Archive for ‘Business news in Japan’

November 6, 2012

Tokyo and Osaka fashion: H&M to introduce Monki and Weekday to Japan in the future

Tokyo and Osaka fashion: H&M to introduce Monki and Weekday to Japan in the future

Kanako Itamae and Michel Lebon

Modern Tokyo Times

The fashion company Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) is going from strength to strength in Japan. This reality means that H&M will introduce two of their brands to Japan within the near future. Currently, it is perceived that the brands Monki and Weekday will be introduced to Japan in early 2014 but this date could feasibly be moved forward.

H&M in 2012 decided on opening up new stores in Japan and this most notably applies to Nagoya. After all, in Tokyo and other parts of Kanto the brand H&M is part of the fashion landscape for many fashion lovers. The other major city which was targeted by H&M was Osaka. However, it is hoped that in the future that this company will further consolidate in other parts of Kansai because of the vibrancy of the entire region.

The vibrancy of fashion in major cities like Tokyo and Osaka is simply amazing. This applies to the intriguing variations of fashion within Tokyo and Osaka respectively. It is more than likely that Monki and Weekday will follow the Tokyo and Osaka route.

Fashion in Japan is an extremely vibrant sector and clearly H&M is raking in the rewards. Sales throughout the first nine months of 2012 in Japan remain vibrant, despite the negative global economy. This reality means that H&M is extremely positive about the future of this company in Japan. Therefore, it is believed that not only will Monki and Weekday enhance the reputation of H&M in Japan; but equally important, this new initiative will preserve the reputation of H&M because both brands will bring a new freshness.

On the following link (http://www.adbrands.net) many fine attributes are stated about H&M. The above highlighted website comments that H&M is one of Europe’s two leading clothing brands, seemingly immune from the woes than have plagued many other retailers, not least US rival Gap. One key selling point has been an annual collaboration with different star designers.”

In many fashion surveys in Tokyo the name H&M featured highly with regards to ladies who adore the richness of amazing boutiques. Therefore, if the past is to be relied on, it would appear that Monki and Weekday will further enhance H&M in Japan.

 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

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November 6, 2012

China, Japan and South Korea fashion show was more than just style and culture

China, Japan and South Korea fashion show was more than just style and culture

Kanako Itamae, Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

China just held the East Asia fashion show in Beijing and the venue was given extra importance because of the current status of Japan and China relations. Indeed, tensions have also increased between Japan and South Korea because of similar issues related to territory and ownership. Therefore, the East Asia fashion show was a timely reminder that outside of the political realm you have enormous sanity.

Junko Koshino, a Japanese fashion designer, commented that “Politics and culture are essentially different…We will go down together if we remain affected by political fallout.”

This statement may be a little over dramatic because while trade and cordial ties are obviously important between the three nations involved in the East Asia fashion show. It is also factual that each nation is blessed with a diverse trading angle and in times of crisis each respective nation will respond by implementing diversification. Of course, hiccups will occur on the way and this isn’t desired but clearly the sentiments behind the statement by Junko Koshino were deeply appreciated.

China is “the new kid on the block” when it comes to fashion because of past constraints by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Yet since the economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997) under his leadership, then China began to open up in the economic arena. Following on from this came the loosening of outside influence because greater openness became the norm and a new China emerged.

Therefore, not only did the domestic nature of fashion in China change but also with each passing year more and more international boutiques desire to enter the vast market of this nation. In South Korea K-pop (Korean pop music) is making waves both regionally and internationally. Not surprisingly, the fashion angle is also starting to blossom outside of South Korea because of the growing awareness of culture from this nation. This isn’t surprising because Korean culture is extremely rich.

Japan, of course, is internationally famous for fashion and this applies to various angles. For example, from elegant and refined fashion designers to kawaii (cute) culture and many subcultures within major cities like Tokyo and Osaka. Likewise, the quality of Japanese fashion is extremely elegant and the fabrics used are of the highest when it comes to high-end fashion in this nation. One only needs to visit trendy fashion districts like Aoyama, Ginza, Harajuku, Ikebukuro, Omotesando, Shibuya, Yurakucho, and many other parts of Tokyo, to understand the power of fashion within this country.

The East Asia fashion show didn’t disappoint because Beijing pulled out all the stops in order to make it a great success. Exquisite designs and the richness of culture were clearly visible because China, Japan and South Korea are blessed with fabulous designers. Also, areas like Confucius values are shared easily between all these nations despite the impact of modernity and new influences which have entered each nation.

Zhang Zhifeng from China and Chang Kwang-hyo from South Korea also echoed the sentiments of Junko Koshino. Therefore, these three amazing fashion designers, and other important individuals who participated in this fashion show; highlighted the need to build new bridges in order to overcome political obstacles.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

September 6, 2012

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

September 6, 2012

Tokyo fashion in Yurakucho: Lumine Department Store

Tokyo fashion in Yurakucho: Lumine Department Store

Michel Lebon, Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times 

Tokyo fashion is internationally famous and the Yurakucho fashion angle keeps on growing from strength to strength. This factor is also helping other famous districts nearby and this notably applies to Ginza. Both areas naturally flow together because they share the same dynamic environment whereby the crème de la crème of international and Japanese boutiques can be found.

In recent times H & M and Uniqlo have altered the fashion landscape in Ginza by having places to shop whereby the prices suit all pockets. Despite this, Ginza and Yurakucho are famous for luxury boutiques and amazing department stores which enrich the entire area.

Last year the exquisite Lumine Department Store opened a new venture in Yurakucho and clearly this factor is enticing the younger generation to shop once more in this part of Tokyo. This means that you have ample places to shop in both districts which suit all age groups. Also, because of companies like Uniqlo you now have places to go bargain shopping. Therefore, shoppers are spoilt for choice in Ginza and Yurakucho.

In Ikebukuro the Lumine Department Store enriches the west side of this very trendy part of Tokyo. Likewise, Lumine in Yurakucho is also enriching the fashion scene of this district because of the many amazing boutiques to be found throughout this stylish store.

Timothy Schepis, the owner of Tokyo Fashion Daily, commented about the arrival of Lumine in Yurakucho last year that “…the newly redeveloped Yurakucho location will be the 14th for Lumine in Japan and will be the first not to be part of a railway station. At 22,000sqm Yurakucho Lumine will house up to 100 tenants targeting women in their 20s and 30s which make up Lumine`s core customer. Most of the tenants will be fashion brands including United Arrows with the rest of the tenants; cosmetics brands, household goods and restaurants.”

A partial list of the many boutiques which are based within the exquisite Lumine Department Store in Yurakucho includes Adam Et Rope, Beaver, Bshop, Bulsara, Choosy Chu, Couture by Rojita, Deuxieme Classe, Diana, Emoda, Freak’s Store, Gallardagalante, Goa, Journal Standard Relume, Laguna Moon, Manhattan Portage, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Martinique Le Conte, Mercuryduo, Mignon et Enchainement, Muji Nano Universe, Odette e Odile United Arrows, Ozoc, Parigot, Peach John The Store, Piche Abahouse, Ron Herman, Royal Party, Salon De La Trinite, Shel’Tter, Shinzone,  Spick And Span, Spick And Span Accessoires, Stunning Lure, Tomorrowland, United Arrows ( Men’s, Ladies, United Arrows Green Label Relaxing, Urban Research Doors, Urban Research&Rosso and Wjkw.

If you adore fashion then clearly Lumine in Yurakucho will appeal to lovers of stylish boutiques. Like always the choice at this exquisite store is also extremely rich because each individual boutique provides a fresh angle to fashion.

 

http://www.lumine.ne.jp/yurakucho/

http://www.fashion-j.com/E/trend/201010.html

http://tokyofashiondaily.blogspot.com/ – TIMOTHY SCHEPIS  (can be followed on Twitter)

http://tokyofashiondaily.blogspot.com/2011/10/coming-soon-yurakucho-lumine.html

http://www.fashion-j.com/E/trend/201010.html (3rd article from the top shows some images of Lumine in Ikebukuro.)

MODERN TOKYO TIMES IMAGES

http://moderntokyotimes.com

August 9, 2012

Tokyo fashion and vibrant Beijing: Roberto Cavalli and expansion in Northeast Asia

Tokyo fashion and vibrant Beijing: Roberto Cavalli and expansion in Northeast Asia

Kanako Itamae, Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Roberto Cavalli towards late 2011 opened a new store in the exquisite area of Aoyama in Tokyo. Other companies like Akris, Bally, Freitag and many more also targeted the vibrant city of Tokyo in the same year. In 2012 the continuing growth of Roberto Cavalli can be seen throughout Northeast Asia by the recent opening of a new store in Beijing, China.

It is clear that in recent years the popularity of major cities in China like Beijing and Shanghai, and a host of others, are attracting the crème de la crème of international fashion companies. Therefore, Roberto Cavalli recently opened the first phase of a new store in the vibrant city of Beijing.

Roberto Cavalli commented that “Beijing is becoming one of the most vibrant and glamorous capitals in the world. It was time to open a Roberto Cavalli boutique to give the possibility to my many Chinese fans to discover my world in its entirety. For years, the most beautiful movie actresses of this country have loved wearing my collections on the international red carpet … Now my fashion and my style will be accessible to all. The femininity and beauty of Asian women has always inspired me …”

It is clear that Roberto Cavalli speaks from the heart because his words hit a chord immediately. When Roberto Cavalli spoke about Tokyo he stated that “Tokyo is on the world’s stage of fashion, glamour, and sophistication.  This is a city of energy and inspiration.” He continued 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…..”

Therefore, the vibrant reality of both Beijing and Tokyo appealed greatly to Roberto Cavalli. Equally important alongside the trendy reality of both major cities is the purchasing power which is enormous. Also, like Roberto Cavalli commented For years, the most beautiful movie actresses of this country have loved wearing my collections,” and now his new collections are open to the people of Beijing and Tokyo.

The new Roberto Cavalli store in Beijing is based in the highly acclaimed arcade area of the Peninsula Hotel. Therefore, just like Roberto Cavalli picked Aoyama in Tokyo because of sophistication, style, and the richness of architecture. He also decided on this part of Beijing because it is known for exquisite brands which sell luxury products to eager clients.

April 18, 2012, was the initial opening time whereby the first phase was implemented and the second phase is hoping to be finished by early 2013. It is reported that once everything is put into place then Roberto Cavalli will visit Beijing.

In an article published on http://fibre2fashion.com it is stated that “The Beijing store hosts the women’s and men’s prêt-à-porter collections, as well as the accessories, eyewear, perfumes, time-wear and kidswear collections. The layout of the space has been specifically designed in such a way to emphasize the various product categories present in the store.”

Once everything is completed then the ground floor will cater for fashionable ladies and the basement area will cater for stylish men who adore quality in abundance. Also, the store will provide a special VIP room whereby individuals will be fully cared for in their requests for finding new and beautiful clothes. At the same time, great detail will be put on the design of the store and the same applies to the layout. Therefore, for fashion lovers it will be a great experience in trendy Beijing.

In an earlier article by Modern Tokyo Times related to why Roberto Cavalli picked Aoyama in Tokyo it was stated that “Also, you have stylish and exquisite shopping stores in this exclusive fashion district which includes Boutique W, Dress Camp, Flair Aoyama, Loveless and other stunning shopping stores. Therefore, Roberto Cavalli picked an ideal location because the proximity of Aoyama to Omotesando, Harajuku and Shibuya means the entire area is awash with creativity, exquisite boutiques, energy, sophistication, changing styles and one long and continuous fashion scene, which would grace any major city in the world.

Therefore, it is clear that Roberto Cavalli thought deeply before picking ideal locations for his new stores in Beijing and Tokyo. True to nature, he picked places based on sophistication, grace and panache.

 

Roberto Cavalli Aoyama Boutique, SS Minami Aoyama 1/2F, 5-5-4.

http://www.robertocavalli.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

http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/fashion-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110224

Lee Jay Walker helped in the article related to background information.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com  

http://moderntokyotimes.com 

July 13, 2012

Japan fashion: Pringle of Scotland to enter Japanese market after deal with Sanyo Shokai

Japan fashion: Pringle of Scotland to enter Japanese market after deal with Sanyo Shokai

Kanako Itamae, Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

On the grapevine of the fashion media it is stated that Sanyo Shokai and Pringle of Scotland have done a deal. Both companies are going to launch the Pringle 1815 and clearly with the success of Burberry in Japan, then Sanyo Shokai appear to be favoring continuity. Of course, Pringle of Scotland have different business ways and their fashion is inspirational by itself. However, you get the feeling that Sanyo Shokai is following certain aspects of the last deal with Burberry which will expire in the near future.

The new launch between Pringle of Scotland and Sanyo Shokai will be focused on the Pringle 1815 line. This appears to be a very good idea because of the rich history of this company which is obviously linked with the name. Likewise, for Pringle of Scotland they fully understand the power of Sanyo Shokai. Therefore, the medium-term “marriage” between both companies makes complete sense from both angles.

According to powerful sources the deal entails extensive apparel and accessories. The target is to launch men and ladies fashion by Pringle of Scotland by utilizing powerful departments stores in Japan and other destinations related to selected shops.

The opening date for Pringle 1815 is set for the spring period related to 2013. This gives both companies ample time to “iron out” any differences or possible confusion related to different cultural and business methodologies. In this sense, it is clear that Sanyo Shokai is going to be the guiding force.

Pringle of Scotland is famous for being an exquisite knitwear company which is in vogue with many famous individuals. Some famous individuals who adore Pringle of Scotland include Madonna, Nicole Kidman, David Beckham, Claudia Schiffer, Sophie Dahl and a host of other famous stars. Therefore, with Pringle of Scotland being connected with the rich and famous it is clear that this adorable company is in the spotlight.

Likewise in fashionable London you can find Pringle of Scotland in Bond Street, Bluewater Shopping Centre and Sloane Street. It is envisaged that highly selected places like Aoyama, Omotesando, Ginza and Yurakucho in Tokyo will be key target areas. Likewise, in Osaka fashionable places like Umeda will be in the running and the same may apply to Kobe which is a very vibrant fashion city in Japan. Therefore, it will be interesting to see the approach that Sanyo Shokai takes.

If individuals click onto http://www.pringlescotland.com/ the website of Pringle of Scotland then clearly you will be treated to adorable fashion. It is hoped that the new partnership with Sanyo Shokai will bear fruit because this company is blessed with an amazing and intriguing history. Also, with Japan being a major fashion centre in the world because of famous cities like Tokyo, Osaka and Kobe, then clearly the new deal between Pringle of Scotland and Sanyo Shokai is full of potential. After all, the products and color coordination of Pringle of Scotland is extremely sophisticated and elegant. Also, this company appeals greatly to both sexes and with such quality fabrics matched with innovation, then Japanese fashion lovers are in for a treat.

http://www.pringlescotland.com/

http://www.sanyo-shokai.co.jp/

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com  

May 20, 2012

Tokyo fashion and the new Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku: the vibes of Omohara

Tokyo fashion and the new Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku: the vibes of Omohara

Sarah Deschamps, Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The new Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku which is being dubbed “Omohara” opened last month on the location of the former Gap store which was iconic because of the prime location. This is good news for fashion in this vibrant and internationally famous part of Tokyo. Therefore, along with other famous fashion stores including Laforet Harajuku and Omotesando Hills, this new entity will enhance the already buzzing fashion scene of both districts.

Also, while the new original name of Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku is a little long the name itself does hit an important theme. This applies to fusing the powerful names of Harajuku and Omotesando and having a place which meets both. Given this, the Omohara dubbed name is fitting because it highlights the interconnection and vibrancy of both amazing districts.

The architecture of the Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku is iconic in itself from the inside and this applies to layout, space, angles, views, and so forth. Similarly, the Omotesando Hills shopping mall is also extremely stunning when it comes to architecture, the angles being used within the design, the lighting while shopping, and this is matched by the amazing boutiques inside. The designs and space of both are extremely different but collectively they are showing the buzzing nature of Tokyo fashion whereby the environmental angle and architecture is equally important.

Hiroshi Nakamura designed the new Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku and clearly he had a hefty burden weighing on him because of the prime location and expectations. However, while the outside may not look visually sparkling the same can’t be said for the layout and style within the complex. Therefore, the new Omohara will not disappoint once individuals delve within this stylish complex because you have many gems which highlight the skills of the architect.

The name Omohara fits well with many Tokyoites who adore this trendy part of Tokyo. After all, from the kawaii culture of Harajuku and alternative fashion styles, to the backstreets of both districts where the casual scene is powerful, it is clear that both districts interact well. The other angle of high end fashion and internationally famous boutiques in Omotesando means that the entire area is a hotbed of different fashion vibes. This in itself means that Omohara can blend the best of all these different fashion worlds by incorporating not only the name, but a feeling that all co-exist and for this reason the name is a winner – albeit, in its newly dubbed name of Omohara.

The Jingumae crossing, just like the crossing in Shibuya, is a place which opens up the amazing fashion and cultural vibes of this part of Tokyo. Therefore, the Jingumae crossing is where the districts of Harajuku and Omotesando intersect and clearly this was a powerful motive behind the name.

Fashion companies within Omohara include The Shel’tter Tokyo, Charms, American Eagle Outfitters, Amo’s Style by Triumph, Tommy Hilfiger, Cheek by Archives, Choosy Chu, Glam Baby, Flag, Goa, Humor Shop by A-net, Minnetonka, Laboratory Work ReCurrent, Pink Trick, Rady, Rione Doras, Juge ETTA, Loaves, Phoebe, Roomy’s, and Jewelna Rose. You also have  lifestyle stores and places to relax and enjoy a snack. On top of this, the rooftop observatory is a gem and will attract people because of the style and layout within such a vibrant part of Tokyo.

The green angle which can be found in the Omohara Forest part of the shopping complex is a lovely idea. Therefore, the roof terrace will entice individuals to enjoy the views on show and alternatively this will enhance the shopping experience to another level. Trees dot the area and with ample places to sit down it is clear that this will become a thriving place to relax with friends or for individuals to refresh themselves.

Another nice theme to Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku is that a special event will take place at the start of each month on the first Friday. This applies to highlighting the vibrant nature of art, fashion, and other aspects, of both Harajuku and Omotesando. Music and other areas will enhance these events and clearly each month will witness new themes and this will keep the new complex fresh.

It must be stated that “the old guard” will be divided on the new Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku because the same happened when the Omotesando Hills shopping mall was developed. This applies to individuals fearing the commercialism of fashion in this vibrant part of Tokyo. After all, Harajuku is internationally famous for kawaii culture and other interesting areas related to Lolita and so forth. Therefore, traditionalists worry that the “heart is being ripped out” of the area.

However, the Omohara street name is but one factor within the vibrant districts of Harajuku and Omotesando. Providing the area adapts to the current trends within the Tokyo fashion scene and maintains a real freshness, based on architecture and other important features, the entire district will preserve its energy. Given this, the Omohara is not a threat to the street vibes of Harajuku because this applies to internal factors related to the vibrancy of independent designers.

After all, providing the street vibes and independent designers of the area remain fresh and relate to their client base and entice newcomers, then they have nothing to fear. In this sense, the street vibes along with mainstream fashion must always remain fresh. Also, the area of Harajuku and Omotesando is sizeable for many trends to enhance each other and the backstreets, which link up with Shibuya, are areas which are awash with different styles.

Staleness is the real threat to any fashion district therefore the new Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku, just like Omotesando Hills, will provide a new angle to the delightful fashion vibes of both districts. In this sense, the Omohara is part of the ongoing freshness of fashion in this buzzing part of Tokyo. Therefore, the Omohara is a great concept which highlights the vibrancy of both fashion districts which refuse to remain static and stale.

 

http://omohara.tokyu-plaza.com/en/ 


leejay@moderntokyotimes.com 

http://moderntokyotimes.com

May 5, 2012

Japan tourism and Fukushima: Abukuma Cave, Koriyama, and Ura-Bandai

Japan tourism and Fukushima: Abukuma Cave, Koriyama, and Ura-Bandai

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

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Fukushima is a stunning prefecture in Japan which is awash with amazing landscapes where people can escape the stresses of life. Koriyama is the commercial capital of Fukushima prefecture and for many tourists this city is an ideal base. Also, since the events of March 11, 2011, this part of Japan received international attention because of the nuclear crisis but for the vast majority of this lovely prefecture, life is in full swing and is open for business. Therefore, for internal tourists in Japan and international tourists, it is a great way to support the local economy and at the same time have an amazing holiday because of the stunning nature of Fukushima.

Koriyama is an ideal base because of the amenities available which are top notch. This applies to high quality hotels, modern transport system which is served by the Shinkansen train system, excellent restaurants, stylish boutiques and a buzzing fashion scene, accessible to many places to visit, and a host of other factors. Indeed, it is clear that Koriyama in 2012 is a dynamic city which is the heart of the ongoing development of this beautiful prefecture.

The Abukuma Cave in Fukushima is a great place to visit because this limestone cave is well looked after and provides amazing views inside. Individuals are given two options which apply to a relaxing walk within Abukuma Cave. Therefore, for individuals who are not so healthy then this walk is advised because you can enjoy at your own leisure. However, if you are healthy and adore a challenge then the complex route is most rewarding. Yet be prepared for two or three very difficult areas where you have to nearly crawl in order to get through and continue your walk.

Scenic views within the cave are enthralling and clearly this limestone cave is well preserved and serves tourism in Fukushima extremely well. The views outside Abukuma Cave are also richly rewarding and you have other tourist attractions to enjoy. Therefore, a visit to Abukuma Cave is extremely rewarding and the history behind the formation of stalactites and stalagmites is very interesting.

Another amazing places to visit in Fukushima is Ura-Bandai and this notably applies to Goshiki-numa (five ponds of color). Of course the entire area is awash with amazing scenary and walks to enjoy. Yet the walk in Goshiki-numa is extremely rewarding and will always stay with you because of the stunning scenary and the richness of color. The reason behind the different colors of ponds, and why you have so many ponds and lakes, is because of the volcanic eruption of 1888 which flowed naturally into the Nagase-gawa which is a major river.

Most notable lakes and ponds that were created after the lava from the eruption in 1888 occurred apply to Nakase-numa Pond, Lake Onogawa-ko, Oguni-numa Pond, Lake Hibara-ko, and Lake Akimoto-ko. You also have a wealth of marsh areas. In total you have more than 100 ponds and lakes within the Ura-Bandai area (Bandai-kogen Highlands) and the Goshiki-numa (five ponds of color) walk is a must for all nature lovers. After all, the richness of different colors is a wonder to behold and the walking trail is really enjoyable and for photographers it is a paradize.

Also, for lovers of art and culture you have a stunning museum to visit called Morohashi Museum of Modern Art. The architecture of this museum is really pleasing on the eye and the backdrop of stunning mountains and a stream passing by the art gallery is truly inspiring and melts the heart.

The Morohashi Museum of Modern Art concentrates on such great artists like Paul Cezanne, Salvador Dali, and Pablo Picasso. Currently, you have a major exhibition which highlights the work of Salvador Dali. Also, within this lovely art museum you have many galleries to explore other artists and you also have a nice place to drink coffee and eat cake. This enchanting museum is a must place to visit because it provides a lovely cultural angle which blends naturally within the stunning scenary of Ura-Bandai.

Throughout Fukushima you have many amazing places to visit and given the circumstances of March 11, 2011, it is essential for internal tourists to support the local economy. The same applies to international tourists because Fukushima prefecture and the Tohoku region needs to recover completely from the devastation of the tsunami which killed so many individuals and caused havoc.

At the same time, tourists will be richly rewarded because Fukushima prefecture is a real gem. In Koriyama you will notice a thriving commercial centre where fashion is a major feature. From this ideal base you can visit many tourist attractions including stunning mountain ranges, lakes, ponds, the amazing Abukuma Cave, Tsuruga Castle, Oyaku-en Garden, and so much more. Simply put, Fukushima prefecture is an ideal location for tourists to enjoy stunning nature and relax by visiting an onsen, whereby you can refresh your body and mind.

http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/fukushima/bandaikougen.html

http://dali.jp/english/ – The Morohashi Museum of Modern Art

http://www.tohokukanko-fukkou.jp/en/371.html Ura-bandai and Goshiki-numa

Art image – MARC CHAGALL  – currently on show at The Morohashi Museum of Modern Art

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

April 27, 2012

EU financial crisis: Japan gives the IMF $60 billion and America gives not a dime

EU financial crisis: Japan gives the IMF $60 billion and America gives not a dime

Pierre Leblanc and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The government of Japan is extremely worried about the financial crisis which continues to beset the European Union (EU). This factor meant that Japan promises to support the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the tune of an additional $60 billion dollars. The United States under President Obama is to provide not one cent to the new initiative which is meant to restore stability and freshness during a time of genuine uncertainty.

Indeed, Japan showed its international responsibility because this nation became the largest contributor outside the non-eurozone. Yes, it wasn’t the United States, China, or India – this applies to the so-called economic superpower and the two nations which hog the limelight for being the future economic superpowers. Instead, it was Japan once more which showed its economic potency despite receiving negative press in this field for decades.

In recent times it is clear that the debt of the United States is spiraling under President Obama irrespective if he blames the leader before him. Yet prior to recent times many past American leaders like Bill Clinton lauded it over Japan. After all, the American model was meant to be dynamic, transparent, and truly global. However, just like the EU and “the new way” both appear to be out of touch and in need of “a new remedy.”

Unemployment in the United States remains around the 9% per cent mark and in nations like Greece and Spain, it is out of control. Irrespective if all the above nations bounce back and the unemployment figures come right down, it is clear that they could never match Japan. After all, two negative economic decades on the whole in Japan but despite this the unemployment figure always remained very low in comparison.

Therefore, the Japanese economic model is clearly concerned about creating jobs, maintaining social order, investing in neglected areas, and maintaining social cohesion. On the contrary, Western capitalist nations run up huge unemployment figures in such a short space of time. Also, the gap between the rich and poor and social deprivation is much higher in nations like the United States and United Kingdom.

Of course, Japan is beset by internal problems related to the declining birth-rate and other important factors. Yet despite the political quagmire in Japan the bureaucratic system maintains stability even when the “boat is rocking.”

Let us also remember that Japan just promised $60 billion dollars despite the tragic and terrible events of March 11, 2011, when the devastating tsunami created havoc. This means that Japan is still facing the consequences of this tragedy, a very high yen, and an energy crisis because of the nuclear factor in Fukushima. However, despite everything, it is Japan which is dipping into its reserves in order to help the EU during its “hour of need.”

In a previous article by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that “Ironically, despite Japan “throwing away two wasted decades” and the terrible events of March 11 when the earthquake unleashed a potent and deadly tsunami; the government of Japan stepped in and bought more of Europe’s debt in order to boost the European Union. However, given the huge economic crisis generated by the tsunami and ongoing radiation crisis, it is difficult to imagine America coping with such a strong currency given all the problems which are happening in Japan. Not only this, Japan increased its support of America during this trying time by buying more American government bonds and providing the European Union in 2012 can come up with a serious economic policy, then Japan promises to help.”

“Given this, it appears that Japan keeps on ticking while America keeps on selling more of its debt and given the lack of government policy directed towards the weakening dollar, it does appear that the government of America is not responsive to the international community. Therefore, the currencies of Japan and Switzerland are paying a high price because the value of the Japanese yen isn’t based on market fundamentals.”

Eammon Fingleton a writer at Forbes commented that “This is not the first time that Japan has stepped up to the plate as lender of last resort to the world financial system. At the height of the global panic in 2009, the Tokyo Ministry of Finance more or less single-handedly rescued this system when it injected $100 billion into the IMF.”

He further comments that “Let’s note that a balance sheet has two sides. The Japanese government’s liabilities may be large. But it is important to take a look at its assets before resorting to extravagant denunciations of its financial policy. What is clear is that the Tokyo Finance Ministry is increasingly borrowing from the Japanese public not to finance out-of-control government spending at home but rather abroad. Besides stepping up to the plate to keep the IMF in business, Tokyo has long been the lender of last resort to both the U.S. and British governments. Meanwhile it borrows 10-year money at an interest rate of just 1.0 percent, the second lowest rate of any borrower in the world after the government of Switzerland.” 

Japan remains to be an enigma but clearly this nation is much more vibrant than it is led to be believed by many within the international press who focus on economics. Therefore, once more it is Japan which is “stepping up to the plate” while America provides not one single extra cent despite the economic convulsions hitting the EU.

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/eamonnfingleton/2012/04/23/will-the-real-japan-please-stand-up-2/

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

April 26, 2012

Tokyo fashion: Vera Wang to open a new store in Ginza

Tokyo fashion: Vera Wang to open a new store in Ginza

Sarah Deschamps, Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Vera Wang is focused on expanding throughout Asia this year and her base in Japan will be in the exquisite fashion district of Ginza in Tokyo. Her first flagship store in trendy Tokyo will open in June this year. Also, her partnership with Hatsuko Endo means that things should take off rather quickly.

Ginza was a natural choice for Vera Wang because of the delectable fashion angle to this vibrant district in Tokyo. The bridal sector in this amazing city will certainly be reinvigorated when it comes to the exquisite side of amazing designs by Vera Wang. Therefore, the opening in Ginza is designed to pave the way for future expansion throughout Tokyo and this applies to new lines by Vera Wang.

She is known internationally for sublime couture bridesmaid gowns which highlight the creative nature of this fashionable lady. The same applies to her stunning wedding gown collections which highlight the deep passion of Vera Wang. Also, this trend setter in her field of expertise designs elegant outfits for female figure skaters. This is a natural correlation to her early career whereby she was a figure skater.

Vera Wang grew up in New York City where she was born in 1949 and she obtained a degree from Sarah Lawrence College in art history. From the age of six she began to do figure skating and this took her all the way to competing in the 1968 United States Figure Skating Championships. The turning point for Vera Wang turning to the fashion industry happened after failing to qualify for the United States Olympics team in figure skating. However, her passion for skating remains firmly entrenched and she stated that “Skating is multidimensional.”

Turning to her fashion career then Vera Wang worked for Vogue for 17 years in the capacity of being a senior fashion editor, with this internationally famous company. This period served Vera Wang extremely well because of the abundant connections she made. Also, her own creativity and flair meant that she understood the high end fashion market and the richness of international boutiques. After leaving Vogue she became a design director for Ralph Lauren for two years and clearly both establishments served Vera Wang well.

The year 1990 would witness her own design salon in New York which was based in the Carlyle Hotel. Her bridal designs soon began to woo the rich and famous because many famous individuals had their wedding gowns designed by Vera Wang. This applies to Mariah Carey, Ivanka Trump, Chelsea Clinton, Sharon Stone, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Lopez, Victoria Beckham, Uma Thurman, and many others, including Avril Lavigne. Also, Michelle Obama was seen in her evening wear and this sums up the high octane nature of her stunning designs.

In time Vera Wang entered new markets based on fragrance, jewelry, shoes, luggage, eyewear, tabletop, fine papers, bedding, and flowers. This complements her creativity and search for new areas to expand. Therefore, while the bridal sector and designing for female figure skaters is internationally known alongside other fashion clothes – it is clear that you have many angles to Vera Wang.

Tokyoites will soon witness the exquisite nature of Vera Wang and given the creativity of Tokyo then clearly new thought patterns may emerge within future designs. Ginza is a natural base for such a trend setter in her area of expertise. Therefore, in all likelihood, the venture should soon witness new lines entering her flagship store in Ginza in the near future.

http://www.verawang.com/

Lee Jay Walker gave assistance to both Sarah Deschamps and Michel Lebon

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com