OCCUPATION: Singer and actress
MY STYLE: I love getting dressed for winter. My favorite item this year has to be black tights from Uniqlo, which I pair with knee-high boots from Sergio Rossi. I also like to mix masculine and feminine pieces, like a military jacket with a girly dress.
I LOVE TOKYO BECAUSE: It’s safe! You see children walking alone at 8 or 9 in the evening, though of course, you must always be vigilant as a parent. I also love that it’s a big city, but with the heart of a small community. Our neighborhood has a shoutengai, which is a main street with a butcher, a store that sells only umbrellas, and other locally owned shops. When I take my kids shopping with me, the woman at the vegetable stand will comment on how much they’ve grown. And when you want to get away from the hustle and bustle, there are nature-filled getaway spots not too far off!
Yoga was alive and well in Japan long before winning the West, but this studio makes a point of offering more modern-minded classes—like yoga for runners—in addition to traditional hatha like Ashtanga. Moms-to-be aren’t left out of the mix, either. When Ronna Fujusawa became pregnant with her first child, she began studying how yoga could help her pregnancy, and now passes her knowledge along to other mothers-to-be. Yoga Tree is in the residential neighborhood of Hiroo, but it also hosts special retreats at an ancient Buddhist temple in Nagano.
At Yasaiya-Mei, food grown in the ground gets a big lift—to the third floor of the high-end Omotesando Hills mall, to be exact, but also an elevation of status. The veggie-centric dishes at this stylish restaurant only appear similar to the comfort food served at a typical izakaya (pub); one bite in, you’ll taste the gourmet difference. The curry dishes, for example, are made with semi-polished rice mixed with other grains, and topped with perfectly cooked seasonal vegetables like eggplant, goya, and bok choy. This delicious dish can also be ordered as part of an affordable set lunch. There are a few meat and fish dishes as well, so don’t assume that everything on the menu is vegetarian-friendly!
There’s nothing quite like flowers to brighten a room—or a relationship. Umanosuke Goto began selling this timeless decoration in 1892, and business has been blooming ever since. U.Goto now has multiple locations throughout the city, and some within the city’s chicest hotels, but Yu Hayami frequents the original Roppongi shop for its beautiful dahlias. The staff members at U.Goto are veterans of the floral industry who generously share their knowledge via lessons and consultations. Chances are you’ll want to leave the bouquet-making to the experts when it comes to bigger events, though, especially after seeing the swoon-worthy bride’s bouquet photos on the website.
The death of print? Not at this upscale shopping complex in Tokyo’s trendy Daikanyama neighborhood, where the main attraction is Tsutaya, a gorgeous, sprawling media store that stocks movies, magazines, and yes, old-fashioned books. In spite of its contents, though, the building’s design—a tessellation of concrete ‘T’s courtesy of Klein Dytham architecture—is utterly modern. Pick up some reading material and head upstairs to Anjin, a cool café that mixes the old and the new to a tee. The wooden floor is chicly distressed and there are back issues of magazines strewn about, but the menus are on iPads. Daikanyama is for much more than lounging and learning, though. You’ll also find an electric bike store, a gallery, a pet store, and even a hospital.
Meguro is a lovely Tokyo neighborhood that gets its name not from the dozen-plus embassies that dot its lovely streets, but from the river that runs through it. If the consulates and residences have an air of exclusivity, all can enjoy the scenic walk along the water. Yu Hayami walks with her kids and the family dog, Jill. “It gets very crowded during Cherry Blossom viewing season (March through April), but only locals know that May is actually the best time for a visit!” she says. There are many small shops along the river, so you can get some goodies along with your exercise.