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Travel Tips from Naoko Ogawa: Germany + Japan


This is Part II of our interview with Naoko who is currently based in Berlin. She has included some hometown travel tips and even for Japan.

What are "must see" things or "must do" for those visiting Berlin and Tokyo?  
1. BLESS Shop Berlin
2. Culture, mixture and energy of young makers/designers in Kreuz-Koeln area
via Bless
I actually haven’t been to Japan in a long time, but you will discover the following things about Japan:
1. Thoughtful, sympathetic and considerate culture
2. Uncompromising and insatiable pursuit

What are off the beaten path local hangouts in Berlin?
Tempelhof Airport Park-The airport closed a few years ago  and after that, the runways and surrounding areas have been opened to the people as a park. On the runway, people enjoy riding their bikes, in-line skating and wind surfing with a skateboard!

Favorite places to shop: boutiques or outdoor markets
Turkish open-air market in Neukoeln. I like to cook and go to the market to find many different kinds of vegetables.

{Images of Turkish open-air market and neighborhood in Neukoeln area, Berlin courtesy of Naoko Ogawa}

Favorite places to eat:
At home. My partner and I are very good at cooking! And we like to invite our friends to dinner and sometimes cook together. We really like to learn the food from other cultures and learn from our friends directly. Even if we can cook well, the falafel at "King of Falafel" in Graefestr, Berlin can’t be replicated at home. It's soooo delicious!

Easy day trips from Berlin or Tokyo-cool places to see right outside these cities:
I like to experience the sea. From Berlin, you can get to the Baltic Sea in 2-3 hours by train. The color of the water is emerald green and the shore is ivory white. And the sand produces sound when stepped on! From Tokyo, you can get to Kamakura city in 1 hour by train where you'll enjoy the beautiful combination of the sea, mountains and  many old temples.
 Groynes taken in the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern region by the Baltic Sea via
Kamakura beach via

Favorite local designers:
I have a great respect for the design label, BLESS.

Where would you like to travel next?
Kassel in Germany to visit the art exhibition, Documenta.

I've only been to Dusseldorf but definitely can't wait to visit the bustling city of Berlin next time. While we live on the California coast, it's always nice to check out the beaches in other countries and the Baltic Sea coastline is now on my list of places to someday visit. Thank you Naoko for the travel tips!

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