Aomori Nebuta Festival

Aomori Nebuta Festival DecorationsThese terrific but fierce warrior floats were spotted at Tokyo Midtown as part of the Japanese summer festival Aomori Nebuta.

Aomori Nebuta Festival Decorations

Aomori Nebuta Festival Decorations

Aomori Nebuta Festival Decorations


All Things Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty iPhone ShellIn Tokyo you needn’t look far to find Kitty-san especially considering the sparkle that many of the Hello Kitty accessories are packing such as the heavily bedazzled cell phone shells. However, the fun doesn’t need stop there as real enthusiasts could easily fill their home and cover themselves from top to toe with everything from Hello Kitty themed televisions, fans, biscuits, toiletries, clothes, handbags, sneakers, umbrellas, etc.

Hello Kitty Bling

Hello Kitty iphone shellsBut don’t think that Hello Kitty caters only to young girls as Japan’s かわいい (kawaii/cute) culture means that it’s more often adults donning a sparkly Hello Kitty iPhone shell with matching fashionable fake nails in pastels with bows, glitter and pearls while out and about.

Hello Kitty ToiletriesCollagen wash, acne wash, cleansing wash, pore cleaner and hyaluronic acid are just a few examples of the vast range of kitty toiletries that can be purchased with a Kitty motif on. Nail clippers, tweezers, scissors, and mirrors are also available in pink and with Hello Kitty on.

Hello Kitty FanIf you already have a fan but it’s not one of the special Hello Kitty ones you can simply purchase a mesh covering to jazz up your plain white fan and covert it into a Kitty’s head complete with ears and whiskers.

さくら (Cherry Blossom) Season

Japanese Cherry BlossomIt’s always fun when さくら sakura (cherry blossom) season begins and the beautiful pink flowers have an explosion, effectively turning Tokyo pink. Not only are they stunning to look at but there’s an entire tradition behind it here in Japan called hanami. 

Cherry Blossom Wedding PhotosWith hanami, people admire the blossoms by picnicking under the blooming trees or by having photo shoots at prominent locations lined with the pink blossoms such as this wedding picture that I snapped while heading out from Roppongi’s Midtown.

Chihuahua's in fancy dressAnd, it’s not only humans that get the star treatment by posing for pictures in front of sakura but also these chihuahuas in fancy dress. かわいい!

Japanese Cherry BlossomAnother interesting tidbit about cherry blossom season is that everything suddenly becomes available in sakura flavor – but only for the cherry blossom season. Macaroons, frappuccinos, cakes, biscuits, even ice cream are just a few examples out of the diverse range of choices.

Imari: Japanese Porcelain for European Palaces

Imari: Japanese Porcelain for European PalacesI’m now back in Tokyo where I recently viewed the stunning Imari: Japanese Porcelain for European Palaces exhibition at the Suntory Museum of Art in Midtown. The history behind the intricately decorated porcelain and its export to European courts and a nobility obsessed with orientalism during the 17th century proved very interesting. However, the highlight of the exhibition was seeing the fine artistry of the beautiful motifs in detail, up close and personal.

Imari: Japanese Porcelain for European PalacesThere were so many pieces that I’d like to see in my own home so, with the help of the exhibition catalog I’ve made a long shopping list consisting of porcelain plates, vases and figurines that I hope to find in modern reproduction and add to my own collection.