John Wears: P-HONNYER Pants, JFOLLYER Blazer, J-QUEST Bomber Jacket by DIESEL – Pike Derby Shoes by Dune London x Kit Neale – Sinatra Trilby by Laird London, Sawer Bumbag by Eastpak

Jenna Wears: D-JOSEF-P Jacket, Trainers and Leather Backpack by DIESEL

Now you may already know my obsession with Tokyo from the last 2 years of trips to Japan, but this time we landed, it was very different. The sudden culture shock you experience when you first visit a place you’ve never been before. Where everything… no matter big or small looks amazing. Where every morsel of food you sample tastes like heaven, even though it’s a small dingy diner in a side street that doesn’t even have air conditioning on a hot summer’s day. Well, all of that is pretty much the same even in year three… for me anyway.

What’s different now is that feeling of ‘a home away from home’ that you gradually inherit the more you visit. And I know you’ll probably say, ‘you can say that about any place, the more you visit’. But no… I don’t agree. If you’re a foreigner, you’ll always be seen as the foreigner, especially if you don’t perhaps look like them. Tokyo has a way of making you feel like you’re part of its community each and every time you visit. Being a foreigner, you’re never made to feel small or even unusually big for that matter. True, it’s a humble city, as are most of the cities in Japan where you’re always sure to find cheerful, warm and helpful people everywhere you turn. But it’s the overarching respect for everyone… for life that really makes the difference. They don’t change traditions to suit travellers, instead, the Japanese have a way of treating everyone as if they’re locals. As an interracial couple; Me and the Mrs never get stared at on the train or on the street walking in Tokyo (whilst in London being so multi-cultural, we’re almost 100% sure to get a few dirty looks every time we’re out and about). You can dress the way you want and there’s no judgement from anyone as Tokyo is a city where  some of the most shocking subcultures co-habituate. And… and this is a big and… you probably could survive here without learning Japanese. A good chunk of things (train stations, buses, restaurants, convenience stores.etc)

incorporate english, making it super easy to navigate. Although it doesn’t hurt to learn a few phrases or two. The usual Arigatou (thank you), Sumimasen (Excuse Me), Ohayou Gozaimasu (Good Morning), goes a long way. After all, the Japanese culture is built around respect.

Now on to what you can do. There’s lot’s to see and experience in Tokyo. My favourite thing… eating! Think about all the Japanese food you’ve eaten in your life, and now throw those experiences out the window. There really is no comparison to food in Japan. And being the country with the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, there is no shortage of great dining options. Depending on what area you’re in, you’ll be able to sample a range of different traditional dishes. If you’re strolling around Asakusa, why not try a meal at home-owned Sometaro serving the most deliciously made Okonomiyaki and Yakisoba options?. This place has a great ambience too, especially on a summer day. And afterwards wash it down with a range of matcha treats from coffee, soft cream and Japanese sweets at SaWaWa around the corner at Senso-ji Temple.

If you’re into nerd culture as much as i do, there’s also a few cool cheap places to hit up in the Akihabara (electric town) area, that’s jam packed with arcades, maid cafes and stores selling everything from toys, manga and movie merchandise. It’s truly a big kids playground! Near the main station you’ll be able to sample some cheese cake from Pablo and also Taiyaki (Japanese pancake filled with cream, custard or red bean paste) – and it’s probably the only place you’ll get one shaped like a Magikarp. And take a wander down some of the backstreets as there are a fair few counter service Ramen shops like Kyushu Jangara that serve super spicy ramen with grilled pork for about 1000 yen a pop. It’s a must, especially when you can easily spend a weeks wages in a day if you’re not careful. Those claw machines are mad addictive!

There’s lots to be excited about travelling to Tokyo, from their beautiful landscaped gardens and parks to the more eclectic parts of town like Harajuku and Odaiba. There’s something for everyone here. The blend of modern and traditional is simply harmonious and i’d challenge anyone to visit and try not to feel like they want to go straight back afterwards. Trust me, you won’t be able to fight it. I can’t that’s for sure… Every time I visit Japan, I feel like i’m gradually becoming ‘a part of the ship, part of the crew’ (yes… that’s a Pirates of the Caribbean reference). And I don’t think that will ever wear off. – John


Written  by John Jarrett @_johnjarrett
Shot  by John Jarrett & Jenna Jarrett @sleepingtilnoon

Special Thanks to BAPE EYEWEAR


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