Season’s greetings and merry Christmas everyone! I’m back in Tokyo to spend some quality time with those dearest to me while also squeezing in some time to catch the latest exhibitions, do a bit of shopping and fine dining.
It seems like Tokyo has fully embraced the Christmas spirit with its kawaii (cute) decorations, infinite lights that hang in trees and line the streets and Christmas music playing on repeat one in the department stores. Enjoy the festive season!
For reasons unknown to me, many seem to admire modern Japanese anime cartoons, comics, illustrations, etc. Part of the nature of living in Japan is that over the years you get used to the fact that you’ll see and hear about a lot of unique places and things catering to niche markets that you’d be unlikely to find anywhere else in the world at that moment. One of these things is anime cafés.
Where else would you find curry with partially blue rice made to look like a cartoon face or pita sandwiches with similar colorful decorations? Crazy!
Taking a mini break from busy Tokyo, I’m hitting the open roads on a quest to find the treasures of Mashiko, the pottery village. The rather rural village is roughly a 1.5hrs drive from Tokyo and is thought to house some mighty fine pottery and ceramics. This is some of what I found. Enjoy!
For those of you who are up for getting down and dirty, in need of a new challenge, or simply looking to express yourself can also try your own hand at pottery making.
Enjoying the finest of what 南青山 (Minami Aoyama) has to offer. Shopping in the luxury brand’s uniquely designed buildings is seriously a treat and I’m loving the architecture! The Cartier building designed in the shape of a diamond by architect Bruno Moinard, 2005. Then, in the background is the “Jewels of Aoyama” designed by Jun Mitsui and Associates, 2002.
Pleats Please Issey Miyake boutique window.
The Prada building by the architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, 2003.
One of the great things about Tokyo is that you never know what you’re going to find tucked around the corner from you. You can be smack down center in the middle of tall, modern skyscrapers and then find yourself an oasis that takes you right back in time to a very different kind of life.
Japanese Shinto shrines can be found all over the city and most of the time you stumble upon them while out and about on an entirely different mission. They act as a wonderful reminder to take a few seconds out of your otherwise busy life and breathe while enjoying a bit of spirituality in a quiet, secluded sanctuary.
One of my favorite things is the fierce torii gate alleyways that lead to the shrine(s) and remind us that we are now entering another world.
Stopped by the Marc Jacobs special retrospective exhibition Marc Jacobs Iconic Showpieces held at the Idol venue in the Aoyama district of Tokyo which showcases several archived works from the Marc Jacobs collections.
On show was also a selection of advertising campaigns which includes famous stars such as Victoria Beckham, Dakota Fanning, Sofia Coppola and Winona Ryder, all shot by
photographer Juergen Teller.
Time to go to work and make history with the Marc Jacobs team.
There are always hundreds of things to see and do while I’m back in Tokyo but I always make time for a walk down the luxury lined boutiques of 表参道 (Omotesandō), 南青山 (Minami Aoyama), 銀座 (Ginza), and 渋谷区 (Shibuya).
Fendi boutique window display.
My attempt to head out shopping on a weekday with the hope of escaping the crowds went miserably wrong when I saw this… Perhaps leading Bubble Boy’s life wouldn’t be so terrible as it would at least guarantee a bit of personal space as opposed to this.
Spring’s most covetable accessory if you ask me. Loewe’s amazona bag has me craving.
Bumped into this little cutie outside 109 while out and about in Shibuya. It goes without saying that this crowned chihuahua drew big crowds (mainly girls) preoccupied with exclaiming “かわいい” (cute/adorable) and snapping pics with their blinged out pink cell phones.
The chihuahua has a friend through the Hachikō monument outside Shibuya Station which was unveiled in 1934 after the incredibly sweet story of the relationship between a golden brown akita dog named Hachikō and his owner Hidesaburō Ueno. The story goes that Hachikō would meet his owner at the end of every day by Shibuya Station and continued to do so daily even nine years after his owner’s passing. If that’s not dedication, then I don’t know what is. A film has also been made inspired by the true tale starring Richard Gere and entitled Hachiko: A Dog’s Tale (2009).
Be warned, Shibuya and Tokyo in general is not for the faint hearted as weaving through infinite crowds of people is a daily occurrence. You’d think that it might be a bearable experience during the weekday and within office hours but as I think this picture proves it makes little difference.