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The mini guide to Japan


Global Blue’s guide ensures you make the most of your trip to Japan with a look at the country’s must-visit destinations, from bespoke stationers to fashionable cake shops

Isabella Redmond Styles
Isabella Redmond Styles,

Lola’s Cupcakes
Much-loved London bakery Lola’s Cupcakes has brought its sweet treats to Tokyo. The café and store offers Lola’s best-selling cupcake flavours, including Red Velvet, alongside four new varieties created especially for the Japan outpost. These include the tempting Tokyo Vanilla, with natural vanilla bean paste mixed through the buttercream icing, and the Matcha Rocky Road, which has the brightly hued Japanese tea blended into the sponge, icing and topping.

Lola’s Cupcakes, Cascade Harajuku, 1- 10-37 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001, +81 (0)3 6447 1127

Kakimori
In a world that’s increasingly reliant on digital communication, Tokyo stationer Kakimori is dedicated to preserving the dying art of putting pen to paper. As well as the beautiful fountain pens and pencils, Kakimori’s customised notebooks are a joy to buy. Visitors simply choose their preferred cover, paper and ring fasteners and their notebook of choice is ready to collect in less than 15 minutes. For an added individual touch, custom-blended colours for your fountain pen are available at Kakimori’s adjoining Ink Stand store.

Kakimori, 4-20-12 Kuramae, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0051, +81 (0)3 3864 3898

Jardins des Fleurs
Azuma Makoto, one of Tokyo’s most famous florists, originally wanted to be a musician and discovered his interest in and talent for floristry only after taking a part-time job selling flowers on a market stall. Jardin des Fleurs, his Aoyama store, is no ordinary flower shop; instead it specialises in ‘haute couture’ bouquets, with each arrangement tailor-made to the highest of standards.

Jardins des Fleurs, 4-15-43 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062, +81 (0)3 5414 5824

Bugatti
Italian sports car maker Bugatti’s new Tokyo outpost combines a showroom and lifestyle boutique in one. Located in upmarket Aoyama, the space showcases Bugatti’s new showroom design, featuring materials such as aluminium, glass and carbon fibre. As with its legendary cars, Bugatti’s ready-to-wear menswear is characterised by its use of top-quality materials and innovative detailing. The brand also produces a range of women’s accessories and bags, taking inspiration from its cars’ classic horseshoe-grill design.

Bugatti, 6-4-13 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062, +81 (0)3 6427-5393

Shake Shack
Begun in New York, Shake Shack is an American dining staple thanks to its irresistible burgers and milkshakes. Now Tokyo food lovers can find out what the fuss is about as the company has opened its first Japanese shack in Meiji Jingu Gaien park. Like the Madison Square Park original, the shack has plenty of outdoor patio space where guests can enjoy Shake Shack’s signature burgers alongside Tokyo-only menu items, such as the Walk in the Park ice cream featuring vanilla custard, yuzu-miso caramel and matcha macaroons.

Shake Shack, 2-1-15 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0061, +81 (0)3 6455 5409

Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle is set in picturesque parkland known for its many flowering cherry trees and serene waterways. As for the castle itself, this historical site offers an important insight into Osaka’s heritage and culture. Built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the late 16th century, the castle has been enlarged and restored several times since then. Visit the castle museum to browse the well-chosen exhibits, which provide a glimpse into Japanese life in the 1600s, before heading up to the viewing gallery on the eighth floor.

Osaka Castle, 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo-ku, Osaka 540-0002, +81 (0)6 6941 3044

Mizuno
Okonomiyaki, best described as a griddled savoury pancake typically filled with a choice of meat, seafood, cheese or vegetables, is quite possibly Osaka’s most famous dish. Mizuno is one of the city’s most renowned okonomiyaki venues. The family-run restaurant has been in business for 70 years, and diners flock here for the signature roast pork and seafood okonomiyaki, which is prepared right in front of you.

Mizuno, 1-4-15 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0071, +81 (0)6 6212 6360

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