Experience Japanese Culture #4 – Searching for a Film Camera in Shinjuku’s Used Camera Shops

30.May.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

This is Yuri ‘Yurippa’ Suganuma’s featured article series in which she takes us on her adventures to cultivate new hobbies.

 

Yurippa has been interested in photography for some time now, but she’s been unsure which camera she should buy. So, she decided to head to some used camera stores,  Lucky Camera Shop andChuko Camera Box in Shinjuku to find the perfect camera that best suits her. Was she able to find the right one…? Let’s find out!

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The first place Yurippa stopped by was Lucky Camera Shop. It’s located next to Isetan Shinjuku and has a kind of foreign, non-Japanese air to it. When Yurippa saw the eye-catching red exterior of the shop, it was loved at first sight. In any case, time to head in!

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The store is lined with cameras made in lots of different countries including Japan, Germany and the US. Lucky Camera Shop puts a lot of effort into stocking foreign-made cameras and mechanical cameras with everything built in. They have a varied line-up, including famous Leica cameras.

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The Leica parts were all expensive – the bodies and lenses were both over ¥100,000 ($915)!

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Yurippa was shown a camera she was interested in from inside the showcase. The left was a single-lens reflex Olympus OM-1 and the right was a Barnack Leica. 35mm films are all the rage right now, and these were some of the first models to use them. Both are at a nice, compact size.

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Yurippa was blown away looking through the viewfinder of the Olympus OM-1. ‘You can see things easily, so much so that everything looks even more beautiful through the viewfinder!’ she said.

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Next, Yurippa also tried the Barnack Leica. It’s a valuable camera that has you feeling a little nervous touching it. She said surprised at how quiet the shutter was, to which the shop assistant explained, “This is a different single-lens reflex to that of the OM-1. There’s no mirror inside so the shutter is quiet.” Yurippa learned much about how cameras are put together differently, as well as the diverse number of types available.

 

■Information

Lucky Camera Shop

Address: Gomeikan Bldg. 1F, 3-3-9 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

TEL: 03-3354-7898

Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00

Access: 5-minutes on foot from JR Shinjuku Station / 1-minute on foot from Shinjuku Sanchome Station

Website: http://lucky-camera.com/

 

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The next shop Yurippa headed to was Chuko Camera Box. It’s a used camera store located along Shinjuku Electric Street (Shinjuku Denki-gai). The showcase is crowded with cameras, and the shop has an atmosphere to it like a secret hideout.

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“It’d be great to have a camera that’s small and easy to use. One that I can take out and snap a photo with straight away. That’d definitely be fun!” said Yurippa while looking in earnest for a camera.

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She continued to search with these keywords in mind, focusing on auto-focus film compact cameras. And then, she found it. In her hands was the Genba Kantoku from Konica. You can snap a photo just by pressing the shutter. It has auto-focus, flash and auto-load. “It’s a little big, but it’s affordable and seems easy to use!”

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Chuko Camera Box is famous for its friendly store clerk and regular customers. Yurippa learned that the Genba Kantoku was formerly used for recording at construction sites. It’s durable and can get wet or be dropped and has an excellent lens. She’s finally made her purchase!

 

■Information

Chuko Camera Box

Address: 1-13-7 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Tel: 03-5339-2701

Opening Hours: 10:00-20:30

Access: 2-minutes on foot from Shinjuku Station

Website: http://camerabox.web.fc2.com

 

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Yurippa loaded her Genba Kantoku right away with 35mm film. Simply take out the film tip and close it on its back. Film cameras can seem tricky, but there are easy-to-use ones like this too!

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Yurippa was hugely satisfied finally getting her hands on her long-sought film camera. In the second part of this article, she will develop and print the photos that she has taken with her Genba Kantoku at a photo shop.

 

How about getting yourself your own film camera and to start up photography yourself?

Profile

Model: Yuri Suganuma @yurippa93

yuri_profile

Yuri Suganuma is a model with a high fashion sense that has been picked up by various magazines. She receives much love and support from girls of the same generation as her to whom she is known by her nickname “Yurippa.” She has a huge influence across her social media. Recently, she has stepped into other fields outside of modelling, such as appearing in TV shoots and in music videos. She is skilled in make-up and involved in the development of cosmetics.

 

Photographer & Writer: Haruka Yamamoto

Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

 

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  • Experience Japanese Culture #3: Temari Sushi Lesson in a Japanese Food Class at Dikanyama

    04.April.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Japanese model Yuri Sugunama, a.k.a “Yurippa,” is taking us on the third trip in her series series where she goes to personally experience Japanese culture and cultivate new hobbies. This time, she gets involved in a cooking lesson to make springtime temari sushi! Yurippa has always had an interest in homemade cooking but never really had the opportunity to challenge herself to it. So, how did she do…?

    ゆりっぱの趣味を探す旅 #3 色とりどりの手毬寿司レッスン1
    uki-uki cafe is located in Daikanyama which is just one stop from Shibuya on the Tōkyū Tōyoko Line. It’s an easy place to get to just 5-minutes from the station tucked away in a quiet residential area. Upon opening the door to the café, you are greeted with a fresh space full of green plant life. You’ll totally forget about the hustle and bustle of the city.

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    Teaching the lesson is uki-uki cafe’s representative, Ayumi Kashiwabara. She’s a food co-ordinator who promotes happy cooking that you’ll unintentionally want to take a photo of. Not only does she serve food that makes your everyday dining table evermore buoyant, she also holds cooking lessons every now and then. “Call me Ayu-chan-sensei, okay?” she says with a pose. She’s extremely friendly!

    ゆりっぱの趣味を探す旅 #3 色とりどりの手毬寿司レッスン3
    Today’s challenge is making two items: ‘temari sushi’ and ‘spring mizore soup.’ First off, the temari sushi! You begin by mixing together 250g of rice with 25ml of vinegar, 15g of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. This is then divided into 8 portions. Spread out some clingfilm and place ham in the middle. Then put one portion of rice on top and roll. Do this for all 8 portions. Roll the ham and rice into one and when taking the clingfilm off make sure that they stay together and don’t separate.

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    Next is making plum lotus roots. Fill the holes of the lotus roots with bainiku plum. Use your finger to delicately press it all together. It’s easy if you use a tube for this part. An excited Yurippa exclaimed, “This is the first time in my life I’m making food using bainiku plum!”

    菅沼ゆり 料理教室 ukiuki 代官山Japanese food class daikanyama
    At this point, Ayu-chan-sensei added a small touch: “It’ll look gorgeous if you do it like this.” With just a little twist, she made it look even more fantastic by putting on thinly sliced lemon and sprinkling over some pepper. The two of them looked like they were having fun cooking next to each other.

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    Before dishing up the temari sushi, it’s time to make the mizore soup. Add two teaspoons of Japanese dashi to 120ml of water and mix in one teaspoon of soy sauce, one teaspoon of sake, one teaspoon of mirin, and a little salt. Bring to the boil and just add some grated daikon. Daikon skin has nutritional value, so wash it thoroughly and rub dry.

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    Finally, add green beans into the mizore soup, put in wheat gluten, and… “All done!”

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    Yurippa’s colourful temari sushi and mizore soup is complete and perfect for spring. Going out and adding seasonal a lunch mat, pair of chopsticks and tableware is fun too.

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    Yurippa was happy, commenting: “I can feel that food made by hand really is more delicious! It was easy and didn’t take long, plus I like how exciting it looks. I want to invite my friends over to my house for a meal.”

     

    Cooking lessons are held once in a while at uki-uki cafe where you can learn how to make food that’ll make your ordinary days more fun. If you think a cooking lesson is a little too much to handle, then just pop in to the café for a kawaii meal. Coming face to face with the food at uki-uki cafe will surely make your day that much happier.

     

    ■Information
    uki-uki cafe
    Address: 88.DAIKANYAMA 3F, Daikanyamacho, Shibuya, Tokyo
    Opening Hours: 11:00-18:00 (Lunch Last Orders 16:00 / Last Orders 17:30)
    Access: 5-minutes on foot from Daikanyama Station via the Tōkyū Tōyoko Line
    Website: http://ayupichi.com/index.html
    *Cooking classes are held at irregular periods. Please enquire beforehand if you are a visitor from overseas.

     

     

    Model: Yuri Suganuma @yurippa93

    ゆりっぱの趣味を探す旅 #3 色とりどりの手毬寿司レッスンプロフィール
    Yuri Sugunuma is a model with a high fashion sense that has been picked up by various magazines. She receives much love and support from girls of the same generation as her to whom she is known by her nickname “Yurippa.” She has a huge influence across her social media. Recently, she has stepped into other fields outside of modelling, such as appearing in TV shoots and in music videos. She is skilled in make-up and involved in the development of cosmetics.

    Writer & Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

  • Experience Japanese Culture #2: Comparing Tastes of Unique Japanese Chocolates – From Matcha to Sake

    02.February.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Japanese model Yuri Sugunama, a.k.a “Yurippa,” is taking us on her next trip in this series where she goes to personally experience Japanese culture and cultivate new hobbies. Yurippa loves chocolate – she eats one tablet of the stuff day. In this Valentine’s-special second entry, Yurippa sampled different chocolates that are popular right now.

     

    For Valentine’s Day in Japan, it’s custom for girls give guys chocolate and convey their feelings towards them. Guys return the favour on a day called White Day, which falls on March 14. So, since there’s one month to go before the big day, that means the most delicious chocolate in the world is about to hit shelves in Japan – popular both in Japan and overseas.

     

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    The first pick was the classic “KitKat,” a very well-known brand in over 100 countries. The Japanese brand of KitKat is actually made in Japan. It’s received much attention around the world for its original flavours. It’s also known for being associated with exam season for students – the word KitKat in Japanese (kitto katto) almost sounds like the phrase “Kitto Katsu!” which means “You will surely win!”

     

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    Yurippa tried out the new “KitKat Chocolatory” series, created by the chef and owner of “La Patissier Takagi,” Yasumasa Takagi. The “Sublime Valentine’s Assortment” costs ¥2,400 (tax excl.) and includes 7 KitKat bars with 6 different flavours. There’s dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, matcha, raw, and a pink coloured ruby flavour. It’s a great selection to share and eat together with people.

     

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    The centerpiece of the collection is new Ruby KitKat, developed by the Swiss chocolate makers Barry Callebaut over a period of more than 10 years. The chocolate uses no colouring agents – the pink colour is made naturally to create an entirely new chocolate. Yurippa gave it her stamp of approval, saying it’ll be popular with girls for its vivid pink colour. She couldn’t contain her surprise for this newfound chocolate, saying “The berry flavour has a sour taste, but it’s different from strawberry chocolate. It’s something I’ve never tasted before.”

     

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    Next on the list is “Tea Chocolate Premium Matcha 7”. Costing just ¥1,000 (tax excl.), these chocolates are made by Shizuoka Matcha Sweet Factory “Nanaya,” who are known for producing the world’s most rich flavoured matcha gelato. These matcha chocolates don’t hold back on the milk so as to bring out the fragrance and taste of the tea leaves to the max. The set comes with 7 different matcha chocolates of varying intensity and 1 houjicha flavoured chocolate.

     

     

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    Yurippa expressed her excitement for the delicious chocolate before opening it. “When you open the packaging, the fresh smell of the tea whets your appetite so much you can’t wait to tuck in!”

     

    The chocolate and tea leaves have a good combined balance of 3.1%, and the smell and taste of the leaves kicks in with a strong flavour combination of 21%. “The tea leaf combination is different but my impression of the chocolate changed dramatically!”

     

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    “If you eat the chocolates in order as written on the packaging, you can understand each flavour’s intensity much better! This chocolate would go better with hot milk or soy milk than coffee. The richer chocolate flavours are fairly moderate when it comes to sweetness, so if you’re on a diet then you can eat them without feeling guilty.”

     

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    The last pick is from the long-standing chocolate maker Mary Chocolate. The KANADE Japanese Sake Truffles (¥1,000) come in 3 flavours – milk, sweet and white – and are topped with carefully selected Japanese sake. Only the finest sake from Japan is used, such as Gokyo Junmai Sake from Yamaguchi Prefecture. Since the truffles contain alcohol, be wary not to hand them out to minors or people that are driving.

     

     

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    “There’s a good balance between the chocolate and sake, and depending on which brand of sake is used, you can enjoy a different flavour on your taste buds from each!”

     

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    Yurippa’s favourite was the milk truffle topped with Koyama Shuzo. She was very satisfied having recently acquired a taste for sake. “It brings out the enduring qualities of refreshing Japanese sake and a fruitiness. I really want people who like Japanese sake to try these! If you’re not too good with sake from Japan, then I recommend the white chocolate truffle with Ichiro from Dewazakura. The subtle fragrance of sake that you can feel inside the smooth texture of the white chocolate makes it really sophisticated.”

     

    Yurippa gives friend chocolate to everyone on Valentine’s Day, guys and girls. Why don’t you try tasting this unique Japanese collection of chocolates recommended by Yurippa with everyone?

     

     

     

    ■Information

    KitKat Chocolatory – Sublime Valentine’s Assortment

    Price: ¥2,400 (tax excl.) – Set of 7 (6 flavours)

    Website: https://nestle.jp/brand/kit/chocolatory/

    Enquiries: Nestle – 0120-00-5916

     

    TEA CHOCOLATE PREMIUM MATCHA 7

    Price: ¥1,000 (tax excl.)

    Website: http://nanaya-matcha.com/?pid=113337997

     

    Mary Chocolate KANADE Japanese Sake Truffles

    Price: ¥1,000 (tax excl.)

    Website: http://maryshop.jp/shop/g/g4068/

     

    Model:Yuri Suganuma @yurippa93

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    Yuri Sugunuma is a model with a high fashion sense that has been picked up by various magazines. She receives much love and support from girls of the same generation as her to whom she is known by her nickname “Yurippa.” She has a huge influence across her social media. Recently, she has stepped into other fields outside of modelling, such as appearing in TV shoots and in music videos. She is skilled in make-up and involved in the development of cosmetics.

     

    Writer:Ryoichi Komaba

    Photographer:Haruka Yamamoto

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

     

  • Experience Japanese Culture #1: Japanese Kickboxing at “FIGHT CLUB 428” in Shibuya

    17.January.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Japanese model Yuri Suganuma, a.k.a. ‘Yurippa,’ is beginning a new serialized project in which she goes to personally experience different areas of Japanese culture. In this first entry, Yurippa headed to FIGHT CLUB 428 in Shibuya to learn kickboxing, a form of martial art known to be very effective when it comes to dieting and getting rid of stress.

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    FIGHT CLUB 428 sits in the heart of Dogenzaka, a 7-minute walk from Shibuya Station. Serving up a convenient fitness menu and equipped with a bar, 428’s kick-back and welcoming atmosphere is its charm point.

    It’s actually not that well known, but kickboxing is a sport that originated in Japan. Traditionally, it’s a martial art and combat sport that is fought without weapons and uses the game rules of Muay Thai.

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    The gym itself is clean, and women can also enjoy using the facility without worry. Female members of the gym are generally around the age of 25, and everyone there is extremely friendly, so it’s also a great place to make friends. You can also rent gym clothing if you want, meaning you can drop in empty-handed even if you’re on a trip.

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    Yurippa took a 1-day course (¥3,000) where she was taught by kickboxing teacher Ohno Umihiko. Just wow, being taught by a former kickboxer… not to mention how handsome he is!

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    Before starting training, you just stretch your body. Your muscles are quite stuff during the winter season making it easier to hurt yourself, so do it slowly and carefully.

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    One stretching is over, Yurippa moved onto the training basics – how to skip-rope. She was taught the proper way to jump like you see in movies and dramas: by using your ankles. But she was still a bit stiff somewhere, maybe because she wasn’t used to the jump roping yet, or maybe because she was still nervous from the gym atmosphere.

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    Moving on, Yurippa finally transitioned to the next phase: how to punch. The teacher wrapped bandage around her fists so she couldn’t injure them.

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    Once her bandages were on, her fighting spirit came through suddenly and she put on her war face. She settled on her fighting pose and was brimming with motivation!

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    She focused on jabs for the punching basics, learning to punch straight and how to hook.

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    The teacher praised Yurippa for having an aptitude for punching which raised her ferociousness even more. She went all out when practicing a finishing punch combination!

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    Her smug face and pose makes her look like she’s saying “How do I look? Am I cool?”

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    Don’t forget to rehydrate during training intervals. By the way, you can buy this bottle at the gym.

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    Next is punching the focus mitts while wearing gloves. Before punching the mitts, it’s customary to set your gloves on them first.

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    Kickboxing its more effective for dieting than it looks because it uses your whole body. You also have to twist around a lot, so you can really tone up your waist line.

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    The mid-kicks were a particularly good stress-reliever for Yurippa. If you aim at the mitts and kick with everything you have it makes a really great sound, so can be very exhilarating.

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    The teacher is very skilled in his way of teaching. Girl-Fighter-Yurippa has been born magnificently! Originally, Yurippa did slow activities such as yoga and was bad at them. She said that the movements in kickboxing are cool and it’s something she wanted to challenge herself to at least once. “Having finally experienced it, it was even more fun than I expected. I want to try continuing it!”

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    The gym also has a popular bar. The owner Ohno loves alcohol. He wanted more people to know about the gym so he built a bar than anyone can visit easily. The bar also comes with a special bonus: when the gym is full, people can order drinks for just ¥300! FIGHT CLUB 428 – the place where you can kickbox and enjoy a drink on the side. If you’re in Shibuya, then be sure to stop by.

     

    ■Information

    FIGHT CLUB 428

    Address: 2-27-2 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: Monday to Thursdays 7am-12am / Fridays to Saturdays 7am-7am next day / Sundays 7am-6pm

    Access: 7-minutes’ by foot from Shibuya Station via the Keio Inokashira Line, Tokyu Toyoko Line, Tokyo Metro Lines, JR Lines

    Price: 1-Day Course ¥3,000 (tax incl.) / Personal Training ¥7,000 (tax incl.)

    Website: http://fightclub.co.jp

    Model:Yuri Suganuma @yurippa93

    0Q0A1671

    Yuri Sugunuma is a model with a high fashion sense that has been picked up by various magazines. She receives much love and support from girls of the same generation as her to whom she is known by her nickname “Yurippa.” She has a huge influence across her social media. Recently, she has stepped into other fields outside of modelling, such as appearing in TV shoots and in music videos. She is skilled in make-up and involved in the development of cosmetics.

    Writer:Ryoichi Komaba

    Photographer:Haruka Yamamoto

    Translator:Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

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    24.June.2020 | FOOD

    A new shaved ice shop by the name of Kakigoori Parlor Floche is now open on the 8th floor food arena “The PARK SHINJUKU” inside LUMINE EST Shinjuku for a limited time until August 31, 2020.

    Kakigoori Parlor Floche is inspired by floche, a cake served at a Japanese cafe in the 70s and 80s which they have turned into shaved ice. Its luxurious taste is similar to a cake, with an appearance that’s sure to have you smiling when it arrives at the table. It’s topped generously with cream, creating a cake x shaved ice fusion.

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    Shortcake: ¥980 (Before Tax)

    Tiramisu: ¥830 (Before Tax)

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    If you’re in Tokyo this summer, don’t miss out on this delicious and refreshing line-up.

  • New Japanese Haori Brand NOBLE SAVAGE to Arrive in Shinjuku Isetan

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    When talking about traditional Japanese clothes, the first to come to mind is undoubtedly the kimono, something adored the world over. But another type of traditional attire from Japan that’s gaining attention for adapting more to today’s modern lifestyle is the haori. NOBLE SAVAGE is a new brand by 10th generation owner of Kondaya Genbei set to be sold inside Shinjuku Isetan for a limited time.

     

    NOBLE SAVAGE is redefining tradition by taking the ancient dyeing and weaving techniques forged in Japan and adding new value to them by adapting them to today’s lifestyle.

     

    The haori is incorporated into a diverse number of outfits in Europe and America, from everyday clothes to streetwear. Kondaya Genbei has a history spanning over 280 years. Using their enormous inventory is materials from around the world, they are using Japanese techniques to weave new haori.

    NOBLE SAVAGE Haori: ¥63,800

    This design is known as the yabure-kouji, an iconic design by the 10th generation owner. It’s a revival of a pattern worn by people working in kabuki theatre around 250 years ago and holds the meaning of “breaking down order.”

    NOBLE SAVAGE Haori: ¥418,000

    This muga silk is handwoven with wild silkworm and dyed with vegetables. The pockets are arranged with a special silver leaf that has been used by Kondaya Genbei for 100 years.

    NOBLE SAVAGE Haori: ¥69,300

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    NOBLE SAVAGE is also collaborating with Pascal marie desmarais to release washable face masks online at Isetan on June 16 at 10:00 (JST).

     

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    11.March.2020 | SPOT

    Tokyo’s internationally-acclaimed, located in Kabukicho, Shinjuku, is set to open a new ticket centre sometime this month.

    The ticket centre will be located in the very middle of Kabukicho facing the Shinjuku Toho Building. Since it will be close to a range of luxury hotels, it means both foreign tourists and locals can easily get to it. It means to be a facility that can be used easily by anyone and everyone.

    The ticket centre will also sell a range of tickets for various activities. It will also provide sightseeing and tourist services where they can recommend local restaurants, tourist sites, and more.

  • Fujifilm’s New Instax Mini 11 Adds Selfie Mode For Those Perfect Close-Up Shots

    02.March.2020 | FASHION

    Fujifilm has revealed its new Instax Mini 11 (Mini 11), which is set for release in early April 2020. The camera is the latest addition to the company’s “Instax” series of cameras which allow for instant printing of photos.

     

    The Mini 11 is the first Instax model to introduce an “Automatic Exposure” function which enables the camera to automatically detect the level of ambient light in the frame when the shutter button is pressed. As a result, the camera will optimise the shutter speed and flash output accordingly. This allows users to snap pictures optimally exposed to the main subject of the photo as well as the background in all situations, whether it be in the bright outdoors or in a dark restaurant or party.

     

    The new Mini 11 also introduces a new “Selfie Mode,” which has perfected the art of close-up selfies. It’s activated simply by pulling out the front end edge of the lens you’ve powered the camera on.

    The camera’s design has also been completely revamped for optimal use. Not only is the Mini 11 thinner and lighter, it has a rounded body that makes it fit perfectly into users’ hands. A different material from the main body of the camera is used around the lens to make it more stylish, and the “Instax” brand logo is engraved on the back.

     

    The Mini 11 comes in five pale tone colours ((Blush Pink, Sky Blue, Charcoal Gray, Ice White and Lilac Purple) and two replaceable accessories for the shutter button.

  • Isetan Shinjuku’s Restaurant Floor EAT PARADISE Turns Into a Pink Paradise

    02.March.2020 | FOOD

    To celebrate the 30th anniversary of EAT PARADISEーthe restaurant floor located on the 7th floor of Isetan Shinjuku in Tokyoーthe entire area, as well as restaurants and cafes throughout Isetan Shinjuku, are going pink from March 4 to 31. 

    Chocolate Printanière – ¥2,860 (+Separate 10% Service Charge) @ Le Salon Jacques Borie / *5 served per day

    Watch this animated chocolate dessert melt as you pour over the hot sauce and tuck in. The centre is filled with a fluffy berry cream.

    Vacherin With Japanese Strawberries – ¥1,320 @ Cafe Rejiig

    Located on the 8th floor of the men’s building, Cafe Rejiig is serving up a pink-coloured French dessert made up of a tower of meringue, ice cream, and various other delicious delights.

    Strawberry & Cranberry Cream Mont Blanc Parfait – ¥1,211 @ latte chano-mama

    latte chano-mama is a cafe popular with mothers who go there with their children. The cafe’s new mont blanc parfait is made with strawberries and sponge which has cranberry sauce hidden inside.

    Left: Pink Non-Alcoholic Cocktail – ¥981 / Right: Pink Champagne Cocktail – ¥1,201 @ The Stand

    These two cocktails are cherry blossom-inspired. As well as all of these cute pink delights, EAT PARADISE is celebrating with a range of other dishes other than desserts and drinks too, like soba and risotto.

     

    There’s plenty of visually-striking items to tuck into at EAT PARADISE for their 30th anniversary, so be sure to pay a visit if you’re visiting Tokyo this spring.

  • TOKYO MYSTERY CIRCUS Releases Snoopy Merchandise as Part of SCRAP x SNOOPY Puzzle Game Project

    24.February.2020 | SPOT

    As part of the second SCRAP x SNOOPY Puzzle Game Project taking place at TOKYO MYSTERY CIRCUSーthe world’s first puzzle-themed theme parkーthe Shinjuku-based theme indoor theme park has released ten pieces of original and exclusive merchandise.

    What is the SCRAP x SNOOPY Puzzle Game Project?

    Visitors are joining Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang for a whole bunch of puzzle-solving fun. The project begin in November 2019, and will run through three periods. The first edition has seen over 10,000 people play this first puzzle game, which is titled “Snoopy and the Clue Solving Circus” and has players helping Snoopy to retrieve his Circus Leader badge back. The second game, “Snoopy and the Secret Recipe,” will begin on February 26. In the meantime, a selection of 10 pieces of merchandise have dropped.

    Mugs (2 Designs) – ¥1,400 Each

    Paper Napkins (Set of 10) – ¥600

    Art Card Set w/ Puzzle (Set of 5) – ¥1,000

    The two mugs see Snoopy wearing his chef’s hat and ready to cook up some delicious pastries for the new game. There’s also a paper napkin set, items that come with their own unique puzzles, and more. Available at the TOKYO MYSTERY CIRCUS shop, these items can all be purchased by non-participants of the game too.

  • Sanrio to Open Official My Melody Shops in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya to Celebrate Character’s 45th Anniversary

    11.February.2020 | FASHION

    Sanrio has announced that it is opening an official My Melody store to commemorate the popular character’s 45th anniversary this year. It will open for a limited time on the first floor of Takashimaya Shinjuku in Tokyo from February 12 to 25.

    The store is a must-visit for fans of Sanrio’s kawaii white rabbit where they can get their hands on a huge assortment of merchandise, including exclusives, so adorable you’ll want to add everything to your collection.

    The line-up looks back at My Melody’s 45 years in the business. The first 4,000 people to visit the store will be given a limited-edition shopping back, and the first 1,000 people who spend over ¥2,000 (tax included) will receive a free card.
    *One card per person, per transaction

    The store will also feature interactive projection mapping showcasing My Melody’s 45-year history which when touched reacts. On February 15, the designer for the store will be drawing illustrations as well as doing signings for people.

     

    As well as Takashimaya Shinjuku, the shop is set to hit Nagoya’s Takashimaya Gate Tower Mall Nagoya and Osaka Takashiyama. Check the dates below, and help My Melody commemorate her 45th anniversary!

     

    ©’76, ’20 SANRIO 著作(株)サンリオ

  • Enjoy a Succulent Grilled Lamb Yakiniku Experience in Kabukicho, Shinjuku

    26.December.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    On December 18, yakiniku restaurant LAMB ONE, which specialises in succulent matured lamb, opened in Kabukicho, Shinjuku. The restaurant provides the perfect opportunity for guests to grill their own light and healthy meal with friends and family. The high-quality meat is low in calories and high in protein. Each seat is at a counter and there are even single grill seats for the perfect dinner treat alone. 

    The restaurant offers Japanese-style set meals which include meat, fried vegetables, rice, soup and kimchi . Some of the more basic set meals include the shio koji marinated lamb shoulder roast and the sesame miso lamb shoulder roast. For customers who are really looking for a luxury treat, there is a set that includes three different kinds of matured lamb and a set that includes Spring Lamb Chop Steak where you can enjoy both the shio koji and sesame miso marinades. You can swap your fried vegetables for caesar salad or your white rice for mixed grain rice. Just seeing this beautiful and balanced meal before your eyes will leave you feeling satisfied. After your meal, enjoy the small warabimochi dessert. 

    When most people think of a yakiniku restaurant, the general impression is a large number of friends gathering together, merrily tucking in to meat and sides while the table fills with empty beer glasses. LAMB ONE, however, is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious Japanese-style meal in your own way without being disturbed by others. If you’re travelling around Tokyo, this would be the perfect hearty dinner to finish your day. 

  • Winners Announced For 4th Gemstone Animation Creator Contest

    12.December.2019 | ANIME&GAME

    GEMSTONE is an audition project created by TOHO CO., LTD. and ALPHABOAT which seeks to find the best creators. The 4th GEMSTONE project was announced in August and sought submissions of short animations themed on Shinjuku.

     

    The judge line-up for the contest included anime film and television director Kobun Shizuno, who worked on the Detective Conan film series from 2011-17 as well as the Godzilla CG kaiju film series from 2017-18. It also included animator Yasuhiro Kimura who worked on Three Leaves, Three Colors and the Golden Wind arc of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. After several months of submissions and judging, the winners and their prizes have finally been announced.

    “GEMSTONE” refers to the talent selected by TOHO and ALPHABOAT for the audition project, which ranges from animators to illustrators, composers, singers, actors, and so on. The two companies will help open doors to winners’ career paths.

     

    The first competition was themed on Godzilla, and asked for video or illustration submissions. The theme of the second was “With Japan!” and requested submissions for an original character, and the third asked for video submissions to promote Nisio Isin’s 100th story Veiled Man Kasetsu.

     

    Let’s take a look at the winners of Gemstone Creators Audution Vol. 4.

    First Place Prize – 1 Million Yen

    Title: kaijushojo / Creator: Yosuke Tani

    Story: A spirit resides in Shinjuku. A girl in the city challenges herself to battle with the spirit.

     

    Judge Comments

    Kobun Shizuno said: “It’s visually stunning. For someone like me, who was raised in Shinjuku, I felt I wanted the theme in the much more at points, but when I considered that this had to be made in such a short time frame, it’s incredible. If he’s making these by himself, he’s got a bright future ahead of him. I think all the praise from everyone comes from the overwhelming quality of the visuals.”

     

    Yasuhiro Kimura said: “It has the highest level of quality out of all the submissions. I chose this one for both that and how interesting it was to watch. It was so much fun watching the characters’ animation. I felt it was a work with a high level of completion and of satisfaction.”

    Runner-Up Prize – 700,000 Yen

    Title: Dramatic / Creator: 作田綾乃

    Story: A lone street musician singing in Shinjuku whose voice reaches somebody.

     

    Judge Comments

    Kobun Shizuno said: “This wasn’t made by just one person, but the overall package is woven together incredibly skilfully. I personally feel this work surpasses all the rest. In terms of the visual quality, there’s a lot that could be cleaned up and there are many points still to be learned, but the drama is on point with music as the core focus. The development is solid throughout, and I admire how well put together everything us right to the end.”

     

    Yasuhiro Kimura said: “I have to give credit to them having created an animation centred around an original song at just 19 years-old. Amongst all the other many works which all used Shinjuku as the location, it feels like a realistic piece of drama which covers musicians visiting Tokyo. And even though it’s 5-minutes long, it by no means felt long; it was a seamless watch.”

    Runner-Up Prize – 300,000 Yen

    Title: tellphone / Creator: 亀井樹

    Story: Where’s my lost smartphone? “The ending of a story is a beginning.”

     

    Judge Comments

    Kobun Shizuno said: “I was impressed by the amazing quality of the visuals, but the structure of the story lost me. We see the characters line up, and you think something interesting is about to unfold, but the older brother’s cheeks turn red and that’s the end. It was a weak conclusion. If they did away with the part in the middle and made the ending stronger, I think it would have been an incredible piece of work worthy of being higher up in the list.”

     

    Yasuhiro Kimura said: “I liked the concept of this one the most. The joke about finding a lost smartphone with location information was amusing. It was very relevant of the current times. But the disappointing part was when we meet the shopkeeper at the end, and then it just ends. I wanted to see what unfolded after we met them too. Since they went ahead and included something that can track something’s location, it would have been even more interesting if they’d tied in locations in Shinjuku and developed the story more.”

     

    Judges’ Overall Comments On The Competition

    Kobun Shizuno said:

    “I was so surprised at the level of quality in the submissions, as people had such a short amount of time to create their works when the submissions opened.”

     

    Yasuhiro Kimura said: “It was really refreshing and a lot of fun to get to see the works of such a young generation.”

     

    Kazutaka Yamanaka, producer at TOHO, praised the line-up of works as wonderful considering the short time they were given. He felt however that the dramatic elements of most works could have been enrichened had they added a little more references to Shinjuku in them, like including people of different races walking the streets, or the low-lying parts of Shinjuku.

     

    The winning submissions and worthy mentions can all be watched over on the official GEMSTONE YouTube channel here.

     

    © TOHO CO., LTD.

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