Room With A View (Sometimes): Tokyo

Tokyo view from Midtown

We’ve definitely had more clouds, fog and rain than clear conditions, but when it does lift, the view is spectacular.

nighttime view of Tokyo

The clearest it’s been was last night, when I snapped this one.

We’ve had some amazing meals, and are learning the Tokyo subway system. It’s relatively easy to navigate, and all signs are also in English. There are various passes available; we purchased the 72-hour pass as part of our round-trip shuttle ticket (from and to the airport).

Two more travel outfits:

#ootd sightseeing in Tokyo

Wore this out sightseeing yesterday. It rained all afternoon (wasn’t in the forecast when we set out), and my feet got a little bit wet but dried quickly.

A late afternoon calligraphy lesson was a nice rainy-day activity…


#ootd dinner out in Tokyo

Sorry this one’s a bit fuzzy and the light is bad, but wore this out to dinner Saturday night.

You can see the details of my entire 12-piece travel wardrobe HERE.

A few observations so far:

  • While there are almost no trash receptacles anywhere out on the streets (or they’re so cleverly disguised I didn’t spot them), I have not seen any litter or mess either. All of the public spaces we’ve encountered so far are clean (pristine, at times) and pleasant, including the subways.
  • Women in Tokyo love their pumps! I’ve seen a lot of kitten heels, but also higher heels and the occasional Vara-esque block heel styles. Ballet flats (often with a low wedge) too. Most women in our age group I’ve observed are dressed relatively conservatively and simply, but you’ll also occasionally see a lovely kimono go by.
  • One big trend: culottes and (very) wide-leg cropped pants (sometimes pleated) in very soft, drapey fabrics. Often beige. They’re often worn with a soft, oversized top half-tucked in front. I observed women of all ages wearing these.
  • Coffee is a thing here. Lots of local roasters and coffee bars.

We’re supposed to have a dry day today, so are heading out to see more sights. Hoping to go a little further afield today, and have some recommendations for parks and gardens to visit.

Stay in touch.

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  1. Ciara
    September 25, 2016 / 3:34 am

    Oh, you’re having a wonderful time! Thank you for sharing your observations about Tokyo. Love your wardrobe picks, you look lovely. Are you a southpaw?

  2. Meg
    September 25, 2016 / 3:56 am

    Thanks for the observations on local fashion! Always interesting to hear. Will you be doing any shopping, actual or window- style? I would love to see some of the store displays and how they put the clothes together on mannequins!

  3. September 25, 2016 / 4:14 am

    Excellent travel post from Tokyo (I have never been there). Excellent views. Excellent travel costumes and kit. Thank you for all of it. And keep having a good time. 🙂

  4. Lesley Goldberg
    September 25, 2016 / 4:28 am

    I’m glad to learn you are taking the subway because I saw some amazingly dressed women there. Do whatever you can to get to some gardens. They are really special in Japan. You look terrific!

  5. sybes1
    September 25, 2016 / 5:10 am

    If you get a chance I’d love to photo those wide cropped pants with loose drapey tops. Sounds intriguing. I feel like I’d look frumpy in an outfit like that. You’re looking very stylist and comfortable!! Beautiful, as usual. I would love to see Japan. XO Sally

    • September 26, 2016 / 9:37 am

      I saw a woman shopping recently here (near Chicago), wearing a cropped wide leg jean with an oversized white shirt belted with a wide camel colored belt that matched her flat sandals, and she wore a long necklace with it. Very stylish and comfortable, but I think you have to be on the taller slimmer side to carry it off.

  6. Linda Boardman Kerr
    September 25, 2016 / 5:20 am

    I’ve noticed the wide cropped pants at Uniqlo in Chicago, and bought some in a dark wash denim. I keep the entire outfit dark navy and find it “different” and very comfortable. I feel I’d only wear this trend in dark colors. I’ve gotten complements on it.

    Do you plan on visiting a Japanese drug store or dept. store for Japanese (or Korean) skin care items? Much more affordable and available there, and there are some really good ones I hear.

  7. Sue J.
    September 25, 2016 / 5:33 am

    Thank you for sharing Tokyo with us, Susan! Looks like you’re a lefty…I am, too. That’s another thing we have in common…along with our name, love of all things French (it was my college major), and being “d’un certain age.” I liked your comment about “Vara-esque” shoes. Varas are my favorites. I have several pairs, most purchased on sale or many years ago when they weren’t as expensive as they are now. They’re always in style! I’m looking forward to more of your posts on Tokyo!

  8. Ruth
    September 25, 2016 / 7:08 am

    Oh, my grandmother used to wear rubbers like that (in the last photo) over her real shoes went she went out. So cool.

  9. September 25, 2016 / 7:24 am

    I am enjoying your Tokyo posts so much. Thank you for sharing. Love the outfits!

  10. September 25, 2016 / 10:15 am

    I’m enjoying your trip vicariously and looking forward to more posts! Love the Celine wedges and the pants you wore with them. I didn’t see a link to the pants in your packing post. Safe travels.

  11. September 25, 2016 / 10:41 am

    So interesting! I do think of Japan in general as being very wet and rainy. Not a hot and sunny place. Looks like you’re having fun. I piece together your reports with other things I read to form a mental picture….

  12. Connie
    September 25, 2016 / 11:50 am

    Lovely pics! If you get the chance the Edo Museum(nice cafe there) is wonderful and if the sun is out a boat ride on the Sumida River(from Asakusa to Hamarikyu Garden). Asakusa is also a favorite area of ours to explore. Have a great time! I miss Japan! As a fellow traveler who only packs a carry on I love your blog and ideas.

  13. Shredie
    September 25, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    I am liking that pink handbag.

  14. Ann G
    September 25, 2016 / 1:23 pm

    Thanks for the panoramic pic. It brings back memories of the 10 years that I traveled to Japn for business. I never bought clothes because they didn’t fit my Western body.

    There are no trash cans on the streets because it is considered rude to eat while walking down the street. A friend of mine was eating an ice cream cone while walking down a street and was scolded by an elderly woman. She only spoke Japanese, but we knew exactly what she was saying!

    You MUST eat sushi in Japan. The hole-in-the-wall places are best. Sushi in the States doesn’t come close.

    I could go on and on. I miss Japan. Explore and have fun! Please keep the pics coming.

    • Susan B
      September 25, 2016 / 10:35 pm

      That’s interesting about eating ice cream in the streets, because we’ve passed numerous ice-cream street vendors and many Japanese enjoying a stroll with cone in hand. Perhaps some of those old strictures have loosened?

      We’ve had some amazing sushi and other fish dishes here. Really enjoying the local cuisine!

      • September 26, 2016 / 7:04 am

        They have loosened. I’ve been living here for 24 years. (In fact, September 25th was my “Japanniversary”.) It used to be very rude to walk and eat or drink, but things have really changed now. People walk around eating “soft cream” (soft serve ice cream) at all sightseeing locales. I think Starbucks had a lot to do with changing mores since carrying your latte-to-go became very trendy! However, a Japanese person would never, ever eat in the car.

        I’m so sorry you’ve arrived during the wettest September we’ve had in memory. So many typhoons! Sometimes September is cool, sunny, and glorious, and sometimes it’s, well, this kind of weather!

  15. sharon
    September 25, 2016 / 2:28 pm

    I have been told that public trash cans are actually illegal. In addition to not eating on streets, there are “pens” where one can smoke in public as well. Many Japanese carry plastic bags if there are things they will need to dispose of. In addition to the Edo museum, two other only in Tokyo wonderful ones: The Museum of Innovation and the traditional theater textiles in the National Museum (Ueno Park).

  16. Susan D.
    September 25, 2016 / 6:25 pm

    I know you are having a great trip. You look wonderful in your carefully chosen outfits.

  17. Pearl
    September 25, 2016 / 9:57 pm

    I recommend the Nezu Museum. Beautiful collection and garden.

  18. September 26, 2016 / 5:49 am

    Wonderful photos and word-sketches, Sue, and so interesting to be travellers together, but parallel, in different cities. I’d love to go to Tokyo someday, and so enjoying your perspective.
    And I LOVE those pumps of yours — fabulous! And knowing you, I’m guessing that somehow, they’re magically comfortable as well, or at least reasonable?

  19. September 26, 2016 / 11:33 am

    You look very chic and very comfortable…which is not an easy task to perfect!

  20. April
    September 26, 2016 / 2:59 pm

    Thanks for the post. My husband and I traveled to Tokyo for the first time in July – an amazing culture to observe in the subway and train stations. Enjoy! (I travelled with a more modest summer wardrobe than usual and I was glad – not to ‘fit in’ but to join in the atmosphere.)

  21. September 26, 2016 / 10:15 pm

    I would love to visit Tokyo! How lucky you are! Thanks for sharing! You look lovely in all black with a pop of red! Have a good day!

  22. September 27, 2016 / 9:37 am

    You wrote your name! That looks like a fun lesson.
    Well, when the sun comes out all will be forgiven. And it will come out at some point; I hope you’re there for it. Stunning aerial views.

  23. October 5, 2016 / 1:54 am

    I’m in China, and wide-leg pants are everywhere here, too! They are usually black, worn with a striped t-shirt and white sneakers, or with a blouse and flats. Very chic!

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