lunch at d
lunch at d

japanese tea time

vietnamese cafe

photos1&2* my favourite jiyugaoka lunch place - cafe ohanaya,
3&4* D&Department Dining Tokyo,
5&6* fabulous little darling cafe margo in yutenji,
7* japanese cafe - cocoocen,
8* cafe&antique, cafe 6-chome,
10* vietnamese cafe in kamata

I have been spending a long time flipping the pages of the latest issue of Casa BRUTUS daydreaming I was living in these stunning houses featured in it. Gosh it's hard to come back out of it!

Casa BRUTUS has a special residential architecture issue annually and the current issue is "the" issue! It features the latest and the most powerful Japanese residential architecture in the past year including "villa in Hayama" by Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA.

It also features some masterpiece of Japanese architecture mentioning how not so many of them having been kept to this day and that is not only because in Japan "old" is often considered "bad" while "new" is often preferred especially when it comes to housing, but also there is a huge inheritance tax problem in this country and that is making it very difficult for people to keep the houses after they inherited. Even the famous beautiful historical house which our Empress had been brought up in was sold and got demolished with the same reason. It is sad.

the roof
sanshin player
in the park
bonsai for sale
"You don't have trees in Japan, do you?" It was a question asked by my friend from school when I was living in Darwin Australia, this was back in the 90s by the way. She looked all very serious, and she even looked sorry for me that in my country I can't see trees. I was very confused, but I remembered that my Japanese friend who was in Darwin with me at the time (but at a different high school as an exchange student) had been sympathised by her class mate that she had to buy all the "western clothes" to be away from Japan because he believed we all wore kimono in Japan (or that there were still samurai everywhere). So I asked my friend with the tree question why she said that, and this was what she said. "All the Japanese tourists were taking photos of trees!" I thought what? but maybe those tropical trees in Darwin were unique to Japanese. But now I realise that I take photos of trees a lot, and maybe that is one of the habits of Japanese? I just remembered my friend's question after many many years tonight looking at these photos.

party table
party table

Happy New Year! I know I'm late but I hope you all had a wonderful start to the 2011. In the "nenmatsu-nenshi" (年末年始 = Year-End & New Year) I went to many parties seen in the above photos - beautiful wedding, birthday party, Christmas party and a couple of "bounenkai" which literally means "forget-the-year-party". Of course I had a New Year's parties with our families too, but I forgot to take photos!

From all the delicious food and drinks from all these, I now feel that I really need to do some exercise to get rid of what I must have put on... So here is one New Year's resolution I guess! ha!