I read someone mention in his book many years ago, that in UK front doors always open inwards whereas in Japan they always open outwards and I was so convinced, as at the time I was living in Australia and it was the same there. (I've noticed in most other countries they open inwards.) The author said in the book he thinks the UK style (or the global style) gives a welcome feel to the guests when inviting them inside and that the Japanese style doesn't and I thought that could be true. But now I guess because in Japanese houses we have a little space called "genkan" where we take our shoes off on entering the house, if the doors open inwards it would be a problem (our shoes would be all squashed). Besides traditionally there only existed sliding type doors in Japanese houses and no hinged doors! I don't know why but I suddenly remembered about the book and had a little think about doors. Well maybe it's not a big deal, I just love doors and windows!

01 Hara Museum of Art, Tokyo / 02,03,04 "Spain Mura" Tokyo / 05-1 Somewhere in Paris / 05-2 Tokyo Teien Museum / 06 Vincent Van Gogh's residence in Montmarte / 07 MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA Paris / 08 A window from my neighbourhood / 09 Casa Batllo, Barcelona / 10 A house near parc guell, Barcelona

Ajisai (hydrangea) from my potted garden at the front door is now finally all pink and that means our rainy season is almost here.

Many people likes to wear dresses and get married in churches (doesn't matter if they're christians) - do everything in western style, but it seems that "wa" (japanese style) weddings are becoming more popular these days in Tokyo. Still, in most cases if they wear kimono and have "wa" ceremony, they wear dress and have western style party with French cuisine. Well, it may not be right to say "western style" because our lifestyle is pretty much westernised today. Anyway... my best friend had hers in all "wa" style wedding, from the invitation, venue, ceremony, reception, food, costume - she changed into another kimono after the ceremony, oh and her hair! Well actually it's a wig and apparently it weighs like 3 kilos! Isn't that a "wow!"!? I saw it in real life for the first time actually.
The ceremony (shinto style) was really beautiful and interesting, but pitty no photographs were allowed. The room they had their reception was perfect! (below images are from Meijikinenkan website)

I'm from tokyo but I'm not really good at all the hustle and bustle of the city. I'd say no thank you to the crowds in Shibuya or Shinjuku, or the famous (and crazy) packed trains during "rush hours" luckily because I work at home.
Nakameguro -2 stops from Shibuya and Jiyugaoka -7mins from Nakameguro, the area I live in are good quieter places for walks and shopping.

01. 1LDK - Nice little concept shop of men's fashion.
   1-8-28-1a kamimeguro meguro-ku tokyo 153-0051
02,03 Five Star Cafe -Singaporean cafe where nice breeze comes in.
    3-12-4 kamimeguro meguro-ku tokyo
04,05 cloth & cross -new shop selling linen products for homewares and clothing.
    2-14-11 jiyugaoka meguro-ku tokyo
06. Kosoan -Japanese "wa" cafe in a very traditional style house.
   1-24-23 jiyugaoka meguro-ku tokyo
07. six -charming little french stationary & zakka shop
   2-8-13 jiyugaoka meguro-ku tokyo
08,09 Found -sells antique furniture

Ichimatsu, my favourite check pattern which apparently was named after a Kabuki actor called Ichimatsu who used this pattern for his clothing. I've gathered some Ichimatsu photos I've taken around Japan here!

First 3 photos are taken at my favourite Ichimatsu moss garden at Tofuku-ji temple in Kyoto in 2004.
Isn't it devine!?

I received an award from ii-ne-kore - my loving blog from my loving city Melbourne. Her knowledge and passion for Japan and our culture is just so amazing (so is her Japanese) and her blog is full of inspiration. Thank you ii-ne-kore for such a surprise prize!

The rule is to pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
Well, 15 is just too many for me so here are my 5 picks.
(Above pictures are my favourite picture from each blog with links.)

1. aaA (a very charming blog from Paris)
2. the blue hour (very handsome snapshots from Brooklyn)
3. petits°bonheurs (beautiful photograph of gorgeous children!)
4. l'antipodeuse (I love her vivid photographs!)
5. Peapods (I love the topics she covers.)
"OSUSUME" means recommended. The National Art Center Tokyo in roppongi is one of the OSUSUME spots in Tokyo. I sometimes visit there for lunch (Brasserie Paul Bocuse Le Musée on the 3rd floor is excellent!) and then go downstairs for browsing the museum shop "SOUVENIR FROM TOKYO" (you would love this shop!!), and of course take pictures - it's a great place for it :) It's a museum but often I don't actually see the exhibition there, there is so much more to this place! You can just pick your favourite designer chair which are found throughout the place and sit down for a quiet time if you get tired walking around, my favourite is the Egg Chair found downstairs.
Great architecture, too.

My Noda Horo Collection (so far).
This is my favourite new book by Mrs Noda who married Mr Noda of "NODA HORO" the company who's been producing excellent enamel kitchen goods for over 70 years in Japan.
"Horo" (=enamel) kitchen goods would have been seen a lot in anyone's kitchen in my grandmother's time in Japan but when the modern technology made its appearance, people started to replace them to plastics and other things. Good on NODA HORO to have kept making them to this day, people are starting to realise the goodnesses of horo; long lasting, doesn't produce environmental toxins, keeps food fresh for long and away from germs, strong for salt and acid (good for long-term keeping eg jams and pickles), heat efficient and so on! But the best thing I'd say is that you can heat the container directly on the stove after taking it out from the fridge straight away! (I've ordered this for stocking/reheating dashi. would be good for soups too.)

Their "White Series" is just great!

一生つきあいたい万能キッチン道具「野田琺瑯」の本。 (MARBLE BOOKS) (link to amazon japan)