On our last day in Tokyo I raced from one side of the city to the other, following bloggers tips on where to go. While Will worked in the hotel room I jumped on trains and went to Shinzi Katoh in Ikebukuro.
Thank you to Moving Hands for this great tip. It was a bit of a hike to get there (two trains and about 40 minutes travelling from Roppongi) but well worth the visit. I went a bit crazy with the bags. I couldn't decide which one I liked so I bought about 6. I'm not sure that my non-crafty friends will appreciate them as much as I do so they may not make the grade as Christmas/birthday presents. I might have to offer them for sale on the blog once I've taken in their lovely designs. I also got the boys a cute drink bottle each.
Then I jumped back on the train to Shinjuku where I went to the Okadaya department store that Corrie said was one of her favourites. Their book section on the 10th floor was fantastic and I picked up another 6 or so books.
For some reason I couldn't find the softie books amongst the craft section. They were either sold out or indexed separately. I was running so late to meet Will that I had no time to ask.
Will and I went to the rather upmarket shopping complex that our hotel was part of for a quick bite to eat. We had simple Vietnamese soup in the food hall that was so fresh, quick and good. That's how all fast food should be. Every meal we ate in Japan was outstanding.
The night before - our last night in Tokyo - we had the most wonderful Tempura meal in the hotel restaurant (on the 45th floor with views over the city). Our waitress, when she realised we were Australian, told us how much she loved her year studying English in Sydney (and that she put on 7 kilos after discovering Tim Tams). I sought her advice on where to go in Tokyo to find smaller independent shops. We'd had enough of Louis Vuitton and designer brands and wanted to find things unique to Japan. She recommended a couple of areas.
One of the books that I picked up that morning had some pictures of cute shops - the sort I was trying to find. I asked the girl at Concierge if she could tell me where to go to find that sort of thing and she directed me to Daikanyama and Ebisu, which is near to one of the areas our waitress had recommended.
So that's where I headed in my last two hours in Tokyo while Will had a meeting with his 'man in Japan'. Ebisu is just two stops from Rappongi on the Hibiya line and the cute shops start just near the station. I've posted a map on Flickr for anyone wanting to find their way there.
By the time we got to the airport at 8pm I felt like I'd run the marathon. I jumped in the shower at the JAL lounge so when I got on the plane I felt human again. And with a mountain of craft books in my carry-on luggage I had lots of reading material for the trip home!