VISVIM 2013 Spring/Summer “Dissertation on Symbolism and our Prayer flag” Lookbook


Visvim, as one of the most-wanted Japanese brand, has presented its 2013 spring/summer lookbook, titled “Dissertation on Symbolism and our Prayer flag”, a little while ago. For this collection, Hiroki Nakamura, continue to play with the Traditional Americana – vintage flag prints, plaid shirts, denim jackets, moccasin inspired footwear – and heritage Japanese garments. Through the lookbook, we can see Hiroki Nakamura’s vision and passion for fashion and travels. The lookbook, also gives us the message and the general look of this season, rather than a picture of single piece of items. For this season, we can see Ethic influence greatly in each outfit, along with lots of details and natural colours. For the footwear, Visvim presents its footwear in a new colourways and materials with updated iterations of the SKAGWAY, PATRICIAN WT HI-FOLK and Skynard Ring Moccasin-Folk.

Continue reading

Advertisements

NEIGHBORHOOD 2013 Spring/Summer Lookbook


Neighborhood, one of the Japan’s biggest and most wanted street wear brand, has launched its 2013 Spring / Summer collection. For this spring / summer, as usual, Shinsuke Takizawa, designer of Neighborhood, continue to play with his favourite theme, which is Vintage American Biker. The Vintage American Biker image along with Native American image are really vibrant in most of the pieces and in the photos for the lookbook as well for this collection. Amazing jackets, shirts, shorts, and denim pieces are the things that you can find for this season. Neighborhood also added some new accessories, such as helmet and porcelain incense stand, along with the usual line-up of beanie, caps, scarves, and sunglasses. For the footwear, Neighborhood presents a range of boots and some of the sneakers.

Continue reading

Yokohama – The Seaside Town as the Precise Embodiment of Pleasantville – Part 1


One of the things that make Japan will never run out of visitors to come is because Japan doesn’t only have Tokyo to offer to the visitors. Though I must agree that Tokyo is the most popular destination in there, beside Osaka and Kyoto, it doesn’t make that Japan only has those three cities to compete with the other country in terms of tourism. If last week I decided to cover Fukuoka, a beautiful city located on Kyushu Island, today I’m going back to the main island, which is Honshu Island, to cover a pleasant city that will make you start to like that city as soon as you arrive there because of the relaxed and the serene atmosphere inside that city. The city that I’m talking about is Yokohama, the seaside city where “harbour of the future” lies inside there. Continue reading

100 Flavors of Japanese Ice Cream


A soft cream shop in Iwakuni (Photo Credit: Vicki M. Thiem)

If you ever go to a soft cream stand in Japan, you’ll see the standard flavors: vanilla, chocolate, vanilla + chocolate. But depending on where you are, you might see many more flavors than that.

Dozens of soft cream flavors  (Photo Credit: Vicki M. Thiem)

Some of the flavors seem like common sense to have: strawberry, cherry, banana, orange, even coffee, and a swirl of any of these combined plus vanilla or chocolate. Others of them seem odd, but you want to try them because they’re unusual and kind of cool sounding: flan pudding, lamune, cola, green tea, melon, pumpkin, chestnut, rose, etc.

And then there are those that seem right out. Black sesame? Tofu? Wasabi? Soy sauce? All manners of seafood? What? Are the Japanese intent on being weird?

First, an advice for life: don’t knock it until you try it. Second, in America, everyone is intent on bacon-flavored everything, so the Japanese aren’t just being weird. This is part of their culture.

Many of the most bizarre ice cream flavors you’ll come across is region-oriented. In the Hagi area, for instance, not only will you stumble upon natsumikan-flavored ice cream, but blowfish-flavored ice cream as well. In towns where they pride themselves on their wasabi, they’ll boast the flavor with wasabi ice cream. I first tried black sesame ice cream in Nara, where the flavor could be found at every soft cream stand, and for the record, it’s now my most favorite ice cream in the world. Many of these flavors are easy enough to find in other parts of Japan as well; at Asakusa, for instance, they also have an extensive list of ice cream flavors to include tofu and black sesame.

It’s also a good way to make more money off of tourists, as the weirdest flavors are often located at big tourists sights. What better way to get people traveling from far and wide to spend money than introducing them to something completely outrageous, so outrageous they have to try it? Even locals may balk at the strange flavor before them and then let curiosity overcome them as they fork over the 100, 200, 500 yen for the ice cream cone.

The strange flavors go beyond the soft cream stands, however. Google “Japanese ice cream” or “strange ice cream flavors” and you’ll see that the Japanese take a step further in their supermarkets. Prawn ice cream, squid ice cream, eel ice cream, you name it, they have it. And they must sell moderately well as these aren’t necessarily rarities, either. Apparently, they’re tastier than you think they would be. Unusual, for sure, and nothing like you’ve ever tasted before, but not mazui.

For any traveler to Japan, the surest sign of your adventurous spirit is your willingness to try the strangest ice cream flavor you can find. Don’t be afraid; these flavors have stuck around for a reason, after all. Who knows, maybe like the green tea ice cream, some of these will eventually make their way into the Western world. I hope the black sesame ice cream is next myself.

Hirofumi Kiyonaga – The Football Avid Designer Behind the Success of SOPHNET.


Nowadays, there are plenty of cool Japanese street wear brands offering a broad range of clothes from lots of different styles. Among the crowd of the Japanese street wear brands, there are some of the brands that are really stand-out from the other brands. One of the best example is SOPHNET., a casual street wear brand that was born from the creative hands of Hirofumi Kiyonaga. For more than ten years, SOPHNET. has been showing the Japanese, and even global, fashionistas with lots of cool authentic stuffs, range from shirts, T-shirts, jeans, pants, socks, hats, and outwears. Today, we’ll find out more about who are Hirofumi Kiyonaga, the man behind the success of SOPHNET., along with his two other labels, which are F.C.R.B. and Uniform Experiment.

Continue reading

Fukuoka – A Two Face City for a Break from the Busy Cities to the North


I have to agree that most of the beautiful and amazing cities in Japan are located on their largest island, which is Honshu Island, where Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka are located. However, it doesn’t mean that the cities located on smaller islands around Honshu Island are less appealing compared to the cities on the mainland. One of the proofs for my sentence could be found in Fukuoka, which is a city of 1.5 million citizen that was as one of the most liveable city on earth. Great views, relaxing atmosphere, and rich in culture, Fukuoka is the place for those who wants to take a break from the fast-paced cities to the north. Continue reading