OCCUPATION: Fashion Model
MY STYLE: Simple and modern.
I LOVE TOKYO BECAUSE: It’s just a wonderful city for families; it’s full of greenery, great cafés, and nice restaurants. Also, one of the most beautiful aspects of this city are the gorgeous sakura (cherry blossom) trees that bloom every spring.
Huit Café is a French-inspired café popular among Tokyo fashionistas. Chikako Nakano loves dropping by this chic spot in the afternoon, as it offers everything from full sit-down meals like duck confit and rosemary roasted lamb to quick afternoon bites such as salade niçoise and pate de campagne. The portions are uncharacteristically larger for Tokyo dining, but just loosen those pants and carry on! You simply cannot pass up Huit’s delectable dessert menu, which includes a chocolate gateau, a baked pear tart, and profiteroles. If the inviting menu and vintage décor are not enough to entice you, then come simply to sip some wine while taking in the exquisite view of the Meugro River, alongside which the lovely sakura trees blossom.
While Beauty:Beast has an accessible website for you avid online shoppers, pop into this brand’s flagship store in Tokyo to see the fun, quirky designs in person. Takao Yamashita, the head designer of Beauty:Beast, has established a cult following for this unique brand in Japan. The name alone speaks to its paradoxical aesthetic, which applies to casual separates that are at once ugly, strange, and beautiful. Yamashita likes to work outside the world of conventional design, figuratively and literally, as he also designs off the catwalk for manga comics and has even created a virtual dress designer for computers. Needless to say, you can be sure to wow your circle of fashion savvy friends with some eclectic pieces from this unique brand.
At Artifata, your hair is not just hair, but a medium to be molded and sculpted into a work of art. This high-powered, cutting edge hair salon participated in Asia’s biggest hair coloring and styling show, Splash International. Despite its reputation as a gathering spot for beauty world elites, Chikakao Nakano comes for regular cuts and that special me-time all moms need. She says that a visit to this salon is like giving a “treat” to her hair. At Artifata, customer service is a top priority, and the salon’s cool, sleek, white interiors contribute to an atmosphere that begets pure relaxation. Additionally, language barriers are not an issue, as there’s an English-speaking hairdresser on hand to book your appointment and make your hair dreams a reality.
Procuring tickets to get into the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka might be harder than getting into the Moscow Kremlin, but with advanced tickets available for purchase from abroad, you still have a chance! For those who are unfamiliar with Miyazaki Hayao’s work, take a weekend (or two) to indulge in some serious family movie nights and go through some of the studio’s best, including the Oscar-winning Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbour Totoro, and Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind. These are brilliantly illustrated films with unique story lines and moral messages that will have your kids thrilled to bits. After getting a Ghibli education, you can venture into the museum’s exhibits, which range from interactive playrooms, to viewing rooms showing short films exclusive to the museum. It’s a place filled with artistry sure to excite childish fantasies, just remember to reserve those tickets early!
The UNU Farmers’ Market
Every weekend, farmers from the Kanto plain area come to Tokyo’s designer fashion district—not for the high-quality goods, but to sell their own. The fresh fruit and flowers, rice, and organic vegetables go quickly in a testament to a larger, government-backed initiative to increase Japan’s self-sufficiency. Roswitha Lasser and Terao Kurosaki, advisors to the United Nations University and founders of the market, are more concerned with initiating a dialogue between growers and consumers, and educating people about the benefits of eating right. Lasser and Kurosaki are looking to expand the fair to weekdays, and to increase the related cultural and educational events it hosts, all of which live up to the market’s motto of “water, sun, and earth.”