Neighborhood Watch: Get a Matcha Buzz in Azabu Juban

June 27th, 2013By Category: Culture, Food & Dining, Shopping

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When I first went Azabu Juban to interview Elana Jade I ended up getting lost, because that’s what I do here. But getting lost in Tokyo can be a really good thing, because you always end up finding cool stuff.

They should rename Azabu Juban street Wellness Row because it’s loaded with every kind of happy treat you can imagine. Spas, massage, vegetarian cafes, French bakeries, and tea. Lots of tea. I love massages, good bread, and I’m a total macha-holic so it’s pretty much heaven.

Darjeeling Tea is a small chain in Tokyo featuring the best in Indian tea. The front window is loaded with gorgeous desserts and old-school tins of boutique blended tea. It’s right in front of exit 7 too, so it makes a great meeting spot for your next awkward online date. At least the tea will be good.

Head down Azabu Juban street and stop at Koot’s.  I know Koot’s is a chain by the Tully’s people, but the one in AJ is something else. When I think of Tully’s I think reasonably decent coffee, and maybe a scone if I’m feeling crazy. But this charming space features a private, solarium-style third floor so you can enjoy your lunch and cold macha outside. Perfect for a not-so-hot day.

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The only thing I like more that matcha is macha desserts… okay “like” is an understatement. It’s becoming a problem. The giant plastic green cone out front got me to try their macha soft cream. Stupid, delicious marketing.

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Keep walking and you hit Mont Thabor boulangerie on the corner. Real. French. Bread. They have every pastry known to man and an amazing selection of traditional and grain breads. The smell of awesome wafting through the hair is enough to lure you in.

During your stroll you’ll notice you can’t walk three steps without hitting a massage center. Not to be mistaken for the Roppongi version just one train stop away, these are therapeutic massage (so yeah, no “bottle service” here).  Hot stone, sports, deep tissue, shiatsu… you name it. Tea, cafes, shopping, massage—the makings of a perfect day off.

You’ll never catch me clubbing in Roppongi, but if you see me teetering down the path of Wellness, spa buzzed with green stuff smeared all over my face, you’ll know where I’ve been. Just please—don’t tag me in the photos.

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Author of this article

Cynthia Popper

Writer/model/actor by day, English teacher by night. When she’s not stalking beauty trends or giving model advice on her blog, she can usually be found in the Shimokita thrift shops or eating more than a reasonable amount of green tea Galbo minis.

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