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Tokyo fashion in Ikebukuro: the buzz of Ikebukuro fashion and Miu Miu

Tokyo fashion in Ikebukuro: the buzz of Ikebukuro fashion and Miu Miu

Sarah Deschamps, Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Ikebukuro is awash with fashion and in the last few years this part of Tokyo is re-inventing itself when it comes to stylish boutiques. Therefore, the opening of Miu Miu in the famous Seibu Department Store in late 2011 is mere confirmation that powerful boutiques view Ikebukuro in such a favorable light. This trend continues in 2012 and clearly this district is on “the fashion map” within Tokyo because of the buzzing fashion scene on both the east and west side.

It must be remembered that Ikebukuro train station is the second busiest in Japan and every week millions of people pass through this part of Tokyo. When this is added to the fact that Japanese people like convenience when it comes to shopping, then not surprisingly the fashion dimension within or around Ikebukuro train station is enormous. This reality means that the fashion area is a huge hub and Ikebukuro is also the gateway for people in Saitama prefecture.

Seibu Department Store and Tobu Department Store have a very rich history and both mega-companies, alongside Lumine, Marui, and Parco, are collectively creating a huge fashion district in Ikebukuro. Also, Esola is a lovely place for ladies fashion and you have scrumptious restaurants to eat.

In Esola you have exquisite boutiques which include Actuel, Amphi, Barbie Store, Beardsley Gallardagalante, Blue Bell Market, DouDou, Elleva, FRAMeWORK, Free’s Mart, Jolly Boutique, Muriel & Mercuria, Nuit et Jour Spick and Span, Opaque Clip, Royal Flash, and Turno Jeana.

Lumine, meanwhile, is one of the best fashion outlets in Tokyo and the store in Ikebukuro is a major attraction for Tokyo ladies because of lovely boutiques like SmackyGlam (Smacky Glam) and countless others. Also, the restaurant area in Lumine is a great place to relax and unwind.

Therefore, not surprisingly the fabulous boutique Miu Miu decided to open for business in Ikebukuro. While next year American Eagle Outfitters have also selected to open a store in this fashionable part of Tokyo alongside another store in the environment of Harajuku and Omotesando. This bodes well for the future of Ikebukuro because fashion is very dynamic in Tokyo and areas need to maintain their vibrancy.

In a past article by Modern Tokyo Times about fashion in Ikebukuro it was stated about American Eagle Outfitters that The new store will have three floors of fashion in order to attract the fashion conscious and the international aspect is an added dimension.  American Eagle Outfitters have clearly done their homework because Ikebukuro is a thriving fashion district in Tokyo and redevelopment projects are in the pipeline to further enhance the area.”

“Uniqlo also understands the reality of fashion in Ikebukuro because the future potential of this vibrant district is obvious.  Therefore, Uniqlo will expand their presence in Ikebukuro and this applies to occupying two floors in Tobu Department Store.”

Obviously the same applies to Miu Miu who decided to expand their international operations in the Seibu Department Store in Ikebukuro. Also, the store was designed by Roberto Baciocchi and like usual for Miu Miu they focus on classic concepts and futuristic aspects. Therefore, you can have a lovely shopping experience and envisage the creativity of this exquisite company by viewing the stylish layout and theme of the Miu Miu store.

In the last few years Lumine and Esola have altered the fashion landscape of Ikebukuro and complemented Seibu Department Store, Tobu Department Store, Parco, and Marui. Also, the opening of the Fukutoshin Ikebukuro train station created a new fashion hub in Ikebukuro. This applies to delightful fashion boutiques and other shops which have created a lovely underground hub once leaving the main Fukutoshin Ikebukuro train exit.

The recent opening of Miu Miu and the future opening of American Eagle Outfitters in 2012, alongside the expansion of Uniqlo, is maintaining the vibrancy of Ikebukuro. Therefore, while Ikebukuro might not get the same media exposure, the reality on the ground is very different because Seibu Department Store, Tobu Department Store, Lumine, Marui, Parco, Esola, and other fashion outlets, would enhance any fashion district.

Not surprisingly, Miu Miu and other fashion companies are aware of the ongoing changes in Ikebukuro and future projects which will enhance this part of Tokyo. Given everything, the future of this fashion district is rosy and the elegance of the fashion scene is growing because of the quality of so many exquisite boutiques.

http://www.miumiu.com/it/stores

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

www.smackyglam.com  –  Smacky Glam

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

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in EUROPE, Japan

 

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Tokyo Fashion and lifestyle in Daikanyama and Ebisu

Tokyo Fashion and lifestyle in Daikanyama and Ebisu

Kanako Itamae, Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Daikanyama and Ebisu in Tokyo are notable for fashion and the lifestyle angle is richly appealing because despite being located in a notable part of this city, the refinement angle is a huge pulling power. Tokyo lifestyle in smaller quaint districts like Daikanyama, Jiyugaoka, Shimokitazawa, Hiroo, Nakameguro, and other sophisticated areas are highly desired. Therefore, despite the fashion angle belonging to all the above, it is clear that each area caters for a nice lifestyle irrespective if single, families, expatriates, students, age group, and so forth.

The fashion angle to Daikanyama is known to be hip, stylish, independent, and where creativity flourishes. The closeness to Ebisu and other adorable areas is another major pulling power. After all, Ebisu is blessed with lovely department stores and the layout is relaxing. The environment within the Yebisu Garden Place complex is a must place to visit because of the European architecture and open spaces.

For fashion lovers you have Mitsukoshi Department Store and Atre Department Store in Ebisu. In both stores you will find exquisite boutiques, lifestyle stores, and other amazing shops. Also, the eating area in Atre Department Store is not only elegant and stylish but the food is extremely delicious. Therefore, many shoppers like to relax in this lovely environment which is extremely refreshing.

Boutiques in Atre Department Store include Salon de la Trinit’e, Papill Onner, Allureville, N.Natural Beauty Basic, ENCHAINMENT UNI point de mignon, Lock Your Hearts, and so many other amazing fashion stores. Atre Department Store is extremely individualistic and on the seventh floor you have a cultural angle. Within the same department store you also have many scrumptious cake shops.

Likewise, in Mitsukoshi Department Store you have exquisite boutiques and many crème de la crème companies selling sophisticated products. Mitsukoshi in Ebisu is also extremely innovative and the location is richly rewarding because this fantastic store is located in the Yebisu Garden Place complex. Therefore, individuals visit for kid’s apparel, lifestyle products, fashion, Art products, shoes, beauty and relaxation, bags, accessories, food and you also have relaxing places to enjoy quiet moments over a delicious drink. After visiting this adorable department store you can then soak up the environment of Yebisu Garden Place.

In Daikanyama you have a delightful “European fashion district” and you also feel the same European influence at the Atre Department Store in Ebisu. This lovely feel about the place means that fashion lovers in Tokyo adore Daikanyama and Ebisu which share the same environment. Also, the independent feel to fashion in Daikanyama is most appealing and when fused with the “European fashion district,” it is easy to understand why this part of Tokyo is highly regarded.

Therefore, fashion stores like Evisu, Hollywood Ranch Market, Via Bus Stop, Actus, Silas and Maria, Loveless, Tsumori Chisato, APC, Arigato, Alfredo Bannister, Hemisphere, AS, and a host of other lovely boutiques, attract fashion lovers from all over Tokyo. The layout of Daikanyama is also nicely designed in the fashion area and you have many places to wine and dine in Daikanyama and Ebisu. This means that both districts appeal greatly based on lifestyle because within minutes of the busy areas you have lovely suburbs.

In Ebisu you also have the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and Beer Museum. Overall, the lifestyle is extremely appealing and for Tokyoites it is clear that both Ebisu and Daikanyama are extremely popular. The closeness to each other and to other districts like Hiroo, Nakameguro, Roppongi, and central Shibuya is also another major pulling power.

 

http://trinity-corp.net/

http://www.allureville.com/

http://www.mammina.co.jp/

http://n.naturalbeautybasic.com/

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

http://www.atre.co.jp/shiten/index.php?scd=1

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Japan

 

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Tokyo lifestyle: Canal Café in Iidabashi, Chinzan-so garden and fashion in Ikebukuro

Tokyo lifestyle: Canal Café in Iidabashi, Chinzan-so garden and fashion in Ikebukuro

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Tokyo is a very intriguing city which caters for so many different lifestyles. Also, within such a short space of time you can visit a wealth of diversity. This article provides a glimpse into the richness of Tokyo life by focusing on areas which appeal to people of all ages.

Within 9 minutes on the Yurakucho subway line you can visit the mega fashion district of Ikebukuro, the adorable Chinzan-so garden and relax at the Canal Café in Iidabashi. All three places can be visited by the Yurakucho train line and in total it only takes between 9 to 10 minutes in travel time. This amazing area provides amazing relaxation, the crème de la crème of fashion boutiques, the stunning garden of Chinzan-so, delightful Canal Café whereby individuals can enjoy gentle rowing, and so much more.

The Canal Café in Iidabashi is a great place to relax and enjoy the view provided by this elegant café. When the weather permits you will see people enjoying rowing, sitting outside, enjoying the lovely environment, watching the distant trains go by, and soaking up the delightful atmosphere

Also, individuals can enjoy Italian cuisine, Thai curry, and a host of other dishes. The Canal Café provides ample choice and this applies to dining inside, eating certain dishes outside via the spacious seating which is available, relaxing with a quiet drink, and for more daring individuals, then relaxing by rowing. Indeed, the choice angle and spacious sitting areas within the Canal Café, is most appealing and for this reason many Tokyoites enjoy the ambient atmosphere time after time.

The La Cucina restaurant provides delicious Italian food. Therefore, people can decide on a scrumptious meal or a more casual time. Either way, the relaxing nature of the Canal Café, the rowing angle, scenic background, and the spacious layout; means that it is a place which is well worth visiting.

For lovers of fashion then Ikebukuro is an amazing place to visit because this trendy district is going from strength to strength.  The east-side is extremely busy but the fashion angle on the west-side is developing nicely and you have a different feel to both sides of Ikebukuro. Also, the huge train complex is an enormous hub for fashion. Therefore, you will find amazing department stores which include Lumine, Tobu Department Store, Seibu Department Store, Esola, Marui, Parco, and so many other fantastic places to visit, either within the train complex, connected by underground passages (Marui) or within a one minute walk (Parco on the east side).

Of course, Tobu Department Store and Seibu Department Store cater for a wide variety of shopping and both stores focus heavily on their respective Ikebukuro base. The age range may vary at each department store but collectively individuals of all ages are served in Ikebukuro and this applies to stylish companies which provide real quality. This fact means that the fashion scene in this thriving district is blessed with top notch Japanese and international fashion companies, which caters for a vast spectrum of styles.

In Esola you have lovely boutiques which include Actuel, Amphi, Barbie Store, Beardsley Gallardagalante, Blue Bell Market, DouDou, Elleva, FRAMeWORK, Free’s Mart, Jolly Boutique, Muriel & Mercuria, Nuit et Jour Spick and Span, Opaque Clip, Royal Flash, and Turno Jeana. Esola is on the west side and is near to Lumine, Tobu Department Store, within easy reach to the trendy Ikebukuro Fukutoshin area, and within minutes from Marui. Also, you have a delightful art and crafts center in the same vicinity which is a must place to visit for Tokyoites and tourists alike.

Within the same Yurakucho subway line catchment area you have Edogawabashi where Chinzan-so is located. Of course, Ikebukuro is served by many train lines and is the second busiest train station in Tokyo. However, the Yurakucho subway line hub which applies to this article opens up all three areas which are connected by this underground train line.

Chinzan-so is one of the most adorable places to visit in the whole of Tokyo because the garden is extremely rich in history. The landscape and architecture highlights the refinement of Japan within such a compact area. Also, you have many restaurants within Chinzan-so in order to eat scrumptious food and the Japanese angle means that each place matches the scenic surrounding.

On top of this, you have an amazing hotel called the Four Seasons Hotel which is internationally famous(http://www.fourseasons.com/tokyo/) because of the sublime luxury that this company provides. The Chinzan-so based Four Seasons Hotel is located in such an amazing part of Tokyo, that a stay at this luxury hotel must rank high on the list of all individuals who adore quality in all directions. This applies to the stunning garden of Chinzan-so, the exquisite architecture, scrumptious food, richness of culture, and the majestic luxury of Four Seasons Hotel.

Turning back to the stunning beauty of Chinzan-so then in a previous article by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that “Chinzan-so is a stunning garden in Tokyo whereby you can view the natural beauty of an amazing Japanese garden, beautiful architecture, elements of Buddhism, the magical world of Shintoism, and so much more. Also, unlike the vast majority of stunning gardens in Tokyo which close early this doesn’t apply to Chinzan-so therefore at night the garden is also extremely beautiful and you have many restaurants to eat scrumptious Japanese food. However, being Chinzan-so, then even the restaurants blend in with the natural environment and clearly this beautiful place would bless any major city in the world.”

Indeed, in Chinzan-so you also have a rich Taoist element. Therefore, the fusion of this philosophy, along with Buddhism and Shintoism, highlights the richness of this amazing garden. You also have a sacred 500 year old tree, a delightful waterfall, small Shinto shrine, Taoist images, lovely Pagoda, and so much more. This means that you can’t help but fall in love with Chinzan-so and the views at night are also extremely romantic because the garden is elegantly lit up.

Overall, the three places highlighted in this article show the richness of the lifestyle of Tokyo. After all, throughout this amazing city you will have countless catchment areas which are in easy distance because of the fantastic infrastructure of this high tech mega-city.

 

Chinzan-so and Four Seasons Hotel

http://www.chinzanso.com/english/

http://www.fourseasons.com/tokyo/   Four Seasons Hotel

http://www.chinzanso.com/english/restaurant.html

Canal Café

www.canalcafe.jp 

Fashion

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

Other Shops

http://www.loccitane.co.jp/shop/

http://www.unico-fan.co.jp/

http://www.aveda.co.jp/default.asp

http://www.laureloil.jp/

http://www.nonbrush.com/

http://gloccy.jp/

http://www.lunch8.com/

http://www.toffy.jp/

http://ameblo.jp/4ft-ikebukuro/

 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Japan

 

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Tokyo fashion in Aoyama: style and sophistication in abundance

Tokyo fashion in Aoyama: style and sophistication in abundance

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The fashion scene in Tokyo is awash with many diverse districts and the attraction of this sector in Aoyama is based on style and sophistication. Therefore, areas like Aoyama, Ginza, Yurakucho, and a few other districts, are known throughout Japan and internationally for stunning boutiques, elegance, and architecture which highlights prestige and confidence.

The beauty of Aoyama which is located in an exclusive part of Tokyo is that the contrasting styles of European, North American, and Japanese fashion can be felt. Also, the emphasis on architecture, elegant displays, latest essential items, individual styles, and other fascinating areas, means that you can feel the natural energy of Aoyama. This reality means that many of the most famous boutiques in the world have an outlet in Aoyama or nearby in Omotesando, which is also a very exquisite fashion zone in Tokyo.

Roberto Cavalli who opened up a new store in Aoyama in 2011 commented that “Tokyo is on the world’s stage of fashion, glamour, and sophistication.  This is a city of energy and inspiration.” This statement by Roberto Cavalli is factual because fashion is a very powerful sector in Tokyo and the same applies to other major cities like Osaka. Therefore, exquisite fashion companies from all over the world desire to either maintain their visibility or to enter the market.

Roberto Cavalli continued in his praise of Tokyo by stating that “I wanted to create a boutique in which elegance dominates, for both women and for men, in a welcoming and exclusive atmosphere, in which each person can totally fulfill their dreams and desires. I have always been extremely interested in Japanese culture…..”

Another important aspect of fashion in Tokyo is that despite several decades of minor economic growth and times of stagnation in Japan, it is true that this didn’t stop the fashion scene from growing in reputation in this country. Not only this, but for many famous boutiques then Japan was often a saving grace during lean times. Therefore, while Europe and America was being hit by endless negative economic news in 2011, this didn’t prevent companies from desiring to expand or enter the Tokyo fashion market.

Roberto Cavalli, Miu Miu, Akris, Bally, Freitag, and many others, simply entered or expanded their operations in late 2011 in Tokyo despite the global economic slump. This in itself shows the importance of Tokyo for famous international boutiques. Also, it highlights the tenaciousness of fashion within “the soul” of many Tokyoites who value fashion dearly.

The nature of Aoyama also meant that Roberto Cavalli decided on this exclusive district and the path chosen by Roberto Cavalli makes complete sense given the exquisite reality of fashion in this part of Tokyo. After all, within international fashion circles it is abundantly clear that Aoyama means sophistication and elegance. This is based on crème de la crème boutiques throughout this fashion district and the refinement of the architecture is also highly appreciated.

Therefore, you will find stunning boutiques in Aoyama which includes Comme des Garcons, Gucci, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, 10 Corso Como, Donna Karan, Loveless, Michael Kors, L’eclaireur, Vivienne Westwood, Issey Miyake, A Bathing Ape, Jil Sander, Yohji Yamamoto, Artisan, Stella McCartney, Red Valentino, Paul Smith, Cynthia Rowley, Helmut Lang, Hanae Mori, Mark Jacobs, Tsumori Chisato, Costume National, Carbane de Zucca, Diane Von Furstenberg, Undercover, Frapbois, Design Works, and many other refined companies like Deuxieme Classe.

Aoyama is also famous for the stunning architecture of many famous boutiques and shopping malls. This appealing aspect of Aoyama enhances the fashion buzz of this sophisticated district. Famous shopping stores in Aoyama include Boutique W, Dress Camp, Flair Aoyama, and Loveless.

Simply put, if you adore exquisite fashion then a visit to Aoyama is a must.

Partial list of boutiques in Aoyama

http://www.robertocavalli.com/

http://www.redvalentino.com/en/store_locator/

http://www.commedesgarcons.org/

http://www.10corsocomo.com/

http://www.cynthiarowley.com/

http://www.donnakaran.com/

http://www.frapbois.jp/

http://www.gucci.com/us/home

http://www.isseymiyake.com/en/

http://www.leclaireur.com/en/

http://www.paulsmith.co.jp/

http://www.prada.com/

http://www.tsumorichisato.com/index.html

http://www.stellamccartney.com/default/stores/Tokyo

http://store.costumenational.com/

http://www.viviennewestwood.co.uk/

http://www.yohjiyamamoto.co.jp

http://www.zucca.cc/index.html

www.bape.com/

www.net-a-porter.com/Roberto_Cavalli

AOYAMA SHOPPING LINKS TO HELP TOKYOITES AND TOURISTS

http://www.japan-hotels.ws/tokyo/aoyama/shopping.htm

http://www.aoyama-net.com/fashionmap/index.htm – Map of where the fashions companies are

http://tokyofashion.com/tag/aoyama/ – Aoyama fashion

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Japan

 

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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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Japanese culture and traditions: Ikebana in history

Japanese culture and traditions: Ikebana in history

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The history of ikebana (living flowers) is extremely fascinating because it tells us a lot about aspects of Japanese culture and how the different thought patterns can be seen in art. Ikebana is also known by the name ofkado (way of flowers) and in modern Japan it is abundantly clear that ikebana remains popular.

In Europe and North America flower arrangement is based on decorative forms and the cultural angle and the aesthetic side isn’t reflected like it is in Japan. This doesn’t denote that flower arrangement isn’t extremely beautiful in Europe and North America nor does it imply that extreme care isn’t taken. On the contrary, both styles have their own natural beauty and individualism can be felt more within Europe and North America because certain aesthetic aspects apply to ikebana.

Ikebana puts the emphasis on linear aspects unlike flower arrangement in Europe and North America which focuses on color schemes of the flowers, quantity, and the stunning beauty of blossoms, which immediately appeals to the eye. Japanese ikebana also encompasses the vase, leaves, branches, and stems, which work in harmony with the flowers on display. This in itself symbolizes a different thought pattern because this represents humankind, earth, and heaven.

The history of ikebana is extremely fascinating because it highlights the importance of this art form in Japan. In the sixth century (the oldest school of ikebana dates from the fifteenth century) it is apparent that the religious angle of ikebana was of major importance. Therefore, in this period ikebana was a ritual offering which took place in Buddhist temples.

During this period of Japanese history the branches and flowers indicated a firm faith because they pointed towards heaven. This fact clearly led to the aesthetic and religious aspect of ikebana in the early period.

In the fifteenth century a new style emerged called rikka(standing flowers) but in modern times this art form isn’t practiced so much. Rikka put the emphasis on nature because the river or a small stream was represented by white chrysanthemums. Meanwhile rocks and stones were represented by branches and with the power of nature in Shintoism and other thought patterns putting great emphasis on time and space; then rikka is easily understood within the thought patterns of Japan. This decorative technique was very popular in the seventeenth ceremony and was preserved for festive and ceremonial purposes.

Ikebana also changed dramatically in the fifteenth century because of Ashikaga Yoshimasa who was the Muromachi shogun. Ashikaga Yoshimasa was born in 1436 and died in 1490 but he revolutionized the art form of ikebana. This applies to his love of simplicity therefore within the new small houses being built the area called tokonoma became important. The reason behind this is that the tokonomaarea was an area to place flower arrangements and art pieces, which would create a nice ambience.

At the same time the rules of ikebana became more moderate and not so rigid. Therefore, ikebana now became more egalitarian because now people of all classes could create and see ikebana much more.

In the following century another change occurred in flower arrangement in Japan when a more simple style was introduced. This style is called nageire (to throw in) and became part of the tea ceremony. Like the name implies the flowers were arranged without any constraints and the look is natural. Cha-bana (tea flowers) is also another name for this concept because of the association with the Japanese tea ceremony.

Moribana in the 1890s created a new form of ikebana and on the Ohararyu website at the bottom of this article it states that this style was “Originated by the First Headmaster Unshin Ohara, this is ikebana where materials are arranged as if they are piled up in low flat containers with a wide surface area of water. It includes the Color Scheme Moribana, which expresses beauty of color, and the Landscape Moribana, in which the beauty of natural scenery is represented. In Moribana, as in Advanced Hana-isho, there are three principal stems – the Subject, the Secondary, and the Object. These stems form the basic framework of various styles. Intermediaries called Filler stems are freely added to the principal stems.”

Modern ikebana applies from the 1930s and onwards and this style is known by the name of zen’ei ikebana. Unlike the more classical style this form is more expressive and builds on the influence of new thought patterns entering Japan. The many changes of ikebana can also be viewed by the reasons behind doing this art form because in the past, along with the tea ceremony and calligraphy, all three art forms were linked to gender roles and preparing Japanese women for future marriage. Of course, in the modern period ikebana is still a traditional art form in Japan. However, this is fused with modern thinking and people study this art form because of multiple reasons.

The history of ikebana is very intriguing and if people want to learn more about ikebana and study more deeply, then the web-links below are designed to help.

http://www.ohararyu.or.jp/english/form_moribana.html

http://www.ikebanahq.org/history.php

http://ikebanabyjunko.co.uk/

http://keithstanley.com/

http://www.ikebana-today.com/en_ikebana_history.html

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2012 in Japan

 

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Fashion in South Korea: Kpopsicle & the trends of Seoul, Tokyo and K-pop

Fashion in South Korea: Kpopsicle & the trends of Seoul, Tokyo and K-pop

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Kpopsicle ( http://kpopsicle.com) is a stunning South Korean fashion company which is based in South Korea and America. In recent years the buzzing nature of Seoul, Tokyo, Busan, Osaka, Kobe, and other major cities in South Korea and Japan have impacted internationally. This applies to Tokyo being one of the most fashionable cities in the world, the growing rise of K-pop (Korean pop music), kawaii culture, modern technology from both nations, anime, and a host of other factors.

Of course both nations are also famous because of their rich and unique cultures and Japan and South Korea share many common themes. Most notable, it was Koreans who introduced Buddhism to Japan and not surprisingly both nations also modernized rapidly because of the emphasis on education in both countries.

Kpopsicle (https://twitter.com/#!/kpopsicle_com/followers) fashion have harnessed the richness of Korean culture and put a heavy emphasis on clothes and accessories being made in Korea. The reason behind this is to guarantee extreme quality and to utilize the richness of fabrics, designs, and techniques in Korea, which creates such elegant clothes and accessories.

Therefore, Kpopsicle is aimed at providing stunning Korean style clothes, monitoring the fashion streets of Japan and the collective buzz of Asian style, in order to cater for the needs of modern and trendy women all over the world. At the same time, the company refuses to compromise with quality because this is the firm foundation of Kpopsicle. Given this, it is clear by the products on sale that the vibes of K-pop style, the streets of Seoul, Tokyo, Busan, Osaka, Kobe, and others can be felt, alongside the elegance of modern fashion which is highlighted through dramas on television in South Korea and Japan.

Throughout Asia K-pop stars are making headlines daily because of groups and soloists like BoA, Girls’ Generation, Kara, Kan Mi Youn, Orange Caramel (a sub unit from After School), G.Na, After School, A Pink, T-ara, Sistar, and many more. Also, K-pop is starting to expand in Europe and America and individuals like BoA know the international market. This musical vibe is also impacting on the fashion scene because all the above are fashion conscious and their images are being replicated and admired throughout Asia and further afield.

Kpopsicle is therefore utilizing high quality online fashion with the vibrant nature of the fashion industry in major cities in Asia, the K-pop music scene, Japanese street fashion, the buzz of Seoul, and fusing this with the creativity of Korean designers. The outcome of this is stunning fashion which suits the streets of Harajuku, Omotesando, Ebisu, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, and other trendy areas in Tokyo, and the same applies to other areas of high octane fashion throughout Asia.

Also, the website of Kpopsicle is user-friendly and they highlight their fashion by showing all products from different angles. Not only this, they can be contacted easily via facebook, twitter, and other social mediums. Another nice aspect of Kpopsicle is that you can read important sections in English, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, French, and Spanish.

The elegant and stylish nature of Kpopsicle fashion speaks for itself by the images in this article and by viewing the website of Kpopsicle. Therefore, if you are a modern lady who adores fashion then Kpopsicle is only a click away and the same applies to any males who want to buy gifts for their girlfriends, sisters, friends, and so forth.

Kpopsicle harnesses many aspects of Asia with the outcome being a truly stunning international online fashion company.

 http://kpopsicle.com  Kpopsicle – STUNNING FASHION AT THE CLICK OF A BUTTON

https://twitter.com/#!/kpopsicle_com/followers  Kpopsicle twitter account

ALL IMAGES FROM  http://www.kpopsicle.com/ AND BELONG TO Kpopsicle

leejay@hotmail.com 

http://moderntokyotimes.com 

 
 
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Posted by on January 7, 2012 in ASIA, Japan

 

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Tokyo tourism and gardens: Rikugien and Kiyosumi are exquisite gardens

Tokyo tourism and gardens: Rikugien and Kiyosumi are exquisite gardens

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Tokyo is an enormous city which attracts Japanese tourists, international tourists, and business people, all year round. This ultra-modern city means many things to different people because for some it is all about modernity but to others they want to dig deep and see the rich culture of Tokyo and Japan. Of course, for others it is a mixture of both and for busy business people it may just be a flying visit because of the nature of commerce.

However, irrespective of the reason why people visit Tokyo or if you are a Tokyoite, the gardens in Tokyo provide a place to relax, to look at sunning nature, to understand aspects of Japanese culture, and more important, to escape the “madding crowd.” Therefore, the gardens of Tokyo are not only therapeutic but the richness and style is a wonder to behold because you can feel continuity, a fusion of ideas, and feel the passion of Japanese gardeners who put everything into their work in order to create a different world

Rikugien Gardens and Kiyosumi Gardens are just two of the many gardens to visit in Tokyo and both provide a different ambience. Also, both gardens are located in quiet parts of Tokyo because Komagome and Kiyosumi Shirakawa are a million miles away from the fashion orientated districts of Shibuya and Shinjuku. This aspect makes a welcome change because the pace of life is much slower but you still have many quaint shops in Komagome which cater for handcrafts, antiques, and local goods.  

Komagome is extremely close to Ikebukuro and Ueno by the Yamanote Train Line and in a way Rikugien Gardens is a perfect link. This applies to the bustling nature of fashion and commerce in Ikebukuro and the many museums located in Ueno. Also, in Ueno you will find the fashion scene in full flow and a major park which is the central theme to this lively and important part of Tokyo.

However, Komagome is a sleepy suburb but a great place to relax because of Rikugien Gardens and nearby is Kyu-Furukawa Gardens. Therefore, garden lovers have the opportunity to visit both stunning places because they are in close proximity.  

All the main gardens in Tokyo are beautifully maintained and Rikugien is extremely spacious. This enables individuals to follow the main route around the exquisite pond or to walk around more natural parts of this garden by relaxing in quiet areas. The winter period, spring season, and late autumn are most relaxing because you have no dreaded mosquitoes bothering you unlike in the height of summer whereby you need mosquito spray.

Another lovely aspect of Rikugien Gardens is that you can rest and drink delicious traditional Japanese tea and eat a scrumptious small Japanese sweet. The location of the small resting place is located near to the pond and the scenery is truly stunning. Therefore, while drinking delicious Japanese tea you can feel the spirituality of Rikugien and this simplistic pleasure creates a lovely feeling for tourists who want to feel the old Japan.

Kiyosumi Gardens is equally beautiful and to reach Kiyosumi Shirakawa you need to take either the Toei Oedo Line or Hanzomon Line. Also, in Kiyosumi Shirakawa and the surrounding area you have many museums to visit and a good guide book will enhance your visit.

In a past article about Kiyosumi Gardens by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that “The Iso-Watari section is a real treat because the stepping-stone pathways lead across the pond where it is shallow. For children, it is a time of fantastic pleasure because they can enjoy playful times and be connected with nature at its best. Also, for adults, the “child inside” comes flooding back when you walk on the stepping-stone pathways and at all times you will have opportunities to see fish in the pond.”

“Inside Kiyosumi Gardens you also have stylish buildings and this applies to the Ryotei building and Taisho Kinenkan. These buildings heighten the cultural aspects and ambience of Kiyosumi Gardens. Therefore, if you enjoy photography you can combine architecture and nature together and of course each angle provides a new image to treasure.”

Kiyosumi Gardens is a place where individuals, friends, or groups touring Tokyo, can sit back and look at sublime views. Also, the little pathways by stepping stones are an enthralling feature of this exquisite garden. Given this, the pamphlet guide in different languages is most welcome because it highlights important factors about Kiyosumi Gardens.

Japanese gardens are also spiritual and philosophical and each garden may have a different angle. This applies to the fusion of the respective garden with Buddhist elements, Confucian aspects, Taoism factors or being Japan, a mixture of all and of course the role of nature in the indigenous faith of Shintoism is powerful. Given this, the background of each garden is often very intriguing because Japanese gardens connect “the self” with nature. Also, space, layout, monuments, and other aspects, are meant to transcend everyday life therefore you can clearly feel the therapeutic nature of gardens in Japan.

The entire area provides many hidden treasures and this applies to the Fukagawa Edo Museum, Basho Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art and the Morishita Culture Center. Therefore, it is important to check respective websites to see what options are available to you when you visit this part of Tokyo.

Koto City in Tokyo highlights a different ultra-modern city by focusing on culture, art, haiku, music, history, and other rich traditions. Kiyosumi Gardens is a lovely central point to your visit and the different museums open up a new world and this applies to either tradition or the modern vibes of the Museum of Contemporary Art. 

The gardens highlighted in this article are truly beautiful therefore please visit the links provided below.

Please visit the links below for more information about the gardens highlighted

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

http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/kiyosumi/    Kiyosumi Gardens

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

More tourist information about places named

http://www.kcf.or.jp/fukagawa/event_list.html   Koto City Fukagawa Edo Museum

http://www.kcf.or.jp/basyo/index.html  Basho Museum

http://www.mot-art-museum.jp/eng/  Museum of Contemporary Art

http://shintomin.com/xoops/modules/chapox2/content.php?lid=12   Morishita Culture Center

ALL IMAGES FROM MODERN TOKYO TIMES

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2012 in Japan

 

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South Korean fashion: Kpopsicle, international fashion and Tokyo

South Korean fashion: Kpopsicle, international fashion and Tokyo

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Kpopsicle is a stunning South Korean company which sells stylish clothes and accessories online. The international community is fully aware about the “K-pop music wave” hitting the international community. Therefore, with fashion companies like Kpopsicle, the South Korean “fashion wave” should follow because of the ongoing creativity in this nation.
If you check  http://kpopsicle.com it becomes apparent immediately that this online fashion company is clearly trendy and they are selling quality clothes and accessories. Also, the models highlight the products from many different angles and this is extremely helpful and the website is user-friendly and creates a warm feel. This applies to stylish photography which highlights the style and elegance of Kpopsicle products.

Not only this, but because Kpopsicle is focused on modern and trendy fashion they desire to make the clothes and accessories come alive. Therefore, exquisite models highlight the products which are for sale and images show each item in a stylish and practical way. At all times you can feel the care of this company and the pride they have in their fashion.

Kpopsicle fashion suits modern and elegant ladies irrespective of nation because you have many lovely styles to pick from. This means that Kpopsicle fashion suits the streets of Jakarta, London, New York, Osaka, Paris, Seoul, Tokyo, and in any nation where fashion is adored throughout the world.

Modern Tokyo Times clearly puts an emphasis on Tokyo and other major cities like Kobe, Nagoya, Osaka, Yokohama, and throughout Japan, when it comes to fashion. However, this does make sense because the fashion market in Tokyo alone is one of the largest in the world. Therefore, in major cities like Tokyo and Osaka you will have crème de la crème fashion in many districts.

The streets of Harajuku, Ikebukuro, Omotesando, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and other areas, are buzzing in Tokyo. Obviously other major cities like Osaka and Kobe are amazing places for fashion. In Osaka this notably applies to Namba and the Umeda area which are awash with fantastic boutiques and internet fashion also continues to grow.

This means that Kpopsicle and other South Korean fashion companies have huge potential to spread the creativity of this country which is blessed with a rich history. Also, the K-pop music wave and television series which are spreading to other nations is really creating enormous interest in Korean culture. This means that fashionable ladies in many cities throughout the world are watching the South Korean fashion scene more closely.
Therefore, the elegance and trendy nature of Kpopsicle is showing the buzz and vibrancy of South Korean fashion. This company knows the latest trends and the reputation continues to grow and flourish. Therefore, when you view http://kpopsicle.com it is abundantly clear that the “hype” is factual and this stylish fashion company continues to stay one step ahead by focusing on elegant and stunning products.
In another article which highlighted this buzzing fashion company it was commented that If you check http://kpopsicle.com then you will see a South Korean fashion company which sells vibrant female fashion clothes online. The fashion available clearly matches all the latest styles and trends in the K-pop music scene. Given this, you can see style, elegance, street wise fashion, sophisticated looks and a plethora of styles which suits the modern and trendy lady.”
Kpopsicle takes great care before choosing their products and this applies to material, color schemes, texture, and photo angles to highlight each individual product. Also, Kpopsicle studies the latest fashion vibes in order to make their client base happy and to attract new customers to this stunning online fashion company.

If you adore female fashion then a visit to Kpopsicle is a must!

 http://kpopsicle.com Kpopsicle - STUNNING FASHION AT THE CLICK OF A BUTTON

https://twitter.com/#!/kpopsicle_com/followers  Kpopsicle twitter account

ALL IMAGES FROM  http://www.kpopsicle.com/ AND BELONG TO Kpopsicle

leejay@hotmail.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2011 in ASIA, Japan

 

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South Korean fashion: Kpopsicle, the rise of K-pop and Tokyo fashion

South Korean fashion: Kpopsicle, the rise of K-pop and Tokyo fashion

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The nation of South Korea keeps on expanding internationally among the younger generation in Asia and now the sounds of K-pop are reaching Europe, North America, and South America. Naturally, the fashion scene will also be watched more closely and with exquisite fashion cities like Tokyo which is internationally famous, it is a great opportunity for South Korean fashion to enter this market and many other markets. Therefore, times are changing and will a South Korean “fashion wave” follow the “K-pop wave?”

If you check http://kpopsicle.com then you will see a South Korean fashion company which sells vibrant female fashion clothes online. The fashion available clearly matches all the latest styles and trends in the K-pop music scene. Therefore, you can see style, elegance, street wise fashion, sophisticated looks and a plethora of styles which suits the modern and trendy lady.

It is only natural that with so much focus on the K-pop scene that adorable fashion will follow on from this in South Korea. Kpopsicle therefore is meeting the hype and surpassing it because a mere glance at their website shows the trendy reality of this extremely fashionable company. Also, the photography of their fashion items from so many different angles is a clear winner and shows the care and style of this stunning fashion company.

In Japan the K-pop scene in Tokyo and other major cities like Osaka, is taking off big time because of groups like Kara, Girls’ Generation, T-ara, After School, Orange Caramel and a host of other groups. Also, BoA who was the first to make it big in Japan many years ago just released a lovely track called “Milestone” and the forerunner of K-pop in Japan highlights the sheer quality of this music scene.

Kpopsicle ( http://kpopsicle.com) would certainly be cherished by the fashion conscious ladies in Japan who visit buzzing fashion districts in Tokyo, Osaka, and other fashionable cities like Kobe. Therefore, the trends on show on the website of this South Korean company would fit in well with the trendy districts of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, and throughout Japan.  This applies to Daikanyama, Ebisu, Harajuku, Ikebukuro, Jiyugaoka, Kichijoji, Nakano, Naka Meguro, Odaiba, Omotesando, Shimo Kitazawa, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ueno, and other fashionable areas in Tokyo. Also, the vibrancy of Umeda and Namba in Osaka would fit in well with this fashion company because you have so many fantastic boutiques in these districts. Therefore, ladies from Tokyo, Osaka, and throughout Japan who adore fashion can feel and see the quality of South Korean fashion at the click of a button.

Of course the market of Kpopsicle is international and aimed at ladies all over the world who adore fashion. The K-pop angle is opening a new door to fashion companies from South Korea because of the visibility of K-pop stars and major markets like Tokyo could easily be tapped into.

After all, you only have to look at the singers and performers in K-pop which have hit the streets of so many nations. These ladies from South Korea in the K-pop scene are extremely beautiful and stylish and the fashion aspect is simply amazing. Therefore, South Korean fashion companies like Kpopsicle have a fantastic opportunity to further spread “Korean Cool” and to highlight the vibrant buzz coming out of South Korea.

K-pop groups and soloists like BoA, Girls’ Generation, Kara, Kan Mi Youn, T-ara, After School, Sistar, G.Na, A-Pink, Orange Caramel (a sub unit from After School) and a host of others are all part of the Korean wave. Given this, the visibility of fashion in South Korea is being witnessed in the streets of Seoul, Tokyo, Busan (Pusan), New York, London, Osaka, Jakarta, and many other major cities throughout the world.

Therefore, fashion companies like Kpopsicle are a click away via the internet, whereby the vibes and energy of South Korea can be seen by the adorable fashion on show. Simply put, this is a website which highlights the buzzing nature of the “Korean wave” and can connect fashion conscious ladies with stunning fashion at the click of a button.

 http://kpopsicle.com Kpopsicle -  STUNNING FASHION AT THE CLICK OF A BUTTON

ALL IMAGES FROM  http://www.kpopsicle.com/ AND BELONG TO Kpopsicle

K-pop groups and soloists

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhseD2tRLUY  Girls’ Generation – Mr. Taxi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOcCNpdkjG4  Kan Mi Youn – “Paparazzi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxxoq7uqnbU Orange Caramel– “Shanghai Romance”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYKhmcNo3C8&feature=related  BoA and new track “Milestone”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bPhbYl7rV0  T-ara – “Like The First Time”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nli8waw_5vY  G.na – “Top Girl”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUVbf_aqU5k&ob=av2n  Sistar – “So Cool”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYoYoBtLqOY&ob=av2n   Kara – “Step”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bD3LzPp6KDs   A Pink – “Wishlist”

http://moderntokyotimes.com

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

 
 
 
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Posted by on December 11, 2011 in ASIA, Japan

 

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