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Tokyo Times and Fashion, Anime and Otaku Culture (part one)

Tokyo Times and Fashion, Anime and Otaku Culture (part one)

Hiroshi Saito, Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Tokyo lifestyle is an amazing experience for Tokyoites, tourists and expatriates. The wealth of choices and things to do is boundless. Another amazing feature is that unlike many famous international cities in the world, this ultra-modern capital is extremely safe compared with certain no-go areas in parts of London, Paris, Los Angeles, and so forth, which all have zones of danger. Therefore, the Tokyo “magnet” keeps on drawing people into this fantastic city.

This article is the first of many related to Tokyo lifestyle and places to visit. After all, the huge pulling power of Tokyo applies within Japan and internationally. Also, the unique features of Tokyo are often in the news therefore many people feel a connection with this city and want to know so much more.

If individuals adore fashion then of course they will visit countless districts in this high octane city. The first recommendation is Omotesando because this part of Tokyo shares the same “fashion hub” which belongs to Aoyama, Harajuku, and Shibuya. The sheer size of this enormous “fashion hub” is a wonder to behold.

In Aoyama and Omotesando you will find the crème de la crème of fashion companies and of course Harajuku and Shibuya are equally blessed with some of the finest boutiques to be found in the world. The main difference is that while Harajuku and Shibuya have a noticeable youthful angle which endears teenagers and young adults, the Omotesando and Aoyama angle is mainly based on sophistication.

In saying that, the backstreets of Omotesando are also blessed with independent boutiques which cater for young adults. This especially applies to the casual angle and the power of American fashion mixed with Tokyo fashion can be felt richly. However, the main emphasis in Omotesando and Aoyama applies to the age group between the middle of the twenties to the early forties. Of course, individuals who are younger and older are fully catered for despite the above age group being the target area.

Indeed, the sophistication of some of the boutiques and high price ranges in Aoyama and Omotesando – means that purchasing power of the most exquisite designer clothes is the main focus and not specifically the age group. Of course, this will exclude the target angle being teenagers within the main areas which are blessed with adorable boutiques of extreme quality. Therefore, more mature adults will have ample opportunities to buy adorable items and purchase other top quality fashion goods in Omotesando and Aoyama.

The electric vibe of Omotesando is most noticeable because it is a place to explore and enjoy. Omotesando Hills and Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku (Omohara) have altered the landscape of old Omotesando. However, both fantastic malls cater for fashion lovers and other areas related to lifestyle in Tokyo.

One major feature of major cities like Tokyo and Osaka is the reality of anime and otaku culture. In Tokyo you have many fantastic places to visit in order to fulfill your anime and otaku love affair. One essential shop to visit is Mandrake which is the number one company in Japan for secondhand items related to anime, manga and otaku culture. This company can be found throughout Japan.

Mandrake (http://ekizo.mandarake.co.jp/shop/en/caters for magazines, hentai comics, art books, cosplay, photography, Bishojo figures, Yaoi doujinshi (brand new and second hand), and a host of other areas. The CEO of this company commented that Our mission is to take over the world using manga and otaku things” While Mandrake can be found throughout Tokyo and Japan, the store in Nakano in Tokyo is special because of its history related to this vibrant company.

Another fantastic company to visit is Animate which is located in Ikebukuro. Indeed, Ikebukuro fashion is also fantastic. This notably applies to fashion malls including Lumine, Esola, Marui, Parco, Tobu Department Store and Seibu Department Store. Also, you have other areas which focus on casual fashion therefore Ikebukuro is awash with fashion companies catering for many different styles.

Turning back to Animate then Patrick Macias in The Guardian (UK newspaper) states that Animate is“specifically catering to female otaku.”  He further comments that the “Eight floors are mostly populated by otaku teens and young adults, and filled with the requisite anime goods and merchandise, but the real selling point here is the large selection of homoerotic-themed manga and novels from the “boy’s love” genre, a popular and influential subculture within a subculture.” 

Animate (http://www.animate.co.jp/) also appeals because unlike the relentless hustle and bustle of this scene in Akihabara, this store is a treasure by itself within a vibrant fashion district in Tokyo. The angle of catering for female otaku is also an added bonus along with selling products which cater for otaku fans in general.

Overall, it is clear that Tokyo lifestyle is extremely diverse and this article only delves into a small area of life in Tokyo. However, Tokyo lifestyle is blessed by the reality of fashion and otaku culture irrespective if this angle appeals to individuals or not. Without such a vibrant fashion and otaku culture then Tokyo wouldn’t be the same place.

All fashion images taken by Modern Tokyo Times.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in Japan

 

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Tokyo lifestyle and Ikebukuro: fashion, place to reside, and prime location

Tokyo lifestyle and Ikebukuro: fashion, place to reside, and prime location

Sarah Deschamps, Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Tokyo lifestyle is extremely rich and choosing an ideal location to reside depends greatly on the demands of the individual. However, if you like the hustle and bustle of a very powerful area in Tokyo then Ikebukuro is a great choice. Also, the great thing about Ikebukuro is that the price mechanism varies accordingly and in the backstreets you will also find a more tranquil way of life.

The fashion angle of Ikebukuro is extremely powerful and this applies to department stores which include Lumine, Esola, Tobu Department Store, Seibu Department Store, Marui, Parco, and others. This means that Ikebukuro feels extremely young and vibrant in the main shopping areas of East Ikebukuro and West Ikebukuro. The central theme is the huge train station which links so many department stores.

Ikebukuro is blessed with several universities and you also have several other institutions which are nearby. This once more means that this vibrant part of Tokyo is blessed with an enormous pulling power. The same applies to Ikebukuro being the “gateway” which links Saitama with this powerful commercial area in Tokyo. Therefore, many individuals who reside in Saitama will pick Ikebukuro being their first major shopping destination in Tokyo. Similarly, many Tokyoites will also pick Ikebukuro because of the fashion angle and the vibrancy of the nightlife.

West Ikebukuro provides a different angle because it is more cosmopolitan and the abundance of fashion is amazing. This applies to utilizing the adorable Tobu Department Store which caters for amazing fashion brands, crafts, delicious food, and so much more. Also, for expats you have a fine selection of international cheese, wine, beer, and other products to make you feel like “home from home.”

Tobu Department Store also connects with Lumine Department Store in several places and both entities enrich each other. After all, both department stores have unique features and for young ladies who adore fashion then Lumine is one of the most popular department stores in Tokyo. Of course Tobu Department Store provides adorable boutiques for people of both sexes and different age groups. However, the price mechanism and nature of boutiques are different with Tobu Department Store having many exclusive boutiques and being more conservative. Meanwhile the trendy buzz and vibe of Lumine appeals greatly to younger ladies (also caters for male fashion) because this company understands the latest trends. Therefore, Lumine selects powerful shops-in-shop companies to be based in their department stores in order to meet the demands of the younger generation.

Esola is another lovely department store for ladies and Marui is also based in West Ikebukuro. Marui like Lumine is also in high demand for fashion lovers throughout Tokyo because both stores are extremely trendy. Meanwhile Esola provides a lovely elegant feel because despite have many exquisite boutiques, it isn’t too sizeable and this provides a lovely shopping experience. Also, within each department store they cater for other products and you have so many places to eat in the same buildings. This is an added bonus because people can unwind with friends and so forth by relaxing in stylish restaurants where the food is scrumptious.

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space will re-open this autumn in 2012 and once the new design is on view then people will be able to relax in a stylish arena which caters to the cultural angle of Ikebukuro. Japan Traditional Craft Center in Ikebukuro is also a must place to visit for adorable Japanese crafts. This building is connected to Tobu Department Store and opposite Lumine. The Japan Traditional Craft Center provides a wealth of amazing products and this lovely shopping experience is richly rewarding.

In East Ikebukuro you have Parco Department Store and Seibu Department Store along with a host of other fashion companies in the streets of this side of Ikebukuro. Parco is another vibrant fashion zone for the younger generation meanwhile Seibu Department Store caters for a wealth of diverse products. Also, Seibu Department Store is blessed with stunning boutiques and clearly it is a great place to shop.

Also, on this side of Ikebukuro is Sunshine City which caters for shopping, entertainment, an aquarium, museums, observation deck, and hotel facilities. Sunshine City is an enormous attraction and the streets nearby provide a vibrant atmosphere. This applies to anime stores, entertainment, restaurants, nightlife, independent boutiques, and so much more.

Overall, the lifestyle of Ikebukuro is richly rewarding because this part of Tokyo provides so many options to enjoy. Not only this, the housing areas are relatively quiet and relaxing despite being very close to the buzzing central area. Ikebukuro is also very close to Shinjuku, Ueno, Shibuya, Harajuku, and other major parts of Tokyo. The price mechanism of the housing also means that this part of Tokyo is more affordable than most but of course you can also find places which are extremely expensive. Much depends on your purchasing power. Yet when it comes to being a desirable place to reside in Tokyo then Ikebukuro provides a wealth of options.

 

All photo images taken by Modern Tokyo Times 

www.smackyglam.com  –  Smacky Glam

http://www.esola-ikebukuro.com/ 

http://orizzonti.co.jp/category/actuel/ 

http://www.barbie-stores.com/ 

http://www.bluebellmarket.net/index.html 

http://www.palgroup.co.jp/brands/doudou/ 

http://www.turnojeana.jp/ 

http://www.frees-mart.com/index.html 

http://m-muriel.jp/index.html 

http://www.elleva.jp/ 

http://www.frame-works.co.jp/index_n.html 

http://blog-s.frame-works.co.jp/  Spick and Span official blog

http://www.jolly-boutique.com/ 

http://www.world.co.jp/opaqueclip/ 

http://royalflash-jp.com/pc/home.html 

http://sanyo-i.jp    –  Sanyo i Store (Sanyo Shokai Ltd)

http://www.parco.co.jp/customer/ikebukuro/IkebukuroPARCO_FloorGuide.pdf

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2012 in Japan

 

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Kanzashi in Japan being utilized for many fashion styles and occasions

Kanzashi in Japan being utilized for many fashion styles and occasions

Hiroshi Saito, Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Edo era witnessed the real growth and power of kanzashi in Japan despite aspects of the roots being traced back all the way to the Jomon period. Japanese artisans increasingly utilized new innovations throughout the Edo period and this enabled greater sophistication which enhanced the power of kanzashi. Also, the ukiyo-e art movement blossomed throughout the same period and many famous artists highlighted the beauty of Japanese women. Therefore, the visibility of kanzashi was witnessed within many Japanese traditions.

Today in the modern world the concept of kanzashi is equated with beauty, sophistication, stunning artistry, and within traditional dress styles of Japan where hair ornaments enhance the beauty to another level. However, modern day kanzashi is easily available and extremely cheap providing you shop around. Therefore, the degree and sophistication of kanzashi varies enormously and this applies to price mechanisms, quality, dress-style, purpose, and so forth.

Kanzashi is also very flexible when it comes to different age groups and the same applies to utilization. This means that you can witness kanzashi on the streets of Harajuku (Tokyo), Namba (Osaka), Ikebukuro (Tokyo), and throughout trendy fashionable areas in Japan. Alternatively, kanzashi can be witnessed in the most refined areas of Japan where sophistication and tradition remains powerful.

It did appear that kanzashi would be marginalized in Japan once modernization began to flourish. After all, the changing nature of Western hairstyles, dress, music, and other important areas, meant that new approaches to beauty and dress were in full sway throughout the twentieth century in Japan. The earlier root of modernization belongs to the Meiji era but clearly further developments throughout the following century would alter the landscape of Japan.

This meant that kanzashi was becoming marginalized and mainly connected with Japanese high culture and traditions. Therefore, kanzashi became equated with the world of geisha, high culture, traditional weddings, Japanese tea ceremony, and other important aspects of Japanese culture. In a sense, it is true that kanzashi still remains powerful within cultural traditions in Japan but today the development of kanzashi continues to spin in many directions.

After all, kawaii (adorable/cute) culture within the dress style angle does enable kanzashi to flourish because of the natural beauty and concept of this thinking. Of course, kanzashi is not part and parcel of kawaii culture but it is an angle which is utilized by individuals who adore the fashion side of this movement.

Another major development of kanzashi is that today you can find fashion conscious individuals all over the world being fascinated by this Japanese cultural angle. Therefore, the power of the “old world” and high culture in Japan is a huge pulling power internationally. At the same time, the influence of kawaii culture, maid café, animation, and other major themes within Japan are also being transmitted to a greater international audience. Of course, kanzashi isn’t naturally linked to animation but the cultural power of Japanese anime/manga means that younger individuals all over the world are being drawn into learning more about Japanese culture. Also, in some anime you will witness kanzashi and it just highlights how this medium is spreading into new directions.

In an earlier article by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that “Of course nothing remains static because purest kanzashi is based on gold/silver plated metals, tortoiseshell, lacquered wood and silk – but in the world of accessible fashion and accessories then kanzashi is also being made by using plastics and other materials.”

“Traditional makers of kanzashi remain loyal to the firm foundations of this fashion piece in Japan and international makers also desire to maintain the high culture aspect and rich artistry of kanzashi.”

The power of kanzashi is that it can be utilized to highlight mainstream fashion accessories, high culture, alternative fashion, festivals, and within many areas of traditional Japanese culture. Therefore, kanzashi can be seen in many aspects of modern life while also being powerful within rich Japanese traditions. The same also applies to the price mechanism and quality of individual kanzashi hair ornaments. For this reason, kanzashi continues to thrive and develop within Japan and internationally.

 

http://www.atelierkanawa.com/#!tsumami-kanzashi

http://www1.odn.ne.jp/maya/english/enknshop.htm

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2012 in Japan

 

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Tokyo fashion and the amazing Style Arena website

Tokyo fashion and the amazing Style Arena website

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The website called Style Arena (http://www.style-arena.jp) is awash with the latest fashion styles which are impacting on the fashion scene of Tokyo. Internationally, Tokyo is one of the most vibrant fashion scenes on this planet because of the fantastic diversity of the fashion scene in this high octane mega city. Therefore, individuals from all over the world are fascinated by the latest vibes hitting the streets of this fabulous metropolis.

Of course you will have many high quality websites highlighting Tokyo fashion. However, it is difficult to surpass Style Arena when it applies to the collective coverage of different fashion districts. Also, Style Arena isn’t focused on any particular boutiques like some other websites nor is this website limited to an over emphasis on one particular angle or special district in Tokyo. Instead, Style Arena updates the “real vibes” hitting Tokyo and gives ample information about the individuals who are highlighted. For this reason, this buzzing website stands out because of the angles which are highlighted and the lovely quality which is portrayed by their in-house images.

The Style Arena website is maintained professionally by the Japan Fashion Association all year round. Therefore, you will see regular updates of new images and important information related to the vibes of Tokyo. Another major theme of this adorable website is the international feel. This applies to the interactive nature of Style Arena which can be viewed in Japanese, Chinese, English, and the Korean language.

This angle highlights the amazing professionalism of this adorable website and that the Japan Fashion Association is fully aware about the power of Tokyo fashion. In this sense, Style Arena can’t be matched when it comes to this fantastic feature. The same also applies to the images of street fashion which isn’t tainted by bias unlike some other websites, which are too predictable after viewing time after time. Therefore, Style Arena is based on freshness and relating to the needs and requirements of the viewer.

On the current main page of Style Arena the vibes of Harajuku, Omotesando, Ginza, Daikanyama, and Shibuya, are highlighted. Thereby, people can not only view the stunning images on show but they can also read about important fashion factors. This notably applies to the respective favorite boutiques of individuals and where they bought their current clothes from.

Other (http://www.style-arena.jp/feature/special/ginza_rw_201203/) lovely features apply to the “Special” area and “Event Snap.” These two important features highlight the latest events in Tokyo and show the fashionable runways which express the stunning nature of Tokyo fashion. Like usual, the images match this area to perfection because the photos are elegantly done.

Throughout the year you will have articles and information about other amazing fashion districts in Tokyo. This entails focusing on Ebisu, Shinjuku, Shimokitazawa, Ikebukuro, Koenji, Nakameguro, Jiyugaoka, Yurakucho, and all fashionable districts of dynamic Tokyo. Alongside this you will have articles which highlight “New Tribes” and “Shops” of interest.

In a past article about Style Arena by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that “Style Arena began in 2002 and in June this year this stunning fashion website will mark ten years. In all that time people have witnessed a website which highlights the Tokyo fashion scene with complete professionalism and care. This is clearly apparent by the layout, the user-friendly nature of the website, striking images of fashionable individuals in Tokyo, and updated information highlighting fashion companies, new trends, and other important areas.”

At Modern Tokyo Times we have no qualms about highlighting Style Arena and stating openly that this amazing fashion website can’t be surpassed, when it comes to “the real fashion angle” of this amazing city. This applies to the interactive nature of Style Arena related to language, images, information, user-friendly layout, unbiased focus on the Tokyo fashion scene, and other important areas.

It is also important to stress that for boutiques which are focused on the fashion scene in Tokyo – a wealth of essential information is being provided by Style Arena. After all, information about favorite boutiques and so forth is provided under the main image highlighted. This fantastic feature can be utilized by fashion lovers and the fashion sector alike.

If you adore Tokyo fashion and want to view the diverse nature of street fashion and the latest vibes hitting Tokyo. Then without a shadow of a doubt Style Arena is a must for all individuals who cherish the fashion scene of Tokyo. Style Arena is simply a cut above the rest when it applies to the collective fashion angle of buzzing Tokyo.

 

http://www.style-arena.jp

http://www.style-arena.jp/street/individual/dt/4917

http://www.style-arena.jp/feature/special/ginza_rw_201203/

Images in this article are not from Style Arena.  Please click on the Style Arena website to view the latest trends of Tokyo.

The images in this article belong to Modern Tokyo Times but please feel free to use our images. If you mention Modern Tokyo Times it would be appreciated but all images are for our supporters and belong to everyone because of our interactive nature.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Japan

 

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Ari TV is the Voice of Sendai: Responding to the tragedy of the tsunami by being tenacious

Ari TV is the Voice of Sendai: Responding to the tragedy of the tsunami by being tenacious

Pierre Leblanc and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Ari TV (http://www.ari-tv.jp/top.html) is a clear reminder about the tenacity of the Tohoku region which was badly hit by the devastating tsunami of March 11, 2011. Therefore, with the first anniversary getting nearer to March 11, 2012, it is important to highlight this media group for all the positive things that they have done.

Since the devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake which unleashed the brutal tsunami, this media group dug deep in order to undercover the “real stories.” This applies to highlighting the determination of the Tohoku region and how the people of Sendai have responded.

Also, because Ari TV is based in Sendai then clearly this media group can connect with local people. More important, unlike many mass media outlets who often enter and highlight an important story which is happening in Sendai, Ari TV is their around the clock. This fact enables Ari TV to express the “real feelings” of the local community and clearly strong bonds have been developed whereby this media group is informed at all times about local events, individuals who are fantastic role models, companies who are focused on regeneration, and organizations trying to help.

Ari TV (http://en.re-tohoku.jp/) also understood the international concerns after the devastating tsunami. Therefore, the introduction of the Tohoku Revival Calendar which is highlighted above was a nice touch because you can read continuous updates in English and Japanese. This aspect also highlights rebirth because clearly Ari TV is developing new international links.

It is equally vital that Ari TV is supported commercially because you have so much work to do in Sendai and throughout the Tohoku region. After all, sadly, you still have thousands of missing people in early 2012 and this aspect highlights the complete devastation of March 11, 2011. This also means that the nightmare goes on for many because you have no “closure” and “special grave” to visit and connect.

Therefore, it is essential that the local government, the central government, local businesses, businesses throughout Japan, and others, support Ari TV and all the positive work they do around the clock. After all, Ari TV can reach “local people” because this media group is fully interwoven with Sendai and the Tohoku region. Also, Sendai is the main city in Tohoku with regards to population and a healthy Sendai is vital for the regional economy.

In the photo above which was published on March 2, 2012, Ari TV is highlighting the regeneration of a shopping mall. However, unlike the glitzy areas of modern day Japan the brutal reality of the tsunami is visible in this image. Yet despite the clear limitations currently available to this shopping mall and having to move into housed shopping containers; locals don’t view the same image because to them this is a sign of rebirth and the start of a long process to normality.

Takano from Ari TV comments that “The big revival shopping area “South Sanriku SanSan Mall” opened in South Sanriku town, Miyagi, on February 25th. These shops are temporarily housed in shipping containers. The name comes from the people’s desire to make a mall filled with smiles and energy (which is) bright like the shining sun.”

In an early article by Modern Tokyo Times the “Suzuki Farm Harvest” was highlighted and this applies to the tenaciousness of Mr. Suzuki (photo above). He fully understood that salt water had damaged the fields and it appeared impossible to regenerate in such a short period of time, if at all. However, Mr. Suzuki was adamant that he would overcome all the obstacles in front of him and this set of a chain reaction whereby local people gave him the support he needed.

This moving story is one of many by Ari TV and this is why this media group needs support. After all, Ari TV is part of the community that they represent and because they are based “on the ground,” then they can highlight unique events.

Please support Ari TV by watching their many programs in Japanese providing you are a Japanese speaker. Also, if you main language is English or it is your second language then please view the Tohoku Revival CalendarIrrespective of language, Ari TV can build bridges throughout the local community and wider Tohoku region and also internationally. Therefore, Ari TV is “the voice of Sendai.”

http://en.re-tohoku.jp/ Tohoku Revival Calendar – English Version

http://www.ari-tv.jp/top.html Ari TV

http://ja-jp.facebook.com/aritv.sendai – Please contact for more information.

http://twitter.com/#!/re_tohoku_en – Please contact for more information

http://suzuki-yuukinouen.blog.ocn.ne.jp/

http://www.re-tohoku.jp Tohoku Revival Calendar – Japanese version

http://www.hayabusa2012.jp/index.html

 

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Tokyo fashion in Shinjuku: Marui One is amazing for Lolita, Kawaii, & other unique styles

Tokyo fashion in Shinjuku: Marui One is amazing for Lolita, Kawaii, & other unique styles

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

In Tokyo the names of Laforet Harajuku, Shibuya 109, and Marui One, stand out for being amazing stores to visit when it comes to fashion. If you adore kawaii fashion, Goth styles, punk, Gothloli, Lolita, Visual Kei, and so forth, then Mauri One in Shinjuku is a must. After all, the choice available is amazing and the environment blends well with the many boutiques which provide fantastic styles.

Famous boutiques which have enhanced the Tokyo fashion vibe can be found in Marui One because clearly they understand the significance of this major department store in the heart of Shinjuku. Indeed, it is thanks to some of these boutiques that the fashion industry in Japan is so famous internationally when it comes to unique styles. After all, many of the boutiques in Marui One have enabled the unique fashion trends of Tokyo to expand internationally.

Of course, the same boutiques can be found in other department stores and are located in many other cities. However, it is the unique fashion angle of Tokyo which attracts the younger generation from all over Japan and internationally. Yes, other major cities like Osaka and Kobe are blessed with stunning fashion districts and often alternative trends have begun in Osaka. Yet internationally it is the streets of Harajuku, Shibuya, and Shinjuku, which hit the headlines when it comes to youth culture, subcultures, and the latest trends in fashionable Tokyo.

In fairness, it is a little harsh on Kansai because it was this area that was the initial bedrock of Lolita fashion in Japan but internationally Tokyo gets more international attention than Osaka. Early boutiques which began this movement many decades ago applies to Milk and Pretty (known as Angelic Pretty in time), Pink House, The Stars Shine Bright, and Metamorphose temps de fille.

Therefore, turning back to Marui One it is clear that the strong background of some of these boutiques have enhanced the growing reputation of this department store in Tokyo.  Marui One also took a unique approach and collectively it is working like “a dream ticket.” Given this, stunning boutiques including Angelic Pretty; Metamorphose; Baby, The Stars Shines Bright; Alice and The Pirates; h.Naoto; Jesus Diamante; and many others, moved into Marui One because they understood the dynamics of this amazing store.

Angelic Pretty comments on their website that “Angelic Pretty provides adorable clothing covered in lace, frills and ribbons like that of the fairytale princess you dreamed about as a little girl. We want girls to never lose sight of that dream — And this is a brand for girls who want to keep that dream alive.”

Metamorphose comments that Metamorphose is an adorable brand of Lolita fashion made for everyone, best described as EGL or Elegant Gothic Lolita.”

“Almost everyone has the desire to “transform” one’s self, be it into an angel, someone who is more elegant, or even back to the time they were a little girl. With this concept in mind, we created the Metamorphose brand. In order to assist you in your “transformation”, while not being a slave to the current fashion, we continue to conceive cute EGL fashion.”

In truth, the companies highlighted in this article are real treasures because they stand out for being unique and providing a different angle to the diverse Tokyo fashion scene. Therefore, if you want to feel the vibes and unique styles of Tokyo then a visit to Marui One is a must because you have so many different styles to view. Also, the quality of the clothing stands out and the color schemes, creative angle, and unique thought patterns are clear for all to see.

In an earlier article by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that fashion at Marui One applies to “…fantasy fashion, romantic designs, modern kimono, Gothic Lolita, Sweet Lolita, dreamy fashion, casual styles, visual kei, and other amazing trends. Therefore, Marui One is like “a mirror” of parts of Harajuku because this store is internationally famous. Marui have many different stores in Shinjuku (and throughout Tokyo) but Marui One stands out because of its individualism.”  

Therefore, if you adore fashion then a visit to Marui One is most rewarding.

http://www.babyssb.co.jp/  Baby, The Stars Shine Bright

http://www.angelicpretty.com/en/ Angelic Pretty

http://www.metamorphose.gr.jp/english/ Metamorphose

http://www.boz.ne.jp/ Atelier Boz

http://www.hnaoto.com/ h.Naoto

http://www.jesusdiamante.com/ Jesus Diamante

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com  

 
 
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Posted by on March 3, 2012 in Japan

 

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Tokyo fashion: Kimoken and Koenji fashion in vibrant Tokyo

Tokyo fashion: Kimoken and Koenji fashion in vibrant Tokyo

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Kimoken (http://kimoken.exblog.jp/) highlights the fashion district of Koenji in Tokyo and this can be seen by the images he takes and the passion of his love of fashion. The different vibes of Koenji are gradually making waves in the media in Tokyo because the international press is mainly focused on Aoyama, Ginza, Harajuku, Omotesando, Shibuya, and Shinjuku. However, in Koenji you have a different side of fashion and many upcoming designers are focused on this district in Tokyo because of many factors. Also, the vintage angle is exceptional in Koenji and this factor enables individual styles to flourish.

The individual Kimoken (Kenta Kimoto) was born in 1979 and this year was very revolutionary in the international arena. This applies to the Iranian Revolution and other global events. However, the “revolution” within Kimoken would turn out to be fashion and the independent spirit of Koenji suits his philosophy.

Kimoken (http://blog.livedoor.jp/kimoken/stated that his favorite phrase is “Wara e ba wara e. Ware ga nasu koto ha ware nomi zo shiru” (If you want to laugh at me, then do it. What I do is known only by myself). This is a very powerful phrase and the daring fashion styles of fashion in Koenji, Harajuku, Shibuya, and so forth, which can often be viewed, suits this phrase. After all, only the individual knows the “real self” and why should people be constrained by others?  Therefore, this phrase is both enlightening and based on inner confidence.

If you want to connect this phrase with fashion in Tokyo then the fashion scene of Koenji flows naturally. Kimoken, therefore, takes photos of the daring fashion scene of Koenji which can be viewed at the above websites which have already been highlighted.

A partial list of vintage fashion companies in Koenji applies to Spank!, Yuri, Safari, Zool, Yakusoku, Bernet, Kuro Benz, Peep Cheep, Kiki, Jinjer, dai-dai, Chiruru, Sokkyou, Hikari, Mad Tea Party, Mouse, and Pheb, Vivid, Hoy-Hoy Station, Now Or Never, UK Extra, Re’all, and many others like Cord. This list is not the complete list of vintage fashion companies in Koenji therefore it is important to browse around in this fashion district. Also, the Kita-Kore building is growing in reputation and you have a special buzz in this place.

The beauty of the websites of Kimoken is that you can not only see his passion of fashion but you can feel the sheer vibrancy of the area he focuses on.  Kimoken highlights the freshness of fashion in Koenji and he does this with an individualistic style. Also, unlike some fashion websites which have a high commercial aspect the beauty of Kimoken and his thinking is that fashion is the central theme.

Kimoken was born in the prefecture of Ishikawa and he graduated at Osaka Bunka Fukushoku Gakuin in 2000. This fashion institution focuses on individuals to express their unique fashion styles and thinking. Also, the fashion scene in Osaka in places like Umeda and Namba, and other districts, is very vibrant. Therefore, Koenji fashion in Tokyo and the Osaka Bunka Fukushoku Gakuin have many similar characteristics because individualism, expression, freedom of thought, and so forth, are essential aspects of both Koenji and this fashion institution which is highly acclaimed.

After Kimoken finished his studies he became a DJ in the Kansai area but in 2005 he decided on a fresh break and moved to Tokyo. While being based in Tokyo he works and connects with people in various fields. This applies to movie directors, actors, comedians, street-performers and script writers. At present Kimoken primarily works as a scriptwriter where creativity is needed. However, other important areas apply to performing and continuously taking photos of the fashion scene in Tokyo and this notably applies to Koenji.

To understand the importance of fashion to Kimoken and why he is so passionate about this area, then you have to turn the clock back. This applies to the 1990s when he was a junior high school student because it was this period of his life when fashion became an important aspect to Kimoken.

At first he tried many different styles but he couldn’t find anything which expressed himself. However, this experience and searching around for the right fashion style for Kimoken was a valuable time for him because it broadened his understanding of fashion and highlighted how important it was to his life. Therefore, Kimoken now looks back at this time with fondness because it set him up on the future path that he would take.

In the 1990s he liked the 60’s Mod fashion which hit Japan in the 1970s and he connects this with why he adores the fashion of Koenji in Tokyo. After all, Koenji in Tokyo is famous for vintage fashion. Given this, Kimoken places Koenji to be number one for fashion in Tokyo based on the fashion scene which he is passionate about.

Kimoken’s favorite shop is the (http://ameblo.jp/madteaparty-kouenji/) Mad Tea Party and(http://lactoseintolerart.tumblr.com/Lactose Intoler-Art is highly respected by him because of the freshness of this website which focuses on creativity. Also, the fashion area he clicks with the most is the fashion style of 15 years ago and according to Kimoken the fashion scene in Koenji is based on many aspects. This notably applies to the vintage scene, up and coming designers in Tokyo, a fusion of the old mixed with the vibrant energy of youth and young adults, individualism, and where the only boundary is the “self.”

The style of Kimoken when feeling at his best applies to a shirt made from gauze, bell-button pants, and an opera hat to compliment everything.

If you want to view the vibes of Koenji then the Kimoken websites below are a must because they highlight the freshness of this fashion district. Not only this, the individual taking the images is passionate about fashion and you can feel his unique style and thinking within the images he takes.

ALL IMAGES IN THIS ARTICLE BELONG TO KIMOKEN

http://kimoken.exblog.jp / Kimoken (fashion images and news)

http://blog.livedoor.jp/kimoken/ Kimoken (fashion images and news)

I have produced online-comics.(Fashion & LoveStory comics)
http://ameblo.jp/kajipan2011/

Kimoken highlights this website

http://lactoseintolerart.tumblr.com/

Lactose Intoler-Art

Boutiques in Koenji

http://www.pheb.jp/ and Pheb

http://bernet.shop-pro.jp/ Bernet

http://chiruru.net/ Chiruru

http://ameblo.jp/cord1006/ Cord

http://daidaikoenji.blog56.fc2.com/ dai-dai

http://hoyhoy.shop-pro.jp/ Hoy-Hoy Station

http://ameblo.jp/greenlight-shoes/ Jinjer

http://kiki-kiki.ocnk.net/ Kiki

http://yaplog.jp/clobenz/ Kuro Benz

http://ameblo.jp/madteaparty-kouenji/ Mad Tea Party

http://ameblo.jp/mikamithemouse Mouse

http://usedclothingnowornever.blogspot.com/ Now Or Never

http://www.peepcheep.com/ Peep Cheep

http://ameblo.jp/realstep2/ Re’all

http://e-safari.co.jp/ Safari

http://www.sokkyou.net/ Sokkyou

http://spankworld.jp/ Spank!

http://uk-extra.com/ UK Extra

http://www.vivid-web.jp/ Vivid

http://www.e-yuri.jp/Page/TOP Yuri

http://zool.jp/ Zool

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Japan

 

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Tokyo fashion vibes in Harajuku and Omotesando: Tokyo females 18-24

Tokyo fashion vibes in Harajuku and Omotesando: Tokyo females 18-24

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Fashion lovers all over the world know the power of Tokyo because this sector is ultra-competitive and vast sums are spent every year in order to get a piece of the “Tokyo apple pie.” The purpose of all the surveys done by Modern Tokyo Times is to get behind the hype of companies who dominate the international press and media in Tokyo in order to find “the real trends” of this buzzing fashion city. Of course, the surveys are based on individuals who adore fashion and the focus on the third survey remains within the female market.

This survey was based on 100 females who visit the fashion districts of Harajuku and Omotesando. The age group who answered this survey was between 18 and 24 years of age and the common theme was that all adore fashion. Harajuku and Omotesando were selected because both fashion districts are linked together and share this vibrant fashion area of Tokyo.  Also, Harajuku and Omotesando are internationally famous throughout the world and the back streets are awash with trendy boutiques and this fact compliments the extravagant main street which links both districts.

In an earlier survey related to females in the age group of 18 and 26 which was based on fashion throughout Tokyo and not limited to two fashion districts. Then when it came to favorite department stores and shopping malls it is clear that the findings from this survey highlight clear differences.

Therefore, the last survey highlighted that Lumine just came out on top from Marui and Shibuya 109. Laforet Harajuku just came behind these and Isetan was also selected favorably. However, when it came to this survey then only Laforet Harajuku of all the above is based in the districts covered in this survey. Not surprisingly, therefore, the findings for the favorite department store or shopping mall was different.

This applies to Laforet Harajuku dominating and being followed by Parco and Lumine. Lumine was still selected highly and this bodes well for this elegant department store and it was good to see Parco doing well in this survey. After all, it shows that different fashion districts will have certain bias towards individual companies and department stores. After all, everybody that took part in this survey loves the fashion districts of Harajuku and Omotesando. Given this reality then Laforet Harajuku held a distinctive advantage but it was noticeable that nobody highlighted Shibuya 109. This may hint at the rivalry between Harajuku and Shibuya?

Like in the previous two surveys the choice for favorite shops and brands was extremely varied but clearly some companies have been highlighted highly in all three surveys. In the survey based on the 18-26 year old age group throughout Tokyo then last time it was stated by Modern Tokyo Times that “Overall, the most popular fashion companies selected were Zara, Topshop, Emoda, Snidel, Sly, and H & M. This group was closely followed by Mercury Duo, Egoist, American Apparel, Forever 21, Moussy, Jouetie, and Laguna Moon. Likewise, the following tier which was just below the last group applies to Chanel, Tsumori Chisato, Marua, Rose Bud, Risel, Chloe, Dazzlin, Otoe, Comme des Garcons, Gucci, Lowry’s Farm, Miu Miu, G.V.G.V., Spick and Span, Unsqueaky, Earth Music & Ecology, Beams, SmackyGlam (Smacky Glam), Jill Stuart, Free’s Shop, Chelsea, Liz Lisa, and Lip Service.”

 

Also, in the survey before this based on the fashion vibes of Daikanyama and Jiyugaoka in the female age group of 18-30 the survey stated that “Mercury Duo, Zara, Snidel, Topshop, Beams, Laguna Moon, Spick and Span, Ingni, Lowry’s Farm and G.V.G.V., were selected several times with regards to favorite shop and favorite brand. Overall, Mercury Duo was mentioned the most but it was very close and many other companies were selected. This applies to Forever 21, H & M, Gucci, Deicy, Louis Vuitton, Ships, Egoist, Jupiter, Polo Ralph Lauren, United Arrows, John Lawrence Sullivan, Liz Lisa, Sly, Free’s Shop, Stella McCartney, Osmosis, Journal Standard, Adam et Rope, Loungedress, Earth Music & Ecology, Lip Service, Smacky Glam (SmackyGlam), D’issy, Urban Research, Sister, Dazzlin, Miu Miu, Ryza, Jill Stuart, Jeffrey Campbell, Vivienne Westwood, A.P.C., Toga, Frayi D, Rosso, and a few others.”

 

Interestingly, when it came to favorite department stores for females shopping in Daikanyama and Jiyugaoka, it was apparent that Marui, Lumine, and Isetan, were selected the most. After these three then Shibuya 109 and Laforet Harajuku also did well. Therefore, in this survey Parco showed its strongest showing and the findings are very interesting.

Turning back to the favorite brands and shops selected in Harajuku and Omotesando then like previously mentioned you did have a few companies who also showed up well in all three surveys. This notably applies to Topshop, Snidel, H & M, Zara, and Sly.

In this survey the companies that did extremely well applies to Topshop, American Apparel, H & M, Comme des Garcons, Beams, Zara, Togo, Tsumori Chisato, Chelsea, I am I, Bubbles, and Vivien Westwood. The next tier applies to KBF, Opening Ceremony, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Forever 21, Journal Standard, Barbie, Dual, Snidel, PoPo, Jouetie, Sly, Wall, and Mina Perhonen. Overall, it is clear from the boutiques selected that the mix highlights the diversity of the survey and this applies to the fact that some internationally famous boutiques were selected alongside some lesser known brands.

The most interesting finding was that many of the boutiques which are highlighted in the international media when it comes to Harajuku fashion weren’t selected. Occasionally individuals did have certain items on that they bought from companies related to “kawaii fashion” but none were selected when it came to favorite shop and brand. Of the trendy companies which do get favorable mentions because of their unique styles then Grimoire and Candy Stripper were selected but overall the profile of major quaint styles weren’t highlighted in this survey.

When it came to the “favorite hair salon” question then Bloc and Shima once more did very well and Shima in every survey keeps on being highlighted favorably. Velo hair saloon also did remarkably well in this survey and other companies like YY, Ultra C, Rosso, and Lili were selected several times.

With each new survey then important findings are being made and clearly certain patterns are emerging. Also, each survey is highlighting the importance of each specific fashion district and the overall strength of department stores is clearly informative. Of course the surveys are limited because of the numbers involved but each new survey is helping to strengthen the collective findings.

In every survey many companies were selected in the third tier and fourth tier and amongst the boutiques which came out near the top it is clear that some common themes are happening. Also, in this survey major international brands like Prada, Issey Miyake, Miu Miu, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and others, were also selected in the third tier and given the age group belonging to 18 and 24 then this showing is powerful.

Also, the diversity of boutiques selected is highlighting the vibrancy of fashion in Tokyo and that the market is ultra-competitive. All females selected in this survey value fashion highly and the fashion styles of women selected applies to mainstream elegant styles, student based fashion, and youth orientated fashion.

http://www.style-arena.jp

http://www.laforet.ne.jp/floor_guide/floor_1f_e.html Laforet Harajuku

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Japan

 

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Tokyo fashion: Style Arena is an essential website for Tokyo fashion

Tokyo fashion: Style Arena is an essential website for Tokyo fashion

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Style Arena http://www.style-arena.jp is an essential website for individuals who adore Tokyo fashion. Of course, you have many amazing fashion websites highlighting this amazing fashion city and clearly individual websites will be focused on different styles, angles, and other important areas. However, if you want essential information which is updated regularly and to view images of the Tokyo scene, then Style Arena comes highly recommended.

Style Arena is administered by the Japan Fashion Association and clearly this organization understands the need to relate to people in Japan and the international community. The interactive nature of this website is easily understood and you can read the website in Chinese, English, Japanese, and Korean. This is a real bonus and shows the care and passion of Style Arena in furthering not only fashion but greater cultural understanding.

Currently on the main page of Style Arena you can view the latest fashion scene in Daikanyama, Harajuku, Omotesando, Shibuya, and Ginza. This area constantly changes and areas like Ebisu, Shinjuku, Shimokitazawa, Koenji, Jiyugaoka, Ikebukuro, Nakameguro, Yurakucho, and all fashionable areas throughout Tokyo are highlighted.

Style Arena began in 2002 and in June this year this stunning fashion website will mark ten years. In all that time people have witnessed a website which highlights the Tokyo fashion scene with complete professionalism and care. This is clearly apparent by the layout, the user-friendly nature of the website, striking images of fashionable individuals in Tokyo, and updated information highlighting fashion companies, new trends, and other important areas.

Throughout the year (http://www.style-arena.jp/event/dt/7events are covered and if you click on the following link you will witness “real” Tokyo fashion. The care to detail, angle of images, clearness of each image, and so forth, are all done in a very appealing way. This applies to freshness and clearly the images relate to the fashion scene which can be seen in trendy areas throughout Tokyo.

The most essential and important angle from the view of Modern Tokyo Times is the information supplied alongside the images. For example, if you click on the latest images from Omotesando then immediately you will know about where the individual bought their clothes, their favorite brands, and other essential information.

From a marketing point of view this is amazing because immediately after viewing so many images you will get to know the latest trends. Also, information about favorite brands, favorite shops, and the brands that individuals are wearing on the day, is most helpful. Like always, this is done in true style and information isn’t overloaded and the same applies to the images.

Overall, if you want to know the latest fashion vibes of Tokyo then Style Arena must be on your hotlist.

http://www.style-arena.jp

http://www.style-arena.jp/street/individual/dt/4269

http://www.style-arena.jp/street/individual/dt/4290

http://www.style-arena.jp/street/individual/dt/4273

Images in this article are not from Style Arena.  Please click on the Style Arena website to view the latest trends of Tokyo.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Japan

 

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Korean International Style Show in Tokyo Jan 25/26/27: Fashion and K-pop

Korean International Style Show in Tokyo Jan 25/26/27: Fashion and K-pop

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

In Tokyo (http://www.mbcjapan.net/kiss/the buzzing nature of Korean fashion and K-pop will be on show for three days starting on January 25. The “Korean wave” which is spreading internationally and growing in power in distant lands, will be on show in the ultra-modern city of Tokyo. Also, while the K-pop phenomena is internationally known because of the vibrancy of the younger generation in South Korea, this three day event will also focus on Korean fashion and show the buzzing nature of fashion in this nation which is rich in culture and history.

The event will be held at Yoyogi National Gymnasium in trendy Tokyo and this building is in walking distance of the amazing fashion district of Harajuku. Girls Award presents KISS (Korean International Style Show) and clearly everything is being prepared for a stunning fashion and K-pop event which will reverberate throughout Tokyo.

The Korean fashion angle is showing the natural extension of the vibrant K-pop music scene because both flow naturally together. More important, the fashion and music vibes of Tokyo, Seoul, Busan, Osaka, and other major cities in Japan and South Korea respectively, are in high demand and with the economic power of major international cities like Tokyo then these are exciting times.

Stunning models will also enhance the fashion vibes of South Korea. Also, the “Tokyo apple pie” and “Osaka apple pie” continues to attract amazing K-pop groups and soloists from South Korea. Therefore, this event will highlight the energy and vibrancy of fashion and K-pop and show the synergy of both nations.

Japanese fashion will also be highlighted despite the main focus being South Korean fashion. Also, Lumine which is adored in Japan will show the huge crowd why this department store is one step ahead. The mixture of Japanese fashion being in the background but providing a nice angle is a really nice touch and Lumine will express the trends within the Tokyo and Japanese fashion scene.

On the first day on January 25 high end fashion companies will be showing their latest trends and the elegance of South Korean fashion. This applies to Lie Sang Bong, Doho, Couronne, and Resurrection by Juyoung. Japanese fashion brands will also be on show and this applies to Dresscamp and Loveless x MCM.

The following day on January 26 will witness the buzzing South Korean fashion trends of Spicy Color, Mag/Mag (Magnificon/Magnificent), Who A.U. California Dream, and LAP (Los Angeles Project). Lumine will also compliment proceedings by showing the vibe of this amazing department store which is based throughout Tokyo. This day promises to be high action and will show a different angle to day one.

The final day of this three day event will highlight South Korean street fashion from the shopping mall Doota. This applies to brands which can be found in this trendy shopping mall in South Korea and brands on show will be Blooming, Gshopgirl, Senorita, Cres.edim, The Style, and Le Queen Couture. On the same day the Japanese fashion brand Guild Prime will highlight their latest products.

Of course the music aspect is very important and currently 33,000 tickets have been sold. K-pop groups on show include Kara, Girls’ Generation, After School, T-ara, CN Blue, Beast, Sistar, F-T Island, 4 Minute, Rainbow, Secret, and Infinite.

Kara, Girls’ Generation, After School, and T-ara, are often highlighted in the media in Japan because these stunning bands have enabled the “Korean Wave” to grow and prosper in Japan. BoA laid the foundation stone and this stunning soloist is still going strong because her recent track “Milestone” was full of emotion and passion. Therefore, for all K-pop lovers in Tokyo and throughout Japan, this is a great chance to witness amazing music acts from South Korea and to view the buzzing nature of South Korean fashion.

The three day event is a must for all individuals who adore K-pop and the fashion scene.

 

http://www.mbcjapan.net/kiss/ – Website for full details of the event

http://www.liesangbong.com/gb/index.php

http://www.whoau.com/engCover/index.html

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in ASIA, Japan

 

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