Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ponyo + Postcards + Yokohama

Some nights I stay in, dress up, take tights photos and watch "Gake no ue no Ponyo", or simply "Ponyo"- I highly recommend watching this film.

Goodbye, winter. This is the post card I sent to Isabel, we both love swans since we rode one last summer on the pond at Inokashira Koen. Fun summer memories.

The cherry blossoms are a day or two late. Drama! I'm waiting. In the meantime, feasting on these.

I ate several oysters lately, I like seafood.

 I went to Yokohama at nighttime, it offers a nice view.

Sometimes my room is hungover: I spy unmade bed + green tea + Nutella + attempted writing.

I have been loving this Faye Wong "Dreams" version from Chungking Express for ages, but lately re-surfaced thanks to 2Princes.

Tokyo Events: Dior Addict Omotesando

Vivian and Megumi

Dior Addict set up a pop-up shop on the busy Omotesando, and held a party to celebrate its opening. I had the chance to attend the glamourous event, which was packed with people and great music from female DJs. The champagne was flowing and delicate raspberry and coffee-flavoured macarons were served, amongst other tasty bites such a mini tarts and mascarapone spoonfuls. The walls were lined with make up counters, all presenting lush Dior items for us girls to try: nail polish, eye shadow, lipsticks, mascaras, and skin care. Between polishing off sweets and playing with make up brushes, we could pose for fun Polaroid pictures taken by a professional photographer.

The shop is only temporary, and until April 12th the two-storey café offers free makeup applications and a chance to try all the luxurious Dior Addict products.

Delicious macaron

Beautiful DJ Mademoiselle Yulia

I love Dior Addict lipstick

Nail polish, lipstick, brushes, oh my

Self portrait oblige

"Be Iconic", the campaign featuring Kate Moss

I ended up on the runway

My hair was unusually lion-esque

Dior Addict Pop-Up Shop
Omotesando Bakery Café
4-26-18 Jingumae
March 30-April 12

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring on Omotesando

Jeans + ballerina flats = spingtime

Spring is a gorgeous time in Japan, albeit short-lived before it suddenly gets unbearably hot in the early summer months. The cherry trees are not quite in bloom yet, but the days are longer and I just want to be outside all day, whether I'm running in early morning or wandering the streets before dusk.

A few days ago I sauntered around Omotesando 表参道, which is my favourite street in Tokyo. It's wide and lined with large Zelkova trees, and bordered with enough luxury boutiques to make a fashionista's head spin. Omotesando features some of the most interesting architecture in the city.

My friend and I enjoyed the sun on a late afternoon perched on the top of a building overlooking Aoyama and offering a spectacular view of the city, at a café named "Two Rooms". We sat outdoors on plush chairs, on a terrace right on the edge of the building, next to an infinity pool. It was a bit chilly but blankets were provided and it felt like an actual vacation.

In other news, I've been drinking colourful beverages and not wearing socks and painting my nails a pale yellow and staying up late at night but waking up at dawn to go running. It's springtime.

Omotesando station

The view at Two Rooms

Lazy afternoon girls

Tokyo over an infinity pool

Orangina, welcome to Japan. Finally!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tokyo Tower + Le Pain Quotidien

Zojo-ji + Tokyo Tower

Sometimes it's easy to forget I live in Japan, but every so often I feel the urge to explore my surroundings, and from it I get the kind of ecstasy I occasionally crave and that only comes with traveling and living abroad. I tend to hide my nerdy tendencies from most of my friends, but once in a while it comes out to the surface and I shamelessly play tourist for the day.

I decided to venture a bit away on the Yamanote line, which is my favourite train line. The Yamanote line goes around Tokyo on a loop, and offers the best scenery. I got off at Hamamatsucho station and visited the gorgeous Shiba Park and Zojo-ji temple. I love finding green spaces and temples in the midst of the city, and the park offers a magnificent view of Tokyo Tower, which I had never seen up that close.

I spent a late afternoon in a wonderful café named Le Pain Quotidien, which hails from Belgium and serves the most exquisite organic foods. Their specialty is tartines, bread topped with a spread. I ate the tuna and white bean tartine, which came with an aromatic basil pesto and accompanied it with a bowl of café au lait, French style.

The café itself is warm and cozy, with huge windows overlooking the garden and long wooden tables. I usually feel self-conscious going to cafés alone, but LPQ is the kind of place where it's encouraged to share the communal table with strangers. They also had the loveliest, friendliest staff, and the unpretentious atmosphere makes it so warm and welcoming. It's my new favourite spot in Tokyo, and although it's a bit of a trek from Shibuya, I'll be going back frequently.

When I emerged it was dusk, and I caught a glimpse of the lit up Tokyo Tower. Moments like that make me so happy and excited to live in Japan and feel like a visitor, and I love getting high on the thrill it provides me.

Setting out on a spring day adventure

Gate leading to Shiba Park

Entrance of Shiba Park and Zojo-ji

Maybe soon it will be in bloom

Bowl of café au lait

Tartine et café

Writing, reading, coffee... pure bliss

Communal table at LPQ

Tokyo Tower at dusk

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Just Another Shibuya Night

That's what we do, we sit there and have friends photo shoots

1 Princess + 2 Princes

I love those photos so much.

I'll always look back so fondly on those Tokyo nights with those two. Hanging around Shibuya, having street drinks on a makeshift bar facing Shibuya crossing, waxing poetics about growing up and good emo versus bad emo and things that don't make as much sense in broad daylight.

Last night I went to a concert by a Japanese band I love, Miaou, then saw a performance by Kitsuné DJ Gildas (and manager of French group Daft Punk). My friends from HMS Control were also playing, which always makes for a fun dance floor.

The long walk home (before sunrise!) was accompanied by pain au chocolat, which was supposed to be saved for breakfast but I could not wait any longer.

Thanks to Rob for the pics.

CHANEL – The Little Black Jacket Exhibition Opening in Tokyo

If you are in Japan and love fashion, don't miss CHANEL – The Little Black Jacket Exhibition Opening in Tokyo.

This exhibition is a celebration of the iconic little black jacket, and displays 113 prints depicting celebrities and other personalities wearing the Chanel jacket. The exhibit opened on March 20th, with none other than Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld in attendance.

The book of the same name will come out later this year.

Now I'm only hoping I can run into Mr Lagerfeld or Mrs Roitfeld in the streets of Tokyo- although I doubt we frequent the same hangout spots. I also wish I owned that very jacket (if anyone from Chanel feels generous). One can only dream!

You can still catch the exhibition until April 15, at G-building in Aoyama.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Soy Milk in Japan

I like soy milk

Soy milk is a traditional staple of Japanese cuisine, unlike back home, where soy milk is mostly found in the health food section and not always readily available.

I love soy milk. I somehow stopped drinking regular milk since I arrived in Japan, for various reasons. Maybe I just don't like the taste so much anymore, and instead I've been hooked on soy milk. It contains about the same proportion of protein as cow's milk, but I find it more filling and healthier.

I was excited to see a wide assortment of soy milk flavours at the supermarket: banana, strawberry, almond, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and even a citrus-based one. I usually only drink the unsweetened kind, but sometimes I feel a little wild and experiment with the plethora of flavours offered.

When I first moved to Japan sometimes I could not recognize the kanji for "soybean", but if you can remember this kanji, you can easily find soy milk and soy-based products: 豆. It means "bean", and it's pronounced mame.

You can also ask for soy milk at cafés, the Japanese word is tounyuu and the kanji for soy milk is 

One of my favourite snacks is a soy milk box, especially when I'm in a hurry in the morning.

I'm wondering if something is wrong when I get that excited about soy milk and devote an entire entry to it. I like to be informative about what's going on here in Japan, it's not all about parties, shoes, and photo booth!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tokyo Events: Nylon + Sniff Sniff Bunny Baron

It's technically a so-called "school night", but Tokyo doesn't mind and parties never stop. As part of Tokyo Fashion Week, one of my most cherished magazines, Nylon, is teaming up with my friends from Sniff Sniff to throw a stylish little soirée at posh venue Le Baron de Paris in Aoyama.

I'm especially curious to hear guest DJ Jillian Kate, as I love her as a model and always enjoy looking at her latest work in the pages of Nylon.

In other news, as it's Fashion Week, I've been going as bold as I get with my nail colour. I have the entire Mini Bourjois "Vacances à Hawaii" collection and have been experimenting with different combinations, which make me feel a bit summery in this (still) cold weather.

I've never actually been to Hawaii

Citrus much?

Click here for more information on tonight's event, and you should come out for Fashion Week even if a) it's a school night and b) you have no idea how you'll manage to walk in those shoes (my main issue tonight).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Shimokitazawa Spring

This week is Fashion Week in Tokyo (more on that later), and I've been having lots of free time between hopping to different events and not having to work much at all. I was able to just wander aimlessly around my local area, something I haven't been able to do in ages, probably since I first moved here last summer.

I ambled around Setagaya, Meguro, and Shibuya. Those wards are so close to one another, the boundaries are sometimes blurred and I like living in such a central location. I still love my house so much and appreciate having housemates, as those five-minute kitchen chats make all the difference.

Even though the weather is still crisp, spring has definitely arrived and the streets are beautiful and colourful. One of my favourite things about Tokyo is that the city is filled with little, tucked-in neighbourhoods and hilly streets that seem worlds away from the crowded madness of hubs such as Shibuya and Shinjuku.

Here are some things I saw.

A cat and dog accessory shop, and my new motto.

I could not resist a curry pan from Jinnan,
and my 2-hour walk made me feel less guilty

I wonder how early it is acceptable to drink.

The Japan Folk Crafts Museum, in Meguro
(I wanted to go in, but the entrance fee was a tad steep)

Plum blossoms

An orange tree. We'd never have that in Canada!
Makes me feel all exotic.

More orange trees and quaint homes in Shimo

Street flowers
I feel very twee lately, which is unusual for me. Must be the arrival of spring, and listening to The Smiths so much.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Reading Postcards

This postcard features the name of my local train station

The Japan Post has the most adorable selection of postcards. My favourite one is in the shape of a red Japanese post box, and features the name of the local post office in which you purchased it. They also have limited edition variations, for each season, or prefecture's famous food. This one is for my mom, and Isabel will also receive a special one which I cannot show just yet because it's a surprise.

I think those postcards are a fun, thoughtful way to keep in touch with friends and family. I much prefer regular letters to emails, but I don't always have the time and patience for handwritten correspondence. Therefore, postcards offer a nice alternative.

I'm a little homesick for something lately, I'm not sure what- a little bit of home (Montreal), but a little bit of my days in the Shikoku countryside. I absolutely love Tokyo and don't think I would ever be able to live in the rice fields again, but on some days I get horrible pangs of nostalgia. Maybe because life was so simple there (albeit boring at times) and I could just hop on my bicycle and ride around the fields and hear the frogs and watch the big turtles in the castle moat. I hope to visit soon to get my fix.

In other news, I will visit Hong Kong with my sister in late May, I'm ecstatic to go there and have been dreaming about it since Chungking Express, please give me any recommendations you might have!

Cherry Blossom Front 2012

Sakura Front.... dun dun dun

Sakura さくら (cherry blossom flowers) is a serious matter in Japan. Each year, the JWA (Japan Weather Association) publishes a map, which accurately forecasts the dates during which the cherry flowers will be in bloom.

The cherry blossoms start appearing at the end of March for the southern prefectures of the country, and continue to bloom as late as the month of May for the northern part of the country. I love how sakura is so important in Japan, I've been here for over two years now and it's my favourite time of the year. The flowers are very ephemeral so there's only a short window to view them.

It's also my very first hanami (flower viewing) season in Tokyo, I feel lucky I was able to experience previous ones in Shikoku and Kansai. According to the map, cherry flowers will be in bloom around March 31st, with their peak the first weekend of April.

MUJI even released its yearly sakura roll cake, which I recommend trying, it's available at their shops and Family Mart convenience stores. Chains such as Starbucks usually release a limited edition sakura drink, which tastes like... a sweet, flowery blend. I have not seen it this year yet.

My favourite March snack

Get your drinks, snacks and blankets ready.