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Posts Tagged ‘japan’

book shopping in tokyo: take that concept in. yes, it was very good and by day one of our trip i was well on my way to a potential excess baggage fee. the bookstore in the basement of the parco department store was heaven, and all of the books i want to show you today came from there. i could have come away with many, many more because the range, and the quality was amazing. but i’m not at all disappointed by what i brought home…

cheerful in 3 1/2 months

“cheerful in 3 1/2 months” is a really amusing book  by Gerard Jansen full of great colorful illustrations by Sue Doeksen.

"try to recreate junk food"

the book provides one tip per day for a 3 and a half month path to cheerfulness. and how could you not be cheerful at suggestions like inventing your own toilet choreography, jumping in a bouncy castle, and my #1 tip – “be your favorite piece of pie”.

50 jeux pour route l'anée illustrated by alain gree

was this for my son? no. no it wasn’t. i’ll just put it on the shelf next to my “worst mother ever” trophy.

sur le chemin

…i mean, sure, he can look at it – while wearing cotton gloves. when he’s 19.
inside the back of the book is a collection of stickers to be used in the various activities through the book. and if you know of a kiddo who would definitely appreciate this book, then you should get it for them because its filled with fabulous alain grée illustrations. and probably a fun way to learn french!

"colorful room of the japan"

“colorful room of the japan” is jam packed with some of the most “colorful room of the japan” you’ll ever see. but wait! there’s more..

goofy grape kitchen
not only rooms “of the japan” but also of the spain, and of the france! and there are some cute crafty decor projects too. i’d really love to tell you more but its all in “the japanese”.

its the... thing.. book! YAY!
so, i have NO idea what this is all about. but its PACKED with adorableness. anyone? leave a comment and enlighten me. it seems to be the inspiration files of a couple of designers – but i could be way off. its full of deers, and pandas so lets all look at some pandas!!

what do you think? should i go back and get some more books? go on. twist my arm!

its a small world: tokyo disneyland
in amongst all the shopping and eating we found ourselves with a ‘spare’ day towards the end of our trip – and disneyland just a short train ride away. what to do? we went to disneyland of course!! we got rained on, we queued for ages, we walked our feet to the bone (no seriously, i got the worst mega-blister ever – i think i could see bone).

i was interested to compare tokyo disneyland to the original disneyland in california, and it was largely the same – but different. it was bizarro world disneyland, where just about everything has a slight twist (the haunted mansion takes on a whole new threatening tone when the voice over is in intelligible japanese)! one of the best ‘twists’ though was the ‘small world’ ride. the ride itself was the same, but the exterior and the ‘load in’ were different – might i go so far as to say… better? take a virtual tour through the queuing area and admire the mary blair-inspired murals that set the tone for ‘the happiest cruise’ that ever sailed…

its a small world: tokyo disneyland mural

its a small world: tokyo disneyland mural

its a small world: tokyo disneyland mural

its a small world: tokyo disneyland mural

its a small world: tokyo disneyland

its a small world: tokyo disneyland

its a small world: tokyo disneyland

its a small world: tokyo disneyland

plastic bag from the swimmer store
the roof at kiyomizudera
face cloths for sale in kyoto
candystripe staircase in the omotesando camper store
hand painted silk kimono seen in nippori
saki cup pincushions
rope at kiyomizudera
cintia's kimono
the roof at kiyomizudera
candies seen in kyoto
the roof at kiyomizudera
the roof at nijo castle
tiled wall in kyoto
paper cranes seen at a shrine in gion, kyoto
shrine stickers

some inspiring colors and textures seen in japan.

thirty before 30: visit tokyo

if you haven’t followed me on twitter for the last few weeks you might have missed the bit where i went to japan! after a week of catching up on work i’m finally ready to show you some photos from my fab two weeks in tokyo – and kyoto.

visiting tokyo was #4 on my thirty before 30 list, so in february i decided to make. it. happen! i invited my friend cintia to come with me and this is the condensed version of our adventures:

shibuya fireman

cute fire hydrant cover in shibuya

we had nine days in tokyo and five days in kyoto. in tokyo we spent the first few days shopping, hitting up the fabulous department stores in the shibuya area where we stayed, and then venturing out further afield to kitchijoji, nippori, daikanyama and uh tokyo disneyland. we explored so many adorable, fascinating stores, and the amazing ghibli museum – but none allowed photography, which is fair enough, but as such i don’t have so many photos from the first few days!

petit in kichijoji

‘petit’ in kichijoji

kichijoji was one of my favorite areas. cute streets full of cute shops – and this shop, petit, was my favorite. from the outside it looks kinda like a junky $1 store, but….

petit, but stuffed with treasure!

inside of ‘petit’

and i suppose inside it also kinda looks like a junky $1 store, but bear with me.. you see the photo is out of focus because we were in a FRENZY of picking through all kinds of vintage pop cultural treasures.. it was like stepping into a time machine and finding all the fun japanese junk you had as a kid – or maybe just walking into a physical version of ebay: there was a shelf of smurf figures, vintage happy meal toys, sweet sanrio stationary from the 80s, blythe dolls, new-in-box barbies from the 80s. and the ceiling? why it was covered with bowed star wars figures, of course.

giant icecream

pilgrim vs. the giant ice cream 

we spent a day relaxing in yoyogi park. giant ice creams were the least fun thing we saw. not pictured: half assed capoeira guys, unrhythmic bongo players, unenthusiastic swing dancers, a blissed our cat in a tree and a very enthusiastic guy in a rubber horse mask. it was my favorite park ever.

harajuku kids

harajuku kids…

…doing what harajuku kids do best: posing on a bridge before being moved on by the cops.

harajuku kiddo

rawr! lion straw hat

even the really little kids in harajuku looked rad!! please all go and DIY one for your own kiddos.

shinkansen time!waiting for the shinkansen bullet train

next: bullet train to kyoto!

hello kyoto!df

in kyoto we stayed in a ryokan, slept on futons on the floor, ate traditional style breakfasts, and generally soaked in a more ‘authentic’ experience. also: soaked in a japanese bath! aaaaahhh heaven.

toji temple

toji temple

kyoto was really interesting. we went to a flea market at a temple, and we went to a temple, and then another temple. did i mention temples?

big buddah ryozen kannon

ryozen kannon

this big buddha was the bigger of the two big buddha we saw. we also saw the daibutsu at todai-ji which was much more impressive than any of australia’s big things.

beware of the deers!

beware the deer. no, seriously, BEWARE the deer.

a day trip to nara introduced us to a rare breed of dangerous (wo)man eating deer. they start with your stomach and seem to only want to injure old ladies and little girls.

maiko walking maiko, apprentice geiko/geisha

it was amazing to see actual maiko and geiko (the kyoto term for geisha) walking through gion district in kyoto. i’m not sure how i feel about the tradition, but their commitment to their art form is impressive.

maiko hairclips

maiko hair accessories on display in a store

the golden pavillion

the golden pavillion, kinkakuji

kinkakuji was my favorite temple. it was perfect, surrounded by lush mossy gardens and all that greenery was a refreshing break from the heat.

shaved ice: melon flavor

melon sno-cone

did i mention it was hot? it was two sno-cones-a-day hot. the fan and the sweat cloth are two of the greatest inventions ever.

shopfitting dog in opening ceremony

a hairy store fitting at opening ceremony

back to tokyo. back to shopping and taking naughty secret photos in shops!! shh, don’t tell – but how would anyone believe me when i said i saw a hairy dog in a fashion store?!

back home with bulging suitcases!


then it was back home, with bulging suitcases and blistered feet. stay tuned in the coming day for some more detailed tales of excitement and adventure!