Lives in New York City, New York
Since Oct 2014
25-34 year old female
Hey, there! I'm Jessica, an eastern polyglot journeying West. With Korean, Japanese, and Chinese floating around in my mindspace, I've got my sights set on tackling French and the rest of the Romance languages next -- and their countries, food, and culture with them! I was bitten by the travel bug young and have moved every few years since I left my family home in sunny Southern California, leading me to experience life amongst the rice paddies of Hita-shi, in the quaint college town of Amherst, and from bustling Tokyo to sleepless New York, which I now proudly call "home." My favourite international cities include Kyoto, Osaka, London, and Paris, continuing to dot my travel map with trips to Marrakech, Malta, Tel Aviv, and Dhaka in the meanwhile. Learning where the best local eats are and exploring each city as a native is my game, so hang on tight, and be sure to keep your arms and legs inside the aircraft at all times. Cheers!
Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks
, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks,
Shopping Malls, Points of Interest & Landmarks,
, Shopping Malls
Shop like you just won the lottery by sauntering your way through the high-end, high-fashion neighborhood of Ginza, and browse leading brands like Chanel, Bulgari and Sony, or check out large department stores like Ginza Wako and the Paris-based Printemps. If you need a special boost to your day, (regardless as to whether or not you intend to go shopping), drop by Matsuya Department Store at 10am sharp: a bell rings to indicate opening hours, and the doors swing wide open to reveal the department store's whole staff lined up at their counters to greet the first customers of the day with a bow. Fancy that!
If money is no object, spend away at the upscale boutiques and designer brands that line Tokyo's very own 'Champs-Élysées,' Omotesandō. If you're looking for a particular flagship store of your favorite brand - from Apple to Dior to Louis Vuitton - this is where you'll find them. Don't have a fortune to spend? Never fear! Omotesandō may be better known for its luxury goods, but for the more frugal trend-setters, it also offers cheaper fast fashion options like Zara and H&M.
Want to bring style and color all around the world, just like Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Girls? Then Takeshita-dōri's where it's at! Not too far from its cleaner-cut and trendier cousin Omotesandō, Takeshita Street can be found just off Yoyogi Park, and carries all of that crazy cool Harajuku fashion you've only ever heard about on the radio. Neon pinks, rainbow accessories, the fine line between gothic and Victorian, lolita, rap and hiphop fashion - you'll find just about anything and everything that screams 'counterculture!' here.
Shibuya is best known for catering to the young trend-setter. At Shibuya 109 (pronounced 'ichi-maru-kyū') for example, you'll find every kind of style that falls under the heading of 'gyaru' (girly) subculture - from edgy hip-hop-punk chic to floral and flouncy princessy cuteness. And if you're wondering where all the men's clothes are, head a little further down the street, back toward the famous Shibuya Crossing for 109 Men's.
Akihabara is the perfect one-stop shop for all things geeky and nerdy! Often shortened to 'Akiba,' this area is best known as the mecca of otaku culture. In fact, you'll be hard-pressed to turn a corner without being offered flyers from women dressed in maid outfits, catching a glimpse of the newest Gundam series flashing by on an LCD screen, or needing to shield your more innocent companions' eyes from overly busty figures of semi-censored hentai (pornographic animation)! And while Akiba may have lost its former exclusive rights as the capital's electronics center, you'll still find some of the newest up-and-coming products being market-tested here, so do some window-shopping for a glimpse into the future!
While you'll find plenty of cultural souvenirs everywhere you turn in Tokyo, why go just anywhere when you can visit Asakusa and get a taste of pre-modern Japan while you're at it? The Nakamise shopping area is located just outside of one of Tokyo's oldest and most visited Buddhist temples, Sensō-ji, and offers up everything from delicious dango (sweet rice-flour dumplings on a skewer) and freshly-made rice crackers to intricately designed yukata and adorable phone charms. Taste everything while you're here and don't forget to buy a little something for your friends and family back at home!
Just west of Sensō-ji is the inimitable Kappabashi, a street lined with stores that sell every single item necessary to run a restaurant in Japan. From professional-grade cutlery and beautiful lacquerware to tempura oven ranges and the atmospheric nōren curtains that welcome you to your local sushi-ya, Kappabashi is sure to have it! If you've ever wanted to purchase your favorite dish immortalized - like those beautifully realistic food 'samples' displayed in restaurant windows - or simply want to pick up some beautiful (and useful!) souvenirs at a reasonable price, make the short trek to this hidden gem of a street.
A manmade island just off the coast, across from Tokyo Bay's landmark Rainbow Bridge, Odaiba has several different options for shopping fans. Shopping centers like Aqua City and Diver City, the Decks Tōkyō Beach shopping mall, and Palette Town are just a few of the many attractions to be found on this island. Within the latter is the Venus Fort, a Venice-themed shopping mall that resembles the Grand Canal Shops at The Venetian in Las Vegas. Though it doesn't provide the same fancy gondola rides down long indoor canals, it's still a great place to visit just for the novelty of it, if you have the time to spare!
Not sure whether to check out Tokyo Tower or the Tokyo Skytree, and only have time for one? If you're pressed for time and want to get as much shopping done as possible, choose the latter and visit the Tokyo Solamachi for unrivalled photo opportunities and great stores to boot! A city-within-a-city, Tokyo's 'Sky Town' is split into three separate sections, the East and West Yards, which are of particular interest to the heavy-duty shopper. You'll find everything from textiles and folk art to fashion accessories and fun collectibles here, as well as selections of high-end fashion from both Japanese and international brands. In short, a little bit of everything for everyone!