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VP Villa’s Japan

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Akihabara, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0006, Japan
Through a maze of off-street spaces and narrow steps, this is where you can find special nerdy places that offer a variety of electronic gadgets, games and anime figures, among many other things. This is where Japanese pop culture lives and...
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In back-to-front Japanese books and especially magazines, the placement of text on the page, and the way it’s connected with visual images, resets the entire graphic structure. This produces a slight disorientation (at least to my Western eyes),...
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4 Chome-6-16 Ginza, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-8212, Japan
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Japanese department stores are well-known for their incredible service: Where else in the world do you have white-gloved attendants greeting shoppers at the entrance and young ladies in uniform announcing each floor’s departments to passengers on...
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Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Shibuya is a center of Japanese fashion, culture, color, noise, and light. Harajuku girls? They're in Shibuya. Manga? Find it in Shibuya. Biggest scramble crossing in the world? Sit at the Starbucks in Shibuya and marvel at the madness below. You...
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Japan, 〒101-0025 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kanda Sakumachō, 1 Chome−1−6−5 アキバ・トリム 3F
Muji reigns supreme in clean Japanese design. Muji sells clothes, home goods, and furniture and has a deliberately simple approach to the way they design their products. The clean and pure design of Muji products has made it a beloved brand both...
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The Mandarin Oriental’s new Gourmet Shop is a gallery for international pastry (babka, yuzu macarons). Better yet: chef René Redzepi of Noma—named the world’s best restaurant (again)—will host a pop-up dinner series in the hotel this January. Read...
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Japan, 東京都新宿区新宿3丁目
I had one free night in Tokyo—only one chance to connect with a Japanese acquaintance from a dive trip on Midway Atoll 10 years earlier. Our mutual friend, Shintaido master Haruyoshi Fugaku Ito, suggested we meet at the Shinjuku rail station and...
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Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

You can spend a lot of money on food in Tokyo. Or you can spend a little. And get food shaped like a fish and filled with delicious sweet bean paste.Andthesmiling woman who'swhipping up those tasty little fish, called taiyaki,might even give your...

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Japan, 〒151-0051 Tokyo, 渋谷区千駄ヶ谷5丁目24−24−2
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Deep-fried oysters, available only in the cold winter months, at Inaba Wako at Shinjuku Takashimaya. Inaba Wako is on the 13th floor of Takashimaya.
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Tokyo, Japan
Japan has the highest number of vending machines per capita. All across Japan you'll find machines selling all sorts of items—coffee in cans (hot or cold), sushi, umbrellas, alcohol, pornography, trinkets, noodles, books, eggs, and so much more....
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Japan, 〒107-6290 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Akasaka, 9丁目7−6 東京ミッドタウン・ガーデン内
Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake created this experimental design museum, and star Japanese architect Tadao Ando constructed the building. The museum always has great installations by artists such as the industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa. —...
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6 Chome-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-0032, Japan
Kapital is a really cool clothing chain known for its denim. They have two shops in Roppongi Hills—Kapital Duffle and Kapital Legs. I always pick up tabi, these handmade split-toe socks. They are split between the big toe and other toes and are...
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Japan, 〒100-0006 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Yūrakuchō, 2 Chome−10−1
Koji, a volunteer for Tokyo Free Guide, knew only that I wanted to experience something in the city related to food. Instead of taking me to the Tsukiji fish market, he led me to a shopping mall in the Ginza neighborhood. We descended into the...
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Japan, 〒104-0045 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Tsukiji, 5 Chome−2−1
The Tsukiji Market is the world's largest seafood market, with more than 2,000 tons of seafood moving through it daily. There are two parts to the operation: the inner market, or jonai, accessible after 10 a.m., and the outer market, or jogai,...
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Praza da Inmaculada, 3, 15704 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
This was the end of The Way for us. We booked a couple nights at old digs in the Hospedería San Martín Pinario, an converted monastery in the heart of Santiago's atmospheric old city. It was an excellent base for exploring the city, and a...
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2 Impasse Lebouis, 75014 Paris, France
This tiny museum of Henri Cartier Bresson is a real gem for photography lovers in general and for Henri Cartier Bresson's fans in particular. The foundation is located in Montparnasse (it's not in a central place) and was founded by Cartier's...
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29-31 Rue Saint-Louis en l'Île, 75004 Paris, France
Cool down on a hot summer's day in Paris with an ice cream from Berthillon on, Paris' most famous ice cream shop. Enjoy it sitting on the banks of the Seine - Berthillon is on Ile Saint-Louis, so you can easily find a place to sit with lovely...
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Place des Vosges, Paris, France
This beautiful square is one the city's oldest; set in Le Marais, it's surrounded by grand houses and an arched walkway lined with galleries and quaint cafés. At Number 6, you'll find the former home of Victor Hugo, author of "The Hunchback of...
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Jardin Tuileries, 75001 Paris, France
Flanked by three Rodin statues, the glass and stone Musee de l'Orangerie is home to paintings by the greatest modernists - Picasso, Monet, Cezanne... There are only two floors in this white-walled museum. The second floor consists of two oval...
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129 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris, France
With the precipitous rise of gourmet street food and market-fresh neo-bistrots, it's not surprising that Boris Leclercq's eponymous steak joint 'Chez Boris' opened near the Champs-Elysées last year with little fanfare. The conceit of this...
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2 Rue Palatine, 75006 Paris, France
The experience of wandering Saint Sulpice at dawn embodies some of what we love most about this history-clad city. The more baroque yin to the 6th arrondissement’s Saint Germain yang, this wedge of Paris is home to the Saint Sulpice church—pushed...
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Japan, 〒103-0023 Tokyo, Chūō, 日本橋本町4-1-3
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Belly up to the bar at Tenmo, the 107-year-old new kid on the block. Chef Shusuke Okuda will tell the story of tempura—introduced by portuguese seafarers in the 16th century—as he batters local specialties, including prawns and persimmon leaves. ...