MY STYLE: Classic, modern, simple. Lacoste, J. Crew, Petit Bateau, or James Perse during the day for chasing Alessandro around the playground. I try to mix things up with fun hats, scarves, jewelry—things I can take off and pack away if my son gets muddy! For evenings and special occasions, I look for things that are elegant and timeless. A flattering fit is more important to me than the latest trend. Overall, my wardrobe is a mix of new and vintage, neutrals and vibrant colors, high and low.
I LOVE TOKYO BECAUSE: It’s a great, cosmopolitan city that offers endless opportunities for kids and families. The efficient public transportation systems also make travel in and out of town very manageable. Amazing mountains, lakes, and oceanfront destinations are easily reachable from Tokyo for daytrips and weekends.
Nikoniko Park is a (human) monkey’s paradise! Inspired by Disney’s Tarzan, and it has a variety of apparatuses for your little explorer to play on. There is the Jungle Wonder for your tiniest tot, the Jungle Tower with a “never-ending” slide, the Spider Spider trampoline, and the Smiling Mountain. The park also has some very friendly creatures (they’re statues, so don’t be too alarmed!), including a panda bear, a gorilla, and an elephant whose trunk is a mini slide. For parents, there are two resting areas where you can chat and do things other than swing on vines, all while keeping an eye on your little Tarzan or Jane. Once playtime is over, visit one of the many restaurants nearby to satiate their appetite after a hard day of serious jungle adventures.
Far from the breathtaking sights and sounds of Brittany, France, Le Bretagne serves up a slice of true French culinary heaven. Let the delicious aromas of buckwheat crêpes that cocoon traditional fillings like ham, eggs, or cheese, and are served with sweet syrups and jams transport you. Or try a galette, the savory version of the traditional sweet crêpes we are accustomed to that originated in Brittany. Those made at Le Bretagne are not only delectable and authentic, but perfect for the health conscious, since buckwheat is full of vitamins and a source of fiber. However, don’t expect to be filled to the brim, since the delicate galettes serve as more of an afternoon snack or quick bite. Pair them down with a quenching drink of the freshly made cider for a relaxed afternoon.
Ueno is the oldest zoo in Japan and home to over 2,600 animals of 464 different species. It also has a traditional Japanese touch, with a five-story Pagoda structure, a tea ceremony house from the 17th century, and, of course, beautiful Sakura trees. Wander the Gorilla Woods and Tiger Forest, or explore the Vivarium, which houses some of the world’s rarest reptiles and amphibians. To get truly up close and personal with the animals, visit the delightful petting zoo that’s home to an aye-aye, a unique lemur native to Madagascar. The zoo also sends a strong message about caring for endangered species, so while enjoying the wonderful creatures, your family will also learn about wildlife protection. A final tip: There are no parking lots close by, so you’re better off using public transportation.
Sarugaku Café is one of Japan’s up-and-coming coffee shops, sheltering coffee connoisseurs and locavore lovers from the commerciality of Starbucks. With beans from Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Kenya, Sarugaku offers a range of the very best, from a light and spicy roast to a dark and robust one. You can sample them all before ordering a cup with your milk on the side, as coffee snobs will tell you it should be! If you are craving something sweeter, try an iced coffee served with two snowballs of vanilla ice cream, or the coffee parfait with globs of coffee jelly. Don’t be fooled by the decoy sign for Caffè Foglio at the entrance—it’s actually the wonderful Sarugaku Café that awaits!
Café & Meal Muji
After perusing the famously minimalist and eco-friendly housewares at Muji, visit the café to see some of the cool cutlery and containers put to use. Park bakery with fresh-baked rolls and part deli with an array of inexpensive fresh salads, the café will leave you satisfied with both your meal and the bill. Yuki Mori Rutner goes for her daily chai latte, but for something even sweeter, try the green tea pudding or the old-fashioned soft-serve ice cream. Not surprisingly, the main store’s simple yet playful aesthetic carries over to the café. The chandeliers made from drinking glasses and the oh-so-comfy Muji seat cushions might have you pretending you’re eating in your own home!