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La Carmina
LA CARMINA is a travel + fashion + pop culture TV host, coolhunter, journalist, and author of 3 books -- including Cute Yummy Time and Crazy, Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo.

Her popular blog on alt travel, fashion and subcultures has been featured in major media (New Yorker, Cosmo, Washington Post). She's considered a top fashion blogger, and heads a coolhunting firm that provides consulting and TV fixing chiefly in Tokyo. She is a graduate of Columbia University and Yale Law School.

TV hosting credits include: Food Network, The Today Show, Bizarre Foods Travel Channel, NHK Japan, Discovery, National Geographic, Canal Plus France, and CNN. Full bio and reels here.

Follow La Carmina’s "glam Goth” adventures on her blog
EMAIL: gothiccarmina (at) gmail TWITTER YOUTUBE FACEBOOK

Entries by La Carmina

Seoul Food: Korean Restaurants That Go Beyond Kimchi

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 11:35 AM


Korean food goes far beyond "eating your kimchi." On my recent trip to Seoul, I tried a wide diversity of traditional dishes, from sizzling bulgogi beef to spicy noodle soup.

Let me take you inside three of my favorite restaurants...

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Inside Tokyo's Cutest Theme Restaurants and Shops

(2) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 2:07 AM


If there was an award for "cutest city on Earth," it would go to the birthplace of Hello Kitty: Tokyo, Japan. Every time I visit, I discover yet another store or cafe where you can interact with round, big-eyed characters.

Last month,...

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Shanghai Has a Sherlock Holmes Theme Cafe (PHOTOS)

(1) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 9:57 AM

Benedict Cumberbatch fans, rejoice. There's a Sherlock Holmes themed cafe in China.

I'm a fan of the BBC Sherlock TV series, and wrote a book about bizarre theme restaurants, so I insisted on having lunch here when I went to Shanghai.

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4 New Hotels That Mix Art and Luxury

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2014 | 11:03 AM


As an art lover, I'm pleased to see the rise of boutique hotels that combine a luxury stay with a gallery experience. Most of these "design hotels" opened in big cities over the past few years, and are thoughtfully decorated with works...

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4 of Hong Kong's Hippest New Restaurants

(3) Comments | Posted August 7, 2014 | 2:55 PM

Much like the city, Hong Kong's food scene is ambitious and fast-paced. Chefs are constantly launching new restaurants with bold concepts that fuse Eastern and Western influences.

Last month, I ate my way through four of Hong Kong's newest restaurants. I discovered that chefs are putting creative spins on...

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Vintage Shops and Gothic Rock in Toronto

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 11:37 AM

The "Scott Pilgrim" movie showed a different side of Toronto: twenty-somethings in vintage clothes and neon hair, rocking out at indie concerts. On a recent trip, I experienced the city's alternative scene for myself.

If you're keen on shopping and club-hopping, I recommend staying at a downtown Toronto hotel....

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My Spiritual Travels in Jerusalem

(1) Comments | Posted March 13, 2014 | 4:51 PM

I didn't grow up in any religion, but as a travel blogger and TV host, I'm fascinated by global history and spirituality. Spending a day in Jerusalem turned out to be one of the highlights of my recent trip to Israel.

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Hong Kong's Ah-Meow Cat Cafe

(0) Comments | Posted December 31, 2013 | 10:15 AM

Imagine a kooky grandma who lives with a dozen kitties, and invites her grandchildren over to cook and hang out. That's the feel of Ah Meow, one of the only cat cafes in Hong Kong.

In this video, travel host, La Carmina, samples "cat food" and snuggles up to...

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Hip Montreal: Pop Art, Goth Bars and Kinetik Music Festival (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted August 22, 2013 | 3:04 PM

Montreal has such a rich history that visitors can easily overlook the young, underground culture. In fact, I consider this French-Canadian city to be one of the best alternative travel destinations in North America.

From rockabilly shops to punk pubs, my travel video shows why Montreal's quirky and...

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Monsters and Aliens: Arizona's Alternative Culture

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2013 | 9:35 AM

Leave it to me to dig up the dark side of sunny Arizona.

Most visitors are oblivious to AZ's kooky, spooky attractions such as a monster theme restaurant, body modification studio, and New Age alien shops.

In this travel video, I, La Carmina learn,...

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Steampunk in Japan: Tokyo Subculture Style (PHOTOS)

(10) Comments | Posted May 21, 2013 | 8:31 PM

The concept of Steampunk is only beginning to gain recognition in Japan, even though there have been multiple works that incorporate the brass-Victorian aesthetic, such as anime film Steamboy. Tokyo-based friends Kenny Creation and Luke Chaos have been passionate about this subculture for some time, and last year, they founded...

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Geeking Out in Nakano Broadway, Tokyo (VIDEO)

(1) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 12:54 PM

If you're a nerd at heart with a yen for Japanese pop culture, then you should spend time in Nakano, Tokyo.

I love visiting this eccentric district with friends. We spend hours rummaging for Super Mario and Sailor Moon goods, followed by cocktails at a Godzilla bar. Watch me explore...

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A Look at Eyeball Tattoos and Extreme Body Modifications

(9) Comments | Posted April 16, 2013 | 11:55 AM

At underground parties, it's not unusual to see people in novelty contact lenses, which can re-create the golden glare of a tiger or the blue-in-blue of a Dune Fremen. Some body-modders, however, wish to have their eyes permanently colored -- and are experimenting with a technique that makes this possible....

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Art Deco Weekend Miami Is the Bee's Knees

(2) Comments | Posted April 1, 2013 | 6:10 PM

Every January, Art Deco Weekend turns South Beach into a sea of fringe and pincurls. Over 300,000 people gather in Miami's historic district to celebrate the Jazz Age.

In this travel video, host La Carmina explores Ocean Drive's pastel hotels, a retro runway...

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J-Pop Printmaking With Mesa Arts Center's David Manje

(2) Comments | Posted February 13, 2013 | 5:43 PM

Printmaking has come a long way since Hokusai's "Great Wave." At Mesa Arts Center (MAC) in Arizona, I rolled acid paint onto stencils and cranked out anime-pop prints.

"I wanted to be an artist since I was a child," says my workshop instructor, David Manje. He...

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The Future of Extreme Body Mods: A Chat With Steve Haworth (PHOTOS)

(13) Comments | Posted January 9, 2013 | 9:08 AM

"Let me show you something," says Steve Haworth. Grinning like a kid, he places a small magnetic ball on the tip of his right ring finger. He lets go and rotates his wrist. The ball sticks.

The force is with Steve, thanks to a neodymium magnet in...

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Hong Kong's Food Surprises (VIDEO)

(1) Comments | Posted December 16, 2012 | 7:30 AM

If you go to Hong Kong and eat nothing but Chinese food, you are passing up a big bite of the scene.

There is much more to the local cuisine than Peking duck and dim sum. Hong Kong's international restaurants are innovative, particularly in Central and Causeway Bay, and...

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My Stylish Amazing Race Packing List

(0) Comments | Posted November 28, 2012 | 9:29 PM

What would you pack if you were on The Amazing Race?

I'm a fan of the CBS show and followed multiple seasons, including the current one that's nearing the finish line.

In the reality TV competition, contestants race around the world while tackling challenges. For one...

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Hungry In Hawaii: Maui's Food And Fashion (VIDEO)

(2) Comments | Posted November 8, 2012 | 6:00 AM

My film team and I jumped at the chance to interview Maui's chefs and designers. But what awaited us? I had daunting visions of eating a roast pig while wearing a coconut bra.

Maui, it turns, out, has open-air restaurants influenced by Asian plantation culture, and a surprisingly forward...

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Japanese Bagel Heads: Dangerous? Trendy? Not. (VIDEO)

(15) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 5:22 PM

"Oh my sweet, buttery bagels." Everyone's talking about Japanese bagel heads, or saline in the forehead. And most of these claims are grossly inflated.

Let's set the record straight.

In September, National Geographic's Taboo featured this extreme body modification, created by a saline drip into the forehead. My...

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