left my heart in tokyo

東京. The land of clear umbrellas, fresh mochi, cheap sashimi, and never ending nights—and the place I called home for five months. I'm now back in LA for the holidays, and I'm already dearly missing the dazzling sights of this bustling city. Here are some captured memories, and other favorites.

Shibuya night lights. Shibuya was the ward I found myself wandering through the most often. Have you ever seen so many people so constantly, from sun up to sun down?

One of the yummiest meals I had in the area: beef katsu at Gyūkatsu Motomura, a famous specialty restaurant. I got lucky and waited only 30 minutes to be seated because I was alone, but others have claimed to have waited well over an hour or two for this one-of-a-kind meal. You're given meat that isn't cooked and have the option of cooking it on your own little burner or eating it plain. I tried both ways, and it actually—I mean, actually—melted in my mouth. Oh. Man.

The photo above was snapped from a cable car window whilst heading up Mount Takao on a mid-November afternoon. Autumn is my favorite season, and I was pleasantly surprised by Tokyo's absolutely gorgeous fall foliage. This might just be my most favorite photo that I've ever taken. Ever.

Now—to dish out some deets, in case you're thinking of visiting the capital of Japan anytime soon!

Favorite LOCATIONS  ::  Omotesandō, Shimokitazawa, Ebisu
Favorite SHOPPING  ::  GU (clothing), DAISO (literally everything), Gindaco (the BEST takoyaki)
Favorite COFFEE  ::  The Local Coffee Stand (Shibuya),  Canvas Tokyo (Hirō), Sidewalk Stand (Nakameguro), Hot Stand PELLS (Shibuya), Shozo Coffee Store (Omotesandō)

Studying abroad was truly a once in a lifetime experience that'll have a very special place in my heart. It still feels so surreal to have been able to live in the mesmerizing city of Tokyo, figuring out how to get by with minimal knowledge of the language and zero knowledge of the daily how-to's. I can't really put into words what this experience means to me in its entirety. Thank you for shaping me, teaching me, and inspiring me. Thank you for the clear skies on my last day.
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