Posts tagged ‘japanese ladies’

July 2, 2011

Tokyo fashion: creativity, independent and high fashion

Tokyo fashion: a never ending magnet for creativity and high fashion

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

Milan, Paris, London, New York, and other major fashion cities in the world, have their own unique styles. However, in Tokyo you have so much variety and when you mix this with the rich environment, huge population and ongoing creativity; then it becomes abundantly clear that Tokyo is one of the best fashion cities in the world.

In truth, it is very difficult to judge which city is the best fashion place in the world because you have so many variables and language issues. Therefore, research may be tainted by geographic and linguistic factors and fashion also depends on individual tastes, influences of culture and other important issues.

However, without a shadow of a doubt Tokyo is amongst the crème de la crème and having visited or resided in other major cities; for example London, Paris, and a host of other famous cities; then at no time have I witnessed such a vibrant fashion scene which exists in Tokyo.

Modern Tokyo Times image

The uniqueness of Tokyo fashion is that you have so many districts to visit and in some of the lesser named districts like Kichijoji, Jiyugaoka, Nakano, Naka Meguro, Daikanyama and Shimo Kitazawa, you also have a vibrant fashion scene which caters for the style of each area and this is the beauty of Tokyo.

Harajuku, Omotesando, Ginza, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Roppongi Hills and Aoyama are more internationally famous and these districts hog the main headlines.  However, the lesser named districts’ enables Tokyo to become such a powerful fashion powerhouse. Also, Ebisu, Ikebukuro and Ueno have their supporters and the west side of Ikebukuro is awash with fashion and the east side is always buzzing and the Lumine shopping complex holds many lovely fashion companies

Modern Tokyo Times image

Aoyama and Omotesando are avant-garde, sophisticated, haute couture and chic places to visit because you have endless exquisite boutiques.  The architecture is also part of the image and in Aoyama and Omotesando the crème de la crème fashion companies are a treasure for Tokyo.

In Aoyama you have stylish and chic fashion companies and this applies to Comme des Garcons, Prada, 10 Corso Como, L’eclaireur, Miyake, Issey, Yohji Yamamoto, Artisan, Loveless, Stella McCartney, Mark Jacobs, Bathing Ape, Tsumori Chisato, Diane Von Furstenberg, Undercover, Design Works, Frapbois, and many others like Deuxieme Classe.

True to the nature of Tokyo then despite Aoyama and Omotesando sharing the same area of Tokyo the client base is different.  This applies to the diversity of Omotesando because in the backstreets you have more independent boutiques and street style fashion can also be found.  Therefore, Omotesando is really diverse and this applies to the layout because Omotesando is between Harajuku and Aoyama and kawaii culture, cosplay and other trends including independent fashion and more casual street fashion is awash in Harajuku.

Therefore, age groups, fashion styles and other factors are unique to each area. However, parts of Omotesando overlap in the backstreets and this factor and the natural buzz of Harajuku can be felt alongside the avant-garde and haute couture of Omotesando.

http://www.smackyglam.com – Smackyglam image

In Omotesando you have many top notch fashion companies and I really love the style and layout of Tracy Reese.  Tracy Reese have lovely styles and color schemes and like SmackyGlam in Lumine in Ikebukuro, and other parts of Tokyo; both these two distinctive companies blend fashion with extreme care about image and the quality is exquisite.

In Harajuku you have an area of Tokyo which continues to grow in stature and international appeal. Sebastian Masuda who is the founder of 6%DOKIDOKI is part of the vibrancy of Tokyo fashion because his creativity and fashion styles have impacted on the “real underbelly of Harajuku.”

Sebastian Masuda – 6%DOKIDOKI

Kawaii culture in Tokyo goes back several decades but this unique style which belongs to Japan continues to develop and modify.  6%DOKIDOKI is part and parcel of kawaii culture and the ongoing vibrancy of this unique style. However, Sebastian Masuda does not pertain to any single style because he is a creator and styles come from 6%DOKIDOKI.  Therefore, Sebastian Masuda is not a follower of fashion but he is a rare creator of fashion and styles.

This in itself adds to the aura of 6%DOKIDOKI and clearly they have a strong appeal within aspects of Tokyo fashion and an international following which loves the vibrancy of this company.

In Shibuya you have a hub of fashion within Shibuya 109 and the vibes of Center Gai and Koen Dori are alive with fashion conscious people.  Shibuya means high octane fashion and the famous crossing is mega busy and the youthfulness of Shibuya and Harajuku can be felt powerfully.

In Shibuya you also have SmackyGlam and you have countless boutiques which include the innovative Candy.  Marui, Parco and other leading stores are based in Shibuya and the Marui store in Shinjuku is a must place to visit because of the style, layout and diverse fashion within this store. 

Modern Tokyo Times image – Lumine

Grimoire is another amazing fashion company and Dolly-kei and other fashion styles can be seen and this store is what makes Tokyo fashion so great. The same applies to 6%DOKIDOKI because you have real venture, innovation and fresh ideas.  Grimoire is managed by the elegant looking Hitomi Nomura and is owned by Naoaki Tobe and this store is on the border of Harajuku and Shibuya.

In Shinjuku and Nishi Shinjuku you have major department stores and this includes Isetan, Keio, Lumine, Marui, Mitsukoshi ALCOTT, Odakyu, Takashimaya and Mylord. Each department store provides quality of the highest and if you are a fashion guru then you need time to check the ample fashion on show.

Modern Tokyo Times image

In another article I stated about Shinjuku that “It is unfair to pick any one individual company because they all have a wide selection of brands and I am more familiar with Lumine but also visit Odakyu and Keio often and my visit to Takashimaya was very pleasurable.  Also, I know that Isetan is widely liked throughout Japan and Mitsukoshi, despite setbacks in Ikebukuro after closing their store, is very different in places like Shinjuku, Nihonbashi and Ebisu. In truth, Ikebukuro clashed too much with the nature of Mitsukoshi and this department store is vibrant in Shinjuku.” 

Marui One in Shinjuku and Isetan are very vibrant and energetic and both stores have amazing fashion on display.  The Marui One is extremely diverse and caters for Tokyo fashion, modern kimono, princess fashion, casual styles, fantasy fashion, Visual kei, Lolita, Gothic, and dreamy fashion.  Therefore, Mauri One is a great shopping experience and Isetan also understands the pulse of Tokyo and Japan and both stores are creative and exquisite. 

6%DOKIDOKI and Sebastian Masuda

Tokyoites will understand the fashion scene and people from all over Japan and throughout the world visit this amazing fashionable city.  The international reputation of Tokyo in the fashion field continues to grow and the countless number of areas to visit is what makes Tokyo fashion so unique and special.

 

http://www.dokidoki6.com/    (6%DOKIDOKI website)

http://www.metrocity.nl/tokyo/streetfashion/harajuku-fashion/

http://shibuyafashion.metrocity.nl/

http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/   (Sebastian Masuda – also, please read about the Mighty Harajuku Project)

http://www.maruione.jp/en/

http://6girls.jugem.jp/  

http://www.parco.co.jp/customer/

http://www.lov-lab.com/  

http://tokyofashion.com/6dokidoki-world-tour-harajuku-kawaii-experience/   (Many images of 6%DOKIDOKI)

http://yaplog.jp/grimoire-blog/

http://www.omotesandohills.com/english/shops-restaurants/index.html  

http://www.tracyreese.com/c-45-dresses.aspx  

http://www.smackyglam.com/

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

http://tokyofashion.com/candy-sister-fashion-shibuya/  

http://moderntokyotimes.com

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June 25, 2011

Osaka fashion: Namba and its independent spirit

Osaka fashion: Namba and its independent spirit

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The magic of the Kansai region is the huge diversity which can be found throughout this part of Japan.  This applies to the high octane nature of Osaka with huge skyscrapers, buzzing fashion and a city which is a powerhouse in its own right.  Alternatively, you have the high culture of Nara within a short distance of time and for visitors to Kansai or locals who like to travel; then you are clearly spoilt for choice.

Osaka is full of life and in Namba you can feel the vibrancy of Osaka culture and this applies to fashion, entertainment and manzai. I often find aspects of Tokyo life easy because the comfort zone reality applies but in Namba you can feel a real “edge” and “vibrancy” which is hard to find in Tokyo.

Namba also ticks for 24 hours and the night time aspect of Namba applies to the sexual nature of the Dotonbori area and other forms of entertainment where people can unwind and forget about the seriousness of life.

During the day Namba is awash with different types of activities and the fashion scene is extremely vibrant. Added to this is manzai which is a unique comedy style and the famous Yoshimotokougyo School is located in this part of Osaka.  Therefore, you will often see many young students practicing outside in one part of Namba and it is refreshing to see the younger generation so happy and not worrying about what others think.

Fashion is also buzzing and Namba ladies have their own distinct fashion and style. This also applies to the different thought pattern because the confidence factor and more outgoing style seems more natural.  Often in Tokyo, you can feel a more timid way of life outside certain notorious areas but Osaka culture on the whole is more open and energetic.

In Namba you have trendy and fashionable areas like Amerikamura and Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade.  Also, electronic areas and manga can be found and Nipponbashi Den Den Town is popular.  Meanwhile, the Dotonbori district is famous for entertainment and the innocence and vibrancy of manzai can be felt alongside trendy fashion areas and the seedier nature of nighttime.

This part of Osaka is also blessed with a nice waterway system and it is a nice place to relax and sit out and you will see many tourist boats on busy days.  This also latches on to the genuine buzz of Namba. Therefore, even if you are by yourself you feel that you belong because of the ambient atmosphere.

Fashion in the Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade and adjacent area surrounding this shopping complex is awash with fashion stores and you have a huge choice.  Also, true to the nature of Namba, it is also a fusion of trendy boutiques with an independent spirit alongside well-known chain retail stores.

Fashion is really fascinating in Namba because of the options which are available.  This applies to the high fashion of expensive department stores and influential brands alongside trendy boutiques which have a more independent feel.  The combination compliments each other and for this reason you will see many different styles and the more you venture, then the more you will see the alternative side of fashion in Namba.  

In the area called Amerikamura you have a reported 3,000 shops to pick from and the choice is really diverse and clearly you need time out to wander and find stores which have that special feel which each individual person is looking for.  The youthful nature and buzz of this part of Osaka can be felt and domestic boutiques like Urban Research, Ships, Anna Sui, Stussy, and countless others, can be found in this vibrant and fashionable area.

Other places to visit in Namba are Namba Parks, National Bunraku Theater, Hozenji Yokocho Alley, Kuromon Ichiba Market (Emmeiji Market) and Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum. Also, for pure energy then the Dotonbori area is a must and it is nice to relax along the river and this applies to shopping, entertainment and many food outlets.

At night Dotonbori changes because the area is awash with stunning ladies and a different Namba comes into being during the night time and early hours of the morning.

Overall, Namba is a must place to visit in Osaka because of fantastic fashion and the natural raw energy which can be felt. 

Osaka certainly is not in the shadow of any other major city in the world because it is a huge and highly developed city.  Osaka is extremely vibrant and in Namba you will feel the raw energy and atmosphere of a place which is alive at all times during the day.

 

http://www.infomapjapan.com/sight_Namba.phtml  (Info about Namba)

http://www.japaneselifestyle.com.au/travel/osaka_namba.htm

http://www.osaka-info.jp/en/search/detail/shopping_5160.html (Namba Walk info)

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

photo from http://www.flickr.com  

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com please visit

 

 

 
June 25, 2011

Katsushika Hokusai and Nobuyoshi Araki: Who is the more erotic? Part 3 of Hokusai

Katsushika Hokusai and Nobuyoshi Araki: Who is the more erotic?  Part 3 of Hokusai

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Katsushika Hokusai was born in 1760 and Nobuyoshi Araki was born in 1940 and today Araki still continues to take photo images. Hokusai is famously known throughout the world for The Great Wave off Kanagawa and his Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. However, Araki is known for his sexual images and the unique erotic styles that he often takes but Araki is much more diverse than this because his work involves many different forms of photography.

Hokusai and Araki were born in different Japan’s but sexual artistic flair can be witnessed by both individuals because sexual images and erotic art forms belong to aspects of their respective work. 

Both individuals were born in Tokyo and while Hokusai is famous for non-erotic forms of art to most lay people the same can’t be said about Araki because Tokyo Lucky Hole is either extremely erotic or pornographic depending on your viewpoint. 

Irrespective if we use the word “erotic” or “pornographic” because people have different sensibilities the fact remains that Araki is extremely gifted and creative.  Like all photographers the artist will either appeal or not appeal. However, Araki is clearly showing a sexual and seedy side of Tokyo which not only exists but is quite prevalent in many main areas in modern day Tokyo.

Their different art forms can’t be compared because both were born in very different societies and technology, thought patterns, environmental differences and countless other factors, means that it is unfair to compare and counterproductive.

However, it is abundantly clear that the “erotic” side of aspects of their work is a uniting factor and both are famous sons of Tokyo. Yet, in the image of most art lovers both clearly have a distinctive connotation and mystery and while the “erotic” and seedy side of Tokyo creates image of Araki in the mind; it is clear that for most people Hokusai is deemed to be “a classical artist” and one of the most famous artists that graced the soil of Japan. 

Indeed the word “artist” and “contemporary artist” is also subjective because while Hokusai will smoothly fit into the word “artist” you will have different opinions towards Araki.  This applies to stating that Araki is a “contemporary artist” but for conservative individuals Araki will be tainted by the word “pornography.” Also, the vagueness of “contemporary artist” means that it is difficult to define in the absolute sense because different thought patterns view the world differently.  

The first time I ever saw work by Araki was in Manchester, England, when I viewed Tokyo Lucky Hole when I was around 19 years old.  My first impression, and coming from a non-artist background at the time, was “wow” and these ladies look “so hot” therefore for myself I viewed this to be pornographic when I was young but I did find it in the art section.

However, the more you view aspects of Araki’s work then it does become abundantly clear that in his field he is extremely talented and not everything is what it seems. 

In my article called “Nobuyoshi Araki shows the cultural side of Tokyo in the flesh” I state that Araki “…goes much further because this famous photographer opens up a Tokyo which is often neglected or not imagined.  He also fuses his photography with the landscape of Tokyo amidst naked bodies or ladies being tied up and his imagery is clearly powerful.”

“Therefore, Nobuyoshi Araki is also focusing on the emptiness of entertainment districts and the sex industry; albeit from an erotic human form and the energy and visual nature of his photography expresses many emotions.”

“Like any artist; people will see different things within his photography and while some people will gain from his works others may reject him on various grounds.  However, if you look deeper into his work then Nobuyoshi Araki is providing a real glimpse into a Tokyo which exists and not only this, he does this by creating a rare energy within simplistic and complex themes.”

Hokusai is in reverse because my first contact with the work of Hokusai was when I viewed The Great Wave off Kanagawa and Fuji in Clear Weather and this was followed by the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. Immediately I liked Hokusai because the sheer power of The Great Wave off Kanagawa was striking.  I therefore believed that Hokusai was similar to John Constable (a classical artist from England who was born in 1776) who painted The Hay Wain and Dedham Vale and many other classic paintings.

Yet, many years later I viewed the The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife by Hokusai and other images from Kinoe No Komatsu which is a collection of shunga.  I was shocked because I never understood this side of Hokusai and The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife is not only erotic but it mind boggling because of the perverse nature of what is happening.  

In my article called “Katsushika Hokusai and erotic art: The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife (Part 2 of Hokusai)” I comment that “The image shows a lady who was deemed to be a shell diver (ama) with her legs wide apart while the fully grown octopus performs cunnilingus.  She is fully naked and her breasts and hairy pussy are clearly visible and her body is clearly welcoming both the fully grown octopus and the small and younger octopus.”

“The eyes of the fully grown octopus are really striking because while performing cunnilingus on the lady it is clear that the eyes are fully focused on her face and pleasure and satisfaction belong to both.”

“It is suggested that the small octopus may be the son and if so then this makes the sexual experience even more erotic to some or alternatively “on the edge” for others.  Either way, only Hokusai really knows the role of the small octopus but it is clear that the lady is enjoying the power of the fully grown octopus and the magical touch of the younger octopus which is fondling her nipple and mouth.”

“Her face depicts complete sexual bliss and in the image it appears that nature and humans are one and the same.  Yes, visually different; however, enjoying the sexual experience together.”                                                                                  

“The image which is graphic is also based on consent, pleasure, joy, and bliss.”

Other images by Hokusai are also extremely sexual and graphic between people having sex and maybe just like Araki showing the seedy side of modern Tokyo it could be said that Hokusai was also doing the same.  However, the image where a woman is happily spreading her pussy so that she can feel the pleasure of an octopus and clearly feeling orgasmic; then for myself this image is not only mind boggling it is mysterious, perverse, erotic and showing images of pleasure all into one image. 

The scholar Danielle Talerico desires to put this image into the context of the Princess Tamatori story which was well-known in the Edo period. However, Hokusai may have played on this in order to create something else because in the Princess Tamatori story she dies from her wounds.  However, in Hokusai’s work it is clear that sexual pleasure and mutual gratification is taking place and the image does not show fear.

This is getting away from the point of Hokusai and Araki and the question of who is the more erotic.  Of course, people will have different opinions and again time, environment and other factors will make the judgment difficult.

Also, because of the very nature of art and different thought patterns then some may deem Hokusai to be “a master artist” or “a perverted artist” when it came to shunga. The same applies to Araki because to some people his work is “erotic art” but to others it is “pornography” and not artistic. Also, can aspects of pornography be deemed to be artistic?

This minefield does not belong to this article and despite all the sexual images by Araki I believe that Hokusai’s work was more erotic and this applies to many images from his Kinoe No Komatsu collection.  More to the point, the image of The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife is in a different dimension to anything that Araki created.

Obviously both individuals have created their work within themselves and their respective work is not based on competition with anyone.  However, the point is that while Hokusai remains within the fold of “classical artist” it is clear that Araki “is on the edge” and either he is well liked or disregarded. 

Yet, if Araki is disregarded based on his subject matter then clearly the same does not apply to Hokusai.  Both individual have opened up a door to “a hidden Japan” which is “not so hidden” for people who reside in major cities like Tokyo and Osaka. 

However, when it comes to erotic images then The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife by Hokusai takes some beating and the power of this image remains today.

 

http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/online/hokusai/launch.htm   (Hokusai)

http://www.hokusai-kan.com/treasure01.htm  (Hokusai)

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/05/31/katsushika-hokusai-japanese-artist-with-a-rich-legacy-part-one/  

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/06/03/katsushika-hokusai-and-erotic-art-the-dream-of-the-fisherman%e2%80%99s-wife-part-2-of-hokusai/

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/04/02/nobuyoshi-araki-shows-the-cultural-side-of-tokyo-in-the-flesh/

http://fantomatik75.blogspot.com/2010/02/les-cordes-nobuyashi-araki.html (images taken from this website when applies to Araki but photos remain within the search engine but problems with modern website)

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

June 22, 2011

Kichijoji in Tokyo: great for fashion, relaxing and a lovely park

Kichijoji in Tokyo: great for fashion, relaxing and a lovely park

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Kichijoji is a very desirable place to reside in Tokyo and just like Jiyugaoka, Shimo-Kitazawa and Nakano each place attracts many people because of the trendy feel to each area.  Fashion is more independent and you have smaller companies to search out and many places to relax for coffee, wine or a nice meal. 

These places are outside of the main central Tokyo hub and the more famous places like Ebisu, Ginza, Ikebukuro, Harajuku, Omotesando, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ueno and other parts of Tokyo may hog the limelight; however, Kichijoji, Jiyugaoka, Nakano, and Shimo-Kitazawa have their own special feel and they add to the power of Tokyo which is awash with fashionable places to visit.

Therefore, when you visit places like Kichijoji and Shimo-Kitazawa you can walk around many shopping streets and alleyways and often you will find somewhere new which attracts your eye. 

The boutiques and other shopping stores have a more independent feel and this attracts the younger generation and this is the beauty of places like Kichijoji. After all, it is nice to have exquisite fashion, fancy restaurants, coffee shops and a lovely park to relax in.

Also, the pace of life is more soothing than the high octane nature of Shinjuku and other main areas in Tokyo which are all fantastic places to visit but in Kichijoji you can find that extra breathing space within minutes of leaving the main area.  Therefore, the younger generation and all generations can make the most of this ambient part of Tokyo and Kichijoji is a very desirable place to move to and relocate if you reside in Tokyo.  

Inokashira Koen (park) adds to the quaint alleyways and independent stores which sell unique products and trendy clothing.  This park is a lovely place to visit and unwind from the stresses of life and it adds to your visit to Kichijoji. 

Another appealing nature of this part of Tokyo is live house, blues bars, jazz kissa (jazz coffee shops) and many a young band began in this environment.  Therefore, the musical nature of Kichijoji appeals to the younger generation and avid music fan.

Therefore, if you want to experience another part of Tokyo then Kichijoji is a great place to visit and relax and the stunning park means that you can have a most enjoyable day.

All in all, Kichijoji is great for fashion because of department stores and more importantly, elegant and independent boutiques can be found in abundance.  The area is very busy in the central location but the streets and alleyways enable you to relax. Therefore, the environment changes quickly and the park and architecture comes together and expands the richness of this upmarket and trendy part of Tokyo.

The music scene is also vibrant and you can feel the energy of the next generation and this aspect means that it is a magnet for the younger generation.

Kichijoji is a lovely part of Tokyo!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/99514369@N00/sets/72057594127875514/ 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

http://flickr.com 

June 15, 2011

Shinjuku: vibrant architecture, exquisite department stores and lovely gardens

Shinjuku: vibrant architecture, exquisite department stores and lovely gardens

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The ultra-modern Skyscrapers in Shinjuku are a stark reminder of the economic power that emerged in Japan from the 1960s onwards until the bubble economy of the last twenty years.  However, in Tokyo it is hard to imagine that Japan’s economy keeps on going from small economic growth to stagnation and back to minor growth.

Therefore, when you arrive in Tokyo or if you are a Tokyoite it is abundantly clear that this city is dynamic and the environment is based on modernity, high octane shopping and despite the huge numbers of people the city keeps on ticking.

Amidst all the modernization are gems which remind you of the past and this is especially applicable to architecture, Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples.  Also, the stunning gardens are often linked to a rich history because each exquisite garden will have its own history and special factor behind the refined layout.

The huge skyscrapers in Shinjuku are amazing and the ultra-modern architecture is visually pleasing.  When I first visited Shinjuku I could imagine Blade Runner and this part of Tokyo made London and Manchester seem miniscule when it came to power and size.

Also, the shopping complexes are huge and you have many top notch fashion companies and department stores and the quality is exquisite in the upmarket part of Shinjuku.  Therefore, each different department store must compete and create its own image because the market is very competitive and the changing nature of fashion, thinking and lifestyles, means that department stores need to stay a few steps ahead.

Major department stores in Shinjuku and Nishi Shinjuku include Isetan, Keio, Lumine, Marui, Mitsukoshi ALCOTT, Odakyu, Takashimaya and Mylord.  Each department store provides quality of the highest and the service is second to none in the world and Japan is famous for this.  Therefore, you are certainly spoilt for choice in Shinjuku if you like exquisite shopping and of course you have so many different styles of shops and the area changes quickly and caters for a huge variety of goods.

It is unfair to pick any one individual company because they all have a wide selection of brands and I am more familiar with Lumine but also visit Odakyu and Keio often and my visit to Takashimaya was very pleasurable.  Also, I know that Isetan is widely liked throughout Japan and Mitsukoshi, despite setbacks in Ikebukuro after closing their store, is very different in places like Shinjuku, Nihonbashi and Ebisu. In truth, Ikebukuro clashed too much with the nature of Mitsukoshi and this department store is vibrant in Shinjuku. 

The Mylord complex is also a great place to relax and it is affiliated with Odakyu and during my early time in Tokyo it was my main place for hanging out in Shinjuku.

Marui One will appeal to fashion lovers because of the sheer diverse nature of this department store which caters for a whole spectrum of fashion.  This applies to catering for Tokyo fashion, fantasy fashion, modern kimono, princess fashion, casual styles, romantic designs, unique styles, Visual kei, Gothic, Lolita and dreamy fashion. 

Shinjuku train station is the busiest in the world and clearly you can imagine from this fact alone that central areas are awash with people.  Therefore, Shinjuku Gyoen is a welcome place to visit in order to escape the madding crowds, to take a welcome break from shopping or to visit only this part of Shinjuku. After all, the gardens are extremely beautiful and varied within Shinjuku Gyoen and I often just visit the gardens and have a quiet coffee and then return to more sedate parts of Tokyo.

Shinjuku Gyoen in history was an imperial garden but this changed after World War Two and it became a national garden with pre-eminence in Tokyo because of its prime location and the garden size is very large.

Within Shinjuku Gyoen you have three diverse styles and this applies to English landscape, French formal and traditional Japanese.  These distinct styles mix delightfully and the traditional Japanese tea house is an elegant feature within the gardens.

The whole park is a great place to relax and witness many stunning views and the ponds express the natural beauty in more detail.  Also, the three different garden styles mingle well within the whole complex and the pond areas are delightful and will lift up the spirits of all who view the natural beauty on display. 

The sheer size of Shinjuku Gyoen also means that you have many quiet areas and you can block out all the stresses of life.  Or if life is already going great then you will feel even better because you can spend hours by yourself or with friends and just enjoy your special day in such sublime and lovely surroundings. 

Overall, Shinjuku is full of energy and for tourists it is a must place to visit and the nightlife is very vibrant.

 

http://www.env.go.jp/garden/shinjukugyoen/english/index.html Shinjuku Gyoen

http://tokyofashion.com/photos/?location=Shinjuku Fashion photos 

http://maruione.jp/en/ Marui Online Shop

http://www.takashimaya.co.jp/shinjuku/store_information/ Takashimaya

http://info.keionet.com/foreign/index.html Keio Department Store

http://www.odakyu.jp/english/sightsee/shinjuku/index.html Odakyu Department Store and Tourist Information

http://www.lumine.ne.jp/shinjuku/ Lumine 

http://www.shinjuku-mylord.com/ Mylord

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3011.html   Information about Shinjuku

http://www.isetan.co.jp/icm2/jsp/store/shinjuku/info/iclub/index.jsp Isetan

http://moderntokyotimes.com

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

June 13, 2011

Harajuku street fashion and praying at the Meiji Shrine

Harajuku street fashion and praying at the Meiji Shrine

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Harajuku is famous for fashion and latest trends and the atmosphere is dynamic. Therefore, Harajuku is one of the most popular places to visit in Tokyo.  The beauty of Harajuku is that when you leave the Harajuku train station on the Yamanote Line you have two distinct options and people often mix both together if they are tourists.  This applies to visiting the stunning Meiji Shrine which is a major Shinto place of worship or browsing around the diverse fashion area. 

The Shinto religion is the indigenous faith of Japan and unlike Buddhism it fuses Japanese folklore with history and mythology.  Often you will see Shinto shrines and small statutes in the mountains of Japan and everything appears natural. 

The Meiji Shrine is a fantastic place to visit because nature and Shinto blends naturally and tourists, Tokyoites and religious people feel at ease immediately.  The serenity and architecture amongst the beauty of nature is very powerful and time and space will mean different things to each individual. However, you can certainly feel the pulse of something irrespective if it is Shinto mysticism or your own personal feelings. 

During my visits to Buddhist temples I feel nothing but I admire the architecture and in special temples the beauty of the gardens are amazing.  However, the kami spirits seem mysterious and irrespective if in the Meiji Shrine or the mountains of Japan; the mystery of life and nature does seem alive in Shintoism.

The beauty of the Shinto faith is that it also allows reality and does not seek to enforce pressure on individuals.  Therefore, before entering the main entrance you will see young Japanese people dressed in diverse styles of fashion and despite the closeness of this area to the Meiji Shrine, it is clear that no pressure is being put on fashion lovers who are within meters of the main entrance.

Leaving the religious world behind and visiting the fashion areas of Harajuku is a good way to understand Japan and Shintoism.  It is about co-existence in the modern world and the free spirit of Shintoism and the diverse kami which exist in nature and animism.

Literally within one minute or two minutes of leaving Harajuku train station you are either in the environment of the Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi Park or the fashion area of the Takeshita Dori or the more upmarket main street.  Therefore, the choice is yours and this is what makes Harajuku so special.

Also, the more you venture in Harajuku then you will also enter Omotesando and the fashion changes to high brands and exquisite fashion.  In truth, high quality and individualistic brands can be found throughout Harajuku and Omotesando and 6%DOKIDOKI and Tracy Reese sum up the fashion area.

This applies to the striking individualism of the fashion designer Sebastian Masuda and his dedicated staff at 6%DOKIDOKI because this fashion company represents the Harajuku feel and spirit of freedom. The color schemes at 6%DOKIDOKI are amazing and the style is vibrant and energetic.

 
6%DOKIDOKI and Sebastian Masuda

Meanwhile Tracy Reese represents the elegance of fashion in America and both companies represent the richness and beauty of fashion.  Therefore, just like the pluralism of Shintoism you have the rich diversity of fashion in Harajuku and Omotesando.

If you are a first time visitor to Tokyo then Harajuku should be high on your list because you can just soak up the atmosphere and the changes which can be found in this diverse part of Tokyo.  From the heart of Japanese religion which is represented at the Meiji Shrine to the creativity of fashion and designers like Sebastian Masuda.

In Harajuku the old world and new world does not clash because the environment is based on harmony and co-existence.  Also, the Meiji Shrine is blessed with stunning walks and this enables people to contemplate and think about the richness of this life.

 

http://www.meijijingu.or.jp/english/   (Meiji Shrine)

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3006.html (Places to visit)

http://www.dokidoki6.com/ (6%DOKIDOKI fashion)

http://www.omotesandohills.com/english/shops-restaurants/index.html  

http://www.tracyreese.com/c-45-dresses.aspx  (Tracy Reese fashion)

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

June 2, 2011

Tokyo ladies and daily fashion

Tokyo ladies and daily fashion

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

6%DOKIDOKI and Sebastian Masuda highlight the raw energy and vibrancy of Tokyo fashion.

Fashion in Tokyo is very important and this applies to both sexes and the quality and styles are so diverse.  Therefore, Tokyo is a fashion paradise for fashion lovers and you have so many places to visit in this amazing city in order to view the latest trends or to try on new clothes.

It is clear that Tokyo is a fashion Mecca because you have so many areas of high quality fashion shops, independent fashion and mega department stores.  Therefore, within a short distance you can witness the different styles of Ginza, Harajuku, Omotesando, Ikebukuro, Shibuya, Ebisu, Aoyama, Shinjuku, Ueno, and in other parts of this city. 

 

Also, within Harajuku you have a huge variety of fashion and this applies to kawaii culture, individual styles, upwardly mobile and high brand designs can be found within the environment of Harajuku, Omotesando Hills and Aoyama which is very exclusive. 

Therefore, the age group also changes because parts of Harajuku and Shibuya are buzzing with trendy teenagers or young adults. However, Omotesando Hills and Aoyama caters for the wealthy and adults of various ages can be seen browsing around and buying high quality and exclusive products.

6%DOKIDOKI and fashion designer Sebastian Masuda

Shibuya is the same because some areas are completely alive with young teenagers and young adults but mixed within this are high quality department stores.  Also, the closeness of Shibuya, Omotesando, Harajuku and Aoyama means that you can feel the energy and natural flow of the changing styles.

If you are a fashion lover then Tokyo is your city because the diversity is amazing and fashion designers have a rare edge because some designers like Sebastian Masuda (6%DOKIDOKI) and Takashi Aoki (Macaronic) have creativity in abundance.

Both Sebastian Masuda and Takashi Aoki are based in Harajuku and the beauty of this part of Tokyo is that the independent spirit is still alive and kicking.  Yes, of course you have famous international and Japanese brands in Harajuku and Omotesando but it is designers like Sebastian Masuda and Takashi Aoki which inspire.

Kawaii culture and fashion companies like 6%DOKIDOKI have developed a strong following throughout the world because of the stunning color schemes on offer and the huge creativity which can be seen.

Therefore, if you log on to Twitter or Facebook it is clear that young teenagers and adults from France, Indonesia, America, and all over the world, have a taste for Tokyo fashion.

This is because of the creativity on offer and when you add this to the amazing environment of Tokyo then it is easy to see why Tokyo is so popular and a world famous city. 

If I ever feel blue then a walk around Harajuku while listening to house/trance music perks me up because I can relax by watching the natural street fashion on show.

Fashion companies like 6%DOKIDOKI, Comme des Garcons, SmackyGlam, ato, Macaronic, Candy Stripper, and a host of others; are extremely diverse and they cater for a huge difference in taste.

This adds up to an amazing fashion scene and the fashion blends within the environment that the shops are located and this fact is what is so fantastic about Tokyo.

http://www.dokidoki6.com/

http://www.smackyglam.com/

http://candystripper.net/

http://www.macaronic.jp/

http://tokyofashion.com/

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

May 29, 2011

Japanese Fashion: buzzing with spirit and energy in Tokyo

Japanese Fashion: buzzing with spirit and energy in Tokyo

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

6%DOKIDOKI highlight the sheer vibrancy of Tokyo fashion

Japanese street fashion is extremely diverse and no single style could ever corner the market and within areas of Tokyo and Osaka, and other major cities, you will have areas which appeal to certain styles. Japan is also a huge market for exquisite global fashion and major companies vie alongside Japanese companies and individual outlets for a slice of the huge market.

The beauty of Tokyo is that different areas contrast greatly and you have noticeable changes within fashion styles. Therefore, you will find greater individualism in Harajuku and Shibuya and both areas have a youthful image and are powerhouses. 

This contrasts greatly with Ginza and other fashionable areas like Ebisu and Aoyama which cater for young adults and all age ranges, with the emphasis being high income earners or people with wealth. Ginza is awash with international brands and Japanese brands where the focus is on elegance, sophistication and extreme quality.

Obviously the price mechanism caters for the rich.  However, being Japan, then many Japanese ladies and men who may have less disposable income, will also save in order to buy luxury brands.

Harajuku and Shibuya are not just about youthful fashion because both areas connect with Omotesando and within each area the mixture of fashion is amazing.  Therefore, you can visit independent companies like 6%DOKIDOKI in Harajuku and within a short distance you will find international and famous Japanese brands.

The fusion of fashion companies and the noticeable change within districts or within a short distance; increases the spice and the creativity of fashion in Tokyo.

This all adds to the high energy of fashion in Tokyo and the spirit of companies like 6%DOKIDOKI and Macaronic are a blessing.  Therefore, designers like Sebastian Masuda (6%DOKIDOKI) and Takashi Aoki (Macaronic) have no boundaries and instead their creativity and passion can be felt within the products that they provide.

Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto provided a strong image for Japanese fashion and their energy was noticeable in the 1980s and onwards.  However, the nature of fashion in Tokyo and throughout Japan is changeable and no single designer can express the exuberant fashion which is part and parcel of major cities like Tokyo and Osaka. Instead, the real beauty of Japanese fashion is the collective because Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, Sebastian Masuda, Takashi Aoki, Junya Watanabe, Tsumori Chisato, Yoshie Itabashi, Chiharu Kikuchi, and many others; collectively add their own individual style and thinking.

It matters not if one fashion designer is hugely famous or not because fashion is not static and different fashion styles will cater for different markets.  Also, the raw energy of designers like Sebastian Masuda and Takashi Aoki merge their free thinking within the unique style of Harajuku.

Sebastian Masuda – 6%DOKIDOKI

6%DOKIDOKI is international in thinking and this company relates strongly with their clients in Harajuku and throughout the world.  The color schemes and designs of 6%DOKIDOKI and Macaronic sums up the creative nature of both companies. 

Fashion also means many things. This applies to a sense of belonging within certain fashion trends, mainstream, individualism, street credibility amongst the hip-hop inspired youth, and so forth.

Irrespective if your favorite fashion company is Comme des Garçons, A Bathing Ape, Uniqlo, 6%DOKIDOKI, SmackyGlam, Candy Stipper, Macaronic, or a multitude of other companies; the importance is that however large or small; or irrespective of stature or design style; each and every company enhances the spirit of Tokyo and Japanese fashion.

If fashion is high on your agenda then Tokyo and Osaka cater for fashion in abundance and the streets of Harajuku in Tokyo and Namba in Osaka are buzzing because of creativity and difference. 

The stunning color schemes of SmackyGlam and 6%DOKIDOKI are a million miles apart and this applies to thinking and client base.  However, the thinking behind the designs is done with utmost care and imagination and this vibrancy and difference is leading to such energy in Tokyo.

6%DOKIDOKI and the Mighty Harajuku Project

Japan is a Mecca for fashion and Tokyo is awash with creativity and style. The same also applies to Osaka which is also very energetic and this certainly applies to places like Namba.  Therefore, this sector will remain vibrant because of the diverse nature of Tokyo and Osaka and it is this diversity which is making the fashion scene tick.

http://www.dokidoki6.com/

http://www.smackyglam.com/

http://candystripper.net/

http://www.macaronic.jp/

http://tokyofashion.com/

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

May 27, 2011

Tokyo: Shiseido The Ginza is where cosmetics and décor melts into a pure beauty experience

Tokyo: Shiseido The Ginza is where cosmetics and décor melts into a pure beauty experience

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

Ginza is located in a very refined and exquisite part of Tokyo and Shiseido The Ginza blends into its environment perfectly.  The total beauty facility is not only based on the highest of beauty products but the style of the entire store is based on panache and an environment which focuses on pure luxury.

Shiseido is a company with a very rich history and this can be seen by the store in Ginza because each of the three floors is based on a new experience whereby shoppers can engage themselves amongst the sophistication which is on offer.  Of course, this sophistication is matched by the quality of the products on offer and by staff who represent the finest of qualities which befit Shiseido.

Tokyo ladies and women who are visiting Tokyo will not find a finer place to shop around and enjoy the fabulous layout of each floor.  This applies to product sampling areas, beauty parlors, a photo studio and state of the art technology whereby customers can interact and make the most of their visit to Shiseido The Ginza.

On the second floor you will find highly trained staff who will listen to your needs and who will cater for your desires or any questions that you may have.  The first floor is where you will find quality product after quality product and the usage of technology is a wonder to behold. 

Therefore, Tokyo ladies and visiting ladies can experiment with digital cosmetic mirrors which are fully interactive and once the barcode is entered of the product which took the eye of the customer; then this will show the person how it will look once it is matched with the customers face.  This enables the individual to utilize all the various colors which are on offer and the image also shows the look from different angles and this is pure luxury mixed with convenience and style.

Counselors are on standby in order to help people with their skin types or other related areas of care and this all adds to the experience of each individual feeling special.  Added to this, estheticians are available and with all the knowledge that they have learnt from the Shiseido Academy of Beauty & Fashion; then the customer is bound to get the highest quality of care and attention.

The third floor is the finishing touch because the exquisite notch just increased even further and customers now have counseling rooms which cater for the individual and this applies to premium Shiseido products.  The booths which are designed for private usage all adds to the whole experience for the customer and the third floor is based on a luxury décor format alongside quality technology which shows the ethics and care of Shiseido.

If Tokyo ladies and visiting women to Tokyo love cosmetics and beauty products; then Shiseido The Ginza is a place to visit and because of the rich history of Shiseido then the quality on offer is of the finest.

Shiseido is always based on innovation and this is matched with exquisite products of pure quality and a visit to the Shiseido The Ginza is clear evidence that this company understands not only state of the art innovation; but, they understand the needs of modern ladies and their staff clearly care about each individual who visits.

http://stg.shiseido.co.jp/  – SHISEIDO THE GINZA

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com  

Image from http://nyabs.exblog.jp/14773731/

May 23, 2011

Osaka: Namba is great for fashion, entertainment and a real energy exists

Osaka: Namba is great for fashion, entertainment and a real energy exists

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The city of Osaka is very vibrant and in Namba you can feel the energy because this part of Osaka is famous for fashion and entertainment.  Indeed, while Tokyo appears to be more refined and placid the natural energy of Namba, Umeda, and other areas, is a welcome change and both Tokyo and Osaka have a different feel about them.

Recently, Kanebo cosmetic company highlighted the fact that Tokyo ladies use more make up than any other major city in Asia.  However, Kanebo, which did the survey, picked two cities in China but amazingly they only picked one city in Japan and this applies to Tokyo. 

I am sure that Osaka ladies would have something to say about this because if Kanebo can pick Beijing and Shanghai; then why not include Osaka?  After all, Osaka is a very powerful city and the energy and different thought patterns in this city would have complimented the survey by Kanebo cosmetic company.

If you visit Namba you will note how fashionable the ladies are and how vibrant this part of Osaka is.  Namba also changes throughout the day and it is vibrant for 24 hours of the day.

This applies to fashion, entertainment, abundance of restaurants, and you also have a sexual side to Namba in the Dotonbori area at night.  Therefore, Namba is very diverse and changes quickly.

Also, during the day you will see many students outside who are practicing comedy and you can watch and listen to this unique style.  This comedy style is called manzai and Yoshimotokougyo School is famous for this style of comedy.

Namba ladies have their own distinct fashion and style which not only applies to the dress style, but also the different thought pattern and energy which is often missing in parts of Tokyo.

In Namba you have the trendy and fashionable Amerikamura and Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade.  Electronic areas and manga can also be found and Nipponbashi Den Den Town is popular.  Meanwhile, the Dotonbori district is famous for entertainment and the innocence and vibrancy of manzai can be felt alongside trendy fashion areas and the seedier nature at night in parts of Namba.

The waterway system is also a nice place to relax and sit out and you will see many tourist boats on busy days.  This also adds to the genuine buzz of Namba in Osaka and even if you are by yourself then it matters not because if you visit the waterway, where students are practicing manzai, then you feel part and parcel of the environment.

The Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade and adjacent area surrounding this shopping complex is awash with fashion.  True to the nature of Namba, it is also a fusion of trendy boutiques with an independent spirit alongside chain retail stores.

Fashion in this area is really fascinating because of the options which are available.  Therefore, you have the high fashion of expensive department stores and influential designer labels and trendy boutiques.

However, you also have alternative fashion styles and if you venture around then it becomes clear that this area caters for many fashion styles.

In Amerikamura you have a reported 3,000 shops to pick from and the choice is massive and varied.  The youthful nature and buzz of this part of Osaka can be felt and domestic boutiques like Urban Research, Ships, Anna Sui, Stussy, and countless others, can be found in this vibrant fashion area which rivals anything in Tokyo.

In truth, both Tokyo and Osaka are major fashion cities and while Osaka may be overlooked internationally in some quarters; it soon becomes apparent when you visit Osaka that this is a mistake because the “heart of Japan is ticking loudly in Osaka.”

Other notable places to visit are Namba Parks, National Bunraku Theater, Hozenji Yokocho Alley, Kuromon Ichiba Market (Emmeiji Market) and Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum. Also, Dotonbori is clearly a must because of the high energy of this area along the river and this applies to shopping, entertainment and food outlets.

Dotonbori at night and in the early morning is awash with stunning ladies and a different Namba comes alive.

Overall, Namba is fantastic for fashion and raw energy.

This applies to the diverse nature of fashion, the manzai tradition which can be witnessed outside near the waterway system, the lively nature of the Dotonbori entertainment district and you have everything from independent boutiques to high designer labels.

Namba, like Osaka in general, is a vibrant area and “the heart is ticking loudly” and you can feel the raw passion of a city which is dynamic in its own right.

Tokyo and other major cities in Asia, like Beijing, Seoul and Shanghai, may be internationally famous but Osaka is not in the shadow of any of these cities.  On the contrary, Osaka is vibrant and open and this city deserves to be viewed amongst the elites within the global village.

http://www.infomapjapan.com/sight_Namba.phtml  (Info about Namba)

http://www.japaneselifestyle.com.au/travel/osaka_namba.htm

http://www.osaka-info.jp/en/search/detail/shopping_5160.html (Namba Walk info)

http://moderntokyotimes.com (please visit)

photo from www.flickr.com