Harajuku/Omotesando/Aoyama

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I would like to credit Kissa for the itinerary for this day because it all worked out so perfectly, so seamlessly. We saw the best of these three areas in one day. It helps that they're all connected to each other. It's in these places that I witnessed modern Japan - Harajuku, millennial entrepreneurs, and one-man coffee shops.  

HARAJUKU

1. Takeshita Doori: This long road contains everything Harajuku, from cosplay shops, gaming centers, crepes, and cute trinkets and toys. 

2. Marion Crepe: The perfect snack to have while walking down the road. There's also Angel's Crepe right across it. 

3. Kai Tako: You still get the best takoyaki in Osaka but the ones from here will do for now. 

4. Laforet Harajuku: A trendy department store that praises Japanase fashion. 

OMOTESANDO

(otherwise known as the Asian counterpart of Champs Elysées, which in my opinion is less overwhelming and more charming)

1. Gyra Building: Chanel, Bvlgari Café, and the MoMA shop. Need I say more?

2. Omotesando Hills: Designed by Tadao Ando, the structure of the complex is quite interesting and the shop choices high-end.

3. Leave the main avenue and get lost in the side streets. I found gems like Book Marc, a quaint barber shop, and a coffee shop in a retro vehicle. 

4. Maisen: The best tonkatsu. We have this in Manila but the Kurobuta Tonkatsu set I had in Omotesando was a far cry from the one back home. I guess quality can't be imitated.

5. Omotesando Koffee: Everyone's favorite coffee shop. Easy to know why: it's just one man in a small, cube frame that takes the orders, makes the coffee, and gives the change. Even with all that work, the quality of the coffee doesn't suffer. 

6. Dominique Ansel Bakery: I've visited the main branch in New York but I must say, DAB Tokyo is much, more fun. Vahram Muratyan, graphic designer of the book Paris vs. New York, decorated the walls with kitschy portraits and referential subway maps. They even got Tom Dixon lights hanging by the counter. Well, creative food does deserve a creative space. 

AOYOMA

For Commune 246, a cove filled with food carts, coffee shops, a co-working space, and an events stage. It's everything a millennial is from the vegetarian dishes, wooden facades, Ribbon Fries, fusion hotdogs, and twinkling lights. Even the traditional Japanese are starting to love it (see photo above).