Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move. Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love. – William Shakespeare
Do you remember the time when you used to make your bucketlist? How many cities did you write there? How many destinations? How many restaurants and stores completed it? Finally, what will you do when you finally achieve those goals?
I never thought I’d find myself in Tokyo with the opportunity of celebrating the Valentine’s Day here soon and to make the situation even better, it’ll fall on a Friday — what a great way to end the week. So, I’ve decided to create a Valentine’s Day itinerary that’ll surely be filled with excitement, new experiences and love. Here is my Valentine’s Day plan for couples and single individuals alike:
We’ll be visiting two main places today: Asakusa and Harajuku
- Renting A Kimono and Taking Couple’s-picture in Asakusa
- Breakfast in Asakusa’s Nakamise Street
- Lunch in Asakusa’s Kamiya Bar
- Shopping and afternooon snacks in Harajuku
- Dinner at Bills Omotesando
1. RENTING A KIMONO AND PICTURE TAKING
Address : Yubinbango111-0032 Taito-ku, Tokyo Asakusa 1-33-8-One building 6th floor
Contact: (03) 6322 2777
Schedule: March – November 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM / April – Oct 9:30 AM – 06:00 PM / No holidays
Reserve the 9:30 A.M. Kimono Rental services from Kimono Daikichi and head there by 9:15. They offer a standard plan of 2,500 yen and another one that includes not only the kimono and Yukata but hair setting services as well for 3,500 yen. Their plan includes : kimono or yukata obi, obi sash, Nagajuban (at the time of kimono), underwear, socks (at the time of kimono) purse, sandals (geta), hair ornaments (women only), dressing and free studio shooting.
Their free studio shooting let’s you take photos as a couple with the help of a professional photographer. They’d also let you use pictorial props like samurai swords, traditional umbrellas, and lanterns among others. If you’d like your photos taken from your iPhone or personal camera you may also do so.
2. BREAKFAST IN ASAKUSA’S NAKAMISE STREET
Address in English :1 Chome-20 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032
Address in Japanese: 〒111-0032 東京都台東区浅草１丁目２０
After having your hair fixed and kimono worn, head to Nakamise Street and choose your favorite snacks. There’s are an assortment of snacks you can have there from green tea ice creams to doll shaped snacks to the most bought snack named okoshi (a type of Japanese confectionary made from grain mixed with syrup & sugar). You may also get to buy the Asakusa-exclusive coca-cola featuring Japan’s traditional items.
Above all, try to wander around the temples and get your photos taken while you are clad in Japan’s traditional garments. You may even get your luck predicted by drawing an “Omikuji” or try catching the temple incense’ smoke that is believed to make you more intelligent and beautiful.
3. LUNCH IN ASAKUSA’S KAMIYA BAR
Address in English：1-chōme-1-1 Asakusa, Taito City, Tōkyō-to 111-003
Address in Japanese: 111-0032 東京都台東区浅草1-1-1
Schedule: 11:30 AM – 10:00 PM, last entry time is t 9:30 PM
After a tiring morning of wandering around the beautiful streets of Asakusa, end your stay with a visit to the oldest western-style bar in the country called Kamiya Bar which was built in 1880. Outside the bar, you will see a sample of their food line up which is one of the things that really attracts their customers. They have a huge variety of menu from appetizers to desserts which were quite easy on the wallet.
They have a rule of sitting first before ordering, so be sure to find a seat first for yourself or your group before ordering. This is done so that they can make sure that all diners have a seat and they may inform new customers if there are or there aren’t any seat available at the moment.
For appetizers I’d recommend their Motsuni or stewed beef innards, for salad you can have the Caesar salad and for mains I recommend their Kushi-Katsu or Hirokichi steak.
TIP: They have generous servings o you may share your mains with your partner or if you are alone I’d recommend ordering only one main.
Other recommended places for lunch in Asakusa: Masaru: A Foodie’s Tendon Dreamland
4. SHOPPING AND AFTERNOON SNACKS IN HARAJUKU
Address: Tokyo Shibuya-ku Jingumae 1-19-8 Harajuku Family Building 1F
Schedule:10:00-8:00 / Saturdays10:00-8:00 / Sunday & Public holiday 9:00-8:00
After having you sumptuous lunch from Asakusa, it’s time to get on another train and visit the land of Kawaii – Harajuku. From Asakusa station, it’d take you about 43 minutes by train to get to Harajuku Station with a fare of 380-400 yen. Get on the Ginza Line bound for Shibuya in Platform 2 ride it for about 36 minutes then get off in Shibuya Station, Next, transfer to Yamanote Line bound for Shinjuku which is in Platform 1, ride the train for about 2 minutes and get off at Harajuku station. From Harajuku station, cross to Takeshita Street and find yourself in the Land of Kawaii.
I think it’s a great contrast from Asakusa’s traditional vibe and it’ll let you appreciate Japan from a different point of view. Aside from that, Harajuku is a world of it’s own kind. It’s the birth place of Japan’s first conveyor belt dessert cafe where you can experience eating all sorts of desserts you would like for 40 minutes. You may also experience eating Japan’s longest Potato waves, churros and cotton candy which I highly recommend since it’s enough to fill both you and your special someone’s tummy.
If you like shopping you can try visiting Thank You Mart where you can buy items lower than 400 yen or Daiso which is known as the most affordable place to do your souvenir shopping in Japan. It’s my go-to place when hunting for souvenirs to give to my friends and family members. They’ve got all sorts of things in there from snacks, accessories and clothes.
You can also channel your inner make-up guru and do your make-up haul in Stylenanda Harajuku which is known for its affordable cosmetics and clothes from Korea, or grab all the cute accessories you can see from Paris Kids which is known for their diverse designs such as Yakult, popcorns, lollipop-earrings and more.
5. CITY LIGHTS & AFFORDABLE FINE DINING AT BILLS OMTESANDO
Address:Tokyu Plaza, Omotesando Harajuku 7F 4-30-3 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
Schedule: 8:30 AM – 9:00 PM 9
Website: Bills Omotesando Prices and Menu
After spending a fun time in Harajuku it’s time to feel relaxed and back into the real world, not traditional, not full of cuteness but just ordinarily beautiful. 5 minute away from the hustle and bustle of Harajuku is Bills Omotesando, the restaurant is situated on the 7th floor of a multi-story shopping center called Tokyu Plaza and offers an excellent view of the skies and the city as it is surrounded by clear glass walls. You can enjoy watching the city lights while dining.
Their menu offers a great assortment of western food. However the crowd favorite is their Ricotta Pancakes and scrambled eggs. I’d recommend ordering their chicken schnitzel with creamed potato and fennel slaw. Also, I’d advise that you order only one meal per person since their serving sizes is quite generous.