March 21, 2014

stationary_final_1I recently went to Asia for a work trip and the first stop on this retail tour was Tokyo, Japan. We had less than two days in one of my favorite cities and it was a world-wind retail tour that included Tokyo’s shopping districts Ginza, Shabu, Narita and Omotesando. Tokyo is one of the most creative cities in the world and with the cherry blossoms just starting to bloom; it was a truly inspirational two days.

I was able to sneak away for an hour to the oldest paper store in Ginza called KYUKYODO. Ginza is known as one of the most expensive shopping areas in the world, so the most elite Japanese and Western fashion houses line the streets. The gem I found was a store named Kyumkyodo. This paper store opened first in Kyoto in 1663 and in Tokyo in 1880 and it’s still run by the Kumagai family to this day. They have the finest stock, postcards, writing instruments, calligraphy supplies and the most difficult part of this store is making a selection on what to purchase. I was inspired by spring and my creative pull resulted in postcards, note cards and envelopes with traditional cherry blossom art. I can’t wait to put a stamp on this gorgeous paper and send out letters to my closets friends. (Kyukyodo is located at 5-7-4 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo, not far from the Matzuzakaya department store in Ginza).

coolage_japan_1After meeting up with the group again we were off to Shabu another shopping district in Tokyo and still suffering from jet lag we went straight to Starbucks where I continued my cherry blossom theme and ordered a Sakura Latte. Sakura’s at Starbucks is an annual event similar to the Pumpkin Spice Latte here in the U.S., Sakura (meaning “cherry blossom”) is a short seasonal event and a must have drink in Japan.

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The following morning – due to jet lag, we decided to get up early (4:30 AM) and head to the Tokyo fish market. We missed the special Tuna auction because it sold out early. As we wondered around the market we saw a long line and knew we were in for a special treat. We ended up waiting for two hours for some of the best sushi in the world at Sushidia (pictured above!).

There are only about 15 seats at the counter in this restaurant and the meals last 45-50 minutes. They serve one piece at the time with fresh ginger, tea and miso soup. We were eating a sushi feast at 8 AM and it was well worth the two-hour wait. Sushidia is a ‘hot spot’ between tourist and locals and even with a long line, I highly recommend the overall experience and the sushi. (Sushidai 5-2-1 Tsukiji | Tsukiji Fish Market, #6 Bldg., Chuo, Tokyo Prefecture 104-0045, Japan).

We had many more stops on the retail tour and I only captured my favorite merchandise moments. The bottom line is that 40 hours is not even close to enough time in this inspirational city and I can’t wait to go back.

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IT is HOT, HOT and HOT in SF and I was cruising on my scooter when I made a find – a secret park garden known as Allyne Park. This special hidden gem is a great place for me to run around in without the hustle and bustle of the city and close to my house right off Union street. It is a smaller park, but has a great garden and many benches that I like to jump on and off of and it is even dog friendly, which is an added bonus for me too!

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Last weekend we took advantage of GAP’s SALE, with 40% off the entire store! I found this perfect GAP Color Block SF dress on my own for $11.99. I am all about dresses this Spring. With the longer sleeves this dress is perfect for the sunny days and cooler foggy afternoons in SF. It allows me to leave the house without a jacket and the cotton makes it an everyday casual staple. I grabbed a pair of leggins to match and threw on a pair of UGG sandals from last season. Mom told me I need a hair cut, but I refused to go…my headbands do the trick!

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I hope everybody is enjoying the sunshine and the beginning of Spring.

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Photo Credit: Brendan Pascoe

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