This past weekend Koen was away in Rotterdam for a boys’ weekend, so I invited Hannah to come to Antwerp for a girls’ weekend! We planned for a delicious Japanese dinner at Osaka (edit – Osaka has since closed its doors after 20 years), followed by drinks at Dogma. The next morning we had a delicious breakfast at Lints, coffee at Caffènation, and then a walk in the Botanical Gardens to see the cacti! A great weekend!
Koen and I were invited to the Animalia Amsterdam photo exhibition opening in Amsterdam. For over a year, Isabella Rozendaal photographed the pets of Amsterdam and they’re now on display in the Amsterdam City Archives from July 14th to September 3rd. Isabella is the sister-in-law of my best friend Christina and I’ve loved all the photos she’s posted on Facebook and Instagram, so Koen and I were excited to see the prints in person! We also bought her book!
One of my favorite dishes while in Japan was tonkotsu ramen. “Tonkotsu” means “pork bones” in Japanese. The dish is aptly named, because the broth is made by boiling pork bones for almost an entire day. When Koen decided to make the dish, it took an entire weekend to prepare!
When I found out our friend Rafaël had an exhibition in Rotterdam at Het Nieuwe Instituut, Koen and I planned a trip to see Chris and Hannah so we could all go together. Definitely worth visiting if you’re planning a trip to Rotterdam in the next months – we had so much fun!
Ever since we’ve been back from Japan, we can’t help but crave the Japanese kitchen. One night we had friends over for soba dipping noodles and tempura veggies and started discussing the best Japanese restaurants in Antwerp. When Izumi came up, there was disbelief that we hadn’t been there already. So we set a date!
Sipping sencha at the Park Hyatt in The Peak Lounge
One big recommendation from friends of ours was a visit to the Park Hyatt in Shinjuku for breakfast or tea. The restaurants are located high up and offer a beautiful view of Tokyo. We were too late for breakfast, so we enjoyed tea and a sweet chestnut cake in The Peak Lounge, which features a skylit bamboo garden as its centerpiece.
For our second to last day, Koen and I explored Odaiba, an artificial island in southern Tokyo. We had beautiful weather and enjoyed walking along the water. Turns out there was a dance competition while we were there, so we bought some street food and watched the show!
Harajuku is a neighborhood of the Shibuya ward, so of course we wanted to explore more of Shibuya. Shibuya is most famous for the busy intersection at the Shibuya Station – the Shibuya Scramble. All of the lights at the crossing turn red and green at the same time. I think in most top 10 lists for Tokyo you’ll find the Shibuya Crossing. You can also spot it in a lot of TV shows or films that feature Tokyo. Like in Girls (40 second mark):
Daily morning coffee in Harajuku at The Roastery by Nozy Coffee
We were in Japan for 3 weeks, the first week in Tokyo, a week of travel, then the last week again in Tokyo. The first week we stayed in east Tokyo in the neighborhood of Ginza, so we wanted to have a different experience for our last week – Harajuku in west Tokyo!