Palette Places: Tokyo, II

Aoyama and Gaienmae…


Where you’ll find the best dressed and an everlasting day of shops, amazing food, coffee… and more coffee. Like Daikanyama and Naka-Meguro, we visited these neighborhoods more than once because we really enjoyed going through them. It wasn’t even about the shopping, which is what these neighborhoods impressively possess, it was just observing the life and surroundings of Tokyo that I loved. Walking through Aoyama in particular was like going through a museum of architectural jewels.


With the exception of some noteworthy buildings, I didn’t go to a place if New York already had one. This is what we saw, what we thought was special to Gaienmae and Aoyama:



GAIENMAE, also referred to as OMOTESANDO, to start with coffee, brunch or end the day with drinks, dinner.


  1. Omotesando Koffee, the most beautiful coffee shop. One of the best spots we visited in Tokyo. Small, simple and hidden within a traditional Japanese house.
  2. Winged Wheel, stationery.
  3. Lotus Café, where we sat next to a poodle eating lunch at a table. ‘So tired’ coasters, cozy booths, magazines and a healthy menu of daily specials.
  4. Bread, Espresso & Bakery, breakfast.
  5. Maisen, a tradition.
  6. Ma by So Shi Te, kawaii.
  7. Le Baron, nightcap.
  8. Galali, chic izakaya for dinner.


AOYAMA, afternoon.


  1. Nezu Museum, a highlight.
  2. Down The Stairs Café, a precious little spot where everything is just perfect. Fresh flower arrangements, open kitchen and french market baskets to hold your purse while you eat lunch served on Astier de Villatte plates.
  3. The POOL, not to be missed. Amazing new concept store housed in a former 1970’s pool complex.
  4. Hakusan, porcelain.
  5. Café Kitsune, coffee stop.
  6. Nicolai Bergmann, coffee stop, with lunch or flowers.
  7. Higashiya, manju, the tiniest watermelon you'll ever have.
  8. Utrecht/Now Idea Books, not easy to find, but worth the effort for a selection of the hard to find Mono.kultur zine. I took home #33, Kim Gordon.
  9. Rathole, more books.
  10. Comme des GarçonsDries Van Noten.
  11. Designer brands with beautiful buildings: Prada by Herzog & de Meuron, Louis Vuitton by Jun Aoki, Dior by SANAA.
  12. Super A Market, more designers topped with a café.
  13. 246 Commons, cute outdoor food market that made me feel like I was back home in Brooklyn.
  14. Found Muji, housewares.
  15. Pierre Hermé, just because.


From Aoyama, it’s just a short walk to Harajuku, coming up next...