FrenchByDesign goes to Tokyo

I am going to Japan! I am so excited, I’ve been dancing around the house since I learned about it earlier this week! Remember my bucket list post from a few weeks ago? Turns out the internet gods must have heard me because unexpectedly, I’l be travelling to Japan for my birthday in a couple of months : hubby has a conference to attend, and mom kindly agreed to travel to San Francisco to take care of the girls and Miss Daisy. I am so happy, ecstatic, excited, oh la la, I had to share this news with you guys!

Heading to Tokyo | FrenchByDesign

I need your help though. If you have been to Tokyo or are from Tokyo, would you be kind enough to give me some tips [ things to see, places to eat, etc]? I will obviously do some research prior to my trip, but I’d love to get your insights if you know this city. Merci, Xo, Si-


Pictured above : ‘Floating Flower Garden’ – National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation – Photo Courtesy of TeamLab


25 thoughts on “FrenchByDesign goes to Tokyo

  1. How exciting! I went to Japan by myself in November just then, I pretty much have a full travel diary of the place!

    It was such a surreal experience; my main recommendation would be to go to the top of Tokyo Tower as the sun is setting. I can’t stress enough how beautiful the sunset views of Mt. Fuji are – they made me cry with just how beautiful it was to witness such a thing.

    Definitely visit a Maid Cafe! I went to MaiDreamin’ in Akihabara, it was a strange yet delightful experience and it’s definitely something everyone has to do when visiting Tokyo!

    Have an incredible trip. You’ll love it. I’m going back in October and I sure cannot wait.

    Georgia x

    1. Thank so much for all this info, Georgia! Much, much appreciated! Xx-

  2. Whatever you decide, you will wish you had more time! I really regret going to the Imperial Palace as it is only a outside tour. No one is allowed inside. Take the time to do lots of research as many things are closed on off days such as Wednesday or Saturday. I loved Japan and would love to go back. You will have a great time and the people of Japan will impress you!

    1. Good to know – about the Imperial Palace. I will follow your advice and try to manage my limited time there as efficiently as possible! Thank you S!

  3. I’ve never been to Japan. But I admit, I’d love to. I can only wish you have a wonderful time there and enjoy every second spent in Asia.

  4. Re: your bucketlist – the universe listens! I have over 50 examples where I have written things down, et voila, they happen :-)

    1. So true, Nicole! That’s what my friends told me, and I’m a believer now! I’m going to write down that I want to find the perfect flat in SF to buy for a reasonable price, just in case the universe hears me again! :))

      1. I thought you already lived in SF?
        Ok Nicole, I would like to build a good quality beautiful house for us on a plot I found without going bankrupt. Nothing big.

        1. Haha, love this! Hoping the universe will hear you too!
          Ps: I do live in SF, but right now, we’re renting because the house buying market is so freaking high! Xx-

          1. “the house buying market is so freaking high!” I hear you!
            You found a really nice place though.

  5. How exciting!! I absolutely love Japan!
    Some shops to check out: Granpie, Sprial Market, Found Muji, Kappabashi Street for all Japanese ceramics and cookware (so many shops)
    Restaurants: Brown Rice Cafe, buckwheat soba in Asakusa, Okomeya
    Do: CC4441 tokyo gallery
    check out Kinfolk’s Tokyo links

    Have so much fun!!

  6. Ok so Naoshima is not an option. Try to take a day trip to Nikko. About an hour by train and very peaceful and beautiful. The Imperial stuff is complicated, you need to register and that takes time to proces (we went to Katsura in Kyoto). There is a street selling everything restaurants use & need, it took me almost a whole day plowing through that. And take time for a supermarket, we always spend at least one morning roaming around looking at stuff (where ever we are). There is a fashion area in Tokio, definitely check that out.
    Enjoy yourself!

    1. Thank you so so much Sim! I really appreciate all this valuable info! Merci beaucoup!

      1. P.S. try to eat as much different “foods” as possible. There are a lot of foodstaples in Japan and Tokio has all of them in abundance. I would try not to eat very much fish since the accident with the nuclear powerplant has lead to a radioactive contamination of the oceans around Japan though.

  7. try to visit a grand department store at opening. takashimya is one. the staff stand and greet you. tsjuki fish market. day trip to kamakura. i highly recommend a side trip to kyoto if at all possible. Look forward to reading about your visit.

    1. I thought about that, but Kyoto is like 4 hours by train and then you have to reorientate yourself on a new place all over again. Takashima is good, and I recommend having everything you buy giftwrapped, because that is truly an artform in Japan. Shu Uemura is a really nice make-up brand.

      1. O yes, and bring gifts, like 4 or 5 small ones, in Japan they love gifts and it opens people up. Japanese people are insulted by tips (doing their job well is part of the workethic and giving money makes it into something banale) but they will love it if you give them a small gift. Nothing expensive but something exemplary/ typical of where you come from. Sometimes you get a gift back and it leads to interesting and real conversations. My Japanese friend always brings Dutch tea towels when she goes to Japan. I think you can look up when and why it is appropriate to give a gift on the internet and then estimate how much you would need. O and if you go decide to go visiting temples, you can buy a special booklet at the first temple and then in every temple you visit you can have your visit documented at a special counter (it costs a bit but not much), with calligraphy and red stamps, very nice and at the end it is a very beautiful document (although illegible if you are a foreigner).
        You can guess, I really enjoyed myself there.

  8. No trip to Tokyo is complete without a visit to one of their parks. Hamarikyu and Shinjuku Gyoen have great gardens. Ueno and Yoyogi Parks is fun for seeing locals picnicking or enjoying a day off. Also, try to help with train schedule, routes and fare price around Tokyo. Enjoy your trip.

  9. You guys are truly awesome! So much information shared here! Love you guys! One big hug to each and everyone of you!

  10. I’m so happy for you and jealous at the same time! Sounds like an incredible trip sent from the heavens haha, I’ve never been to Japan but it’s high up on my list of places to travel next…it seems like many people have been jetting off there recently and how I wish I could join them.

    I can’t wait to see the photos, I know for a fact that they’ll be beautiful!

    With love ♥ » Paris by Friday

  11. My favorite thing I did in Tokyo was go to Ueno Park! I went twice…once to visit all the museums and walk around and once to visit the zoo. If you like animals, the zoo is amazing! They have some really different animals there than in US zoos and admissions is like $6. Good luck and have a great time!!

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