In November, at the same period of time Time Out Bangkok was running our first Time Out Love Bangkok Awards, I was invited from the Time Out Tokyo team to spend a weekend in Tokyo as one of the guest judges for the inauguration of their such event, the Time Out Love Tokyo Awards. Following our winner announcement, Time Out Tokyo also revealed the winners of its Love Tokyo Awards 2016, which are:
And why do we Bangkokians need to care about the Awards taking place in Tokyo? Because we go there often - more often than going to Chiang Mai, perhaps. And once there, we're always in search of new, fresh, and best experience. Check out this page to see what to look for in Tokyo during your next visit!
Go here to find lists of top cafes, bars, and restaurants I, and Time Out Tokyo, recommend you to visit on our holidays.
And below is what I wrote for them following the reviewing process that I love to share with you guys.
Tokyo and I are no strangers to each other. I’ve seen Tokyo since there wasn’t the SkyTree, and I was far from what I am today. And while I have grown up to become a completely different person, Tokyo has changed much since the first time we met. The Japanese metropolis remains vibrant yet friendly, fast-paced yet cozy, and posh yet lovely — like it’s always been.
And my last visit as an anonymous reviewer of the Love Tokyo Awards was no different. Venues I was tasked to visit during the days in Tokyo truly enhanced the new experience toward the city. When I thought I have been to so many places, top attractions and those must-go venues in Tokyo, this trip reminded me of how big and dynamic Tokyo is — so big and dynamic that I might never be able to finish exploring it in my life. Tokyo is more than just Shinjuku and Shibuya. There will always be legendary places I’ve missed, and there will always be cool new places I have to check out — N3331 Cafe, for example. The cafe that sits between train tracks, with trains running on both sides, gave me a unique experience. It didn’t only offer a cool Instagramming opportunity, but also my chance to check out the nearby Akihabara neighborhood — an area where I’ve never been interested in during the past visits.
My assignments in Ginza were also worth mentioning. Ginza was always on my to-visit list when I was in Tokyo because I just love to browse around those fancy boutiques and posh architectures. But I wasn’t aware that there are cool places that offer unique experience hidden between those fancy facades. I’ve never imagined finding places like Higashiya traditional tea room, which is nestled in a sleek building belonged to a beauty product brand, and Lupin Bar, in which the barman seems to be whipping up cocktails behind that discreet door since — forever. If it weren't because of the Love Tokyo Awards assignments, I would never let myself travel such a long way from city-center to restaurants like Makino, where I tasted fugu for the first time, and Chanko Kuroshio, where I ate sumo food. I suddenly realized Tokyo has many more dimensions I’ve never touch on.
Tokyo is undergoing a major renovation of its infrastructure — apparently prepping up for the Summer Olympics in 2020 when the city will be welcoming heads of state, world leaders, athletes and—most importantly—travelers looking for the unforgettable travel experience. Do count me in as one of them.