Daikanyama

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H&M coat, sweater, and pants, Zara boots, and Barneys New York backpack

Daikanyama

An outfit I wore while in Daikanyama in Tokyo. A hip neighborhood in Tokyo, I made sure to dress to impress while I was there. Charles and I walked from Shibuya (about 15 to 20 minutes) and ran into a cute coffee shop (Monkey Cafe – go, especially if you love design and architecture), hit up some shops (pet stores included), bookstores, and ate at a brewery. A very thorough blog post will be up soon but until then, hope you’re enjoying my outfit posts!

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Harajuku

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H&M turtleneck, dress from Harajuku, H&M coat, Zara boots, and Barneys New York bag

Harajuku

Sale season has been unkind to my bank account. Take for example this amazing camel coat I found in Tokyo for about $30. Not that I really needed another coat in my closet BUT how could I not resist it? The leather boots was actually an older find from when I was in LA last summer. The dress was from Harajuku at the time I was there. In fact, I found it for about $7. I wish I could say that was all that I bought but I’d be lying.

But the upside is, more clothes means more outfit posts for the blog (and on Instagram – which you can find me there more than on here, at least for now). Until then, I have tons of projects to work on with brands and can’t wait to share them with you! Happy Thursday (or Friday wherever you are)!

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Reissue

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Interior and Charles’ caramel latte

Reissue // Yelp

Tokyo is unlike any other city I’ve been to. Growing up, I’ve always pictured Japan to be super かわいい – which is kawaii in hiragana meaning ‘cute’ in Japanese (my level of Japanese is at toddler-level at most in speaking, reading, and writing). I’ve imagined everything would be cute: cute anime, cute dresses, and cute desserts. And since my first trip to Japan in 2015, I’ve found that every single time I go back, I look for something more かわいい than the last.

Wander Hour - Reissue

My cafe mocha

Reissue wins in the cute category. You know how I feel about cute desserts right? Well Reissue is a must if you are in Harajuku and in need of some cute lattes. Located on the second floor somewhere near Harajuku (I included a link to their Yelp page which I hope you can link to your maps on your phone), it is a quaint spot with lovely interior. Charles and I ordered a caramel latte and a cafe mocha (respectively) and paid extra for crazy latte art. For Charles, he wanted a 2D latte art of my face on it. The barista took a photo of me using his phone and then asked me what I wanted. I decided to have a cafe mocha with a 3D foam art of Curry! I proceeded to show him a photo of Curry and he then took a photo of the photo for reference.

Although it took some time, we were eager to wait for the results. He worked on Charles’ first and when he placed Charles’ latte on the table, we both were ecstatic with the result! It is literally an anime version of me (and spot on if you ask me)! The barista then went to work on mine and let me tell you, when he was done, I was blown away by his talent. Next time around, I need to get his name! Overall, Charles and I found Reissue to be one of the highlights of our trip. Although it took some time for the barista to create his art and it costs quite a bit (we paid roughly $20 for both), I’d say it was worth every yen! Check it out if you’re in the area!

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Bikes of Japan

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Somewhere in Koenji

Bikes of Japan

There’s something so innocent about bikes in Japan. While Charles and I were exploring throughout Tokyo, he commented my frequent stops to take photos of bikes. Weirdly, I was drawn to them as they were photogenic on it’s own. Typically, I see bikes locked up in the United States but in Japan, they were standing on it’s own in pretty places and spaces as if the owners knew an unsuspecting photographer would find such art while passing by.

Wander Hour - Bikes in Japan

Wander Hour - Bikes in Japan

A bike in Shibuya and in Harajuku

Many times, I found myself drawn to a single bike against a graffitied wall. Other times, the simpler the wall, the better. Whether the bike had a basket or not wasn’t an issue but I found that those with baskets that were filled with whatever the owner had added character to the bike: whether it’s a sweater, a coat, or food.

Wander Hour - Bikes in Japan

Wander Hour - Bikes in Japan

A bike near Kappabashi-Dori and a bike in Koenji

At times, I photograph a single bike and other times, multiple bikes would suffice (given the entire composition of the photo met my aesthetic needs). When there were more than one bikes, it looked a bit cluttered but I guess it adds charm to the photo if I choose to see it that way (my perfection can hinder my work in more ways than one).

Wander Hour - Bikes in Japan

Wander Hour - Bike in Japan

Bikes in Daikanyama and Omotesando

And in between my quest of photographing bikes, I’ve noted the many individuals using their bikes while in transit: many were biking through the crowded crosswalk in Shibuya, mothers biking with their toddlers in the back, and people walking alongside their bike through busy sidewalks.

Wander Hour - Bikes in Japan

Wander Hour - Bikes in Japan

From top and clockwise: bikes in Asakusa and Harajuku

I found bikes everywhere: in the middle of the sidewalk, outside a store, and in alleys. There was no shortage of bikes in Tokyo and prior to ever visiting Japan two years ago, I gave no thought of bikes there. Maybe I was under the impression that everyone took the trains or walked. But each new visit to Japan, my eyes open wider than the time before.

Wander Hour - Bikes in Japan

Bike in Kappabashi-dori

This season, I have been gravitating towards dusty rose/pink. Pink isn’t a color I find my myself gravitating towards to but this time around, the dusty pink bikes caught my eye. If ever I’m in a need for a bike, dusty pink would be the one I would buy thanks to the ones I saw in Japan.

I can not wait to share all of my photos that I’ve taken in the last few months. It’s been a crazy time for me and Japan was the last of a group of events that occurred over the same time period. I finally get the chance to breathe after all the holiday craziness and back-to-back projects.

Have a great week friends and I’ll see you all soon!

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Kauai with Island Air

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Wander Hour - Kapaa

Wander Hour - Kauai

The state of Hawaii consists of a chain of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Visiting the other accessible islands from the island of Oahu is easy as driving a car thanks to Island Air! As an Oahu-based blogger, it’s always a treat to visit the other islands and when Island Air challenged me to explore an island for twelve hours, I was all game!

For this trip, I visited the island of Kauai which holds a special place in my heart as Charles and I celebrated our 13th year anniversary earlier this year. Twelve hours in Kauai is extremely doable. Just check out the things I did while I was there:

Ha Coffee Bar

Wander Hour - Ha Coffee Bar

The warm, inviting space of Ha Coffee Bar and our coffee

We had an early start to our day by taking the earliest flight to Lihue from Honolulu (Flight 109 that departs at 6:05AM). We hopped on an ATR 72 with propellors. I’ve always been wary with propellor planes as I deemed it too small for my comfort but Island Air definitely changed my mind! After a short 40 or so minutes, we landed in Lihue and headed straight to Ha Coffee Bar for a cup of coffee after picking up our rental.

Mocha is my go-to drink wherever I go. I enjoyed my mocha and it’s one of my favorites that I’ve tasted. The space is warm and inviting and the baristas were as well. Located about five minutes from Lihue Airport, stopping by Ha Coffee Bar is a must for coffee drinkers!

Kalalau Lookout

Wander Hour - Kalalau Lookout

View from Kalalau Lookout

The last time I was in Kauai with Charles, we headed up north towards Hanalei and made our way around the island towards Waimea. By the time we arrived at Kalalau Lookout, there was no view as the clouds had taken over. I vowed that the next time I was on the island, I would have to stop at the Kalalau Lookout first and we did just that.

If you’re heading to Waimea Canyon, I would highly recommend stopping at Kalalau Lookout also as it a 20 minute drive from the Waimea Canyon Lookout. From here, you can view the gorgeous Kalalau Valley which is only accessible by a 22-mile round trip hike on the Kalalau Trail or by boat (if weather permits).

Waimea Canyon

Wander Hour - Waimea Canyon

View from the Waimea Canyon Lookout

As soon as we got a glimpse of the beautiful Kalalau Valley from the lookout, we headed back towards Waimea Canyon to check it out. Reminiscent of a small-scale Grand Canyon in Arizona, Waimea Canyon is a feast to the eyes and an unlikely landscape in Hawaii. Although it isn’t as grandeur as Arizona’s famed canyon, it’s worth a visit as the landscape is beautiful. There were about three helicopters flying in the canyon while we were there and if that’s something you’re interested in, definitely check it out. Safari Helicopters is one of several helicopter operators on the island that you can use to view the canyon up close.

Ishihara Market

Wander Hour - Ishihara Market

Cheap plate lunches and spicy ahi poke

In Waimea, try Ishihara Market (Yelp) for some cheap eats. The plate lunches are $5.99 and filled with lau lau or kalua pork, chicken long rice, lomi salmon, macaroni salad or greens, tako poke (octopus for those who aren’t familiar), and rice. We also ordered a spicy ahi poke. The plate lunches and poke are located at the deli.

The Fresh Shave

Wander Hour - The Fresh Shave

The Fu Manchu

For dessert, we headed back towards Lihue to stop at The Fresh Shave. The Fresh Shave has been on my list forever and I finally got the chance to try it this time around. I ordered the Fu Manchu: strawberry, banana, and cream topped with fresh strawberry puree and apple bananas.

The Fresh Shave is located outside of Warehouse 3540 which was a pretty cool spot for kid’s clothes, ladies’ swimwear, and other eats on Fridays!

Koloa Rum Company

Wander Hou - Koloa Rum

Entrance of Koloa Rum Company

After shave ice at The Fresh Shave, we stopped at Koloa Rum Company after hearing about their rum tasting (which is free by the way!). For those travelers who are 21 and over, it’s worth a visit to sample their various rums!

Wander Hour - Koloa Rum Company

Inside the gift shop and the rum tasting

In the gift shop, you put your name on the list and wait till their next tasting. We came just in time as the tasting started in four minutes.

Wander Hour - Koloa Rum

Various rums at the Koloa Rum Company

Although it was a short tasting, I enjoyed our time there and the bartender was a joy to be around! In case you’re wondering, the coconut and coffee rum were my favorites!

Wailua Falls

Wander Hour - Wailua Falls

View of Wailua Falls

For a quick access to a waterfall without the hassle of hiking, check out Wailua Falls. The parking is tiny but as there are tourists (and locals alike) marveling at Wailua Falls as a quick stop, a spot will open up eventually. Look over the fence and take in the beautiful sight of the waterfall.

Hanalei Pier

Wander Hour - Hanalei Pier

View from the pier

As we headed up north towards Hanalei, the weather took a turn for the worst and the once beautiful sky that illuminated Waimea Canyon turned dreary and overcast. We headed out on the pier and took in the landscape before venturing towards Tunnels.

Tunnels

Wander Hour - Tunnels

Hibiscus en route to Tunnels and the shoreline

A great place to snorkel if weather permits and the swells aren’t huge as they usually are in the winter. I definitely want to come back in the summer with the conditions are perfect for snorkeling.

Wailua Shave Ice

Wander Hour - Wailua Shave Ice

Lave flow shave ice and Wailua Shave Ice’s various flavors

Wailua Shave Ice: another stop for some shave ice. This time, I ordered a lava flow. Ever since moving to the island a few years ago, my love for pineapple has grown and with that being said, I loved this shave ice a lot! Located in Kapaa, there’s a lot to do in this part of the island and after shave ice, check out Kiko nearby. It is a cute boutique full of great gifts!

Wander Hour - Kiko

Right outside of Kiko

To wrap it up, here’s what I did in Kauai in 12 hours:

1.) Grabbed coffee at Ha Coffee Bar

2.) Checked out the view of Kalalau Valley at Kalalau Lookout

3.) Stopped by Waimea Canyon

4.) Grabbed some plate lunches and poke at Ishihara Market

5.) Stopped at The Fresh Shave for dessert

6.) Sampled some rum at Koloa Rum Company

7.) Marveled at Wailua Falls from the lookout

8.) Walked on Hanalei Pier

9.) Checked out Tunnels

10.) Grabbed shave ice at Wailua Shave Ice

11.) Browsed around Kiko, a cute boutique in Kapaa

As Kauai is a tiny island, I was able to cram so many activities in one day and still had time to wind down as soon as I arrived home by taking the last flight out (7:48PM)! Twelve hours in Kauai is incredibly doable and if you’re interested in visiting Kauai or any other islands in Hawaii, check out the flight schedules to see where Island Air can take you! Thanks Island Air for sending me to Kauai and back!

This post was sponsored by Island Air. Despite receiving compensation, all opinions are of my own.

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