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

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

Hiroshi Saito, Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All fashion images taken by Modern Tokyo Times.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in Japan

 

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Tokyo 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 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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