I'm here with the whole team, the girls: Leah & Hannah and my editor Leta, in Tokyo & of course not a minute to spare! Starting with an early morning breakfast make-it-yourself granola and coffee with a special Japanese froth design (Hannah got a teddy bear) at our Hotel Claska.
TIP #1: Japanese are not big on breakfast. We later found out that Claska offer the best breakfast in town. If you are caught out, grab a perfectly replicated french croissant and a green tea from no name bakeries spotted around town (with a discerning eye).
Off to navigate the metro system and meet with the publishers who are translating Etcetera into Japanese. Although the Japanese consider my books 'kuerr' (this is 'cool' in engrish) in English, we can't wait to see it full of characters this October 2012.
We decided to get all real work out of the way in one day and head to Big Sight Tokyo, for the Lifestyle Trade Show. The highlights were in the 'Made in Japan' section, although Campland continued the theme I found in Milan. Things we loved: beautiful towels (one side cotton, other side terry-towelling & so soft), super cool utilitarian dustpans & brooms, numbered stamps, beaten metal containers, porcelain sticks & leaves and so much more (all information safe & sound on business cards). TIP #2: Take business cards. Even if you don't normally have business cards, it is as if it is part of the Japanese custom. It happens when you are talking business or making friends. The two-handed pass of the card and bow of the head makes the experience particularly genuine.
Despite not physically feeling like we could walk any further, the promise of a donut store just-up-the-road from Claska saw us shuffle on. Along the way we distracted ourselves by looking in the many vintage/homewares/furniture stores. You could dedicate an entire day to between Meguro Station, along Meguro-dori and the tiny streets in every direction (much like shattered glass) that lead to Gakugeidaigaku Station. We got our sugar rush on donuts & ice cream. Look up at the numbered staircase on the LHS of the cafe. TIP#3: Don't forget your supportive shoes. Even if you think your birkenstocks don't go with all your outfits - put them in anyway. The time will come when the birkenstocks take precedence over that 'kuerr' outfit you just bought.
Back to the Claska to freshen up for our evening adventures. Stay tuned.