JAPAN WINTER TRIP: PART ONE - OMOTESANDO, HARAJUKU, BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE, SHAKE SHACK

What a wonderful holiday that I just came back from! If you guys followed my Instagram and watched my Instagram Stories, you should know that I just came back from my winter trip in Japan (damnit has it been week two weeks since I am writing this post) with my friends and it was such a memorable one that I am super excited about writing this travel series for you! Normally I would go with travel guides and individual restaurants review, well that too, but I am feeling the 'story telling' kind of post this time. The first part of the Japan blog posts will be about my first day in Tokyo, that day we explored mainly Harajuku and Omotesando area.

The neighborhoods in Tokyo are each different in a beautiful way, and among them, Omotesando and Harajuku have always been two of my personal favorites for the charm they have, and this dreamy blend of fancy, humble, friendly and fun too! You know what, now that I think of it, I will definitely write the Japan travel guide soon, with the emphasize around Tokyo.

Read the HOKKAIDO TRAVEL GUIDE -> HERE

Even though Tokyo was really cold on the time of our visit (with the average of 8-10 degree celcius on the day & 1-3 at night) but gotta admit we were super lucky to be blessed with the clear, cloudless blue sky most of the time, I mean I love Japan for everytime I am here, I feel like the quality of my life rises, suddenly the air is clearer, the food is better, the people are nicer and all that positive vibes kinda unite to harvest this joy in you. I was genuinely happy the entire time, like so happy!

Since we stayed at this AIRBNB at Higashi-Shinjuku (which I am going to talk about more later), Harajuku station was just three stations away (with the Fukutoshin line) and with the Japanese "always on-time" ethic, in just 10 minutes we're already in Harajuku!
Missing this blue sky and the cold weather as I am typing this post!
It takes a short walking distance to reach Omotesando from Harajuku, but I bet you'll barely feel the tireness of walking (especially at times where the weather's perfect) as the neighborhood is filled with so many gorgeous shops along the way from streetwears, thrift shops, high end brands and cafes! To be completely frank with you I didn't have any plan to shop in Tokyo but eventually kinda overspent there (damnit!), do you want me to do my shopping haul? Let me know!

Before I start receiving more and more questions about the cameras that I am using, let's just put the question aside as I have answered that so many times, but if you're a loyal follower of my Instagram you'll know. There are also phone shots here that I further edited myself.

PINK IS HEART STATION!
I teased you guys about the Instagenic stairs that a lot of people are taking their OOTDs at and this store is the answer: OPENING CEREMONY in Harajuku! I just learned right after uploading the picture to my Instagram that you guys told me that people are not allowed to take pictures around the colorful stairs area, well maybe I was lucky that I managed to get a shot using my phone uninterrupted.
Not sure what happened but there was a long queue in front of the Samsung store Harajuku.
Don't mean to be shady but I seriously don't understand the long ass Luke's Lobster queue.
One of the best things about travelling with friends is having your pictures taken! Sorry not sorry for a lot of profile pictures here but I love me with coat on. 

I guess we were so lucky that a random stroll around the neighborhood would lead us to finding this one Ume tree (plum flower) which happened to blossom that time and looks so much like Sakura! You know what they say... hashtag blessed!
THE AIRSTREAM GARDEN
It was around 11 AM when we started our coffee hunting and some of my friends actually recommended me this coffee shop called The Airstream which has gained quite a reputation for the Instagenic look, sadly the whole shop was booked for a private event that day so we couldn't hangout here and took snaps, but anyway I still grabbed the coffee and was pleasant with the balance of the Iced Latte (500 yen): rich, creamy, with this fresh aftertaste.
This was an accidental finding on our way to Mameya coffee right after The Airstream Garden and just in time when I miss Urth Caffe's Organic Green Tea Boba! Since I had this to go the queue was not long, but if you're planning to dine in, spare 2 hours of your life that day, they're almost always full house! Anyway quick tip if you're a virgin to Urth, instead of the Iced, go with the blended version of this one, it's much much better. I hope you freaking experience one of the best green tea boba ever!!! That boba was beautifully firm, chewy, sweet and addicting!!!

Urth Caffe's Organic Iced Green Tea Boba - 680 yen
Wanted to catch some dessert at Dominique Ansel but the long ass queue just killed my mood.
Maybe because it's still the high season time that most of the places that I want to visit has long queues and I am not the most patient person (except queueing for the arenas at Disneysea). Initially wanted to have lunch at Red Rock but we would have to wait 1,5 hours -.-, already so very hungry that time so no way to queueing, randomly strolled the neighborhood again and accidentally found this Salad Stop store, like probably the only store that's full house but without further queue, so yeah, Salad Stop for lunch!!! Not exactly the most Japanese but really anything to fill me up that time.
The Salad Stop in Tokyo is a tad more expensive than the one in Jakarta (like $2-3 difference) BUTTTT the portion is 1,5 times larger! Had their awesome Yeobo Yeobo (1270 yen), their savory quinoa bowl with extra veges and soba. SO GOOD!
BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE
Continuing the coffee hunting journey, since I was fully aware that we're around the Omotesando area , in no way I would skip having the glorious Blue Bottle coffee! Been dreaming about it for so long and about to have my craving fulfilled!
Iced Latte (500 yen), Hot Chocolate (600 yen)
Yup, still the best Iced Latte that I've tasted in Tokyo, just awesome awesome balance, creamy with this incredibly smooth aftertaste, as for the Hot Chocolate, it was okay, nothing out of the world good.
Now this is a bit shitty, but most of the time I buy coffee from Blue Bottle but the coffee shop next to it, Shozo for my photo background HAHAHA! I'm so sorry Shozo but not the biggest fan of your coffee (and at least I admit that I'm shitty LOL).
While taking pictures, this Shiba Inu, its macho owner and the big motorcycle came and literally stole everyone's attention, including passers! Let me tell you just how amazed I am with the pets I found in Tokyo, they look like they're well care taken, well fed and fluffy, oh even the birds I found on the streets were chunky and fat! Good to know they're happy here hahahaha!
There are a lot of good eats in Shinjuku and Shibuya, but everytime I happen to be in Omotesando/Harajuku, I always find myself a little bit confused on finding what to eat there, not that there's any good places to eat, but it's either always Luke's, Gyoza Lou, Bills, and all that famous chains, if you want to find that great local dining place/hidden gem, to be frank with you, not so many options here, but since I travelled with friends who freaking love burger, I remember Shake Shack was in Meiji Jingu-Omotesando so we walked from Blue Bottle to here, around 15 minutes enjoyable walk with occasionally face swept by the cold winter breeze.
Damnit I really do miss this blue sky!!!
Another OOTD shot! Just have to!
Finally arriving at Shake Shack!!! Going to do a single blog post review about Shake Shack so stay tuned for that, anyway I knew exactly what I wanted to have here, been craving for their Shake Stack burger!!!
They will give you the buzzing beepers to collect your order when they're ready.
Oh! We found this Suntory Premium Morning Tea which has been a hot topic and actually A TON of you asked me to do a review on this one so I did, check out my Instagram for the review, short to say, not my cup of tea.
VOILAAAA here's their famous Shake Stack burger, just sex in the mouth, more to the pricey side at 1300 yen but really every bite was pure joy, and just as good as the one that I tried in Dubai, particularly the bursting cheesy Portobello mushroom!
Night stroll at Shinjuku before walking back to the AIRBNB and we accidentally found this gorgeous light illumination near Shinjuku station, really had no idea about it nor looking for one, another hashtag blessed moment MWAHAHAHA!
Well that concludes the first post of my Japan winter trip series, more to come, the next one would be my experience celebrating the sweet Valentine's Day at Tokyo Disneysea! Teasers!!!
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