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Aoyama Amble

March 28, 2016
Walk This Way… Aoyama
A world away from neighbouring Harajuku with its eye-watering candy-colours and abundance of kawaii cutesy shops, Aoyama is modern Tokyo at its most grown-up and glamorous. From an avenue of label lovelies and little lanes hiding artisan boutiques to stunning museums and scrumptious eateries, this stylish sector has something for everyone. So throw on something chic and get set to explore it all...

Start with a quick healthy brekkie (or, better yet, a cut of one of the daily cakes) at Pure Cafe off Minami Aoyama then get set for a serious credit card workout. On this same little lane are cashmere suit savant Icho, calligraphy gallery Carré Moji, tempting textiles inside Morita and natty Nippon tableware at Madu, plus mod-Med hip hang Cicada for seen-y alfresco sups, if you’ve got a rumble on.

Otherwise, totter over to main vein Aoyama Dori for local lifestyle and homewares showcase Spiral Market (inside the curvy Spiral Building), before continuing along and left into Omotesando, a broad tree-lined avenue that’s home to a slew of international fash flagships including Burberry, Carven, Dior and Louis Vuitton.

But it ain’t all about the big playas, explore the side streets for some of Tokyo’s finest makers. Not to be missed are incense experts Lisn, Shoseikan’s huge cache of exquisite antique pens, and Winged Wheel for customisable contempo prints and pretty stationery.

Peckish? Just a couple of doors down from the last stop is tonkatsu stalwart Maisen dishing up crunchy crumbed pork chops in a former bathhouse. Rub-a-dub grub, indeed!

Now skip back up Omotesando, over Aoyama Dori and past the glassy Prada building for a quick culture fix at the Nezu Museum with ace Asian artifacts inside and a sprawling secret garden out. There’s a decent onsite caff if you’re gasping for a cuppa, or amble back to the Aoyama Flower Market Tea House, a cha-rming vine-strung nook set inside a florist, before pushing those walk-weary pins over to Mars the Salon for a mani-pedi and massage.

Finally finish with a haute dinner at teppanyaki top spot Ukai-tei and a nightcap courtesy of lofty deck-wrapped diva Two Rooms. Aoyam-ahhh.

Pure Cafe / 5-5-21 Minami Aoyama / Minato-ku / +81 3 5466 2611 / 8:30 am-10:00pm daily / pure-cafe.com
Icho / B102 / 5-5-25 Minami Aoyama / Minato-ku / +81 3 5766 5680 / 12:00 pm-8:00 pm Tue-Sun / icho-tyo.jp
Carré Moji / 3F / 5-11-24 Minami Aoyama / Minato-ku / +81 3 5766 7120 / 11:30 am-7:00 pm Mon-Sat / carremoji.jp
Morita / 5-12-2 Minami Aoyama / Minato-ku / +81 3 3407 4466 / 10:00 am-7:00 pm daily
Madu / 5-8-1 Minami Aoyama / Minato-ku / +81 3 3498 2891 / 11:00 am-8:00 pm daily / madu.jp
Cicada / 5-7-28 Minami Aoyama / Minato-ku / lunch & dinner daily / tysons.jp
Spiral Market / 5-6-23 Minami Aoyama / Minato-ku / +81 3 3498 1171 / 11:00 am-8:00 pm daily / spiral.co.jp
Lisn / 2/F / 5-47-13 Jingumae / Shibuya-ku / +81 3 5469 5006 / 10:00 am-7:00 pm Thu-Tue / lisn.co.jp
Shosaikan / 5-13-11 Minami Aoyama / Minato-ku / +81 3 3400 3377 / 12:00 pm-6:00 pm daily / shosaikan.co.jp
Winged Wheel / 4-5-4 Jingumae / Shibuya-ku / +81 3 5785 0719 / winged-wheel.co.jp
Nezu Museum / 6-5-1 Minami-Aoyama / Minato-ku / +81 3 3400 2536 / 10:00 am-5:00 pm Tue-Sun / nezu-muse.or.jp
Aoyama Flower Market Tea House / 5-1-2 Minami-Aoyama / Minato-ku / +81 3 3400 0887 11:00 am-8:00 pm Mon-Sat, till 7pm Sun / afm-teahouse.com
Mars the Salon / 2/F / 6-4-6 Minami-Aoyama / Minato-ku / +81 3 5466 8860 / 11:00 am-10:00 pm Mon-Fri, till 6pm Sat-Sun / mars-salon.com
Ukai-tei / 5/F / 5-10-1 Jingumae / Shibuya-ku / +81 3 5467 5252 / lunch & dinner daily / ukai.co.jp
Two Rooms / 5/F / 3-11-7 Kita Aoyama / Minato-ku / +81 3 3498 0002 / 11:30 am-2:00 am Mon-Sat, till 10:00 pm Sun / tworooms.jp
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