Birthday 2014: The birthday with five cakes!

 photo 10387977_152298438273999_1475425524_n_zpsdc0a0f89.jpg

Ooops, it wasn't exactly the way I had planned to start this day but Luke and I were still drinking Cava at 4am just as the sun was rising on my birthday! I didn't mind though. It was such a fun way to start my birthday.

Luke and I were sitting in my mini-me apartment chatting away when I received a message from Grace (DA,B) RIGHT. ON. THE. DOT at 12:00 with a link to a HAND DRAWN BIRTHDAY ANIMATION!!! AMAZING! I HAVE THE BEST FRIENDS ON EARTH! Luke and I watched it about five times before I called Grace laughing!

 photo DSCF3293_zps8604f060.jpg

Presents had been arriving via courier during the week including this amazing Gorman dress from Mama-sando. At midnight I decided it was acceptable to open this gorgeous treat from David in Kyoto. Um, how on earth did he know my favourite nail polish. Amaze!

 photo DSCF3369_zpsc0aec4ce.jpg

After about 4 hours sleep, just as I was heading out the door for birthday breakfast, an express post package from James in Australia arrived. Cherry Bakewell tarts and a sweet "Did you spot Hello Sandwich on the card?" card. Nice timing, Harold.
 photo DSCF3348_zpsd3fd5ae2.jpg

Birthday breakfast was at Pan to Espresso to with Luke and Moto-chan. We sat outdoors, drinking espresso, and hid undercover from the rain. I ordered my favourite number 6 Olivie sandwich which you really must try it if you're in Omotesando.

 photo -1_zps84130a61.jpg

A few hours, and a few blocks away, and it was time to meet Mami-chan at another favourite cafe in Omotesando (A-Z cafe). Mami-chan - you're the master of cute presents and cute wrapping!

 photo DSCF3336_zpsf7a8ddb1.jpg

Knowing just how much I adore stamps, Mami-chan had ordered a selection of vintage Japanese stamps online for me! OMG!

 photo photo1_zps25a799c4.jpg

Gahhhhh and then the first of five birthday cakes came out with the A-Z staff singing Happy Birthday to me. Goodness, looking out over Aoyama and spending a special birthday time here in Tokyo - just amazing!

 photo IMG_8429blog_zps5d9ad921.jpg

After lunch I popped down to Labi Yamada denki to collect my birthday-present-to-myself. A FujiFilm x20. LOVE.
 photo DSCF3315_zpsfbdd0535.jpg

A few hours later and I was off to meet Grace for dinner at my favourite Shimokita izakaya. Grace had illustrated me an amazing personalised book for my birthday! Full of hilarious personal jokes. THE BEST!(ID,B - I just made up this new one DA,B - can you get it? Ref: My latest Hulu infatuation)

 photo DSCF3318_zps76abe564.jpg

 photo DSCF3386blog_zpsb413111d.jpg

 photo photo2_zpsd545e624.jpg

The second of the five birthday cakes was served here!

 photo DSCF3356blog_zpsf7a4da0b.jpg

A slight hangover on the day after my birthday, but I managed to make it to lunch in Harajuku with Boco-chan. We went to The Deck, Coffee and Pie. Definitely recommend this place!

Boco-chan printed on this adorable wrapping paper 'EboBento' and 'HaroSushi'. Gahhhhhh my friends are the best!

 photo DSCF3361blog_zpsd5626aa3.jpg

 photo DSCF3046_zps5cacc373.jpg

A few hours later, and it was more kanpai fun with my lovely group of friends at Izakaya En in Shibuya. I celebrated my 30th birthday here at this exact table when I first moved to Tokyo.

 photo gohan_zps47ab4c6c.jpg

You can't beat the food at this izakaya.

 photo DSCF3090_zpsbde58dd3.jpg

 photo DSCF3137_zpse920eed0.jpg

One of my lovely friends, Toshi, shares his birthday on the exact same day as me. 27th June. So much fun celebrating together! The third of five cakes! For your benefit, I've spared you the silly cake-cutting / birthday-present-opening photos that followed the blowing out of candles. But, gosh, those photos are such incredible memories of such a fun nigh.

 photo DSCF3161_zps85bf6baa.jpg

Nice effort making a mess of this table.

 photo rhys_zps84341efb.jpg

Nijikai. Rhys was in town from Hong Kong and we drank Gin and Tonic's and dark beers and chatted about lenses and tripods. My favourite types of conversations.

 photo 04_zps3ab9ec35.jpg

And then, oh dear, it was time for tequila shots!

 photo DSCF3182_zpsae1b74ba.jpg

 photo DSCF3221_zpseeda779c.jpg

Sanjikai Sleeping Beauty.

 photo ramen_zpsf8beaf36.jpg

Compulsory 3am ramen in Shibuya.

 photo Taxi_zpsc7ff4776.jpg

A taxi home just as the sun was popping up.

 photo DSCF3311_zps73bfb182.jpg

I woke up around lunch time the following day to photograph most beautiful presents ever. These divine dishes were perfectly selected from my gorgeous friends. It's incredible just how well they know me! I adore these!
 photo DSCF3319_zps8179193d.jpg

 photo DSCF3323_zps8d2b5dfe.jpg

More presents arrived in the post over the following days. A collage style record from my darling friend Jessie who lives in London, and a Cy Twombly-esque furoshiki from her daughter (my little god daughter) Flux.

 photo DSCF3363_zpsdf311cfb.jpg

Pretty pasta from newlyweds Tenda and Yuko.

 photo DSCF3389blog_zpsd6fc6ab0.jpg

 photo Presents_zps54c63d44.jpg

 photo DSCF3576blog_zpsb68167d9.jpg

And just as I thought I was already pushing it with the celebrations, there was a Sangria Birthday party at my friends shop SUGAR TOWN!

 photo DSCF3595blog_zps1472bd78.jpg

Takuya-san made his famous sangria. You're the best, Takuya!!!

 photo DSCF3606blog_zps1e2c5178.jpg

 photo DSCF3689low_zps2f25849f.jpg

 photo DSCF3682blog_zpsbe57e589.jpg

 photo DSCF3643blog_zps5030e58c.jpg

The fourth of five cakes! Swoon!

 photo DSCF3673blog_zps3b64411d.jpg

I honestly thought this was the finale to an amazing birthday, but then, I went to dinner at Aoya and my friends surprised me with the sweetest present.

 photo DSCF4005_zps3abf7c00.jpg
Ros made me this adorable Mt. Fuji pouch with a little Hello Sandwich going up and down Mt. Fuji. SOOOO cute!

 photo DSCF4008_zps089ec813.jpg

Hiki-chan excelled herself with the loveliest of wrappings! This self-designed wrapping paper is from her shop Uguisu and features the buildings iconic door and Mimosa tree. Inside was a divine Miso cooking book and a beautiful paper zipper pouch from Box & Needle.

 photo DSCF4015_zpsc25be153.jpg
Somehow we have been lucky enough to become friends with amazing LA based singer songwriter Priscilla Ahn who has just written music for Ghibli's new movie 'When Marnie Was There'. This special set of pencils and sketchbook were made especially for the movie. 

 photo DSCF3842_zpsa6c9cc7b.jpg

And a perfect evening and perfect birthday finished off here with the FIFTH cake. Gosh, I seriously have the best friends in the world.

Thank you so much darling ones.

Love you lots. 

Love Love
Hello Sandwich