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Cabinet of Chic Curiosities

Japan

Hi there, my boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Japan. We like the idea of road-tripping, trains, off the beaten path cities and towns.

Tokyo

  • If you’re AirBnBing, consider some of Tokyo’s quieter but increasingly hip neighbourhoods like Ikebukuro, Shibuya City, Nakameguro, and Meguro, for little stylish cafes, shops, canals and cherry blossom sites. 
  • This Book & bed hotel is a sort of bunkhouse, with sleeping nooks built into bookcases. Under forty U.S. dollars a night.
  • You’ll find a guide and background on the historical red light district here with a list of bars we recommend. 
  • Check out the Rockabilly gangs at Yoyogi Park
  • This wine bar & record store
  • Don’t forget to enter the colorful & trendy neighbourhood, Harajuku district, for fun fashion watching
  • Fun fact: the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo was designed by Le Corbusier (for architecture hunters).
  • Find gems here twice a month (1st and 3rd Sunday) at Tokyo’s Largest Antiques Market in Yurakucho, near Tokyo st. Also called the Oedo Antique Market. 

Dining & oddities:

For a bucket list detour well worth it, consider Tokyo’s Secret Island Paradise called Aogashima. It is the smallest city in Tokyo and famous for having a volcano inside. You can only get there via Hachijojima and hop on a 3-hour boat trip – do notice that a reservation is required.

Road trips: 

Bath Houses worth travelling for:

  • Looking for a day at the spa → try one of the Japanese ‘Onsens’ in our beginner’s guide – Bath houses (Naoshima Bath & Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan). Note that you can make a day of it while staying in Okayama and get the train and ferry to go to the island.
  • Or try a historical onsen – Shirahone Hot Springs

Urban exploration:

This hotel has developed its own ecosystems.

Kyoto

  • This museum has the most flexible visiting hours in Japan called The Ukiyoe Small Museum.
  • If you want to explore a secret garden in Kyoto – we got you covered here. Psst it is inside the ‘Otago Nenbutsu-ji temple’
  • Oh, Deer … Visit the Deer town in Nara – cuteness overload. (It’s possible to visit Nara as a day trip from Kyoto and Osaka)
  • Want to enjoy a culinary treasure in one of the world’s oldest restaurants?

Might I also highly recommend watching James May’s: Our Man in Japan on Amazon Prime while getting in the mood for this trip…