TOKYO & KYOTO WITH MADDY BUDD
NAME: Maddy Budd
WHAT YOU DO: Social Media Magician
STAR SIGN: Scorpio
SOCIALS: @maddybudd on everything!
LIVING: Auckland NZ
When I was in Tokyo I stayed in an area called Koenji with my best pals Tim & Nagi.
Koenji is an awesome area known for its great vintage shopping. The vibe is really chill and it is an easy 2 stops from Shinjuku. I think I’d live there if I moved to Tokyo.
If I didn’t stay with them I probably would’ve liked to have stayed in Nakameguro by the Meguro River ideally during the Cherry Blossoms festival (mid-spring). Nakameguro has all of my favourite places to eat and shop. While most people would say stay in Shinjuku, I prefer a more low key vibe.
I caught the bullet train to Kyoto and spent 4 nights there. There are plenty of cute B&Bs there. Try to stay close to the Kyoto station.
Breakfast Club is great if you are craving a delicious American diner-style breakfast. Pancakes, bacon and eggs, filter coffee & romantic little booths. They turn in to an awesome bar at night too.
The best burger I had was from a place called Golden Brown.
Tatemichiya is a fun punk rock izakaya. An izakaya is a type of informal Japanese pub with all kinds of food. There are a ton of great izakayas everywhere but this one is one of my faves.
Sushi Aoki Ginza Honten is an incredible Michelin star traditional Edo style sushi restaurant. You must experience this at least once while you’re in Japan.
Ichiran is my obsession because… a) novelty factor b) there is minimal human contact for when you are having an introvert moment. And c) delicious. You can find them everywhere.
Basically, it is a ramen restaurant where you get your token on a machine then you sit in a private booth and pass you order through a tiny window with a blind. Then you can enjoy your meal in blissful isolation.
Pizza Slice felt special to me because it is a New York style pizza joint and it reminds me of when I lived there. Their attention to detail is incredible. Everything there is exactly as it would be in NYC.
Lorimer Kyoto is a great place to go and try a trendy Japanese style breakfast. It is actually named after my old subway stop in NYC.
They close just after lunch so start your day here before you go visit all of the beautiful temples.
Giro Giro Hitoshina is a great dinner spot in a quiet area by the stream. They also have a restaurant in Paris. You’ll need to make a booking and it has a set menu that changes monthly that will not disappoint.
Ichikawaya Coffee is a quaint little cafe in a 200-year-old wooden townhouse. They do the most delicious sandwiches and coffee.
Arabica Coffee is in a great spot by the river in Arashiyama, a beautiful area you must visit when in Kyoto. The best coffee I had on my trip.
TOKYO Mori Art Gallery is a must. It has one of the best views of the entire city.
Hamarikyu Gardens is a beautiful urban park with a place on the water you can go to have a peaceful cup of tea.
The most important temples and shrines to hit would be Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Temple), Fushimi Inari Taisha (Red Gates) and Arashiyama which has the Kameyama-kōen walk and the bamboo forest.
Nara is a short train ride from Kyoto and is the cutest little city with adorable tame deer roaming free on the streets, in the parks, everywhere! They will bow to you and you can give them food and a pat.
Nanamica Mountain is one of my favourite stores. They have lots of North Face Purple Label and cute outdoor style stuff.
Pilgrim Surf is my other favourite. They have a store in Williamsburg too which was my favourite places to shop when I was there. It has similar style clothing to Nanamica with a few other great labels like Nu Swim, Womenswear & Apiece Apart. The Margaret Howell near Pilgrim is super cute. It has a little cafe attached. Labour and Wait is an awesome homewares and lifestyle type store. Ragtag is the best for second-hand designer. There are heaps of them. Gyre is a little shopping mall with the Hay Design Store, Visvim, Margiela, Comme Play and there was an Issey pop-up when I was there too. Ginza Six is a big mall type thing with all of the high-end brands. Karen Walker has her store there plus there is a great North Face, Undercover, and sooo many more.
Nonnative, Wacko Maria, Need Supply and Bedwin and the Heartbreakers are all great too. Then there are the standard must-dos like Opening Ceremony, Dover St Market, Comme des Garcons Aoyama and the MUJI Yūrakuchō Store is gigantic and amazing.
I would just say great walking shoes. Your feet will hurt a lot if you’re doing it right. Then the rest depends on the time of year.