Kat’s Tokyo Travel Diary


There’s nothing more exciting than a killer trip overseas, but that takes loads of time and, you know, money. Luckily, we got the next best thing: excerpts from Nasty Gal Photographer Kat Borchart‘s travel diary! She just returned from Tokyo and has some seriously amazing visual evidence to prove it.


In major need of a vacation, my boyfriend and I finally pulled the trigger on a 10-day trip to Japan. The 9-hour flight and 16-hour time difference really helped seal the “get out of town” vibe we were after, but we only had a few trip requirements: eat well, get lost, and ride bikes. Thankfully, we accomplished all three, and I brought back the photos (and stickers) to prove it. Our first leg of the trip was spent in Tokyo. We stayed in Shibuya and spent our time wandering down tiny alleyways and exploring the beautiful, lush parks and food fairs. We also managed to track down a cat cafe (one of my other trips requirements) where we spent an hour with 20-30 cats feeding them chicken and scratching their ears. The Ghibli Museum was also a major highlight since we’re both obsessed with Totoro.


Next, we took the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto, which is about 5 hours southwest of Tokyo. Kyoto is known for its beautiful scenery and traditional Japanese experience, so on our first night we stayed at 9 Hours—a capsule hotel designed for businessmen (and business ladies!) to stay after long work days. The next few nights we chilled at a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), hiked to the monkey park, visited the bamboo forest at Arashiyama, and rode bikes through the neighborhoods and temples. Our foodie dreams came true when we ate traditionally-prepared Sukiyaki in our room, chowed down on some yakitori, and devoured black sesame ice cream at an outdoor market.


We headed back to Tokyo for our last night (we passed Mt. Fuji on the way!) and went to the Mori Art Museum where we saw some insane contemporary Japanese exhibits alongside the 360-degree view of the city. I managed to convince the BF to dine at one of my favorite ramen restaurants (which happens to be a chain in both the US and Japan), Ippudo. Sure, you can get it back home, but something about having it in Tokyo just made it taste that much better.