You’ve probably seen her before, but you might not know exactly who she is. When Maiko Shibata isn’t busy getting snapped by street style photographers in Paris, London, or Seoul, the Sacai– and Vetements-wearing Tokyo local is running one of the city’s most revered boutiques. Called Restir and accessible to the rest of the world via FarFetch, the shop she oversees as creative director is located in the energetic neighborhood of Roppongi. Through the stark black, modern architectural exterior of Restir, visitors can find straight-from-the-runway pieces by labels like Givenchy, Rick Owens, Stella McCartney, Emilio Pucci, and Saint Laurent. But there’s Reebok and Nike on the shelves too.
First and foremost, Shibata enjoys the Minato-ku area where she lives. “It’s very close to my office and store in Roppongi. It’s indeed a busy area, but it’s perfect for a workaholic like me. There are lots of faces, offices, shops, nightlife, but also cozy, quiet parks like Arisugawa or Shiba,” she says. “There are also many embassies located in Minato-ku, so it feels very international. I can always get rare spices or vegetables at the diverse markets there—and hummus! It’s very hard to find hummus at a Japanese supermarket.”
Like many of the cool kids that shop at Restir and live in Tokyo, she loves knowing where to go for the obscure, whether in fashion, culture, or food. Here, Shibata takes us to her favorite spots, in and out of Minato-Ku, for discovering the new and savoring the old treasures in the giant metropolis of Tokyo.
“This restaurant is located in Meguro-ku. Here, tradition meets modernity in the amazing atmosphere, and it feels like an escape from the busy city life and a place to enjoy the calmness and beauty of Japan. I love their ‘Hiru kaiseki’ lunch, with the traditional Japanese kaiseki-style multicourse meal that infuses seasonal ingredients into each of the lovely little dishes.”
“When I want a casual, laid-back dinner, I always choose this Italian restaurant in Minato. I am addicted to their octopus and celeriac salad, tomato mozzarella, and the clam and bottarga pasta. They also have a great selection of well-priced organic wine.”
The Restaurant at Aman Tokyo
“This place has the best interiors and beautiful views of the city. I really like their fish dishes on the menu, especially the lobster or zuppa di pesce. Their chocolate desserts are very nice too.”
“If you want an organic, healthy lunch or coffee, you should visit the Three café inside the Three cosmetics store and spa in Aoyama. It’s small but very nice, and I love the little terrace outside.”
“Any time I need to think about something or simply want to read a book in a lovely space, I head to this café inside the Tsutaya bookstore in Daikanyama. It’s one of the biggest bookstores in Tokyo with a unique selection. They also have very rare vintage magazines here that I enjoy flipping through.”
Royal Bar at Palace Hotel Tokyo
“I used to always go to the Hotel Okura for drinks, but, sadly, it’s currently under construction. So I now visit the Royal Bar at the Palace Hotel. I am very fond of a classic hotel bar with waiters in traditional black uniforms serving a perfect dry martini.”
“I enjoy hanging out at my best friend Babymary’s pretty little pink boutique in Nagoya. I learn a lot by hanging out and having chats with all of the cool fashion kids that are always shopping there.”
“I go to this mini cinema often. You will be surprised at how small this theater actually is. But, if you like Xavier Dolan or any cool, indie film, this is the only place to see one.”
21_21 Design Sight
“Located in the Hinokicho Koen Park, this gallery is one of my favorites in Tokyo. It showcases modern art and architecture exhibitions, and I go there often to be inspired.”
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