Capture Tokyo: Ultra Music Festival Japan

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Afrojack at Ultra Music Festival Japan 2015, Odaiba

It’s almost that time of year again! If you’re into music festivals, Japan’s Ultra Music Festival is coming around in September! Tickets usually go on sale in the Spring and may have sold out already on the official site…if they do sell out, for those who are interested, you can still probably enter the draw for raffle tickets. Although there’s no guarantee you’ll win, the chances are quite decent! My friend won us two extra tickets via the raffle two years ago, so luckily we were able to attend even though it was so last minute! 3-day general passes usually go for around 30,000~39,000 yen while 1-day passes can go for 13,000~18,000 yen. Last year Hardwell, DJ Snake, Tiesto, Martin Garrix, and deadmau5 were in attendance. I don’t think they’ve announced the line up for this year, but check it out if you get the chance~♪

Taste Tokyo: Raw Snow Crab & A5 Beef

 

Rangetsu, Ginza

It’s always nice to treat yourself! Tonight we went to my favorite Ginza restaurant, Rangetsu, famous for their premium A5 Japanese beef. The beef is so tender that it really does just melt in your mouth as soon as it touches your tongue! The sauce they use for the sukiyaki is also delicious. It’s like a sweet soy sauce mixed with sweetened Japanese cooking rice wine that really brings out the flavor of the meat and veggies. I know I’ve already posted about this restaurant before (so you can read more about it here ♥︎Taste Tokyo: Rangetsu♥︎), but I just wanted to note that they also had a special Snow Crab Sashimi dish tonight. I personally prefer to eat my crab cooked and with butter, but this was the first time I’ve seen raw crab on the menu!

Capture Tokyo: Kawaii Monster Cafe

Kawaii Monster Cafe, Harajuku

The colorful and crazy Kawaii Monster Cafe really embodies that special “kawaii” street fashion uniqueness only found in Harajuku. Based on the Harajuku cute boom that exploded in the 2000s, the cafe is filled with bright colors and wacky designs. The Monster Cafe is split into four main areas from which diners can choose to be seated at: Mel-Tea Room, Mushroom Disco, Milk Stand, and Bar Expert. We chose the Mushroom Disco, which features huge rainbow mushroom shaped umbrellas. One of the cafe’s unique features is that their “Monster Girls” that walk around the room as customers eat. These “Monster Girls” are decked out in colorful over the top clothes and wigs! They wave at customers and are generally very friendly and polite, posing for pictures with the guests. There are 5 monster girls in total. The one you see pictured above is called “Candy”. I believe the other four are Baby, Nasty, Dolly, and Crazy. They even have a dance performance you can watch.

The cafe’s food and drinks are all also rainbow themed. Their most notable dish is the signature rainbow pasta and rainbow cake (I personally didn’t have the guts to order any, and went with a rather plain order of chicken and waffles instead, haha)! I did have a glass of their “Nondrug Cocktail” though, which came with a vile of blue and red liquid to pour into drink. The fruity drink was quite tasty and fun to mix! I would recommend checking this cafe out, if you are looking for a taste of the wonderfully weird and wacky side of Harajuku. It’s certainly a once in a lifetime experience!

Capture Tokyo: Rainbow Bridge

Rainbow Bridge, Odaiba Beach

Odaiba is by far my favorite place to relax in Tokyo. The man-made island is known as somewhat of a date spot among locals, so you can often find young families or couples strolling around the area. The island is filled with many tourist attractions, including Joypolis (an indoor amusement park), the Fuji Television Building, Palette Town, Venus Fort, Aqua City, and Diver City (mostly shopping malls).

There’s so much to do in Odaiba, but my main reason for frequenting the area is because of its gorgeous night views! It also has the closest “beach” to where I live, Odaiba beach. I say “beach” lightly because we can’t actually swim in the water due to all the pollution. In my opinion, this beach offers one of the best scenic views of the Rainbow Bridge over Tokyo Bay (it’s also a beautiful place to watch the sunset… quite romantic)! The suspension bridge connects the Shibaura Pier to Odaiba, and you can actually bike or walk over the bridge (about 1.7 km). The Yurikamome train line also passes over the bridge, starting from Shimbashi Station and ending Toyosu Station. It’s illuminated from dusk till midnight, so I would definitely recommend viewing the Rainbow Bridge from Odaiba beach as it looks absolutely stunning at night!

Capture Tokyo: Owl Forest

Fukuro no Mori, Harajuku

Within the past few years, I’ve noticed that Japan has undergone an animal cafe boom, with cat, dog, rabbit, hamster, owl, and hedgehog cafes popping up throughout Tokyo. Last summer, I had the chance to visit an owl cafe for the first time (…well, sort of)! I should note that this isn’t actually a cafe, and is instead called an “Owl Forrest”. Fukuro no Mori is located in the heart of Harajuku right on the famous shopping strip, Takeshita Street. The forest is a type of walk through experience. The inside of the shop is filled with trees and a small path to walk though. After paying the $7 fee, participants can start on the trail.

When we went, there were various owls resting on trees along the way, so we were free to stop and pet the owls as we pleased. Most of the owls were incredibly well behaved or were sleeping. The owls had a chain on their leg, preventing them from moving or flying away from their branch, while some of the larger ones were in a caged off area on the ground instead. The course took about 10-15 minutes at most to walk through (the area is small, but there were a decent amount of owls). As there is only one path, we had to wait until the group in front of us moved before we could proceed though, so the timing was a little slow.

Overall, I would definitely recommend stopping by if you’re in the area. It’s a nice change of pace and I found the cafe to be more relaxing than the other animal cafes I’ve been too (even if the experience is a little shorter). I should also note that this particular shop didn’t allow us to pick up the owls, but I’ve heard of an owl cafe in Shibuya where you can actually let the owl rest on your head or shoulders. Perhaps I’ll visit there another day though!

Taste Tokyo: Rainbow Bagels

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New New York Club, Jiyugaoka

I know this trend is a little outdated, but I thought I would post about my rainbow bagel experience in Tokyo last summer, so please bear with me. When the craze first broke out last year, I was dying to try these fun-colored bagels myself (I was a huge bagel fan in college… Till this day jalapeño cheese bagels are my favorite ♥︎). Anyway, it took a few months, but Japan finally got its own rainbow bagels store, New New York Club! This little trendy boutique restaurant is located in Jiyugaoka, and it’s about a 7 minute walk from the station. They only serve a limited amount of rainbow bagels on Saturdays and a few chosen holidays . In order to ensure they didn’t sell out, I made sure we were there at 11:05 (the store opened at 11:30). There was a line of about 3-5 people in front of us, so it wasn’t too bad. This was also back in July, so the bagel craze was already dying out.

We ended up ordering two bagels. One strawberry bagel and one of their signature rainbow bagels; plus their mac & cheese dish. They had a couple other flavors, but it would’ve been way too much food for us! I would say the bagels were normal. Quite tasty, but nothing super extraordinary. I preferred the strawberry flavor over the rainbow one (mainly due to the strawberry cream cheese). The rainbow bagel itself had a really sweet light cream cheese filling that I wasn’t a big fan of. The mac & cheese was delicious though and overall the restaurant had a cozy ambience. It had a vintage old American diner feel to it, and the counter was lined with boxes of American candies (Nerds, Reeses, etc.) for decoration.

I would recommend trying out the New New York Club for anyone in Japan looking to get a taste of the rainbow bagel. I’m really curious though as to how the Tokyo rainbow bagels compare to the original New York ones!

Capture Tokyo: Tokyo Disney Resort

 

Tokyo Disney Resort Hotels ♥︎ Ikspiari, Maihama

If you’re a Disney lover in Japan, you’ve probably had the chance to visit Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. However, for those of you who aren’t willing to always shell out the $80 for a day at Disney, I would recommend visiting the Tokyo Disney Resorts and the connecting Ikspiari mall nearby. It’s a great way to recreate that magical Disney feeling without breaking your bank account. The Tokyo Disneyland hotel might not be the ritziest hotel compared to the ones in Florida or Cali, but it does have that special Disney atmosphere. There are restaurants, bars, gift shops, and even a princess hair salon and photo studio! The hotel also features a cute little Alice themed garden in the back.

The Ikspiari mall (although not super Disney themed), does have its own unique décor. It’s home to many popular clothing shops (Folli Follie, Lowrys Farm, GAP, etc.), a movie theatre, hair salons, restaurants, etc. Each part of the mall has its own unique theme (cinema theme, futuristic theme, etc.). There’s even a jungle themed restaurant inside, where customers can enjoy eating in a Disney-esque jungle, while listening to the soothing sounds of the waterfall inside the restaurant. Walking all the way to the end of the mall, we came across a cute little pond with a romantic pagoda in the middle. I would definitely recommend bringing your date here to set the mood, haha! The little pond leads to another hotel, which although it’s not the main Disney hotel, is still within walking distance of the park and is just as beautiful.

Although I’ve personally never stayed at these hotels before, I would recommend walking around the area if you want to get a taste of Disneyland outside of the parks!