signature dish with a completely different touch to it! Indeed, hidden in the narrow Rue des Ecouffes, in Paris, is this tiny Japanese crêperie that makes the cutest and most filling crêpes you’ve probably ever tried.

From the outside it’s really difficult to spot it, unless you know where it is, but as soon as you see the adorable heart shaped window and the japanese-style menu made of plastic food items you’ll have no more doubts: you’ve found it!

Continue reading “Tokyo-style crêpes in Paris: «Princess Crêpe»”

5 best restaurants in downtown Lisbon

When I told people I was going to Portugal for a fortnight, I’d generally get one reaction: «You’re gonna have so much good food over there!!!» – and, honestly, I couldn’t be happier to get such a response, as I’m a total (good) food addict.

However, Portugal is renowned for a dish in particular, bacalhau. This fish is something that, having grown up in a family of venetian descendants (it happens to be quite popular in that Italian region as well), I was already way too familiar with even before setting off … and my relationship with it has never been the best.

Nevertheless, when I finally got to Lisbon I realized that my friends were SO right about Portuguese food and all my worries regarding codfish went away in the blink of an eye. I must admit that I’ve never eaten so much good food as in Portugal and, for those who, like me, are no fans of cod, I can assure you that you can get by perfectly well with other delicious dishes. If you ever feel like trying bacalhau, though, go for it, you might change your mind about it!

But now, let’s get down to the serious part of this post. You too are going to Lisbon and need to know about some of the best food spots downtown? I’ve got you covered on that! Just scroll down for an overview of the 5 restaurants I liked the most in the Portuguese capital.

Continue reading “5 best restaurants in downtown Lisbon”

Beijing: 7 top attractions you can’t miss

Beijing is a huge city and the fact that crossing it may take you up to 2 hours and a half testifies to it. However, its being big is definitely not so much of a downside, because it means there is always something exciting to do, see and try.

Here, the modern and the ancient get together in a concoction that many people seem not to like very much; these seven attractions, however, will show you a face of the city that the hustle and bustle of daily life in the metropolis might hide.

If you’re spending a few days in the Chinese capital you might not know what you should visit first, well, these are my top picks! Continue reading “Beijing: 7 top attractions you can’t miss”

Warsaw: fancy meals for under 10 $?

Let’s just take a moment to appreciate how much of a food lover’s heaven Warsaw is.

I didn’t quite believe it before going there, but traditional Polish food is actually one of the best ever – still not something I could have everyday though, cause it’s REALLY filling, but yeah.

Now, if I tell you that my friends and I are serious food junkies I’m not kidding you at all. That’s why we tried out as many food places as we could during our stay!

Usually we are way too broke to eat EVERY meal in very fancy restaurants, but Warsaw is actually packed with fancy AND inexpensive restaurants, so what more could we ask for?

Now let me guide you through some of them, you just need to tell me … what are you craving?

Polish food | Crepes | Asian Fusion | Vegetarian & Vegan | Brunch


Continue reading “Warsaw: fancy meals for under 10 $?”

France: guide to boulangerie must-eats

Having breakfast in a typical French boulangerie is something we all daydream of: the smell of freshly baked bread, tons and tons of sugar-filled mouthwateringly stunning pastries, savoury bakery goods and all sorts of baked delicacies ready to drive our tastebuds straight to heaven. But when it comes to the crucial choice – “which one should I get, then?” – it’s not easy to make up our minds, right?

That’s when I come to the rescue with a list of a few must-try delicious bakery goods those who have a sweet tooth – as well as those who don’t, because we also talk about savoury stuff here – can not skip when in France.

Continue reading “France: guide to boulangerie must-eats”