"How I Travel" With Chef and Author Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Julia Busuttil Nishimura

The Melbourne-based cook and author dishes on the foodie gems of Tokyo, a city she returns to twice a year with her family.

What do you love most about Tokyo?

It’s so busy but with pockets of peace. Walking along the river in Nakameguro, you’d never believe you were in a city of 37 million. I love that juxtaposition. And, obviously, the food.

Do you pack for “justin-case” or keep to the essentials?

I like to be prepared – Tokyo weather can be unpredictable and clothes shopping in Japan is tricky because everyone’s super petite.

How about shoes?

MoonStar trainers

I wear canvas MoonStar trainers – we walk all day in Tokyo and they’re so comfy.

What do you take on board?

Baume 27

Cosmetics 27’s Baume 27 – the most hydrating moisturiser of all time – and a book.

What was the last book you read?

Crying in H Mart

Crying in H Mart by Korean-American writer Michelle Zauner. It’s about family and memories – I loved it.

Anything else?

I always take a notebook. Something about an overseas plane trip clears the mind and makes me feel like I’ve left everything else behind.

Where do you stay?

K5, Tokyo

K5 in Nihonbashi is small and lovely with an incredible design aesthetic. There’s also a Switch Coffee downstairs – it can be hard to get an early morning coffee so it’s a major win.

Itinerary or wing it?

I don’t like to waste days so I plan which area we’ll explore then build the day around where we’ll eat.

Okay, spill… where should we be dining in Tokyo?

Yakitori Toriyoshi in Nakameguro. Try the bonjiri – skewers of the parson’s nose from a chicken. Hachigo in Ginza serves Michelin star-quality ramen and at lunchtime it’s really cheap. You have to line up and they run out of soup by the afternoon so get in early. For Japanese sweets, Higashiya in Ginza is amazing.

What’s the app you rely on?

The Tokyo Metro app. My tip is to stay one stop away from the major stations so it simplifies your journey – otherwise you can get trapped for an hour trying to find the right exit.

First thing you do when you get home?

Unpack all the ceramics I’ve bought and made my family transport back in their carry-on!

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SEE ALSO: Read Before You Leave – Tokyo

Image credit: Yikin Hyo

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