photo by mieke verbijlen

photo by mieke verbijlen

photo by mieke verbijlen

photo by mieke verbijlen

photo by mieke verbijlen

photo by mieke verbijlen

photo by mieke verbijlen

photo by mieke verbijlen

All above photos copyright mieke verbijlen. Used with her permission.

Some of the first images I saw this morning were Mieke's photographs that have been newly added to her website. I am so inspired by her work and feel so happy to be able to start a day feeling like this. Love how Mieke captures moments and lights in her friends' apartments, how she captures "real life" through her lens. Thank you Mieke for the inspiration, as always!

* * *

今日は朝からmiekeの写真にたくさんニンマリさせられ、インスピレーションをもらいました。mieke verbijlenはベルギーのアントワープで活躍する若いフォトグラファー。友達のアパートを撮影した彼女の写真シリーズが私は大好きです。「ありのまま」の生活と空間を切りとった彼女の写真は、やさしくあたたかくシュール、そしてウィットに富んでいて見るもののの心をぐっと掴むのですね。ちょっと散らかったデスクや、山積みになった洗濯物さえ絵になってしまうって、いいなあ。
mieke verbijlen
Recently, on instagram - February

Although I see many signs of Spring approaching here and there it makes me wonder if such a thing will really arrive. I know it will but it feels so far away. February has been fun though. Birthday, good food, friends gatherings, winter picnic (had an awesome afternoon with Ebo-chan!)... lots of laughs and happy moments. I guess I should enjoy what's left of winter because it will be gone and I will probably miss it, winter lights and shadows especially. Will try.

Hope your February has been fun too.

I just found these photos I took in Nihonbashi a long while ago so I thought I'd do a quick guide to Nihonbashi, one of the main areas in central Tokyo that has deep historical background.
This is where all the merchants and artisans came from all over Japan to start businesses in the Edo period, Mitsukoshi's original business started here in 1673 and they opened their first department store in Japan here in Nihonbashi in the 1930s. Takashimaya opened their first store in Tokyo in this area too, both the Mitsukoshi and Takashimaya stores in Nihonbashi are considered really special today.
You can find numbers of lovely traditional shops in this area, all sorts of specialty stores that have been running businesses for 200 years or even longer (we call these stores "shinise" 老舗).

My favourite hoji-cha comes from MORINOEN of Nihonbashi and is a "shinise" tea store, it always smells so beautiful when you pass this store as they roast tea in there all the time! They have the best selection of Hoji-cha and you can try all the different types, if you go in summer time you can taste the delicious hoji-cha ice cream too!

A washi dealer HAIBARA is another of my recommendations in this area where you can find the most amazing selection of best quality washi papers and crafted washi items. I did a sponsor post for HAIBARA on my shop blog last year here)

Just about a few shops down from HAIBARA right behind TAKASHIMAYA there is this lovely restaurant called TAMAI, who specialises in anago (salt water eels) cuisine. If you love unagi, you will looooove this restaurant!

Last but not least, here is this incredible book store called MORIOKA SHOTEN in Kayabacho, which is about 10 minute walk from Nihonbashi. They sell vintage art books and also hosts some interesting exhibitions. I LOVE THIS STORE SO MUCH is about all I can say. (I wish I  had taken some photos of this shop to show you!)
It's in this retro vintage building called Daini Inoue Building that has many interesting galleries and artists studios as tenants. (I think this would be much more like Nicholas Building of Melbourne which I learned about from lovely Michelle who came to visit my shop the other day!)
Inoue Building - Kayabacho
Inoue Bldg

Doing this post made me want to go to Nihonbashi area right now so badly! I hope to go back soon. I must!

MORINOEN (Tea Store)
2-4-9 Nihonbashi-Ningyocho, Chuo-ku 103-0013 (google map)

HAIBARA (Washi Store)
2-8-11-2F Nihonbashi Chuo-ku 103-0027 (google map)

TAMAI (Anago Restaurant)
2-9-9 Nihonbashi Chuo-ku 103-0027 (google map)

MORIOKA SHOTEN (Art & Vintage Books)
2-17-3 Inoue Bldg 2 - #305 Nihonbashi-Kayabacho Chuo-ku 103-0025 (google map)

Have you already heard about the new Tokyo guide zine by Hello Sandwich? If not you are lucky now that you have! Have you already placed your order? If you have you are wise and if you have not I recommend you do now to secure a copy because they are selling so fast already only a few days after being launched! I of course have made my purchase, and I can not wait to have it in my hands in March! Her first Tokyo Guide (which is still available in PDF version) was filled with so much fun and useful information with cute Tokyo shops and cafes of kawaii Hello Sandwich picks, but this new one will be even better being made after the lovely author Ebony living in Tokyo for 2 years! So exciting! My shop unfortunately is not included - too bad, zannen!

You can order your copy of HELLO SANDWICH TOKYO GUIDE here at Hello Sandwich Shop