On the edge of Akihabara (electronics’s town), on the embankment of the Kanda River, lies the Mach Ecute mall.
In 2013, as part of the reconstructed old Minsebaishi Station, the lower level of the red brick viaduct was transformed into a shopping arcade; the arches separating each space. Showcasing young designers and manufacturers in a combination of fashion, housewares, restaurants, cafés and bakeries.
If you are cruising Akihabara, definitely swing by. There is access to the pltform cafe and roofgarden and, importantly, there is a Hitachino’s Nest Brewing Lab for tasting many a life affirming beer!
In a city where Department Stores rule, the youthful and luxury Isetan, in the heart of the Shinjuku district, stands out. Isetan is a wonderful place to see and shop for new and established Japanese designers; and most importantly, to eat!
The lower level of the building, as in most department stores in japan, holds a football pitch of food! Supermarket, specialty food booths, tiny kitchens preparing delicious dishes for take away, Liquor and wine sections, and a sprawling pastry area, create a food fantasy! In the sweets, It is very difficult to choose; each stand has the most seductive sweets and chocolates most of them french but with the Japanese touch of perfection.
The top floor of the building is a green roof park with a children’s playground area, as well as benches and tables where one can consume the delicacies from the lower level. This is a perfect way to start the day with a quick bite in a lovely setting 🙂
If You are visiting Japan, Isetan and Mitsokushi are the two best places to buy food to bring home. It is definitely worth visiting the 2 department stores as they both sell supreme Japanese food, from all over the country.
Noix de Beurre – Chestnut pudding
Noix de Beurre – Chestnut pudding
Patiserie Aoki éclair, beer, Sandwich Magic – Brie mini Baguette
9:00 am – 4:00pm Tuesday, Wed, Fri, Sat & Sundays
Gate of the Sultan
Fourteen tonnes of gold leaf building in the ceilings and the largest collection of Bohemian and Baccarat crystal chandeliers – including world’s largest Bohemian crystal chandelier in the Ceremonial Hall (Muayede Salonu); a gift from Queen Victoria, this chandelier holds 750 lamps originally powered with city gas converted to electricity in 1912 and weighs 4.5 tonnes – Dolmabahçe Sarayi (meaning filled garden) was ordered by Sultan Abdülmecid (1839-61) to compete with the grandness of European capitals.
The palace was built between the 1843-1856 by Garabet Amira Balyan and his son Nigoğayos Balyan; the Balyan family was a dynasty of Ottoman imperial architect; of Armenian ethnicity, the Balyans are responsible for the architectural westernization of Constantinople.
Dolmabahçe is the largest palace (45,000 m²) in Turkey, and the first one built in a western style. Its designed in the Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical styles, integrating Ottoman elements.
Charles Séchan (1803-1874) who, under Charles Garner also decorated the Paris Opera, was responsible for the interiors of the palace. He proceeded to integrate European furniture, Petre Dure and Sèvres porcelain, similar to that which was in French palaces and villas. All of this was quite unusual for Ottoman architecture and showed the European lean of the Sultan.
Gate of the Treasury
Among its many treasures are the Hereke carpets collection. These heirlooms are very large and are made in Anatolia with wool, camel hair and silk on cotton, as well as silk on silk. The knots are very small in size, permitting highly detailed patterns.
The famous crystal baluster staircase has the shape of a double horseshoe and is built of Baccarat crystal, brass and mahogany.
Staircase of Sultanate or Christal Staircase
After the abolition of the Caliphate in 1924 and the creation of the new republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk used the palace as a residence until his death on November 10th 1938 at 9:05am. all the clocks in the palace are currently stopped at this time.
Guided tours run every 15 minutes. Be prepared, they will rush you and no chastise you if you start to wander around !
side of Sufera (Ambassadors) Hall
Ceremonial Hall (Muayede Salonu) World’s largest Bohemian crystal chandelier
Ceremonial Hall (Muayede Salonu)
It was in the Ceremonial Hall (Muayede Salonu) that, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk made his first speech to the people of Istanbul as the president of the Republic. When Ataturk died, his body was placed in this hall in a casket for the public to visit to express their condolences.
During the Ottoman period this room was the Sultan’s winter bedroom; now it contains Atatürk’s deathbed. Located in the former Harem section of the palace, a silk covering with the Turkish flag embroidered in gold and silver and bequeathed to the palace by Olgunlastirma Institute commemorates the venerable leader.
Sultan’s Hamam; the walls are made of Egyptian Alabaster marble and the floor is covered with Marmara marble
Central part of the front facade which faces the Bosphorus
8:00 – 18:30 Monday to Friday
8:00 – 13:00 Saturday
Originally named “Apotheke zur heiligen Dreifaltigkeit“ (Holy Trinity Pharmacy) the Saint Charles Apotheke has been preparing and selling herbal remedies since 1886. They now also sell their own cosmetic line, as well as other natural cosmetic brands.
One can make an appointment with one of the pharmacist to get specially made tonics and creams designed for your personal ecosystem.
A full complement of quality remedies makes Saint Charles worth a visit, but don’t expect a very friendly staff. 🙂
Totoro, Kiki, Chihiro, the Catbus – these are names that speak to me the way that Snow White, Ariel and Nemo might to many an American Youth. Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation institution; a corollary to Disney.
And if an American pilgrimage to Disney Land is necessary for some, then our trip to the Ghibli Museum was a destined moment in life.
The museum itself is designed as if you were in the movie. Your transverse a series of watercolor sketches and story boards. Spend time in both the animation studio and the worlds created there. From the miniature to the larger then life, you are smiling the entire time. From the basement dioramas up to the external spiral staircase to the green roof where the iron Giant stands, across interior bridges, and balconies – Ghibli museum is a dream brought to life.
The Studio Ghibli Museum is located in Inokashira Park. Please note there is a strict no-photo policy inside the museum. It is Very important to buy tickets ahead of time , a month if possible as the museum is not large. You can buy tickets online prior to arrival in Japan. Once in country, you can buy tickets at any of the Lawson’s convenience stores. Also note you cannot buy tickets at the museum itself.