weeklydelights


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Simons

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During my time in the city, it was hard pressed to find someone not carrying a bag from Simons. After exploring the shop myself, I finally understood why. Simons is like the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory for all things fashion and even if you aren’t an avid shopper like myself you will be converted by the time you finish walking through the store.  One of the key points that I love about Simons is their price range which allows their products to be accessible to people of various age groups and income brackets. It’s great place to shop without breaking the bank.

 

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Harajaku District

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I didn’t know what to expect before my visit to the Harajaku District despite what I had researched beforehand. As you could probably tell, this is a very popular area and its hard to get a decent picture when you have people coming at all directions.There was no doubt in my mind when I visited was that this was definitely the entertainment/fashion district for teens. This was also one of those times where I was glad that I didn’t have much luggage room because there are a lot of cute things that you just want to buy but you might not need.

It is not difficult to find the latest trends, cosplay outfits and bargains in this area but it isn’t just shopping here that makes the district worthwhile because there are also quite a bit of cafes as well as restaurants too. I wished I had the stomach quota to go for more food but after the meal I had at Yoyogi Park, I knew I was done for the next bit.

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Shibuya

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If you like shopping, you will probably have a lot of fun in Shibuya as it is one of the prime shopping districts in Tokyo. As I ventured along the area, I have noticed that while there are some high-end stores in the area there were a lot more mid-range stores for shoppers in comparison to Ginza.

In addition to the shopping, there are tons of bars, restaurants, etc in the area. I wished I had time to return in the evening to soak it all in but as we all know with travelling, you want to do everything but you can’t do everything. There is always next time…..

 

 


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Ginza

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One of the things that I have found unique about Tokyo is how well the old/modern life styles compliment each other. Ginza is definitely a prime example as to how well the old and the new works together. During my visit to the area, I was amazed with the futuristic feel of the area and the selection of stores. Despite its modern atmosphere, it was not difficult to find traditional goods in the area because some of the department stores had kimonos on one floor and the latest fashions on the other (Sadly, photography was prohibited). Aside from kimonos, another notable mention would be this stationary store called Ito-ya which has been around for over 100 years and you can find a variety of washi paper and Japanese calligraphy pens.

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In addition to being known for an upscale shopping district, Ginza also has affordable brands such as Uniqlo available which is one of my favourite stores especially with the quality and the pricing. When I came across the 12 floor flagship store, I couldn’t resist and spent some quality time there. Regardless of whether you are a shopper or not, Ginza is definitely worth a stroll just to observe how the old/new co-exist side by side.

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Shopping in Hong Kong

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Shopping in Hong Kong was an experience of its own because you can have the traditional street market experience to the high-end malls with options that are simply mind-boggling. One of the shopping areas that I visited was Mong Kok where you can buy items from low to mid range and there are a lot of street venders everywhere. It’s a bit like a flea market but only a lot crazier which is only something you can understand by experiencing it.

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The interesting thing about Mong Kok is that there are streets dedicated to selling certain items. There is the Flower Market where you can find just about any types of flowers you want and naturally there are gardening tools available too. I can only describe it as a little heaven for the green thumbs out there.  On the other end there is the Goldfish Market where you will see more aquariums down the entire street.

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Aside from these quirky markets, you can also find traditional bakeries as well that have taken conventional birthday cakes and given it a traditional twist. It might seem a bit bizarre as to why all of these birthday cakes are shaped like a peach but there is a reason behind it. These birthday cakes are made to resemble the longevity peach which has been featured countless times in ancient legends. The general idea is that whoever consumes these peaches will be immortal which is why they have been featured in cake or bun forms during celebratory events such as birthdays because you are wishing the recipient a long life.

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On the other end of the spectrum, there are the high-end malls where you can find all of the major international retailers such Apple, Marks & Spencer, Chanel, etc. I have been to a variety of these malls around Hong Kong and while I would love to go through each one, I figured I should just highlight one of the nicest ones that I have been too namely the Festival Walk located at Kowloon Tong. Of course this picture was taken prior to the freak weather that Hong Kong recently experienced so when I went the mall’s ceiling above the skating rink was still intact.

Overall, irrespective of one’s budget shopping in Hong Kong can be a lot of fun!