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Tokyo tourism and Odaiba: backwater to fashion, architecture and ultra modernity

Tokyo tourism and Odaiba: backwater to fashion, architecture and ultra modernity

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

In Tokyo several places really stand out for being unique in style and this certainly applies to Odaiba. If this is your first visit to Tokyo then Odaiba is a must because of the stunning architecture on show. Also, if you travel by New Transit Yurikamome by connecting at Shimbashi Train Station, then your first view of Odaiba and the entire area will always stay with you because this ultra-modern transport system highlights the creativity of buzzing Tokyo. Therefore, in the modern period Odaiba is clearly on the tourist map and a must place to escape the madding crowds of buzzing Shinjuku, Shibuya, and many other high octane areas like Ikebukuro.

However, not so long ago this part of Tokyo was rundown and the future looked bleak. This is difficult to imagine given the trendy boutiques on show in several elegant shopping malls and the beach which is a welcome escape. Also, at night the stunning Rainbow Bridge is a treat in itself and the same applies to watching boats passing by with people enjoying life.

Yet in the early 1990s this scene was difficult to predict because the bubble economy meant that new hope for Odaiba seemed distant. Indeed the history of Odaiba is fascinating by itself because this part of Tokyo was constructed in 1851 to keep America and others at bay. However, the winds of change meant that this dream couldn’t be maintained because Western encroachment was spilling all over Asia.

It is somewhat ironic today that you have a Statue of Liberty based in Odaiba with its French roots. This iconic image for Americans and people all over the world is a little out of place in Japan and the same applies to the history of this district which was built to keep international trade at bay.

The next major push to alter Odaiba was a public park which was refurbished in 1928 and the remnants of this venture remains today with further modernizations. However, the real momentum for Odaiba was based on the success of the Expo ’85 which was held in Tsukuba. Therefore, with the economy being in full swing in this period and the success of Tsukuba, major plans were made to turn Odaiba into a futuristic city.

This applied to designing places for exclusive living, modern architecture, important business structures, and other relevant areas. Yet after the bubble economy much of the new planning appeared like one big disaster because by the middle of the 1990s you had many vacant lots, a minor population which couldn’t maintain Odaiba and other areas were still a wasteland.  Therefore, development was very uneven and far from being a showcase it was a remnant of over-spending and grand ideas which seemed out of place.

However, in 1996 fresh thinking emerged which laid the foundation for a buzzing Odaiba and this applies to allowing entertainment districts and commercial ventures. Within a short time trendy shopping malls were entering the scene along with hotels and large companies which would alter the landscape. This can be seen today by the iconic Fuji TV building which was a trendsetter and even today it is a famous landmark. Also, new transportation links opened up the area and the attractiveness of the seaside became a winner which would be connected with the park, trendy shopping malls, new entertainment ventures and other important factors.

In an earlier article about Odaiba by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that “Odaiba is a major tourist area in Tokyo and the beauty of this place is that you feel that you are visiting a different Tokyo because of the beach, walkways, Statue of Liberty, and the colorful boats which light up the see at night.  Therefore, while Odaiba is full of life during the day it is also true that the atmosphere changes at night because of the stunning views of Rainbow Bridge at night.” 

“Odaiba is also a great place for romance because at night you will see many romantic couples walking hand in hand and you will often see people smooching near the beach area or on the beach.”

“The development of Fuji TV Building, Tokyo Big Sight, Telecom Center, and other futuristic buildings, all helped to create a new Odaiba.  Each new lavish development complimented Odaiba and by the end of the 1990s it was clear that tourism would begin to take off.”

  

In the Odaiba of 2012 you have many lovely boutiques to visit in Decks Tokyo Beach and Aquacity Odaiba. The boutiques are a mixture of Japanese fashion and international fashion and clearly many Tokyoites love to visit these fashionable malls. Also, in Aquacity Odaiba you have a major cinema complex and the wooden decks outside provide stunning views of Rainbow Bridge from various different angles.

Another great place to find elegant boutiques is Venus Fort which is designed like an eighteenth century South European town. The boutiques and restaurants in Venus Fort mix well with the stylish architecture. Therefore, the fashion aspect of Odaiba can’t be ignored and you have many conventions for cosplay and other trendy aspects of Japanese culture.

Tourists are also spoilt for choice because you have many tourist attractions and this notably applies to Telecom Center Area; Odaiba Seaside Park; Daikanransha Ferris Wheel; Museum of Maritime Science; National Museum of Emerging Science; Ariake Colosseum; Palette Town; Leisureland; Toyota Mega Web; Oedo Onsen Monogatari; Panasonic Center; Zepp Tokyo; and Tokyo Big Sight is a huge exhibition and convention center and the architecture is extremely bold.

In 2012 you have more grand designs in the pipeline and clearly Odaiba will continue to flourish. The beach is a welcome place to relax and Rainbow Bridge at night is truly beautiful.  Therefore, if you are new to Tokyo then Odaiba is a must place to visit because you will witness an ultra-modern area which is fused together with modern tourist concepts.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3008.html

http://www.aquacity.jp/en/shop/fashion01_2.html

http://www.venusfort.co.jp/multi/index_e.html 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in Japan

 

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Astral Boutique in California and Vintage Style in trendy Tokyo

Astral Boutique in California and Vintage Style in trendy Tokyo

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Sasha Soukup is a very creative lady and if you visit Astral Boutique then you can feel her deep passion and artistic nature within the styles on show and the presentation given. Astral Boutique provides lovely vintage style clothes and accessories. Also, the impact of nature and aesthetics is clear for all to see within this fashion company. Therefore, while the Sierra foothills in California may appear to be distant from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, in the world of fashion it is just a step away.

In recent years vintage fashion is impacting on the younger generation in trendy Tokyo and even in the Mecca of youth culture in Shibuya you will find vintage fashion. Also, in the smaller fashion districts like Nakameguro you will find the vintage style flourishing. This would certainly please individuals like Sasha Soukup because her company Astral Boutique caters for individuals who adore this type of fashion.

Sasha Soukup (http://www.etsy.com/shop/astralboutique) comments that “I have taken a winding road to end up at my happy home selling vintage clothing on Etsy. I always knew I was an artist, but for a long time it seemed impossible to blend my love of literature, film, dress-up, and magic into one “coherent” form. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I studied Cinema in college, worked in every strange job I could find in my 20s, studied Herbal Medicine, and developed my artistic life in musical performance. Eventually I could not resist the call of the Wild, and I moved to the forest in the Sierra foothills, in a very hippie-friendly community that is full of unique artists. I love my working life because I get to make magic and stories for a living, and sell clothes to happy people all over the world!”

Therefore, Sasha Soukup fuses nature, thought patterns, individualism, art, the environment, and other creative angles, in order to enhance Astral Boutique. In Tokyo you have companies like Grimoire, Hypnotique, Kinji, Panama Boy, Tarock, Cult Party, Qosmos, Kinsella, Monde Garage, Berberjin, Bubbles, and many others, which fuse aspects of vintage styles within the image of Baroque (Grimoire) or remain firmly within vintage fashion (Monde Garage). This creativity is in increasing demand and Grimoire which is based in the Shibuya area (near to Harajuku) is extremely passionate about their fashion designs.

Of course the trendy nature of Grimoire, which focuses on Baroque styles but creates individual designs, is clearly a million miles away from the vintage fashion of Astral Boutique. However, the connection is that past fashions have influenced their modern thinking and you can feel a connection with historical European fashion. Despite this, the beauty of companies like Grimoire is that their fashion is not only distinctive, but it is trendy in a special way and clearly this company is thriving.

The style of Sasha Soukup and her company Astral Boutique may be very different from some of the above mentioned companies in Tokyo. However, they all share an inner passion which is searching for something new but within the fusion of past fashion trends and designs. This in turn generates an individual style and creates fresh ideas which fit easily within “the many worlds of fashion.” Therefore, many young Tokyoites are connecting with vintage styles and other types of products which belong to a different era but which continue to bless the modern world.

Sasha Soukup further comments that “I choose my vintage very carefully, based on timeless design, quality fabrics, and flattering color schemes. I follow current vintage trends, because they are fun, but also stock a lot of classic pieces that will never go out of style. I am a one person operation, and I do all of my photography, modeling, styling, customer service, and promotion myself! It is really fun doing outdoor photo shoots- I love the rural background for my clothes, especially because I carry so many pieces from the 1960s and 1970s “hippie” or “boho” days in California. The natural setting really complements the feeling of these special pieces. I love nothing more than hearing that someone has opened their package and fallen in love with the clothing inside- I think of myself as a channel for beautiful and unique vintage. It sounds funny to say that it is almost a spiritual thing for me, but clothing has a lot of energy! I like to keep it flowing, so I keep my prices very low.”

It is extremely refreshing that you have fashion individuals like Sasha Soukup because just like the fashion company Grimoire in Tokyo, it is individuals and unique companies which are keeping the “heart of fashion alive” and this is essential. After all, behind all the commercialism are individuals who want to express aspects about themselves. This means that individual buyers who adore fashion can connect strongly with fashion companies like Astral Boutique because each individual item is based on passion and utmost care.

In Koenji which is an unusual fashion district in Tokyo you will see many aspects of ordinary life and people going about their daily life. However, amidst the mundane buildings you also have a flourishing fashion district whereby new designers are creating their own styles. Also, retro fashion is in huge demand and companies like Spank!s is showing another angle of Tokyo fashion.

The fashion district of Nakameguro is also blessed with companies which highlight vintage fashion, for example Monde Garage. Also, J’Antiques sells all sorts of different vintage products and if you shop around the old world will open up a new dimension.

Nakameguro, Daikanyama, Jiyugaoka, Kichijoji, Nakano, and Shimo-Kitazawa, are smaller fashion districts in Tokyo but they are enabling the uniqueness of fashion in this mega-city to shine. In truth, the beauty of Tokyo is that while Aoyama, Harajuku, Ikebukuro, Ginza, Omotesando, Shibuya, and Shinjuku, hog the limelight; it is the lesser lights which have enhanced the quality of life in Tokyo.

Takako Hotta, who is a stunning model and actress in Tokyo, simply adores shopping in districts like Nakameguro. One of her favorite boutiques is Monde Garage in this part of Tokyo. In her video Takako Hotta comments that “all the clothes are handmade” and this appeals greatly to this elegant and sophisticated lady.

This spirit is powerful and so is the importance of hand made products, individualism, and searching for something special. Of course, the trendy districts of Aoyama, Harajuku, Ikebukuro, Ginza, Omotesando, Shibuya, and Shinjuku, are all very special and you have amazing boutiques. However, for individuals who adore vintage fashion then companies like Astral Boutiques in California and Qosmos in Shibuya provide their own unique vibe and spark of creativity.

Returning back to the charming and sophisticated Sasha Soukup she comments that “I am lucky to have built a fan base of loyal customers from all over the world. The Etsy community is so friendly, and many fellow sellers and customers have become my “real life” friends! There is also an appreciation for artistic presentation on Etsy, and some people have even used my shop photos as templates for their paintings. It is a real artistic community, with inspiration shared all around.”

Therefore, if you adore vintage fashion then please check the website of Astral Boutique because within each fashion item is an inner spirit of care and passion. Individuals like Sasha Soukup bless the fashion industry because  buyers of vintage fashion, designers, people searching for old vintage styles, lovers of fashion, and so forth, all have their own part to play in order to maintain a diverse fashion scene. Also, the artistic images on her adorable website, highlights the vibrant spirit within Astral Boutique and this is most noticeable.

ASTRAL BOUTIQUE

https://twitter.com/AstralBoutique Twitter account of Sasha Soukup

http://www.etsy.com/shop/astralboutique Astral Boutique (PLEASE VISIT)

TOKYO FASHION

http://www.style-arena.jp JAPAN STREET FASHION AND IMAGES

http://www.grimoire.jp/ GRIMOIRE

http://www.dokidoki6.com/ 6%DOKIDOKI

http://tokyofashion.com/ TOKYO FASHION IMAGES AND INFO

http://www.japanesestreets.com/ IMAGES OF STREET FASHION

http://www.lacarmina.com/blog/ La Carmina

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYIqXrZ9G2Y  Takako Hotta and Monde Garage

http://www.takakohotta.com/  Takako Hotta

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/11/28/tokyo-fashion-four-essential-websites-for-fashion-and-consumer-news/  MODERN TOKYO TIMES ARTICLE

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 ALL IMAGES BELONG TO SASHA SOUKUP AND ASTRAL BOUTIQUE

 
 
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Posted by on December 26, 2011 in Japan, NORTH AMERICA

 

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Tokyo fashion and gardens: Rikugien, Kyu-Furukawa and fashion in Omotesando

Tokyo fashion and gardens: Rikugien, Kyu-Furukawa and fashion in Omotesando

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The beauty of Tokyo is that this mega-modern city caters for various lifestyles and areas change quickly. If you adore fashion then Tokyo is an amazing city because you have a plethora of choices. Therefore, each fashion district is buzzing for different reasons and on the opposite side of the coin you have many lovely gardens to relax and enjoy stunning nature.

Omotesando is famous for high-end fashion because you have so many fabulous companies to visit.  This applies to international boutiques and Japanese boutiques. Also, the closeness to Aoyama, Harajuku and Shibuya means that this fashion area is one of the most dynamic in the world. This isn’t an overstatement, it is based on facts and the same applies to the diversity of fashion.

Therefore, in Omotesando you are on the edge of so many different styles. This applies to exquisite and elegant fashion, kawaii trends, street styles, Lolita fashion, Dolly Kei, Vintage fashion, mainstream, and a host of other styles. Also, the age range changes quickly and this all adds to a fantastic buzz and natural energy.

Grimoire is on the border of Harajuku and Shibuya and this company is extremely unique and vibrant. The same applies to many other companies like 6% DOKIDOKI and the talented designer Sebastian Masuda. Therefore, with companies like Grimoire, Candy, and 6%DOKIDOKI (Harajuku), you can feel a lovely individualistic style and other amazing boutiques have created a lovely buzz and vibrant spirit.

If you love more mainstream fashion and elegant designs by top notch boutiques then a visit to Omotesando Hills is a real treat. Inside this building of stunning architecture you have countless international and Japanese boutiques which are sublime.

This applies to stunning boutiques in Omotesando Hills which include Adore, Anterpima, Betsey Johnson, Black Fleece, Escada Sport, Tour H. creer (Merveille H.), Yves Saint Laurent, Zara, Tracy Reese, Kiwa Sylphy, iliann loeb, Milly, Tiara, Apartment Department, Martinique Le Conte, Patrizia Pepe Firenze (Incontro), Oriental News and so many others. In truth, every single boutique is a wonder to behold and the design and architecture of Omotesando Hills is a real treasure.

Therefore, if you love fashion then “think” Omotesando, Harajuku, Aoyama and Shibuya. Of course you have many fantastic fashion districts in Tokyo but this collective area is difficult to beat in any nation. After all, you can travel between each area on foot and the different trends and styles are amazing.

On the opposite side of the fashion coin in Tokyo are the many gardens which grace this amazing city. If you want a lovely contrast between vibrant and buzzing Tokyo with a more sedate and tranquil area, then Komagome is well worth visiting. This applies to lovely gardens and many Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines to visit alongside shops which focus on antiques and other products.

It is difficult to imagine than Komagome is so close to Ikebukuro with all its trendy fashion in yet another fashion district in Tokyo. Alternatively, it is also difficult to believe that Komagome is so close to Ueno which is blessed with so many museums and tourist places to visit. Also, fashion in Ueno is electric but in its own distinctive style and you have a more Northeast Asia feel about Ueno than the usual Tokyo vibe.

Yet in Komagome you can enjoy the stunning gardens of Rikugien and Kyu-Furukawa which is in the same area. Both gardens are kept beautiful all year round and the main walkways provide glimpses into the ethics of Japanese gardens.  Therefore, space, time, views, emotions, minimalism, and other elements, fuse naturally with aspects of Confucianism, Buddhism and Shintoism.

A real added bonus in Rikugien is that you can sit down and drink traditional Japanese tea and eat delicious Japanese sweets. At the same time, the view is amazing and you can look out and gaze at the stunning pond and see nature in all its beauty.

The pond in both gardens is the central theme but if you desire you can walk around more secluded areas. Komagome is extremely rewarding because of the therapeutic nature of both gardens. Therefore, if you want to escape the buzzing fashion districts of Tokyo or to enjoy the best of both worlds, then a visit to Komagome is essential.

The shopping district in Komagome is only small but you will find folk art stores, antiques, traditional Japanese sweets, Japanese dyed garments, ceramics, independent shops and so much more. Also, if you search around you will feel the sedate and tranquil nature of this part of Tokyo and another world will open up to you.

Kyu-Furukawa Garden is a little more natural despite the garden being well kept and while Rikugien Garden is the more famous garden, both gardens enrich each other. Not only this, the architecture of the Josiah Condor (1852-1920) Western-style residence in the Kyu-Furukawa Garden is a lovely bonus. Therefore, this building alongside the rose garden provides a lovely British and Japanese theme.

Overall, Omotesando and Komagome may seem like chalk and cheese however, this is what makes Tokyo so special. Therefore, a visit to both places will make Tokyo come alive and Tokyoites and tourists gain from both amazing places.

Please visit the  links  below for more information about both gardens

http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/rikugien/index.html

http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/kyu-furukawa/

http://www.omotesandohills.com/english/shops-restaurants/index.html  

Individual fashion companies

http://www.dokidoki6.com/

http://www.grimoire.jp/

http://candy-nippon.com/

Omotesando Hills

http://www.omotesandohills.com/english/  

http://www.adore2005.com/

http://anteprima.com/

http://www.ap-dp.com/  

http://www.betseyjohnson.jp/

http://www.brooksbrothers.co.jp/fleece/index.html

http://www.erikonail.com/

http://www.escada.com/

http://www.iliannloeb.com/

http://eu.jimmychoo.com/en/restofworld/page/home?notify=yes

http://www.kiwasylphy.jp/

http://www.lebois.jp/  

http://www.maccosmetics.co.jp/

http://www.merveilleh.co.jp/

http://www.melrose.co.jp/martinique/index.html

http://ameblo.jp/oriental-news-omotesando/

http://www.incontro.co.jp/

http://www.melrose.co.jp/tiara/

http://www.pasdedeux.co.jp/

http://www.ysl.com/d/

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com  

ALL FASHION IMAGES BY MODERN TOKYO TIMES

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2011 in Japan

 

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Tokyo fashion: Elegant fashion from Switzerland adding to Ginza renaissance

Tokyo fashion: Elegant fashion from Switzerland adding to Ginza renaissance

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

In Tokyo the district of Ginza means style, sophistication and the crème de la crème of Japanese and international boutiques. Recently, a new vibe is emerging once more in Ginza and Yurakucho because of the opening of new department stores and fabulous international boutiques.

Luxury companies from Switzerland have opened three new stores in the last few months and this is adding to a new vibe in Ginza. Akris is a company which is famous for exquisite fashion and accessories and clearly Ginza was the ideal choice.

The rich history of Akris fits in well with Ginza because sophistication and crème de la crème fashion companies, is the reality of this plush and refined district in Tokyo. Akris was created in 1922 by Alice Kriemler-Schoch and just like images of Switzerland which applies to stunning beauty, refinement and a nation which is confident and sophisticated. Then Akris and other refined fashion companies from Switzerland are creating a lovely and elegant vibe and adding to the renaissance of Ginza.

The fashion house Akris is based on Haute Couture craftsmanship, minimalism, elegance and the finest material. Other impeccable facts about this company apply to sheer innovation, understanding the complexity of fashion in the modern world and providing a look which is chic and elegant.

Bally just like Akris have opened a new stunning boutique in Ginza and this magnificent fashion company is extremely rich in history. Carl Franz Bally and Fritz his brother founded this company in 1851. However, Fritz would soon leave but Carl Franz Bally was undeterred and by the 1860s this innovative company employed over 500 individuals and expansion would continue because the quality shoes were in high demand.

The reputation of Bally speaks for itself because sophistication and amazing merchandize is all rolled into one. In 1976 Bally reached out to new markets because now this sublime company also focused on handbags, clothing and leather accessories.

However, 1977 would witness a major event because the Bally family now sold all their interests in this exquisite company but the foundation stone of Carl Franz Bally remained in spirit and name.

Not surprisingly, teething problems began to emerge because the global market was changing and developing nations were flooding the market. Despite this, it is clear that this wasn’t the real issue because Bally stands for refinement, exquisite quality and their client base is very different.

Therefore, a negative period began to unfold but the rich history of Bally and remaining loyal to high quality merchandise, meant that a new renaissance for this company would once more emerge. This renaissance can be seen by recent bold moves and the opening of Bally in Ginza was certainly well planned because this part of Tokyo is a fitting place for such a stylish and graceful company.

Freitag, unlike Bally and Akris, isn’t based on such a rich history but just like the founder of Bally this company had a firm direction and responded to the environment that shaped their thinking. Feitag have firmly established themselves internationally and in Japan this hip and stylish company is certainly in demand.

In an article by Regula Brechbuhl called “Freitag – The Designer Bag With a Conscience” the author comments in 2008 that “It was 1993 when the brothers Daniel and Markus Freitag introduced their first Freitag bag with its distinctive, unisex design. The bag caught on fast with young people in Zurich, and soon became a must-have item, mainly because they were colorful, original and carried a message about environmental friendliness, as they were pieced together from bits of recycled truck tarps. That year, the brothers produced just 40 bags – by 1994, it was five times as many. The brothers’ timing was just right: This was the period when people, students especially, were getting into heated arguments about the destruction of the forests, the importance of recycling and the detriments of environmental pollution. So the two designers were suddenly hailed as visionaries.”

Further down the article by Regula Brechbuhl it is stated that “…the Freitag credo: loving attention to detail. For example, a photograph is taken of every bag produced, then attached to it with a description of how that particular model came about…..This is just the sort of detail that appeals to Japanese consumers…. Freitag products are now on sale in 36 Japanese city center shops (applies to 2008). “What’s currently happening in Japan, is just what happened in Switzerland between 2000 and 2003,” says CEO Streuli. “We are now concentrating on markets with a similar growth curve, and in which the product is well understood, including urban centers in Japan, Germany, Benelux, Italy and Scandinavia. The potential for growth is gigantic.”

Akris, Bally, and Freitag, have their own individual history and this also applies to their respective relationship with Japanese consumers. However, to have such exquisite companies opening up in Ginza in 2011 speaks volumes about the current renaissance in Ginza and Yurakucho which go into each other.

Switzerland is famous for stunning beauty, highly advanced economy, sophistication and a nation which is confident. These three companies will bring their own style and innovation to the heart of Ginza. Therefore, Japanese consumers of luxury products alongside tourists who visit fashionable Ginza will all benefit.

Indeed, Ginza and these three sublime companies is a perfect match!

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2011 in Japan

 

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Tokyo fashion: Omotesando Hills and adorable fashion in Tokyo

Tokyo fashion: Omotesando Hills and adorable fashion in Tokyo

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Tokyo fashion is extremely diverse and you have so many places to visit throughout this ultramodern city. Irrespective if you are a Tokyoite or visitor to Tokyo you can’t but help to notice the sophistication of fashion in this electric city.  Therefore, you are literally spoilt for choice but if you like refined areas, a lovely mixture of Japanese and international fashion and a real vibe, then Omotesando and the entire area is one big fashion paradise.

This applies to the continuity of Aoyama, Harajuku, Omotesando and Shibuya. It is simply amazing and you have so many other areas of quality fashion. Therefore, for the fashion conscious Tokyo is a must and international tourists who love fashion will simply adore the many areas of this trendy and vibrant mega-city.

Omotesando Hills is a fantastic place to visit and see the rich variety of Japanese and international fashion. Also, while the initial issue of the opening of this building cast doubts, related to the old area which was loved by locals in Aoyama. It must be stated that many years later then all this seems like a distant memory because Omotesando Hills is certainly on the map.

Modern Tokyo Times took images of aspects of the fashion on show inside the building of Omotesando Hills. This applies to images showing fashion from Adore, Anterpima, Betsey Johnson, Black Fleece, Escada Sport, Tour H. creer (Merveille H.), Yves Saint Laurent, and Zara. 

However, you have other lovely fashion companies like Tracy Reese, Kiwa Sylphy, iliann loeb, Milly, Tiara, Apartment Department, Martinique Le Conte, Patrizia Pepe Firenze (Incontro), Oriental News and so many others. In truth, it is unfair to not name all the fashion stores because all are blessed with exquisite fashion, style and are full of panache. Therefore, please check the Omotesando Hills website for the full list of companies because you have so many sophisticated boutiques and other stores in this lovely fashion complex.

This luxurious shopping mall was designed by the highly acclaimed Tadao Ando and the architect he implanted was pure genius. This applies to the lovely layout, the nice imagery and the casual nature of browsing around because everything works like clockwork.

The building itself graces the entire area and inside it looks sophisticated without needing any glitz.  Instead, you have a building with natural light and which suits the landscape of this fashion conscious area.  Tadao Ando clearly won over many individuals and for newcomers to the area then all they will know is that Omotesando Hills is a landmark building.

Therefore, this is the highest compliment that could be given and today it is a must place to visit for fashion lovers who enjoy style, elegance, lovely fabrics, exquisite clothes and bags with quality and style. To cap all this, the ambience inside Omotesando Hills is extremely relaxing and you have a lovely environment whereby you can relax and drink coffee or eat delicious food. 

Also, you don’t have the rush factor or searching around for the odd quality fashion store. Instead, you have quality stores after quality stores and while the emphasis at Omotesando Hills is fashion, you also have other types of stores which compliment the elegance of this shopping mall.

Therefore, you have many beauty services and this works well with the entire theme of Omotesando Hills.  If this is you area of interest, or if beauty services will compliment your shopping, then you have quality companies inside this ultra-trendy shopping mall.

This applies to Createur Reveal (nail salon), hair make Pas de deux (hair salon), le bois (spa and beauty treatment), M.A.C. (cosmetics), and shu uemura beauty boutique (cosmetics).

Omotesando caters for exquisite ladies fashion, mens fashion, baby and kids apparel, jewelry, accessories, bags, beauty services, shoes, eyewear, watches, fashion goods, lifestyle and to add a real touch you have lovely galleries.  Also, you have many places to eat and drink and you have ample quality restaurants, cafés and bar food to cater for shoppers during your visit to Omotesando Hills. 

Overall, the fashion is exquisite, the choice is varied and the layout of Omotesando Hills is a treasure. If you love fashion and you want to enjoy a crème de la crème shopping mall then this is the right place to see the latest fashion trends.

http://www.omotesandohills.com/english/

http://www.adore2005.com/

http://anteprima.com/

http://www.ap-dp.com/

http://www.betseyjohnson.jp/

http://www.brooksbrothers.co.jp/fleece/index.html

http://www.erikonail.com/

http://www.escada.com/

http://www.iliannloeb.com/

http://eu.jimmychoo.com/en/restofworld/page/home?notify=yes

http://www.kiwasylphy.jp/

http://www.lebois.jp/

http://www.maccosmetics.co.jp/

http://www.merveilleh.co.jp/

http://www.melrose.co.jp/martinique/index.html

http://ameblo.jp/oriental-news-omotesando/

http://www.incontro.co.jp/

http://www.melrose.co.jp/tiara/

http://www.pasdedeux.co.jp/

http://www.ysl.com/d/

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

ALL IMAGES BY MODERN TOKYO TIMES

 

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Japan

 

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Tokyo and cosmetics: Shiseido The Ginza is the crème de la crème

Tokyo and cosmetics: Shiseido The Ginza is the crème de la crème

Michel Le Bon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Shiseido The Ginza is a store which is located in a stunning part of Tokyo where Japanese fashion companies of extreme quality vie for trade with the most famous international brands in the world. The image of Ginza is one of quality, style, elegance and where panache is visible in all directions in the main areas of high fashion.

Shiseido is a fantastic company which is blessed with a very rich history and in their store in Ginza called Shiseido The Ginza you have floors full of exquisite products. This is fused with high technology and many options are available to clients who want to talk and learn more about what suits them best.

The environment of the store is sublime because Shiseido is clearly focused on providing extreme quality products, high quality customer service, state of the art technology whereby customers can match what suits them best, special booths in order to obtain personal guidance and so much more. Therefore, if cosmetics and beauty products is what makes you tick then clearly you can’t go wrong if you visit Shiseido.

The total beauty facility is a wonder to behold because innovation, space, environment, expertise advice, computerization, amazing customer service, and extremely high quality products are on show. 

In a earlier article written by the Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that Shiseido The Ginza “….is a company with a very rich history and this can be seen by the store in Ginza because each of the three floors is based on a new experience whereby shoppers can engage themselves amongst the sophistication which is on offer.  Of course, this sophistication is matched by the quality of the products on offer and by staff who represent the finest of qualities which befit Shiseido.”

“Tokyo ladies and women who are visiting Tokyo will not find a finer place to shop around and enjoy the fabulous layout of each floor.  This applies to product sampling areas, beauty parlors, a photo studio and state of the art technology whereby customers can interact and make the most of their visit to Shiseido The Ginza.”

On the second floor Shiseido have staff of the highest quality and they will help each individual with their needs. The staff at Shiseido The Ginza listen deeply and they take great pride in working for such a sublime company. Therefore, if clients are unsure or if they want to enhance their beauty or change their style, then highly trained staff will help and cater for the needs of the client.

The products available on the first floor welcome the client or the individual who is browsing and clearly clients will soon be enticed by the products on offer. This is matched by the usage of technology and this shows the natural innovation and care of Shiseido.

Customers simply use the fully interactive digital cosmetic mirrors and then enter the barcode of the selected product or products. After the barcode is entered the customer will see how this looks visually once the technology is matched with the customers face. Also, the state of the art technology will show the various colors, and show the customer how it looks from different angles therefore luxury is being fused with technology and style.

At Shiseido The Ginza you have counselors on standby in order to help people with their skin types or other related areas of care and this all adds to the experience of each individual feeling special.  Estheticians of the highest quality are available and with all the knowledge that they have learnt from the Shiseido Academy of Beauty & Fashion; then the customer is bound to get the highest quality of care and attention.

The ethics and care at Shiseido The Ginza on the third floor is matched by the décor and space available to individual clients. Therefore, the third floor is where the exquisite notch is increased even higher and the final finishing touch is available for clients who desire premium Shiseido products.

Counseling rooms are available and cater fully for the customer interested in premium products. The booths have been designed for private customers who want to utilize everything provided by Shiseido and this is the final piece in the exquisite jigsaw.

Shiseido The Ginza provides a unique experience and for Tokyo ladies and women visiting Tokyo, then this shop is a must place to visit if you are interested in crème de la crème cosmetics and other beauty items. The rich history of Shiseido is deep and this company continues to think about new ways of enhancing and furthering the reputation of this sublime company.

Shiseido The Ginza equals panache, modernity, innovation, and exquisite products. This is equally matched by amazing customer service and estheticians who are of the highest quality. All in all, this shop and company is a blessing for the lovers of cosmetics and crème de la crème goes hand in hand with Shiseido.

http://stg.shiseido.co.jp/  - SHISEIDO THE GINZA

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com   

Image from http://nyabs.exblog.jp/14773731/

 
 
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Posted by on September 14, 2011 in Japan

 

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Akihabara: escapism, modernity, maid cafe ladies and raw energy

Akihabara: escapism, modernity, maid cafe ladies and raw energy

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Tokyo is a very dynamic city and each district is special for various factors and the natural ambience changes quickly.  In Akihabara the distinctive nature of this place is because of the latest high tech gadgets on sale and if you want to buy the latest electronic models then you have come to the right place.  However, Akihabara is not just about electronic goods it is also famous for maid café bars, anime and a place where otaku can buy countless goods which are in demand.

Akihabara is a place which either suits you greatly or it isn’t your cup of tea and this is because of the nature of this part of Tokyo.  In Harajuku you have the vibrancy of youth and changing fashion styles. If you walk along the main street which connects you with Omotesando, then it is clear that you are in fashion paradise.  Not only this, you have the stunning Meiji shrine in the same environment near Harajuku train station and the ambient buzz of Omotesando Hills. Therefore, this area is a fantastic fusion of fashion, culture, and history.

However, in Akihabara this place really connects with people who suit what this place provides.  Therefore, Akihabara may not have the sophistication of Harajuku but if you want to visit an area which is buzzing because of commerce and escapism then Akihabara caters for you.

Maid café bars have spread from Akihabara to countless other nations and this is an increasing pulling power alongside anime and otaku goods.  This in itself means that surrealism and realism blends together like the fusion of life and this all adds to the uniqueness of Akihabara.   

It matters not if Akihabara is not your classical part of Tokyo because this place is internationally famous in its own right and with the booming nature of maid café bars then you feel like you have entered into another world. 

All major cities in the world have places of high fashion and independent fashion but in most major European cities you don’t have anything like Akihabara.  Therefore, this place is a magnet for tourists based on the latest electronic gadgets, anime, otaku culture, maid café bars and in the back streets you can also find old gadgets and computer games. This means that if you love searching around for hidden old computer games then Akihabara is a gem of a place to visit because it caters for old school individuals.

In another article I wrote about Akihabara I stated that “…the electronic beauty of Akihabara is that it is not only famous for newly developed electronic goods which have just entered the market but it is also a place where the old world of electronic goods can be found.  If you are nostalgic and see the world in pixels or you dream about the first videogame which got you fascinated by this new world. Then Akihabara also provides ample opportunities to search around and find your hidden childhood.”

“The Tokyo Anime Center is another added attraction which is located in Akihabara.  Although the building is not huge it is certainly welcoming and you can obtain information in Chinese, English, and Korean, and of course in the native language.”

“In the past Akihabara was staunchly known for being famous for electrical goods but the growth of anime and maid café is changing all this and now all are part and parcel of Akihabara and this fusion makes the visit even more intriguing and distinctive.”

“Therefore, the world of Dragon Ball, Evangelion, Mazinger Z, Ultra Man, and for me, Ghost in the Shell, opens up and the rich culture of Nara seems like a different planet. In truth, this is the beauty of Japan because it offers many worlds and environments within the same nation and clearly Tokyo is a city where you can find ample diversity and the same can be said about Osaka.”

This means that Akihabara is a gaming and anime heaven and for people who are fascinated by both then locals and tourists alike will certainly love the environment of Akihabara.

Maid café bars also attract many people and this image for tourists is now very potent and it should not be underestimated irrespective of your thinking.  After all, many nations have borrowed from Akihabara and this helps to keep the place fresh and open to new changes.

It is true that in Osaka you will find maid café bars and you have a few in Shinjuku but it appears much more natural in Akihabara because of the environment.  However, you also have a distinctive feel in Osaka because the culture in this city is very different from Tokyo and this applies to the energy level and places like Namba and Umeda are very dynamic.

Ladies involved in working in the maid café bar sector do dress sexily in a cute way and they look very appealing and with a special charm.  However, just like the world of anime it is an illusion and you don’t have sexual overtones in proper maid café bars.

It could be said that maid café ladies are the modern version of the old geisha in Japan but based on different concepts and with much more innocence. Therefore, while traditional geisha was based on a more subtle, placid and gentle role this can’t be said completely for maid café ladies. After all, while the piety part will apply via language it is clear that maid café ladies are more commercial and the bond between client and staff will also be different and clearly environmental factors and time are a million miles away.

Overall, it is easy to understand the appeal of Akihabara and this part of Tokyo ticks to a different beat but the beat continues to pulsate and attract vast numbers of people.

http://akihabara-tour.com/

http://www.e-akihabara.jp/en/index.htm

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com  

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in Japan

 

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Tokyo fashion: creativity, independent and high fashion

Tokyo fashion: creativity, independent and high fashion

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

Milan, Paris, London, New York, and other major fashion cities in the world, have their own unique styles. However, in Tokyo you have so much variety and when you mix this with the rich environment, huge population and ongoing creativity; then it becomes abundantly clear that Tokyo is one of the best fashion cities in the world.

In truth, it is very difficult to judge which city is the best fashion place in the world because you have so many variables and language issues. Therefore, research may be tainted by geographic and linguistic factors and fashion also depends on individual tastes, influences of culture and other important issues.

However, without a shadow of a doubt Tokyo is amongst the crème de la crème and having visited or resided in other major cities; for example London, Paris, and a host of other famous cities; then at no time have I witnessed such a vibrant fashion scene which exists in Tokyo.

Modern Tokyo Times image

The uniqueness of Tokyo fashion is that you have so many districts to visit and in some of the lesser named districts like Kichijoji, Jiyugaoka, Nakano, Naka Meguro, Daikanyama and Shimo Kitazawa, you also have a vibrant fashion scene which caters for the style of each area and this is the beauty of Tokyo.

Harajuku, Omotesando, Ginza, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Roppongi Hills and Aoyama are more internationally famous and these districts hog the main headlines.  However, the lesser named districts’ enables Tokyo to become such a powerful fashion powerhouse. Also, Ebisu, Ikebukuro and Ueno have their supporters and the west side of Ikebukuro is awash with fashion and the east side is always buzzing and the Lumine shopping complex holds many lovely fashion companies

Modern Tokyo Times image

Aoyama and Omotesando are avant-garde, sophisticated, haute couture and chic places to visit because you have endless exquisite boutiques.  The architecture is also part of the image and in Aoyama and Omotesando the crème de la crème fashion companies are a treasure for Tokyo.

In Aoyama you have stylish and chic fashion companies and this applies to Comme des Garcons, Prada, 10 Corso Como, L’eclaireur, Miyake, Issey, Yohji Yamamoto, Artisan, Loveless, Stella McCartney, Mark Jacobs, Bathing Ape, Tsumori Chisato, Diane Von Furstenberg, Undercover, Design Works, Frapbois, and many others like Deuxieme Classe.

True to the nature of Tokyo then despite Aoyama and Omotesando sharing the same area of Tokyo the client base is different.  This applies to the diversity of Omotesando because in the backstreets you have more independent boutiques and street style fashion can also be found.  Therefore, Omotesando is really diverse and this applies to the layout because Omotesando is between Harajuku and Aoyama and kawaii culture, cosplay and other trends including independent fashion and more casual street fashion is awash in Harajuku.

Therefore, age groups, fashion styles and other factors are unique to each area. However, parts of Omotesando overlap in the backstreets and this factor and the natural buzz of Harajuku can be felt alongside the avant-garde and haute couture of Omotesando.

http://www.smackyglam.com – Smackyglam image

In Omotesando you have many top notch fashion companies and I really love the style and layout of Tracy Reese.  Tracy Reese have lovely styles and color schemes and like SmackyGlam in Lumine in Ikebukuro, and other parts of Tokyo; both these two distinctive companies blend fashion with extreme care about image and the quality is exquisite.

In Harajuku you have an area of Tokyo which continues to grow in stature and international appeal. Sebastian Masuda who is the founder of 6%DOKIDOKI is part of the vibrancy of Tokyo fashion because his creativity and fashion styles have impacted on the “real underbelly of Harajuku.”

Sebastian Masuda – 6%DOKIDOKI

Kawaii culture in Tokyo goes back several decades but this unique style which belongs to Japan continues to develop and modify.  6%DOKIDOKI is part and parcel of kawaii culture and the ongoing vibrancy of this unique style. However, Sebastian Masuda does not pertain to any single style because he is a creator and styles come from 6%DOKIDOKI.  Therefore, Sebastian Masuda is not a follower of fashion but he is a rare creator of fashion and styles.

This in itself adds to the aura of 6%DOKIDOKI and clearly they have a strong appeal within aspects of Tokyo fashion and an international following which loves the vibrancy of this company.

In Shibuya you have a hub of fashion within Shibuya 109 and the vibes of Center Gai and Koen Dori are alive with fashion conscious people.  Shibuya means high octane fashion and the famous crossing is mega busy and the youthfulness of Shibuya and Harajuku can be felt powerfully.

In Shibuya you also have SmackyGlam and you have countless boutiques which include the innovative Candy.  Marui, Parco and other leading stores are based in Shibuya and the Marui store in Shinjuku is a must place to visit because of the style, layout and diverse fashion within this store. 

Modern Tokyo Times image – Lumine

Grimoire is another amazing fashion company and Dolly-kei and other fashion styles can be seen and this store is what makes Tokyo fashion so great. The same applies to 6%DOKIDOKI because you have real venture, innovation and fresh ideas.  Grimoire is managed by the elegant looking Hitomi Nomura and is owned by Naoaki Tobe and this store is on the border of Harajuku and Shibuya.

In Shinjuku and Nishi Shinjuku you have major department stores and this includes Isetan, Keio, Lumine, Marui, Mitsukoshi ALCOTT, Odakyu, Takashimaya and Mylord. Each department store provides quality of the highest and if you are a fashion guru then you need time to check the ample fashion on show.

Modern Tokyo Times image

In another article I stated about Shinjuku that “It is unfair to pick any one individual company because they all have a wide selection of brands and I am more familiar with Lumine but also visit Odakyu and Keio often and my visit to Takashimaya was very pleasurable.  Also, I know that Isetan is widely liked throughout Japan and Mitsukoshi, despite setbacks in Ikebukuro after closing their store, is very different in places like Shinjuku, Nihonbashi and Ebisu. In truth, Ikebukuro clashed too much with the nature of Mitsukoshi and this department store is vibrant in Shinjuku.” 

Marui One in Shinjuku and Isetan are very vibrant and energetic and both stores have amazing fashion on display.  The Marui One is extremely diverse and caters for Tokyo fashion, modern kimono, princess fashion, casual styles, fantasy fashion, Visual kei, Lolita, Gothic, and dreamy fashion.  Therefore, Mauri One is a great shopping experience and Isetan also understands the pulse of Tokyo and Japan and both stores are creative and exquisite. 

6%DOKIDOKI and Sebastian Masuda

Tokyoites will understand the fashion scene and people from all over Japan and throughout the world visit this amazing fashionable city.  The international reputation of Tokyo in the fashion field continues to grow and the countless number of areas to visit is what makes Tokyo fashion so unique and special.

 

http://www.dokidoki6.com/    (6%DOKIDOKI website)

http://www.metrocity.nl/tokyo/streetfashion/harajuku-fashion/

http://shibuyafashion.metrocity.nl/

http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/   (Sebastian Masuda – also, please read about the Mighty Harajuku Project)

http://www.maruione.jp/en/

http://6girls.jugem.jp/  

http://www.parco.co.jp/customer/

http://www.lov-lab.com/  

http://tokyofashion.com/6dokidoki-world-tour-harajuku-kawaii-experience/   (Many images of 6%DOKIDOKI)

http://yaplog.jp/grimoire-blog/

http://www.omotesandohills.com/english/shops-restaurants/index.html  

http://www.tracyreese.com/c-45-dresses.aspx  

http://www.smackyglam.com/

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

http://tokyofashion.com/candy-sister-fashion-shibuya/  

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2011 in Japan

 

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Kichijoji in Tokyo: great for fashion, relaxing and a lovely park

Kichijoji in Tokyo: great for fashion, relaxing and a lovely park

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Kichijoji is a very desirable place to reside in Tokyo and just like Jiyugaoka, Shimo-Kitazawa and Nakano each place attracts many people because of the trendy feel to each area.  Fashion is more independent and you have smaller companies to search out and many places to relax for coffee, wine or a nice meal. 

These places are outside of the main central Tokyo hub and the more famous places like Ebisu, Ginza, Ikebukuro, Harajuku, Omotesando, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ueno and other parts of Tokyo may hog the limelight; however, Kichijoji, Jiyugaoka, Nakano, and Shimo-Kitazawa have their own special feel and they add to the power of Tokyo which is awash with fashionable places to visit.

Therefore, when you visit places like Kichijoji and Shimo-Kitazawa you can walk around many shopping streets and alleyways and often you will find somewhere new which attracts your eye. 

The boutiques and other shopping stores have a more independent feel and this attracts the younger generation and this is the beauty of places like Kichijoji. After all, it is nice to have exquisite fashion, fancy restaurants, coffee shops and a lovely park to relax in.

Also, the pace of life is more soothing than the high octane nature of Shinjuku and other main areas in Tokyo which are all fantastic places to visit but in Kichijoji you can find that extra breathing space within minutes of leaving the main area.  Therefore, the younger generation and all generations can make the most of this ambient part of Tokyo and Kichijoji is a very desirable place to move to and relocate if you reside in Tokyo.  

Inokashira Koen (park) adds to the quaint alleyways and independent stores which sell unique products and trendy clothing.  This park is a lovely place to visit and unwind from the stresses of life and it adds to your visit to Kichijoji. 

Another appealing nature of this part of Tokyo is live house, blues bars, jazz kissa (jazz coffee shops) and many a young band began in this environment.  Therefore, the musical nature of Kichijoji appeals to the younger generation and avid music fan.

Therefore, if you want to experience another part of Tokyo then Kichijoji is a great place to visit and relax and the stunning park means that you can have a most enjoyable day.

All in all, Kichijoji is great for fashion because of department stores and more importantly, elegant and independent boutiques can be found in abundance.  The area is very busy in the central location but the streets and alleyways enable you to relax. Therefore, the environment changes quickly and the park and architecture comes together and expands the richness of this upmarket and trendy part of Tokyo.

The music scene is also vibrant and you can feel the energy of the next generation and this aspect means that it is a magnet for the younger generation.

Kichijoji is a lovely part of Tokyo!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/99514369@N00/sets/72057594127875514/ 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

http://flickr.com 

 

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Japan

 

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