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Showing posts with label omotesando. Show all posts
Showing posts with label omotesando. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tokyo Hearts: A Japanese Love Story

Tokyo Hearts: A Japanese Love Story
by Renae Lucas-Hall
eBookpartnership.com
ASIN: B008HT2LQC
200 pp

For all the ceaseless babbling of Japan’s musical-chairs politics and the skips and stumbles of its massively indebted economy, there are some things about Japan that have remained virtually untouched for the past few decades: that is, the Japanese urbanite's obsession with trend and fashion, and, of course, the timeless, universal theme of love and romance that has the power to both transcend and subvert any socioeconomic arrangement.

Tokyo Hearts: A Japanese Love Story begins as a story about a female-male couple, Haruka and Takashi, who are devoted to shopping and going out in Tokyo. These two up and coming young Japanese are blissfully immersed not only in each other, but in the trendy youth culture of the Aoyama and Omotesando area of Tokyo, awash with fashion boutiques, and Japan's huge and often luxurious department store scene. These form the backdrop of much of the book, and we are introduced to the couple in their haunting of industrial-ceilinged cafes where they are attended by waiters in thick black glasses frames and John Lennon haircuts, sipping cappuccinos over their latest Yoji Yamamoto garment purchases.

Yet a literal, and an emotional, earthquake shatters this bliss. Haruka’s Kyoto connections start to get in the way, not least in the form of an ex-lover with whom the flame reignites. Physical distance in Haruka's short return to Kyoto, Japan's ancient and gracious ex-capital city, creates emotional distance, further underscored by physical injury that boyfriend Takashi suffers in an earthquake that hits Tokyo. This crisis is introduced and undertaken convincingly, and the reader is led through to its denouement and conclusion.

Renae Lucas-Hall paints the doings and passions of the protagonists in detailed pastels that do ample justice to the meticulous significance with which they invest their cafe-hopping, department-store-exploring and fashion purchasing. Do not expect a rollicking read. Tokyo Hearts demands almost a meditative frame of mind in which the reader can reinvent for him or herself the essential - and even inessential - details that compose the characters’ lives.

If any criticism were to be leveled at Tokyo Hearts, it might be that the narrative often takes on in an explanatory way what might often be better left to the dialog and portrayal of unfolding circumstance. Nevertheless, the author's style is very much in keeping with the tone of Japanese daily life, rarely rocked by anything more alarming than a mild temblor, the theft of a pot plant, or accidentally dropping one's smartphone. Takashi's and Haruka's romance in Tokyo Hearts is an artifact explored with albeit ambulatory precision and a clear love of the culture in which it is set.

To find out more about the book and its author visit Renae Lucas-Hall's webpage.

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Tokyo Hearts: A Japanese Love Story Book Review
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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Gossip GLBT cafe in Tokyo

Tokyo's Harajuku and Omotesando districts merge into each other to form one of Tokyo's hippest areas with a panoply of stores, cafes, restaurants, studios and bars catering to every taste from punk to cosplay to voguish high street.

I went to Barbacoa Grill, the Brazilian churrasco restaurant in Omotesando, with friends for lunch on the weekend. Afterwards a couple of them suggested going to Gossip - a cafe I hadn't heard of till then, but which according to the Gossip Facebook page began on October 10 2010.

Gossip is a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender-friendly cafe in Omotesando (Jingu-mae in terms of actual address), on the second floor, that is spacious, light and airy and is distinguished by being something of a GLBT bookstore as well, with GLBT-related books in Japanese as well as some in English. And, there are pamphlets relating to GLBT affairs and events going on in Tokyo at the door.


The owner, a woman, while a little on the shy side was friendly and welcoming, the prices were a little better than average for Omotesando, especially considering the volume of the beverage you get, and my coffee drinking colleagues assured me that the coffee was great.

We had just eaten so didn't try any of the food, but Gossip serves lunch (midday to 5pm), has a "tea time" (5pm to 7pm), and dinner (5pm to 11pm) as well.

Gossip also stages exhibitions.

 Check out the Gossip website for more information.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Tokyo Chiropractic

東京カイロプラクティック

If you are need of an English-speaking chiropractor in Tokyo head for Tokyo Chiropractic in Aoyama near Ometansando Station.

Tokyo Chiropractic, Omotesando

Tokyo Chiropractic is run by a third-generation chiropractor - his grandfather, father and two uncles were all chiropractors - who has trained overseas in Australia and can communicate with you in English. A first visit to Tokyo Chiropractic costs 8,000 yen with subsequent visits 5,500 yen.

Tokyo Chiropractic




Tokyo Chiropractic
3F, Daini Seiho Bldg.
3-5-2 Kita Aoyama
Minato-ku
Tokyo
107 0061
Tel 03 3478 2713
Fax 03 3478 2714
Access: Omotesando Station is on the Ginza, Hanzomon and Chiyoda lines.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ted Baker in Tokyo

テッド・ベーカー 東京

Ted Baker store Tokyo

Tokyo's fashionable Omotesando street in Tokyo's Aoyama district just got a tad more fashionable with the opening there on March 16 of Japan's first Ted Baker store. Ted Baker, the well-known British clothing brand that began in 1988 now has 162 stores in countries outside the UK.

For the first two days, March 16 and 17, customers received a complimentary Pimms and a slice of cake (plus a limited edition pack of English Breakfast Tea for those who spent 18,000 yen, i.e. GPB136.35, or more), and on the 18th, St. Patrick's Day, a glass of Guiness Beer and a cupcake with a shamrock mark on it. Those who spent 18,000 yen or more on St. Patrick's Day also got a red pillar box-style money box.

Ted Baker Tokyo is managed by Ratko Backo, formerly of Reiss.

To get to Ted Baker Tokyo on Omotesando, take either exit A2 or A3 out of Omotesando Subway Station.

Ted Baker Tokyo
3-5-30 Kita Aoyama
Minato-ku Tokyo 107-0061
Japan

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Agnes B. Voyage Omotesando

アニエスベー 表参道

Agnes B. Voyage Omotesando


The French men's and women's fashion brand, Agnes B. is a big presence in Japan. Agnes B.'s innocent chic has great appeal with Japanese young people.

Agnes B. has been in Japan since 1984, and has enjoyed great success since then, opening many stores throughout, first Tokyo, then the rest of Japan.

Agnes B. stores in Japan are in the form of both stand-alone stores and in department stores.

Omotesando adjoining Tokyo's Harajuku fashion district is one of Tokyo's most pleasant fashion streets: a long gently sloping tree-lined boulevard that runs up to Yoyogi Park.

Agnes B. Voyage is one of the attractions on Omotesando. It is distinguished by its artistic and constantly changing storefronts.

The beautiful silvery storefront in this photos of Agnes B. Voyage is inspired by clouds - specifically as mentioned in the optimistic saying "Every cloud has a silver lining." (But doesn't design software come with a spell check function?!)


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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Louis Vuitton Tokyo

Louis Vuitton Tokyo Store東京表参道ルイ・ヴィトン店

Earlier this week we introduced one of the amazing boutiques on Omotesando, the quirky Prada Building.

A work from the atelier of Herzog & de Meuron, it is one of the signature buildings in the area.

Another is the Louis Vuitton store farther back towards Harajuku Station.

It was designed by Jun Aoki and recently had its interior done by the peripatetic Takashi Murakami.

At night, it literally stops traffic.

The inside of the store is divided into five "volumes," each designed like Louis Vuitton trunks.

Access

Louis Vuitton Omotesando
5-7-5 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Store Hours: 11:00 AM -7:00 PM (Dec. 13-28, 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM)
Open year-round
Tel: 03-3478-2100

A ten-minute walk from Harajuku Station on the Yamanote Line or Omotesando Station on the Tokyo Metro.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Gothic Lolita (gosu-loli)

Omotesando, Tokyoゴシックロリータ(ゴスロリ)

"Gothic Lolita" is a fashion style, born in Japan, that blends the dark, brooding gothic and the light, frilly Lolita looks.

To see is to believe.

In other countries, the gothic look is an expression of alienation, teen anger, even anarchy. Piercing and aggressive tattoing are often part of the package.

Lolita is of course the young woman and title of the great Vladimir Nabokov novel. In Japan, she has been appropriated in the "Lolita complex" (rori-con). This is the phenomenon describing Japanese men who are obsessed with very young--very young--girls.

In terms of fashion, Lolita refers to hyper-cute girls in frilly pink and white outfits.

Young Japanese women have melded these different forms of alienation and created a bizarre sub-category fashion look. In highly detailed outfits, complete in many cases with Little Bo Peep umbrellas, they parade in groups in city centers.

Disclaimer: The author is not an expert on gothic, Lolita, or gothic Lolita fashion. We welcome comments and corrections from our readers.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Japanese Fashion: Legs and Tattoos

Shibuya Station, Tokyo秋のファション:足と入れ墨

On a recent trip to Tokyo, I wandered around Shinjuku, Daikanyama, and the Harajuku/Omotesando areas and was struck by many things.

One surprise for someone coming up from Kyoto was the number of tattoos, especially on women. In Kansai, tattoos are still a bit rare. Mobsters, of course, and the occasional college student or artist have tattoos.

In Tokyo, however, tattoos were everywhere.

And on all parts of the body.

We saw countless tattoos high up on the thigh just barely visible under a skirt or hot pants, just next to cleavage, on the back of the neck, the side of the ankle, the shoulder blade, etc.

The woman with the Mickey Mouse tattoo--it's real--on her calf was waiting for a train at Shibuya Station. Her exposed shoulders featured elaborate dragons.

One sign that tattoos may even be a bit passe was that we spied a woman, in her late 20s, who had the telltale scars on her left arm of tattoo removal. She was feeding a baby in an Italian coffee shop.

Another, more attractive, surprise were leggings.

Women of all ages sported all sorts of leggings.

Leggings, OmotesandoThe women pictured at left was in her early- to mid-40s, very attractive, and made quite an impression with her brilliantly colored and patterned leggings. She is strolling along Omotesando on a recent Saturday.

Few if any openly stared at her as she paraded along the tree-lined street thronged with tourists and locals.

The clack-clack of her heels punctuated the colors as they shifted along her legs while she walked.



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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Omotesando Subway Station Tokyo

Omotesando subway stop表参道の地下鉄の出口

This chic, aerodynamic subway exit is at the corner of Omotesando and Aoyama Dori. It is Exit B4 of Omotesando subway station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza line and the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line.

It is located in Aoyama, which is one of the playgrounds of the very wealthy of Tokyo.

Befitting the style and elan and elegance of the neighborhood, the subway stop has a clear glass roof.

Climbing up the steps, you are bathed in light. For the matrons and o-jo-chans (rich girls) out for an afternoon of boutique-hopping, there is not a whiff of urine, no month-old wads of gum to get stuck on your Jimmy Choos or Manolo Blahniks, and not even trash--and it was sparkling clean!.

Even the railings were spotless.

Read more about the Tokyo subway: "Do It At Home" Tokyo Subway ad campaign

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hip Harajuku hounds

原宿の渋い犬たち


Yesterday was Autumn Equinox Day (Shuubun no Hi), officially the first day of fall, when, in theory, the last muggy days of summer give way to autumn breezes. It was Japan's second Monday off in a row, last Monday having been Respect for the Aged Day (Keiro no Hi).

I spent the day enjoying what has become the very slightly cooler weather of the past few days, walking through Tokyo's Shinjuku and Yoyogi down to Harajuku. Harajuku, one of Tokyo's hubs of street culture, was as packed as ever on a holiday and also, as ever, full of as many fashion permutations as you can imagine.

It wasn't exactly fashion, and it wasn't tradition, either – a middle aged guy sitting on the edge of a flower bed on Omotesando Avenue in ripped jeans and sunglasses with his four dogs, all of them coolly decked out, if not in ripped jeans, then in sunglasses, too!


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