Thursday, 25 April 2013

WASARA x mina perhonen PICNIC KIT

All above images are from WASARA website
If you have been reading my blog for a while you probably already know that I  L O V E  mina perhonen, I admire all that they create as well as their philosophy. I am a little amazed at how many collaboration works they have been doing these days here in Japan but THIS would be my favourite collaboration - WASARA x mina perhonen!!

WASARA produces beautiful line of single-use disposable paper tableware (obviously too good to throw away after just one use!) that are easily biodegradable and made from eco-friendly materials such as reed, bamboo, and sugar cane waste. To celebrate WASARA's 5 year anniversary they have produced this incredible picnic kit in collaboration with mina perhonen. The kit includes paper bowls, plates and cups, bamboo cutlery, paper coasters and napkins complete with a gorgeous furoshiki wrapping cloth that can also be used as a picnic mat! I want it so badly.... It's available from WASARA online store but unfortunately they do not ship internationally, and no, I will not be stocking this in my store but how I wish I could!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

RECENTLY, ON INSTAGRAM - APRIL

FROM TOP TO LEFT:
01.  lovely and peaceful Arisugawa Park
02. Mitsumata Tree (bark of this tree is used for making washi paper)
03. Recent 3 faves: Jona necklace, Chihiro Akino brass earring & bracelet from Paris
04. My all-time-favourite Japanese incense sticks from "lisn"
05. Sweet pot garden I pass often :)
06. Design "Ah!" exhibition at 21_21 Design Site in Roppongi (Recommended especially for anyone with kids, I took my niece there and she LOVED it!)
07. New daily flower decoration book by Kazumi Hirai - full of inspirations!
08. Vintage Japanese paper pockets.
09. Old furniture store in Azabujuban

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

LITGHT & SHADOWS


Just some random photos I've taken in the last couple of months when the light seemed so beautiful creating lovely shadows.

Days are getting longer now I enjoy finding the changes in light and shadows in everyday moments. They make me smile :)

/ / /

IF YOU ARE IN TOKYO THIS WEEK -->> There is a really lovely exhibition "Blossom" by a wonderful London based French jewelry artist/interior stylist Emma Cassi at the galerie doux dimanche in Aoyama now going until 28th April. I fell in love with her jewelry which she makes using vintage lace and pearls - they are amazing - and I purchased a pair of earrings a few years ago. I've been a big fan ever since. It was a real happy pleasure to meet the lovely Emma last Friday at her exhibition. I was too excited and forgot to take any photos, but the exhibition was really really good, Emma painted flowers on the window and she made the space so charming and dreamy!
If you are not in Tokyo, check out her works here, and also her blog!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

NEW SPACE


I don't think I have mentioned here yet that I moved my shop to a new space in the same building last month. I'm enjoying it.

I love having some great works designed/produced by some of the really wonderful creative bloggers I have met through my blog and been in touch with for a while such as: Renilde of at swim-two-birds (she makes the loveliest potholders and seat cushions!), Hanna Konola (I fell in love with her work when I went to see her exhibition in Tokyo in 2010, and I was lucky to have met the lovely Hanna and Jukka last year!), Mary Gaudin (one of my favourite photographers who lives in a beautiful city in South of France), and sweet Ros of Polkaros (talented zakka designer/artist based in Tokyo - she's been so amazingly supportive for my shop ever since I opened last November, such a kind and sweet person she really is!!) My Japanese customers enjoy seeing their works that are not so easily found elsewhere in Japan.

I also really enjoy meeting many people here in my shop coming from all over the world. To me it's a great complement when people come in and say "I read your blog!(!!)" (or when I have past customers from my online store), I feel so lucky and happy that people find my blog and find it enjoyable or some information from here is useful to them for their trips to Tokyo, AND how they take their time to come and visit my shop when most of them must have such limited time to spend in Tokyo (and I only open Fri-Sun.... I know some people can't make it because of this too)!!

I would really appreciate it if you could tell about my shop to your friends who are coming to Tokyo, if they enjoy visiting small shops that are not too famous or are not in any guide books (yet), or if they might enjoy seeing a unique and beautiful historical building that is rare to be seen in Tokyo. In my shop they can find selected Japanese paper goods, crafted items, stationery, masking tapes, kitchen linen, some jewelry and zakka made by local artists as well as lovely items by the above mentioned international artists that are not so easily found elsewhere.

There are some really interesting museums and galleries in the neighbourhood such as Mori Art Museum, 21_21 Design Site, The National Arts Center Tokyo (they have an amazing design store downstairs!), and some great design bookstores such as TSUTAYA Tokyo RoppongiAoyama Book Center and BIBLIOPHILE at AXIS all in the walking distance. I will do an area guide post soon!

Hope you are enjoying the spring (or autumn)!!


UGUiSU the little shoppe
Room 7, 3-3-23 Azabudai Minato-ku 106-0041(location map or google map )
Open Hours: Friday & Saturday 12pm - 7pm / Sunday: 12pm - 5pm
Stations: Roppongi 1-chome (Namboku Line Exit 2), Azabu-juban (Ooedo Line Exit 6), Roppongi (Ooedo Line/Hibiya Line Exit 3)




Monday, 15 April 2013

AFTERNOON IN YANAKA #2

hagiso - yanaka
hagiso - yanaka
hagiso - yanaka
hagiso - yanaka

yanaka
yanaka
yanaka

I said that Yanaka (or Yanesen) is full of beautiful traditional stores but there are also some really interesting shops and galleries run by young creatives. Seen in the first 4 photos is a new art house that had just opened when we went there called HAGISO (thanks to Ros for finding out about it!).

HAGISO used to be a shared apartment which had been loved by students of the neighbouring Tokyo Geidai (Tokyo University of the Arts) for a long time but this 57-year-old building was planned to be demolished to be a car parking space after the 3.11 earthquake from 2011.

Fortunately, the demolishing plan was replaced by a huge renovating project by some of the graduates of the Tokyo Geidai and the new life was put into the beloved HAGISO! Now it has a cafe and gallery space on the ground floor, and on the second floor houses an artist's atelier, hair salon and a design office. This is a really interesting space that is innovating and so modern yet mingling well with the local community in this lovely shitamachi atmosphere.

In the Yanesen area, you can also find some cute & pop retro shops including Biscuit Yanaka and Hitoyasumi Kichi Nanaco.
There are so many more shops I want to check out in this area so I really need to go back for a good exploring around Yanesen soon!!


HAGISO
3-10-25 Yanaka Taitou-ku 110-0001 (google map)

Thursday, 11 April 2013

AFTERNOON IN YANAKA #1

yanaka
yanaka
yanaka
yanaka
yanaka
yanaka
yanaka
yanaka

OH I AM SO IN LOVE WITH YANAKA!

Yanaka made me feel as if I were somewhere like Kanazawa, it didn't feel like Tokyo at all to me and that feeling was quite interesting. It has all the shitamachi (areas where we find old Tokyo*) feel everywhere, but still it felt so much different from other shitamachi areas that I have seen in Tokyo like Asakusa, Nihonbashi, Kanda etc. Not just because there are many traditional shops, but there is definitely something that is so unique about Yanaka, I don't know what it is I need to go back to get to know more about this lovely quaint neighbourhood. (I should probably say Yanesen area not just Yanaka, which stands for Yanaka, Nezu & Sendagi.)

I enjoyed strolling around every street around Yanesen Area with Ros and Kat, what a fun afternoon we had there!
There are so many traditional shops scattered around everywhere, 2 of my favourites seen in the above photos are Isetatsu - lovely washi chiyogami paper store since 1864, and Koishikawa Kintaro-ame - the. best. lolly. shop. ever!  We all loved that man at the lolly shop he was so sweet.

Matsuno-ya (top photo) was one of the shops I had always wanted to check out. Great place to find non mass-produced well crafted daily goods for home made by Japanese artisans.

More from Yanaka in the next post!


Isetatsu
2-18-9 Yanaka Taito-ku 110-0001 (google map)

Koishikawa Kintaro-ame
1-22-12 Nezu Bunkyo-ku 113-0031 (near Nezu Shrine) (google map)

Matsuno-ya
3-14-14 NishiNippori Arakawa-ku 116-0013 (google map)

Friday, 5 April 2013

SAKURA IN YANAKA

sakura 2013 - Yanaka
sakura 2013 - Yanaka
sakura 2013 - Yanaka
sakura 2013 - Yanaka
sakura 2013 - Yanaka
sakura 2013 - Yanaka
sakura 2013 - Yanaka
Last week I went to Yanaka with lovely Ros and Kat, Yanaka is a really charming little neighbourhood near Ueno I can't believe it myself but I finally went there for the first time in my life (and yes I am from Tokyo!)!. I totally fell in love with this area, it's my new favourite neighbourhood now!
I got there early for our meeting time so I wondered around the sakura filled Yanaka Cemetery on my own and explored this absolutely gorgeous surrondings!! I LOVE YANAKA SO MUCH!!
 I will post about our fun afternoon from Yanaka in the next post :)

Thursday, 4 April 2013

ku:nel vol.61 & ku:nel wear vol.2



So enjoying the latest issues of ku:nel and the new ku:nel wear. ku:nel vol.61 features two of my favourite creative people, Peter Ivy the glassware artist and Ms Yoko Omori, one of the top Japanese fashion stylist - I have lucky enough to have met her in person but she. is. sooooooo. lovely!
Both available here.
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