Rei Shito is the coolest of the it-girls I know.
It girl? Garance!!! The forbidden word?! Well yeah. I dunno.
With her, I think it’s cool for some reason. And I mean, she’s just so it-girl. She’s a streetstyle photographer with an amazing style that only works on her and she just came out with a book about the best places to go in Tokyo (unfortunately, it’s only in Japanese right now) and she has huge fans everywhere she goes.
And she’s such a sweetheart, simple as that.
So here are some of Rei’s favorite places in Tokyo. Because, well, I don’t know if I’ve said it enough already : You have to go to Tokyo!!!
How would you describe Tokyo to someone who has never been?
Tokyo is a platform for culture and history. I think the most interesting thing about Tokyo is the mixture of new and old, western and eastern, famous and up and coming. There is always something interesting happening.
Where is the best place to grab a coffee and people watch?
Harajuku! I especially recommend Omotesando Koffee. Tuesday is the best day to people watch because it is the day off for the Tokyo Hair Salon. There are so many fashionable employees in the hair salons in Harajuku.
What is the one food you have to try in Tokyo and where is the best place to have it?
I recommend traditional Japanese food, Kyoto-food. The arrangement is so beautiful and the taste is so elegant. My favorite Kyoto-food restaurant is Kyo-Shizuku at Evisu. It is located on a quiet residential area, so it is a little bit hard to find. The restaurant is popular with people in the know.
Where can you always spot the fashion crowd?
Aoyama, Harajuku and Shibuya are good. Harajuku and Shibuya are popular with young fashion kids, you can see more fun fashion in this area. Aoyama is more of an adult area, there are some really fine shops like Super A Market, Comme des Garcons, Sacai, Miu Miu, Dries Van Noten and so on. You can see more stylish fashion in this area.
What is the best way to get around the city– subway, bike, car?
Bike, bike, bike! I always take a bike! Garance, when you come to Tokyo again, I’ll lend you my bike!
Is there a really cool fashion item that you can buy only in your city?
There are many local Japanese designers with unique and original creations that are only in Japan, like Anrearage. You can also check out Aquvil shop, they have fun items you can only get in Tokyo, with two shops at Daikanyama and Harajuku.
Tell me about your favorite shops…
If you like vintage shopping, I recommend Lucy at Harajuku and Desperate Living at Shibuya.
For popular Japanese designers, I recommend The Contemporary Fix at Aoyama and Garden at Shibuya. These two shops are only for men and the buyer of these shops has a great knowledge of the Tokyo fashion scene.
For cooooool tights and socks, go to Avantgarde at Harajuku.
If you want to change you hair, I recommend Shima Harajuku–my favorite hair salon!! It is so popular with Tokyo fashion people. There are so many favorite shops, I can’t write them all!
Where do you go for a manicure?
Uka nail salon at Roppongi! There are big windows in front of comfortable chairs so you can enjoy the Tokyo sights during your manicure. I recommend the uka nail oil too!
What is the best souvenir to bring back from Tokyo?
If you like Tokyo street fashion, I recommend my first book, Style From Tokyo. It shows Tokyo fashion people and tells their story in both English and Japanese.
Hana Celeb tissues are the softest tissues in the world! You will be impressed with it when you try it and when it started to sell in Japan, many stores ran out immediately. I recommend the pocket tissues, they are light and compact so it is good for a souvenir. You can buy it at the supermarket or drug store.
Where do you go for a good lunch with girlfriends?
Nid Cafe at Aoyama. It is located on the third floor of an old building and it is a little hard to find. This is my favorite cafe for its cozy rooms and yummy dishes. You can see the Tokyo Tower, a symbol of the city, through the window.
And a date with your boyfriend ?
Super A Market Bar & Grill. I recommend the salad with Chèvre cheese. The restaurant is set up as an annex to the shop Super A Market, so you can enjoy shopping after or before!
What is your favorite place for karaoke ?
There are so many Karaoke shops in Tokyo, you can do it wherever, whenever you want. Lovenet at Roppongi is fun because there is a variety of rooms. One room has a slide and a swing, like a park and another has a jacuzzi–amazing!
What is the cool club to go to?
Trump Room, it is located in Shibuya and is known for Tokyo fashion kids. Many of my friends have had crazy parties here. For a more stylist spot, Le Baron de Paris, located at Aoyama.
Where do you go to escape the busyness of the city?
Daikanyama Tsutaya Books is the new cultural space in Daikanyama. This cool space is the first opportunity for the area to change and be more attractive.
What is the one place everyone must visit their first time in Tokyo?
The Japanese temple Senso-ji at Asakusa.
How would you describe a perfect day in Tokyo?
Its a sunny day and I wake up late and go have a delicious lunch with friends. Go to Harajuku and take a street snap (I really love street shooting!). After sunset, I would go to hot yoga and then to my favorite cafe with a book and enjoy a glass of white wine. Then I’d call my boyfriend and go back home and make dinner with him. Perfect!
Anything a gaijin needs to know when arriving in Tokyo? (Like not shamelessly leaving your chopsticks in you bowl of soup like I did on the pictures !)
Etiquette is so important, it has been taught by our parents from when were just children.
You should say ‘Itadaki-masu’ with your palms together before you have breakfast, lunch or dinner. ‘Itadaki-masu’ means thanks for three contents: thanks for the meals you eat, thanks for the people who make your dish, thanks for the people you eat with. After the meal you should say “Gochisou same deshita’ with your palms together. It means ‘thank you for delicious food.’ I was taught it by my mom so I always say them when I’m in Paris, NY, Milan and so on.
When you enter a traditional Japanese house, you have to take off your shoes at the entrance. You leave your shoes there and wear slippers. If you are in a tatami room, you don’t wear any slippers, only socks or tights.
When you take an escalator, you should keep left, the right side is for people in a hurry. But this is only in eastern Japan, so if you go to western Japan, like Osaka or Kyoto, you should keep to the right.
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