Archives for the month of: October, 2010

One of the joys of life in Tokyo is the amazing choice of food the city offers. There are all kinds of eating experiences, from the single coin stand up soba, そば, and udon, うどん, noodle bars to the most exquisite kaiseki ryōri, 会席料理, restaurants with their private dining rooms and artfully prepared banquets, small neighborhood eateries with their fabric noren, 暖簾, curtains hung outside to discreet dining rooms atop skyscrapers and department stores. Like any world-class city, international cuisines such as French, Italian, Indian are available along with Western and local variations of fast food. Above all, Tokyo is unrivaled in the choice of Japanese cuisine on which residents and visitors can choose to dine.

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Plus Minus Zero – ±0 – is the name of the brand chosen for the minimalist industrial designs of award-winning Naoto Fukasawa. Fans of pure design form with retro undertones will be impressed by the collections on display in the modest ±0 AOYAMA store in Tokyo’s stylish Kita Aoyama neighborhood. The store’s bright orange walls foreground the monochromatic and mostly white products on its shelves, their design credentials acknowledged by the design awards they continue to win at home and abroad. This boutique gallery of domestic homewares and electrical appliances that include coffee and tea makers, toasters and tableware, clocks and calculators, torches and trashcans, opened its doors in 2004, a year after the label and first collection were created.

Heater & Humidifier S (Aroma) images : : copyright  Plus Minus Zero Co., Ltd.

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The 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival opens in Roppongi tomorrow bringing a world of movies to Japanese cinephiles. The program offers a broad vista, showing the mandatory international features in Competition – among them Daniele Coluccini’s And Peace on Earth from Italy, The Piano in a Factory by China’s Zhang Meng, Shawn Ku’s Beautiful Boy from the USA and Zephyr from Turkey’s Belma Bas. Also screening are box office films like Tron: Legacy in 3D and Shrek Forever After; movies from Taiwan presented as Taiwanese Cinema Renaissance: New Breeze of the Rising Generation; a tribute to Bruce Lee showing classics such as Enter the Dragon and homage movies under the moniker The 70th Anniversary: Bruce Lee to the Future; and of course a selection of contemporary Japanese movies: The Singing Hitman! by Takashi Takahata, Garo Red Requiem (3D) by director Keita Amemiya, Tatsuo Shimizu’s Strangers in the City directed by Junji Sakamoto and Hisako Matsui’s Leonie among them. This post takes a look at Japanese cinema and some of its past and present shining lights.

All original images : : copyright held by owners of late autumn – yasujirō ozu; rashomon – akira kurosawa; innocence – mamoru oshii; dark water – hideo nakata
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Yoshida & Co., Ltd. are celebrating their 75th year in the business of making bags. In a culture of commuters, the labels created by this company – PORTER, HEAD PORTER and LUGGAGE LABEL – are visible on bags all over the country. Whether hanging from shoulders, slung over torsos, carried on backs or gripped in hands, these Japanese essentials are much loved. The products’ styling, classic and innovative and mostly unisex in design, together with superb quality, appeal to cool teens, sharp salarymen and office ladies and smart travelers alike.

HEAT series (2001) and TANGO BLACK 70th anniversary series (2005) shoulder bags


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No music, no life; it’s the mantra of the giant Japanese music retailer, Tower Records and on the year of its 30th anniversary, Japan’s Tower Records has all that any music lover could want in life. What began as an offshoot of the once mighty, now departed US-based global music retailer, became, following a 2002 management buyout, an independent Japanese retailing giant that is today one of the largest music retailers in the world. With more than 80 stores across the length of the country from Hokkaido to Okinawa, the jewel in the company crown is the flagship Shibuya store, which opened its nine levels of music culture to Japanese music lovers in 1995.

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YOHJI YAMAMOTO – My Dear Bomb is the cryptic title of a new book – a biography of sorts – to be released around the world this month by its author and subject, Yohji Yamamoto, 山本 耀司, one of Japan’s fashion masters. While the title alludes to the explosive nature of the creativity within that inspires Yamamoto’s endeavors, it could just as aptly symbolize his personal ‘big bang‘ moment when together with his Japanese avant-garde fashion concepts, ‘the poet of black’ exploded onto the fashion scene in the late 1970s.


Yohji Yamamoto Fall Winter 2010/2011 Paris : : creative director Yohji Yamamoto, music Jim Croce

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Selling the best of modern British luxury, Vulcanize London is a refined and stylish shopping experience in Aoyama that combines a James Bond cool with a Prince and Princess of Wales classicism. Luggage and brollies, eyewear and jewelry, polo shirts and perfumes, Savile Row suits and tailored shirts; in fact, more than 30 classic brands – all with impeccable pedigree and displayed with flair.

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