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Harcoza Tokyo Japan

Harcoza Tokyo Japan

It’s a bit of a trek to find this shop but it is worth the walk! Harcoza in Ebisu is a perfect place for clothes, accessories, and some great high-end to mid-range fashion.

immediately inside is a wall of fashion accessories and a very friendly stop staff. White furnishings abound, adorned with  hand-made bracelets, earrings, broaches, hair grips and pins in a range of exciting colours, shapes and materials. Deeper inside the shop is an entire wall of silk screen printed t-shirts, casual printed pants for your everyday wear, and button-up shirts. Whether you’re shopping for men or for women, you can find it here!

Once you’ve absorbed all of the top-floor wonders, make your way downstairs to the theatrical stage. I’m not kidding, there is one here, with the entire back wall draped with a curtain and a stage for a dressing room. A perfect place to strike a pose!

Harcoza 3

Downstairs is also where you’ll find the clothes of their amazing and inspirational fashion range. The Harcoza brand is art-based and comprehensive, favoring geometric shapes and printed graphic tees. The clothing itself takes on geometric shapes, with sharply-angled dresses and abstract-shaped jackets showcasing their innovative sewing techniques as interpreted through a stylistic-yet-Japanese fashion sense.

Harcoza 4

Harcoza is a high-end clothing shop, but each item is an individual work. No embarrassing “twinning” here, even if you mingle with other Harcoza shoppers! Harcoza’s style changes throughout the year, but ones things for sure–if you’ve been wanting that taste of Harajuku fashion you see in “Western Japanese Street Style” magazines, then this is the place to stop and shop during your Tokyo trip!

Harcoza Ebisu Store Information

Website | Facebook (Japanese) | Twitter (Japanese) | Online Store (via Google Translate)

Nearest Station: 4-minute walk from Daikan-Yama Station (Tokyu-Toyoko Line) or 7-minute walk from Ebisu Station.

Hours of Operation: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm, closed Tuesdays

“Why Go?”: Harajuku fashion with its own geometric style!

Click on one of the tags below to explore other shopping options in Tokyo–

September 8, 2016 0 comment
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PT Alfred Ebisu Tokyo Japan

PT Alfred Ebisu Tokyo Japan

Based in Ebisu, the PT Alfred menswear shop with a large number of high-quality Japanese and imported brands. The styles are all basic, allowing a man to select a casual wardrobe of plain or patterned polo shirts, t-shirts, coloured blazers and casual suit jackets, and plain pants and jeans. PT Alfred is perfect for the man who doesn’t care much for shopping or fashion but wants to remain stylish and presentable for all occasions.

The fabrics are great quality, using a range of heavy cottons, jerseys, tweed, wools, cashmeres and denims. These clothes are made to last–no one-season wonders here! PT Alfred also offers a wide range of accessories from shoulder bags, ties, cufflinks, bowties, socks, shoes, belts and watches to complete your outfit. The leather section stocks products of their own exclusive PT Alfred brand such as belts, wallets and bracelets. All very nice, and a worthwhile expense to round out your rugged, manly wardrobe.

The staff (English speakers, as it turns out) were there to help me with my selections, even though they were confused as to why a girl might be shopping there. Surely I can look, right? The prices are low- to mid-range, as to be expected for quality clothing for everyday wear. So if you are looking for something stylish, not too expensive and good for all events and seasons, PT Alfred’s is worth a look!

PT Alfred 1

PT Alfred Location Information

Website (via Google Translate) | Facebook (Japanese) | Twitter (Japanese) | Instagram | YouTube

Nearest Station: 6-minute walk from Ebisu Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: 12:00 am – 8:00 pm, closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays

“Why Go?”: For stylish men’s clothing without the hassle or the high-fashion prices!

Click on one of the links below to explore other shopping options in Tokyo–

August 11, 2016 0 comment
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Skytree

A quintessential Tokyo experience has to be viewing the Tokyo skyline from one of the many observation decks. The two most popular observation points are Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree, both of which give an amazing panoramic view of Tokyo’s urban sprawl. The Eiffel tower-inspired Tokyo Tower is a classic of the city’s skyline, with views of Mt. Fuji on a clear day (900 for main observatory, 1600 for both observatories). The Tokyo Skytree, opened in 2012, is two times taller than the Tokyo Tower and is the second tallest structure in the world, giving a bird’s eye view of the city (2060 for first observatory, 3090 for both observatories).

Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills also has an open-air observation deck for those that are brave (2300 for the Sky Deck). And you can get a discount on tickets to that observation deck through Voyagin!

If you’re on a budget, there are a few free decks you can check out. First, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in Shinjuku has both a northern and southern observation deck, offering views of Shinjuku’s stark skyline and beyond. The Bunkyo Civic Center is another option. Though it’s a good bit shorter than other decks as it is only on the 25th floor, you can still enjoy a view of Mt. Fuji on a clear day. Finally, there is the Ebisu Garden Place Tower, which has a free observation deck on both the 38th and 39th floors.

If you’re in the mood to splurge, the New York Bar in the Park Hyatt (the setting for the well-known 2003 film Lost in Translation) is a great place to enjoy great food and drinks as you admire the view. The view at night as you sip a cocktail is terrific, with Tokyo sprawling in every direction and the beaming red aircraft warning lights on each building lighting rhythmically. For something a little less touristy, we’d recommend Caretta in Shiodome.

Or maybe you want an even more complete view? You can reserve a helicopter tour of Tokyo through this link from Voyagin!

June 15, 2016 0 comment
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Ebisu Garden Place Observation Deck, Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is worth way more than 36 hours of your time. Tokyo is such a massive sprawling beast of a metropolis that you could never see the many facets of the city in such a short time. That said, 36 hours of Tokyo is better than no hours of Tokyo, and if you only have a bit of time to spare, we’ll do our best to show you Tokyo at its best.

For lodging, I suggest AirBnB as a way to rent a space because it is less hotel and more apartment. Another idea is the capsule hotel, which is not for the claustrophobic. Yet another adventurous idea is getting an overnight comic book or Internet café room. All of these have options in the Shibuya area, so I suggest starting there. Bring your energy because you’ll need it to run all over Tokyo.

Day 1 – Embrace the Touristy Side of Tokyo

9:00 a.m. Shibuya

For many of the AirBnB visitors, staying near Shibuya area means you will need to ride into Shibuya from nearby stations like Sangenjaya Station, Shimokitazawa Station, or Ebisu Station. Trains are known for being absolutely insane during morning and evening rush hour when workers are heading in and out of work.  Find a safe corner to watch the insanity unfold with a coffee and a bagel.

While in Shibuya it is practically a requirement to check out the famous scramble crosswalk and Hachiko Square. Tokyu plaza is right next to it with some cute shops to wander as well. Once you have had your fill and the station begins to be less of a madhouse, head into the station proper. It is totally worth the trouble to pay the 500 yen for a PASMO or Suica train card because you can repeatedly charge it and skip the trouble of micromanaging your fare. With your IC card pass, take the JR Yamanote line (look for green JR signs) and head to Harajuku, one stop away.

10:00 a.m. Harajuku/Meijinjingunmae

Harajuku is well known for Takeshita Street, the hub connecting Harajuku Station to the Omotesando area. Takeshita Street is full of youthful energy and shops with goods ranging from crazy costumes to female fashion styles like girlish skirts and blouses all the way to goth and punk attire.

As you leave Harajuku and enter Omotesando, the area gets more sophisticated glam. Omotesando has one of my favorite souvenir shops in all of Tokyo called Oriental Bazaar which is well worth a look for gifts. You can either backtrack to Harajuku to ride two stops on the Yamanote line to Shinjuku Station, or you can head into Meiji-jingumae Station to ride the Fukutoshin line up to Shinjuku-sanchome Station. By then, you probably will be getting hungry and can grab lunch.

12:00pm Bask in the touristy glow of Shinjuku

Shinjuku station is the busiest station in the world so can be quite difficult to navigate, but is a great place to people-watch as you try and find your way around to the correct exit. Shinjuku’s East End is my preferred neighborhood in Shinjuku because unlike West Shinjuku, where the government buildings are, East Shinjuku is more a retail area where you can hang out. Catch lunch in one of the many department stores or street level shops. As a personal suggestion, Korean food in Lumine EST is pretty tasty and easy to access on the upper floors of the department store.  Save room though because I definitely have a suggestion for dessert. One of the latest Tokyo crazes for sweets is located right at Shinjuku East End. It is the Croissant Taiyaki. Cronuts (croissant donuts) have nothing on this, I promise you. If you don’t like traditional red bean paste filling, try the custard or a seasonal flavor. If you like sweets, your stomach will thank me.

But what you’ll really thank us for is directing you to the Robot Restaurant, which is one of the craziest dinner shows you will ever experience. Even better, our good friends at Voyagin can get you a discount on your reservation!

After getting your Taiyaki, say goodbye to Shinjuku. From here I would suggest taking the Sobu line to Akihabara Station. This train line cuts across the Yamanote loop. 

2:30 p.m. Nerd out like a boss in Akihabara

Akihabara is called Electric Town, and rightfully so since it is a playground for tech-minded people. It is also a highly unique area of Tokyo that has a different feel from other parts of the city. Arcades line the main streets and girls dressed in frilly uniforms call out to passersby to visit their maid cafes. Play a few arcade games, grab some new headphones, or discover what maid/butler cafes are all about.

Akihabara Stores, Akihabara, Tokyo

Optional: If you take one look at Akihabara area and pale at the idea of spending time here, take the Shinjuku line to nearby Jimbocho Station. A book lover’s paradise, the area contains unique bookshops that will delight a different sort of traveler from Akihabara’s tech and anime fans.

An even better option is putting on a costume, renting a Go Kart, and riding around Akihabara to live out your favorite video game fantasy! C’mon, you know you want to. Let our friends at Voyagin help you book your rental!

Spend a bit of time taking in the sights and emptying your wallet before hopping back onto the Yamanote line again to Tokyo Station.

5:00 p.m. Tokyo and Meguro Station combo

Tokyo Station is a thing to behold. It is a massive complex of train lines all meeting near the city centre, where you can go to any other part of Japan via the Shinkansen bullet-trains. Even if you do not step outside of the station, it will truly amaze you to see all the stores and eateries in the sprawling underground hub. If you do decide to head out of the station, make sure to take a look at the newly renovated Tokyo Station—what’s old is new again because the station is modeled to look as it did a hundred years ago.

If you have had your fill of Tokyo Station and have time to spare, go back on the Yamanote line to head to the next destination, Meguro Station. The inside of Meguro Station is connected to shopping centers Arte1 and Arte2. Arte2 has a fun and well-known conveyor belt sushi restaurant. Eating raw fish and rice is an adventure for the new inductee if there ever was one. If raw fish isn’t your thing, Arte 2 also has a fusion restaurant called Yuuan that has heated food.

After your belly is full of raw fish or cooked eats, get back on Yamanote to go one train stop to Ebisu Station.

8:00 p.m. Get your drink on in Ebisu

Yebisu Garden Place Tower can be ridden to the upper floors to sneak a peek of the city skyline without the long lines or payment like Skytree and Tokyo Tower.

Ebisu

There are also restaurants upstairs if you decided to skip Meguro Station. The Ebisu area has plenty of bars for an after-dinner drink, and I heartily suggest Bar Martha, Red Dragon, or Buri. Bar Martha is one part jazz bar, one part Japanese whisky fan, and one part mixology. The dim, relaxing atmosphere will be a nice place to kick back after running all over the city, and the tasty snack jars will keep you from needing a midnight snack. Red Dragon is a Japanese take on a pub, with plenty of beer types to keep you going if you prefer a more excitable location. If you are looking for something a little more club and a little less straight up bar, check out Buri. It has a full bar, but it is well known for its semi-frozen one-cup sake. It is also a place where a lot of hookups happen, if that is your sort of thing.

Once you are done with your evening bar hop, call it a night and head back to your accommodations. Be warned, Tokyo does not have all night trains and buses so depending on time you might have to get a cab.

Day 2—The Triangle Experience

8:00 a.m. Breakfast in Shibuya

A bright and early morning awaits your fast-paced tour of Tokyo, especially if you’re jet lagged. Fight fire with fire by heading to your nearest Matsuya for breakfast. They have breakfast plates, but I would suggest the beef bowl with egg on top. It comes with miso soup and will help nurse any lingering hangovers you might be struggling with. Double dare you to try it with a side of natto!

9:00 a.m. Corner 1: Hipster delights in Nakameguro

Today is a bit slower pace. Take the Tokyu Toyoko line to Nakameguro Station and head out of the city center into a slightly more mellow area using what trains call the triangle ticket. Nakameguro Station’s surrounding area was featured in Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown as a hipster neighborhood. The Meguro River cuts across the station, making it an ideal place for cute cafés and small shops to line the tiny street and there are plenty of places to snack, buy gifts, and take photos.

10:30 a.m. European influence in corner 2: Jiyugaoka

Once you have had your fill of Nakameguro’s charm, take the Toyoko line further out of the city center by four stops to Jiyugaoka Station where you can mill about a very particularly styled shopping area and eat lunch. This area is known for being inspired by French culture and has plenty of places to try. I would suggest the taco rice for lunch at the Okinawan eatery Taiyou Shokudou. After you have wandered around to your satisfaction, get on the Tokyo Oimachi line over to Todoroki Station.

1:00 p.m. Escape the city without stepping out of Tokyo at Todoroki Valley

Todoroki Station is a way to escape the city without ever leaving it. Truly the definition of suburb, this adorable neighborhood is not a shopping hub like previous locations. Instead, head into Todoroki Valley to experience another, greener side of Japan. Todoroki Valley is amazing. Others have gone so far as to call it a godsend. After all the experience of the city, the trees and quiet sounds of water flowing downstream is a relief. Walking along the river from the station leads to a set of stairs that go up to the temple Fudoson where you can pay your respects, enjoy the view of the waterfall, or relax at the seated cliffside view. Backtrack to the station and re-board the Omiya line for Futakotamagawa Station.

3:00 p.m. Futakotamagawa: Last corner of the triangle

Futakotamagawa Station is based along the Tamagawa River. The side you are on is the Tokyo Metropolitan area and the other side is Kanagawa prefecture. It is worthwhile to walk a bit out of the area first (approximately 20 minutes) or to cab it to the Okamoto Park Old Farmhouse Garden. The park contains an old thatch roof farmhouse where you can see Japanese architecture and culture from the late Edo period (1860s), and it feels like you are stepping out of time. It is open until 4:30 p.m. and closed on Mondays, so mind your timing to ensure you get to see the house and surrounding area. One of the impressive parts of the area is how seamlessly it blends old and new Tokyo together as new shopping malls exist alongside older establishments. Any last minute shopping you need done can be taken care of at the mall surrounding the station or once you get to your airport. 

Ebisu Garden Place Tower, Ebisu, Tokyo, Japan

For more ideas on how to spend a short stay in Tokyo, visit 36 Hours in Tokyo: Kids in Tow.

June 13, 2016 0 comment
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Shake Shack Storefront
Sizzling-hot American burger chain, Shake Shack, opened its doors this April in the Ebisu district of Tokyo, the second branch branch in the city. Located right at the foot of the Ebisu train station’s west exit, Shake Shack brings its traditional New York City burgers and shakes to Tokyo. The shop is hard to miss, with the giant Shake Shack sign outside, as well as the crowd of people lining up to try some of America’s most renowned burgers.

Menu
So, what should you expect to find at Shake Shack’s newest Tokyo location? You can enjoy your favorite Shake Shack classics, such as their all-natural Shack Burgers, fresh crinkle-cut fries as well as a variety of shakes, including the Tokyo exclusive, Black Sesame Shake! The location also sells freshly-spun custard, which they refer to as “concretes”, like their Japanese-inspired mouth-watering Ebisu exclusive, “E-bean-su”, which consists of vanilla custard, red bean caramel sauce, marshmallow sauce, salted shortbread cookies and finished off with soy bean powder. Yum! Local wine and beer is also available for sale, as well as some fun Japanese-inspired Shake Shack merchandise, like wash cloths, pens, phone-cases, and even shirts in the iconic black and bright-green Shake Shack colors.

Review
Shake Shack Burger Smiley

So how was it? The staff at EnAbleJapan decided to see for ourselves and we were not disappointed. The burgers were exactly like the ones you would find back in the states. The patties were juicy, and the ingredients fresh. The iconic crinkle-cut fries were nice and salty whilst the strawberry cheesecake milkshake we sampled was creamy with the right amount of sweetness and thickness. So if you are ever in Tokyo and missing the taste of a true American burger, or just want to see what all the Shake Shack craze is about, be sure to stop in!
Shake Shack Burger Lineup

Shake Shack Ebisu Location Information

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Nearest Station: 1 minute walk from Ebisu Station (Yamanote, Hibiya, Saikyo, and Shonan-Shinjuku lines).


Hours of Operation: 10:00 A.M.- 10:30 P.M. daily.
Estimated Price:¥700-¥1500
“Why Go?”: If you are looking for a great burger or need a change-of-pace from all of the sushi and noodles of Japan.
Click on one of the tags below to explore other restaurant options in Tokyo – 

June 1, 2016 0 comment
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