Looking to have a break from the grey English winter, a few months ago I booked myself a small trip to Japan. Last April, I visited Tokyo and Kyoto during one of the best seasons, Sakura, the Cherry Blossom season. I have some friends living in Tokyo and it felt the right excuse to visit Asia for the first time.

When planning the trip, I thought 7 days was a fair amount of time to visit and explore all the mandatory spots in the city…poor deluded me! As soon as I put a foot in Tokyo, I could not believe the amount of people, shops, restaurants, temples, blossom trees, neon lights, the amount of…everything!! I realised a lifetime wouldn’t be enough to explore all the possibilities Tokyo, and Japan, could offer.

I took over a thousand photos during my holidays…every single detail, building, shop, dish, was absolutely fascinating. From my designer point of view, I love how they have learned to combine tradition and modernity. Classic Japanese materials and methods cohabit with futuristic and trendy shapes and colours, giving as a result an extraordinary and interesting cultural mix.

I saw some spectacular examples of contemporary architecture: high-tech façades with LED screens from floor to top, concrete and glass tiles used in the most elegant way to cover 20 storey buildings, but what really captured my interest was the attention to detail they put in the small scale; the material selections for the interiors, the details in their furniture, the graphics and typography in their branding… Japanese design is stunning, greatly varied and goes beyond expectations.

And I haven’t even mentioned the food yet…Oh my… out of this world.

And the pastries… as beautiful as delicious.

And the coffee… well… the coffee… the hand dripped measured with chemist precision to get the most flavourful coffee ever… the flat whites they prepared could make the best Barista in London look like an amateur!

If like us at Koldo&Co. you enjoy coffee, design and life in general, add visiting Japan to your bucket list.