When in London – Do’s and Don’ts

When in London – Do’s and Don’ts

Hey Everyone!

Today’s post is a bit different and the reason for that is because I have encountered so many aggravating practices and I just have to talk about them. So this is a post for all my fellow Londoners and people who are planning to visit the city and hopefully it will make everyone’s life easier.

First of all, these are not just “in my opinion cases” but they are also not strict rules.

Walking around

London is a beautiful city to just walk around in. The architecture is great, you can take lots of pictures and it is best to explore it while the sun is shining. But London is a huge city, and with that comes the enormous population which is constantly growing. Also, we as Londoners are always in a hurry, but who isn’t nowadays? And I can tell definitely there is nothing worse than encountering a group of people (tourists or not tourists) who just wander around in zig-zags and you basically have to plan everything strategically in order to somehow get ahead of them. So my advice is, please pay attention to your surroundings.

Public Transport

Let us start with the escalators. I think the rule on how to take the escalators is pretty much the same as in any other city. Stand on the right side or walk on the left side oh and do not block the left side of the escalator especially during the rush hour.

When taking the tube or a bus, please take off your backpack and hold it in your hand. Most of the people do it but sometimes there’s always that one person who thinks they will be rebellious or something and you know what, when there’s space to do it, be my guest. But if the space is getting more crowded, just take it off.

Bumping into someone

Just say sorry, that’s all it takes.

Queuing

When you see a queue forming, do not jump ahead. It is very rude and annoying. Get in line.

Covent Garden and  Leicester Square

This is a classic but still, taking the tube between Covent Garden and Leicester square is like ordering a taxi and telling the driver to take you down the street for 300 metres, literally.

Carrying your personal items

I’d suggest avoiding having anything in your back pocket cause there are pickpockets throughout the city, especially at popular places.

 

I know this might sound like a post against tourists but it is not. I love seeing how everyone tries to get the best shot of themselves while standing on the pavement on Regent Street, I like it when people are amused by the architecture, and it is very good to know that London is a destination where people want to come, so everyone is welcome here, just a bit more attention is required and everything will be easier.

See you next week,

Abel.

Exploring Hasselt (Belgium)

Exploring Hasselt (Belgium)

Hey guys!

This weekend I’m visiting my best friend in Hasselt, Belgium. Hasselt is an hour train ride away from Brussels and it is a university town. The University of Hasselt is located here, so there are many students living around. With this in mind, this town is filled with restaurants, coffee shops, and bars everywhere. 





It is a small town so if you are planning to get here, you’ll need a day or two to see everything. But I don’t think this town is about sightseeing. It’s more about chilling and shopping. You can find all the fast-fashion chain stores like Zara, H&M, and Primark here. Also, there are some local boutiques and multi brand stores as well. The variety of restaurants in terms of cusine is also great. Should you have Japanese, Indian, Italian, American? Don’t worry, all of that is possible. Just take it slow. There’s no rush. All the locals are enjoying the time. It’s like an escape from the busy big city days. 

One restaurant I would totally recommend you to try is the Orangerie. It is a very cute restaurant and we definitely hit the jackpot because the daily special was pasta with wild forest mushrooms, and it was very delicious. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I’ll see you soon,

Abel.

Farewell Japan! What’s next?

Farewell Japan! What’s next?

Hey Guys!

The time has come to say goodbye. I’m sad and happy at the same time. This month has been crazy, to be honest. I met some new people from different countries, and I also did an internship at a fashion PR company.

This post is sort of a summary of my experience in Japan. Also, I’ll link all the posts related to Japan down below.

Japan is an interesting and weird country if you are examining it through a European eye. I think it is very important to be open minded if you experience a totally different culture. If you come here for a longer period of time (at least a month), the first week is the hardest. This is the time when you get the culture shock. Don’t worry, it will go away. Try to understand the things that you experience. Research the culture if needed, there are a plenty of blogs and articles out there. I’m not getting into specifics for a reason. After I talked to a couple of the people I met here, I realised that all of us have had different thoughts about something being weird or unusual, so it really depends on you. Some of you might find it weird that there is no talking on the phone while taking the train, or you might find the whole hierarchical system a bit odd. It really comes down to the individual and its beliefs.

If you come here to do an internship, you’ll experience the hierarchical system. This was a tough one. You are expected to do a lot, I myself sometimes stayed at work for more than it was agreed. But there are good aspects as well. You learn how to be precise, how to use your time efficiently, and your work will be appreciated, but not in the beginning. That’s just how it works here.

If you missed the posts about Japan

  1. First day
  2. Edo-Tokyo Museum
  3. The East Gardens of The Imperial Palace
  4. Ichiran Ramen
  5. The Meiji Shrine
  6. Dominique Ansel Bakery
  7. Coco Curry
  8. Shopping in Tokyo
  9. Okonomiyaki
  10. 3D Latte Art Caffe
  11. Franzé & Evans London
  12. Shaved Ice and Fluffy Pancakes
  13. Traveling Tips for Japan

 

And now it’s time to relax and have fun a bit. My first stop is Budapest and the Sziget Festival, or you may know it as The Island of Freedom. I’m going to visit some friends and we are just going to party and have fun.

Hope you are all doing good.

See you on Monday,

The Fashion Eclectic.

Traveling Tips For Japan

Traveling Tips For Japan

Hello everyone!

Today’s post will be very low on pictures because I really want to focus on the tips that I’m giving. Also, I’m going to try to make everything as simple as possible and I will use Tokyo as the starting point. Let’s start.

Airports

When you are flying to Tokyo, you have two options. You either fly to Narita airport which is a bit further from Tokyo, or you fly to Haneda airport, only 30 minutes away from the centre. Getting to Tokyo from the airports it’s super easy with trains and obviously, there are cabs as well, which usually operate at a fixed rate when you travel between the airport and a particular district.

 

Public transport

Now you will find the public transport confusing. Why is that? It is because there are several different companies that have trains. First, there is the Tokyo Metro, then you have the Toei Subway, then the JR trains (these usually travel outside Tokyo as well), and then you have other railway companies which connect Tokyo with other prefectures. I hope you can see what I meant by confusing. Don’t worry, take a deep breath and make sure you have an app downloaded about the public transport here and get the most important thing that’s going to be your friend while you are here, the Pasmo or Suica card. It doesn’t matter which one you’ll get, but you need one. This card is amazing! You just top it up and you are good to go. By the way, you can also pay with it at vending machines and stores too.IMG_7268

The language barrier

This might shock you but the official language of Japan is……Japanese. I would suggest that you start learning some basic terminologies and sentences because most of the people still don’t speak English. Even if they do understand what you are saying, they will probably reply in Japanese.

 

Eating out

Tokyo is filled with restaurants. There are tiny restaurants, international restaurants, restaurants that specialise in a particular type of dish like okonomiyaki etc. One thing to remember, if you see a queue forming at a tiny restaurant, that’s the indicator of good food but usually, those restaurants won’t have an English menu, so get ready.

 

Nightlife

Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Roppongi, these are the areas where most of the nightlife is. I actually live in Shibuya and I have 5 different bars just around the corner. What I see is that beer and craft beer places are a thing, which is good news if you like beer. For those of you who don’t, there is a plenty of cocktail bars and clubs as well. A word of caution, be careful in Roppongi and Kabukicho. There are some bars that are directly aimed at tourists and they don’t want anything more than you r money. These places will have someone outside trying to be really friendly with you. They will invite you in and if you don’t see any prices on the menu or anywhere, it is better to walk away before you get yourself into trouble. Yes, Japan is a super safe country but that doesn’t mean that there are no bad people here.

 

Currency

Although at most places you can pay by card, I think Japan is still a cash country, so make sure you have some Japanese Yen with you all the time.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do not talk on your phone while traveling on the train

Do not talk very loudly when using public transport

Do not eat and walk at the same time unless it’s ice cream

Do carry a small plastic bag with you, because there will be times when there won’t be any trash can

Do line up while waiting for the train

Do not tip, tipping is not common

Do try to speak Japanese, it’s fun

Do not smoke while you are walking, smoking is only allowed at designated areas

Do remember that you are in a completely different country and try to be open about it

 

When is the best time to visit Japan

I think Spring would be the greatest just because of the cherry blossoms, but Autumn is nice as well. The big no no is summer. I know, I made that mistake now but never again.

I hope this post clarifies some things about Japan. If you have more questions, do comment and I will answer them.

See you on Saturday,

The Fashion Eclectic.

 

 

Shaved Ice and Fluffy Pancakes in Tokyo

Shaved Ice and Fluffy Pancakes in Tokyo

Hey guys!

Are you ready to kickstart the week? My last week in Japan has officially begun and probably this post is the last one about food in Japan, so let’s end this chain of place recommendations with some sweet stuff.

ice 1

Last Saturday, we went to Moké’s Bread & Breakfast. A little background story before I continue. We were actually going to Hatanodai, a station in Shinagawa, to have shaved ice. We agreed to meet at the station with my friends. Of course, the station was very confusing and I didn’t have service and the wifi wasn’t working, so we were wandering around the station a bit. After we found each other, we immediately went to the place which was closed because of unexpected events. We didn’t really know what to do, so one of my friends, Yui, started to search for places that offered shaved ice. Moké’s Bread & Breakfast had very good reviews and it was closer to the centre, so that’s how we ended up at Moké’s, and we have no regrets actually that we ended up there.

Moké’s Bread & Breakfast is literally a 3-minute walk from Naka-Meguro station. The restaurant is right on the main avenue so there is no need to go around small streets having your maps open on your phone. This is not going to be a surprise either, we had to queue. I think this is one of my top tips when you come to Japan, accept that you have to queue a lot.

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ice 2

The interior of the restaurant is super minimalistic with pastel blue and white walls. They do offer a good selection of both sweet and savory dishes, but we were only interested in the sweets. By the way, sorry but I forgot to take a picture of the menu.

 

ice 4

First, we got this watermelon slushie, which had a very weird taste. It was like a big glass of sour watermelon candy and not the good type. Also, the chocolate chips didn’t make any sense. I don’t even have to say that after this we started to be a bit skeptical about the other dishes we ordered.

 

ice 5

After the disappointing watermelon thingy, we got the black sesame banana milkshake. This was actually very delicious.

 

ice 6

And finally, the fluffy strawberry pancakes with milk cream and the macadamia nut shaved ice arrived. Both tasted like heaven however we agreed that our absolute favourite was the shaved ice. After I told my colleagues about the place, they said that it is a very popular place because the shaved ice they serve is completely different compared to the traditional one. Apparently, the traditional one is just ice and syrup. I’m going to stick with the Moké’s one.

See you on Wednesday,

The Fashion Eclectic.

Franzè & Evans London in Tokyo

Franzè & Evans London in Tokyo

Hello everyone!

This is my last weekend in Tokyo and I just can’t believe I spent almost a month here. To me it, feels like it has been one week. Anyways, the place recommendation continues. This week, I started to miss the foods that I am used to. Don’t get me wrong, I am still filling my stomach with extensive amounts of gyoza, ramen, and curry but I just wanted to get something different. Luckily, I found out that there is a Franzè & Evans in Tokyo.

frz 6

For those of you who are not familiar with Franzè & Evans, it is a really cool restaurant in London. You can find the restaurant in Shoreditch (the London one) and you can get brunch, lunch, coffee and all that. Actually, they even have a catering service in London.

frz 2

The one in Tokyo is next to Omotesando actually. Remember I told you to explore the surrounding streets of that area?

 

frz 1

In terms of food and design, it is identical to the London one which I really liked. Probably it is a hype place here because we had to queue a bit, and obviously, I got the huge veggie arancini, which is filled with grilled vegetables and cheese, and then I had the red velvet cupcake.

frz 3

I don’t know if it was because I actually missed the European cuisine, but both of my food selections were so good and delicious. Of course, I had no doubt about it. Anyways, if you are around the Omotesando area, it is definitely an option to go there if you want something non-Japanese.

Hope you are having a fun weekend. Next week expect the final posts about Japan with some place recommendations and I think I’m going to write a post about some traveling tips.

See you on Monday,

The Fashion Eclectic.

3D Latte Art Caffe in Harajuku – Tokyo

3D Latte Art Caffe in Harajuku – Tokyo

Hello everyone!

Hope everything is alright and you are having a great week. Today I am sharing a post with you about a tiny but very cool place we found in Harajuku during the weekend. The place is called Reissue and it is located just a few steps away from Takeshita street.

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latte 7

Get your maps and phone ready, because you might not find the entrance. The shop is not advertised with huge signs. When you find the entrance, go upstairs and you arrived.

 

latte 3

Latte 4

The coffee shop itself has a very retro design and it feels more European. Also, it is not a very big place, but when we went there, there were still some tables available.

Before I dive into the coffee itself, let me share the good news with you. They did have an English menu! Okay, so basically you can order any type of hot coffee or hot chocolate with 2D or 3D prints. You don’t get a list of the existing designs, you should check out their Instagram for inspiration. But we had to go with Totoro (hope most of you know who Totoro is).

 

latte 5

The making of the 3D coffee takes some time so be patient or you can have something to eat. To be honest, we went there after lunch so we didn’t look at the food menu but some of the other guests were having katsu curry. When we got it, we took some pictures and Totoro was gone forever. By the way, the coffee tastes great as well so it’s not just about the visuals.

The coffee shop has got some to go souvenirs if you want to buy something for friends and family. You can buy their coffee for the coffee lover friend of yours or some kawaii stuff.

Hope you put this place on your bucket list.

See you on Saturday,

The Fashion Eclectic.