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Posts Tagged ‘Japan’

Blink Travels: Culture and Kimonos

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

We had part of Sunday away from the shops, visiting Meiji Jingu, a Shinto shrine which is surrounded by a beautiful forest- and all in the heart of Tokyo right next to Harajuku.

Not only is the shrine and forest beautiful and inspiring, we also happened to be there on a  special day of celebration called ‘Shichi-Go-San’ which means Seven-Five-Three.  This is when girls who are three and seven, and boys who are five, come to visit a shrine with their families to make wishes for a long, happy and healthy life. The children are dressed in traditional outfits, looking absolutely divine. Its a big occasion for the families to take photos, and luckily for us, they were more than happy for us to take some pictures too!

prayers left on special wooden tablets at the shrine

wine caskets at the Meiji shrine

The Meiji shinto shrine

at the Meiji shrine

at the Meiji shrine

at the Meiji shrine

at the Meiji shrine

at the Meiji shrine

at the Meiji shrine

at the Meiji shrine

We flew to Tokyo from Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic. Thanks to the Virgin Atlantic Twitter team for all their help with our plans. Thanks to all of the Virgin staff for making the long journey a pleasure!

Blink Travels: Tokyo, Shimokitazawa

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Following on from the joys of Nakameguro, we wanted to tell you about Shimokitazawa. Quite the mouthful, but worth the effort! Just a few metro stops away from the absolute craziness of Harajuku, but a world away in mood and atmosphere. This collection of small, pedestrian streets feels like you have stumbled into an ultra cool residential enclave. Small, independent stores are interspersed with really lovely cafes.

One of our favourite stores was the vintage treasure trove called ‘Haight & Ashbury‘. A really great selection of retro menswear and womenswear, with a separate section of antique clothing too, all displayed around a bonkers knitted sculpture. We chatted with one of the staff members who very kindly let us take her picture. Its turns out that she bought her lovely coat at a vintage store in London! We also really like a womenswear store called ‘Fig London‘, which it seems actually has nothing to do with London but is lovely never the less…

Little Page, Shimokitazawa

Shimokitazawa

Platform DM's anyone!? It could only be Tokyo!

the entrace for Haight and Ashbury

the entrance into Haight and Ashbury

Haight and Ashbury

Haight and Ashbury

Haight and Ashbury's knitted sculpture

Haight and Ashbury's super stylish shopgirl

Haight and Ashbury's super stylish shopgirl

Shimokitazawa

Fig London

Blink Travels: Tokyo, Nakameguro

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

If you were following us on Facebook or Twitter last week you’d know its been an adventurous time for “Blink”. We just returned from a fabulous trip to Tokyo. Its our biggest market for the “Blink” reports so we thought our wonderful agents, Taiyo Trading, deserved a visit. It was also a great opportunity to have a look at the Tokyo scene and gain a better understanding of who our customer is out there.

Well, if you haven’t been yourself yet we can tell you that its a ‘must’ for the thrill seekers amongst you. Its a crazy, hectic, amazing and bonkers place. You need to have a high tolerance for noise and flashing lights, and its not the place for crowd-phobics either! Having said that, we did discover a couple of corners of this energetic city that had a more low-fi feeling. These were our favourite spots as they included brilliant vintage stores, as well as providing a sweet respite from the sensory overload of areas like Shibuya and Shinjuku.

The first we’d like to share with you is Nakameguro. This area is very picturesque, with stores alongside a small river and then dotted between houses on small lanes branching off in all directions. Its a really perfect pace change, even though its only a few minutes walk from Daikanyama. Here we found some really inspiring vintage stores- particularly good for menswear inspiration. The vintage had a really American flavour mostly, with a little French flea market chic thrown in, which was really interesting to see even though we would have preferred to see at least some vintage kimonos dotted in along the way…

a bridge over the river in Nakameguro

Jantique vintage homeware store

N'cest-ce pas? vintage womenswear store

1-800 Toll Free denim oriented menswear store

1-800 Toll Free

Soulfood mens, womens and kids store

Soulfood

Nakameguro's version of street art

Olgou, vintage menswear and womenswear store