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Tokyo lifestyle in Ueno: culture, fashion, and natural vibes

Tokyo lifestyle in Ueno: culture, fashion, and natural vibes

Sarah Deschamps, Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Ueno district in Tokyo is extremely diverse because aspects of “Old Tokyo” still survive alongside modernity within this vibrant part of Tokyo. Ueno provides many cultural places to visit. Therefore, Tokyoites and tourists flock to this area because of the many attractions provided. However, within Ueno you get a real mish-mash which flows from cultural attractions to social deprivation; from fashion to the sex trade which is powerful; and other contradictory factors in this famous entertainment district.

Tokyo lifestyle in Ueno and the surrounding area provides a plethora of different angles but unlike most major parts of Tokyo, it is a district which is either loved strongly or disliked. It normally isn’t a district where people sit in the middle because of the very nature of the area. This applies to Tokyoites who are going to pick a new place to reside or to enjoy the natural vibes of this district.

However, from a tourist point of view then Ueno is a must place to visit because you have so many cultural attractions and places to enjoy. Also, the natural raw energy of Ueno can be felt because this part of Tokyo is very distinctive when compared with other major districts. Therefore, tourists can enjoy the usual cultural spots to visit and at night the entertainment aspect of Ueno is extremely vibrant.

Ueno is also a gateway for people who reside in Chiba prefecture and Ibaraki prefecture. In saying this, Ueno is still firmly entrenched within Tokyo because within a short distance by train you have thriving districts like Ikebukuro and Akihabara. In between you have sleepy but beautiful areas like Komagome which is blessed with stunning gardens. Also, Nippori is extremely fascinating because if you visit the old area, then you have many stunning temples to visit – and providing your knowledge of the area is really good, then individuals can walk from old Nippori to Ueno.

The most notable cultural attractions apply to the Tokyo National Museum, National Museum of Western Art, National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, National Museum of Eastern Art, Tokugawa Mausoleum, Shitamachi Museum, Sogakudo Concert Hall, University Art Museum (Tokyo University of the Arts), Tosho-gu-Shrine, Iwasaki Family House, Yushima Tenjin, the statue of Saigo Takamori, Ueno Park, Shinobazu Pond, and other attractions like Ueno Zoo. Therefore, from this extensive list, which could easily be added, it is clear that Tokyoites and tourists alike have much to enjoy in Ueno because the cultural factor is very important.

The diversity of Ueno can also be felt within the fashion angle because it is a real mixture of natural street fashion, top notch department stores, independent fashion, and other styles. Ueno isn’t like Aoyama, Ginza, Harajuku, Ikebukuro, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Omotesando when it comes to fashion; but this doesn’t take away from the buzzing fashion angle of Ueno. This means that the multi-dimensional factor behind Ueno is catering for different fashion vibes alongside the choice of major stores.

In Marui department store you will find many amazing boutiques and stores to visit. Marui is one of the most highly respected department stores for fashion lovers which can be found throughout Tokyo, and in other parts of Japan like Osaka. Marui focuses on lovely boutiques for ladies and caters for male fashion. At all times this company understands the trends of Japan and for this reason it’s pulling power remains strong year after year.

Stores that can be found in Marui in Ueno applies to Sly, Moussy, Vence, Peyton Place, Rew de Rew, Mercury Duo, Jill Stuart, Swingle, Samantha Thavasa, Xmiss, Gap, Muji, Tsumori Chisato, Anna Sui, Earth Music & Ecology, Laisse Passe, Will Selection, Mary Quant, and too many others to mention. The choice on offer by Marui sums up this company very well because you have so many elegant boutiques to visit and other companies in this adorable store. Therefore, Marui in Ueno is a magnet for fashion and the same applies to all Marui stores which enhance the lifestyle of so many Tokyoites.

Matsuzakaya is the most famous major shopping landmark in Ueno because this company was established in this part of Tokyo a very long time ago. Indeed, the company itself can trace itself back to the early seventeenth century. Matsuzakaya sells a vast array of products and given its rich history then individuals should pay a visit. Also, you can buy scrumptious food and enjoy the dining provided within this department store.

Ueno vibes can be felt in places like the Ameyoko bazaar (Ameya-yokocho bazaar) and Takeya where both places provide their own unique angle. Indeed, the Ameyoko bazaar stands out in Tokyo because you have a rare buzzing market to visit which caters for different goods. Likewise, Takeya caters for an array of products and the independent vibe is most welcoming. Therefore, both places are well worth a visit for bargains and to feel a different atmosphere which is rare for Tokyo.

Overall, Ueno is certainly very individualistic and the options available are enormous. This fact means that Tokyoites and tourists continue to flock to this part of Tokyo. Not surprisingly, the cultural angle is a huge pulling power. However, within Ueno you also have an interesting fashion scene and clearly it is a bustling place to reside. In saying that, the beauty of Ueno is that you also have many Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, and cultural places to visit. This means that Ueno caters for a broad array of individuals.

http://www.tokyoessentials.com/ueno.html  (about Ueno)

http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/tokyo/ueno.html   (info about Ueno)

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Japan

 

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Tokyo fashion: Lumine 2 and department stores in Shinjuku

Tokyo fashion: Lumine 2 and department stores in Shinjuku

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

All Images MODERN TOKYO TIMES
 

Lumine is a lovely company which caters for high quality fashion and certainly this company understands the market in Japan. Time after time when you visit different Lumine stores you are guaranteed to find exquisite boutiques, a lovely layout, nice ambience and sophistication. Therefore, amidst the hustle and bustle of dynamic Shinjuku you have Lumine 2 and other Lumine stores. However, this article is just focused on Lumine 2 and giving details about other famous fashion department stores in Shinjuku.

Shinjuku itself is blessed with so many fantastic department stores and stylish boutiques which cater for many different styles of fashion. At all times Shinjuku is awash with people and the atmosphere is electric for fashion lovers but at times it can be too hectic for others. Despite this, if you are a lover of fashion then the choice is amazing and Tokyoites and tourists flock to Shinjuku in vast numbers every day.

Major department stores in Shinjuku and Nishi Shinjuku include Lumine, Isetan, Marui, Keio, Mitsukoshi ALCOTT, Odakyu, Takashimaya and Mylord. Each quality department store provides exquisite fashion and visiting Takashimaya is a real eye opener to the elegance of fashion in Tokyo. However, for younger ladies then Lumine and other department stores like Isetan and Marui One are also extremely popular.

Mylord is part of the Odakyu group and provides a nice contrast with the main Odakyu store. Meanwhile Mitsukoshi ALCOTT and Keio have their own strong powerbase and collectively the fashion stores all add to a vibrant fashion zone. Therefore, fashion is clearly potent in Shinjuku and you can feel the raw energy of this famous part of Tokyo.

Also, if you want to feel the vibe of unique styles which makes the alternative fashion scene tick in Tokyo, then Marui One is a must. This department store took a more risky approach by focusing on “underground fashion” and the “unique vibes of Tokyo and Osaka.” Therefore, for fashion lovers who want to see unique styles and feel the buzz of Tokyo, then Marui One provides many lovely styles.

This 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 and this store is internationally famous. Marui have many different stores in Shinjuku but Mauri One stands out because of its individualism.  

Turning back to Lumine 2 then this elegant department store is blessed with exquisite boutiques and the atmosphere is always refined. Lumine 2 like all Lumine stores is based on providing boutiques which highlight elegance, current trends, gracefulness and extremely high quality products.

In Lumine 2 you have so many exquisite boutiques and on the second floor alone you have many fabulous fashion stores catering for ladies. This applies to Snidel, Banner Barrett, Jewel Changes, Samantha Thavasa, Grappe Bannister (Abahouse), United Arrows, Spick and Span (FRAMeWORK), Adam et Rope, Aquagirl, LANVIN en Bleu, Moroko Bar, Anteprima/Misto, Jill Stuart, Stunning Lure, KariAng Park, Fray I.D, Borny, Blondy, Peach John The Store (lingerie), RYZA, and several other lovely boutiques and cosmetic stores.

Spick and Span (FRAMeWORK) sums up the second floor well because this lovely boutique gives you a taste of the sheer quality provided within Lumine 2. Also, exquisite designs of bags by Samantha Thavasa and Anteprima/Misto are extremely appealing and the contrasting styles highlight the richness of the entire floor.

The second floor is the largest area for fashion but you also have stylish boutiques on other floors and it is important to look around and take your time. Therefore, on the third floor you will find a nice mix of ladies and men fashion and this applies to Urban Research, Nano Universe, Alfredo Bannister, and a few more boutiques.

The fourth floor is also mixed fashion for men and women and you have lovely boutiques which include Nombre Impair, Casbah, Beaver, Liptional, Journal Standard Relume, and Par ICI Klassisk. Also, you have other stores selling different products or a mixture of goods like Sunday Brunch Zakka (ladies fashion accessories), Raguel (ladies fashion accessories) and several other stores.

Overall, Lumine 2 is a fantastic shopping experience and if you want to see exquisite fashion in the heart of Shinjuku then you can’t go wrong by visiting this amazing department store.

ALL IMAGES MODERN TOKYO TIMES

http://www.lumine.ne.jp/shinjuku/   Lumine

SELECTION OF STORES IN LUMINE 2

http://www.anteprima.com/

http://www.jillstuart.com/

http://www.bannerbarrett.biz/

http://www.jewelchanges.jp/

http://www.samantha.co.jp/

http://abahouse.co.jp/english/accessory/grappe-bannister/

http://www.united-arrows.co.jp/index.html

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

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

http://www.adametrope.com/

http://www.lanvin-en-bleu.com/

http://stun-l.com/brand/index.html

http://www.kariangpark.jp/

http://fray-id.com/

http://www.peachjohn.co.jp/pj/english/about/

http://www.nanouniverse.jp/

http://www.rolladex.co.jp/nombreimpair/

http://www.liptional.com/

http://www.baycrews.co.jp/index.html

http://parici-ambidex.jp/?eid=114

http://www.raguel.co.jp/shop.html

DEPARTMENT STORES

http://maruione.jp/en/  Marui Online Shop

http://www.takashimaya.co.jp/shinjuku/store_information/  Takashimaya  

http://info.keionet.com/foreign/index.html  Keio Department Store

http://www.odakyu.jp/english/sightsee/shinjuku/index.html  Odakyu Department Store and Tourist Information

http://www.shinjuku-mylord.com/  Mylord

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3011.html    Information about Shinjuku

http://www.isetan.co.jp/icm2/jsp/store/shinjuku/info/iclub/index.jsp  Isetan  

FASHION PHOTOS

http://www.chictopia.com/snidel/fashion

http://tokyofashion.com/photos/?location=Shinjuku   

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Japan

 

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Tokyo fashion: culture and aspects of the pulling power of Japan

Tokyo fashion: culture and aspects of the pulling power of Japan

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The old Japan still appeals to vast numbers of people because of the rich cultural legacy of this unique nation.  This applies to so many factors, from the cradle of high culture in Nara which was then followed by Kyoto and the religious influence of Zen Buddhism,  Kukai, and Nichiren. Other major areas apply to ceramics, martial arts, ukiyo-e, Japanese tea ceremony, the samurai, geisha, kimono, kanzashi, Japanese garden, haiku, kabuki, mysterious world of the ninja, ikebana, bonsai, and a host of other factors. 

Indeed, the uniqueness of Japan is best summed up within the Shinto faith because no other major nation maintained its indigenous faith within just one location. All other major nations throughout the world became swallowed up by Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.  Hinduism of course is the indigenous faith of India but Hindu civilization spread to distant shores, from Afghanistan to Indonesia, before the advent of Islam.

 

In modern times the pulling power of the old world still exists but new themes attract the international community and this applies to the younger generation and all generations.  Therefore, Japanese animation, kawaii culture, fashion, cosplay, maid café, computer games, gadgets, and a host of other areas, is drawing people close to Japan. 

 

Regionally also, Japan is a huge pulling power for music and many American singers and groups have fallen in love with the buzzing fashion of Tokyo and Osaka.  Not only this, but Korean pop (k-pop) music and dramas now understand the power of Japan because more and more k-pop groups and television series from South Korea want a slice of the “Japanese apple pie.”

European fashion companies also desire a slice of the “Japanese apple pie” and this can be seen by the strong showing of profits made in Japan.  The South Korean k-pop scene is now following the same logic and this will only enhance the international reputation of Japan.

Therefore, while the economic base of Japan may be stuttering and the ravages of nature continues to create havoc during this sad year in the land of the rising sun – the soft power still continues to grow despite all these negative upheavals.  Indeed, political leaders in Japan and many internal companies should be doing more to reach out globally because the younger generation in many nations is focused on aspects of modern Japan. 

Fashion wise Tokyo and Osaka are buzzing and not only these cities because Kobe fashion is extremely vibrant and Kobe in its own right is a stunning city and one which is creative.  However, internationally the focus is on Tokyo and Akihabara (anime, gadgets, otaku, and maid café), trendy Shibuya, independent Harajuku, high fashion of Aoyama, Omotesando, Ginza and Roppongi Hills, and the name of Shinjuku, are all internationally well-known.

Osaka also is a huge international market and places like Namba and Umeda are great places for fashion and Namba entertainment district never sleeps.  In truth, Osaka is overlooked too much because the Kansai region is one of the richest regions in the world.  Therefore, Namba fashion and Umeda needs to be sold more and Osaka needs to reach out to the international community because this city is so energetic and contrasts greatly with Tokyo in terms of thinking.

Twenty years ago the younger generation in China and South Korea were largely disenfranchised from Japanese street culture.  This no longer applies and Japan is a hip place to visit and the Chinese tourist market to Japan is growing and developing rapidly.  Therefore, more fashion companies in Japan are focused on developing their image in China and also attracting Chinese tourists.

The best of k-pop in South Korea are also focused on the huge music market in Japan and this is altering the music balance.  Fifty years ago to the last ten years the American music power dominated in Japan and the same applied to the film industry.  However, in recent times more and more young people in Japan are listening to j-pop and k-pop and the domestic film industry is seeing a growing share.

 

Of course American music is still powerful and the same applies to the film industry but companies like Warner Bros. Studios in America are increasing their sights in Japan by also focusing more on Japanese films.  Warner Bros. Studios is a fantastic company in this sense, because they understand that times are changing and the best of both worlds is being provided by this dynamic company.

Therefore, while j-pop and k-pop continues to grow within Japan for the younger generation both music styles are making inroads in other nations like China, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and others within Asia.  It must be remembered that in China, Japan, and South Korea, you have over 1.5 billion people and the growing middle class and upper class in China is leading to new thinking and new energy.

Japan will always attract people because of its rich legacy and Kyoto, Nara, Kamakura, Koyasan, and so many other places, will always attract people because of high culture and the richness of Buddhism in the old world is internationally famous.  The Shinto faith also provides the real uniqueness of Japan and festivals throughout the year keeps this faith within the soul despite Japan being secular on the whole.

Turning back to fashion then this sector is so rich and diverse and each area within major cities like Tokyo and Osaka will have special zones which cater for certain styles. Also, exquisite international companies want a share of the “Japanese apple pie”

In a previous article about fashion I comment that “The beauty of Tokyo is that different areas contrast greatly and you have noticeable changes within fashion styles. Therefore, you will find greater individualism in Harajuku and Shibuya and both areas have a youthful image and are powerhouses.” 

“This contrasts greatly with Ginza and other fashionable areas like Ebisu and Aoyama which cater for young adults and all age ranges, with the emphasis being high income earners or people with wealth. Ginza is awash with international brands and Japanese brands where the focus is on elegance, sophistication and extreme quality.”

“Harajuku and Shibuya are not just about youthful fashion because both areas connect with Omotesando and within each area the mixture of fashion is amazing.  Therefore, you can visit independent companies like 6%DOKIDOKI in Harajuku and within a short distance you will find international and famous Japanese brands.”

“The fusion of fashion companies and the noticeable change within districts or within a short distance; increases the spice and the creativity of fashion in Tokyo.”

 “This all adds to the high energy of fashion in Tokyo and the spirit of companies like 6%DOKIDOKI and Macaronic are a blessing.  Therefore, designers like Sebastian Masuda (6%DOKIDOKI) and Takashi Aoki (Macaronic) have no boundaries and instead their creativity and passion can be felt within the products that they provide”.

Sebastian Masuda

In the past Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo were famous for attracting broad followers and each individual is highly respected within the fashion world. Despite this, the fashion sector in Japan is extremely diverse and no individual designer or brand can dominate because the market is so complex.

The beauty of the fashion sector in Japan is its rich diversity and collectively all the influential designers compliment this aspect of the fashion scene.  Therefore, Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, Sebastian Masuda, Yohji Yamamoto, Takashi Aoki, Junya Watanabe, Tsumori Chisato, Yoshie Itabashi, Chiharu Kikuchi, and many other fantastic designers, are collectively creating a major buzz throughout the international fashion industry.

 

It matters not if your favorite company is A Bathing Ape, Comme des Garçons, N. Hoolywood, Grimoire, Samantha Thavasa, 6%DOKIDOKI, SmackyGlam, Diet Butcher Slim Slim, Hiroko Koshino, Rip Van Winkle, H. Naoto, Macaronic, Candy Stipper, or any of the multitudes of quality and imaginative fashion companies in Japan. The most important aspect is the creativity of each individual company and how competing styles help to highlight fashion in Japan.

6%DOKIDOKI and SmackyGlam use amazing creativity and color schemes within their designs and both companies have different thought patterns and client bases.  Yet, this diversity amidst creative fashion is attracting fashion lovers from all over the world.

The brainchild behind 6%DOKIDOKI is Sebastian Masuda and this extremely creative fashion designer and thinker, never remains static because the spirit of fashion and Harajuku run through his veins. He is blessed with excellent staff who enthuse not only kawaii culture and chaotic punk, but who have raw energy and a rare vibrancy and spirit. 

The color schemes and creativity of 6%DOKIDOKI is beyond boundaries and kawaii culture and their free thinking shines out in a world of fashion which can sometimes be constrained.  6%DOKIDOKI is a company which makes Harajuku tick and their fashion and accessories say much more than people could ever imagine.

Another amazing aspect of fashion in Tokyo is that you have so many districts in this city which have their own distinctive vibe. Therefore, while places like Aoyama, Ebisu, Ginza, Ikebukuro, Harajuku, Omotesando, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ueno, are more well-known and established areas, this is not the entire picture.  This applies to trendy smaller areas of Tokyo like Kichijoji, Daikanyama, Jiyugaoka, Nakano, Naka-Meguro, and Shimo-Kitazawa, because these places highlight the plethora of areas to visit for fashion in Tokyo and this is rare for a major city because the options are enormous and extremely varied.

The image of Japan is changing in the eyes of the younger generation because the new Japan is trendy, creative, and provides rich new trends which have global appeal.  Kawaii culture is no longer stuck in Japan and cosplay, Japanese anime, new gadgets, fashion, computer games, maid café, and other areas are all adding up and leading to new dimensions.

At the same time, the mysterious Japan is still potent and appeals to all generations and this unique factor makes the land of the rising sun so fascinating. For some individuals it is all about kawaii culture and Japanese anime.  However, for others it is about the richness of Nara, Kyoto, Wakayama Castle, Koyasan, Japanese gardens, Buddhism, Japanese ceramics, kabuki, ukiyo-e and other high cultural aspects of Japan.

 

Obviously many individuals will enjoy both worlds and feel relaxed within the rich traditional culture of Japan and the changing aspects of the new nation which is constantly evolving because of new trends.

Therefore, the pulling power of Japan will continue to grow and k-pop groups and other international music styles will continue to focus on the “Japanese apple pie.” The same applies to the magnificent and stylish fashion scene because of amazing designers who focus on creativity and innovation.

Overall, Tokyo is amazing for fashion and cosplay, anime, maid café, kawaii culture, and a plethora of other trends, is leading to such a rich and vibrant culture.

http://www.dokidoki6.com/ 

http://www.smackyglam.com/

http://www.japaneselifestyle.com.au/tokyo/harajuku_fashion.htm (Harajuku – Tokyo)

http://www.osaka-info.jp/en/search/detail/shopping_5160.html  (Namba – Osaka) 

http://www.japaneselifestyle.com.au/tokyo/shibuya.htm (Shibuya – Tokyo)

http://candystripper.net/

http://www.macaronic.jp/

http://tokyofashion.com/

http://shibuyafashion.metrocity.nl/

http://www.photopassjapan.com/tokyo_-_shibuya/

http://www.warnerbros.co.jp/main/homepage/homepage.html (in Japanese)

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2011 in Japan

 

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