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New Gear from Japan

Hey everyone! How are you doing?

Sorry for the missed Mondays post but I was at Sziget festival and I actually tried to take pictures there, but they are way too blurry. Today I decided to show you guys the stuff that I got from Japan. It has been a while since I talked about fashion. Now, here I only show two out of the 4 pieces because I am planning an outfit with the rest. They’ll look better that way. But you can already see that the clothes I got are black. I know, where is the colour? I am all about colour and I try to not to wear black. I think people especially in the fashion industry, tend to wear black a lot more. I mean it always looks good, it makes you look thinner etc.

But the reason behind my shopping is that I was actually missing some basic stylish pieces. If you look at my wardrobe, you are going to see colours and patterns but besides black jeans and chinos, I don’t even have a black shirt. I just realised that.

 

Givenchy leather sneakers

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Leather sneakers have become an essential wardrobe piece throughout the years. All the brands from high street to luxury have them in their collections. Black or white it doesn’t really matter. They are stylish and very versatile. You can dress these down and up as well. I went for Givenchy because they do have many options in terms of sneakers. They do have these with a white sole too and if you choose white leather, you can play with the heel tab colours. I think the options were, blue, white and red.

 

Bottega Veneta leather bracelet

 

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I am not really a mens jewellery guy. Especially not silver and gold, but I always liked leather bracelets, so I finally decided to get one. And where to go for leather? Why not Bottega Veneta? They are still a luxury brand with their signature knotted leather accessories. Of course, this brand is also a pricey one.

If you don’t have the resources or you are just not willing to spend too much on leather jewellery, I would go with Fossil. A lot of my friends (guys and girls as well) do have leather accessories from Fossil, and it is a very good brand.

The other two products that you can actually see in the first picture are a Comme des Garcons bag and a kimono robe. These will be featured in my future outfit post probably next week.

Hope all is good and everyone is enjoying the week.

See you on Saturday,

The Fashion Eclectic.

Farewell Japan! What’s next?

Hey Guys!

The time has come to say goodbye. I’m sad and happy at the same time. This month has been crazy, to be honest. I met some new people from different countries, and I also did an internship at a fashion PR company.

This post is sort of a summary of my experience in Japan. Also, I’ll link all the posts related to Japan down below.

Japan is an interesting and weird country if you are examining it through a European eye. I think it is very important to be open minded if you experience a totally different culture. If you come here for a longer period of time (at least a month), the first week is the hardest. This is the time when you get the culture shock. Don’t worry, it will go away. Try to understand the things that you experience. Research the culture if needed, there are a plenty of blogs and articles out there. I’m not getting into specifics for a reason. After I talked to a couple of the people I met here, I realised that all of us have had different thoughts about something being weird or unusual, so it really depends on you. Some of you might find it weird that there is no talking on the phone while taking the train, or you might find the whole hierarchical system a bit odd. It really comes down to the individual and its beliefs.

If you come here to do an internship, you’ll experience the hierarchical system. This was a tough one. You are expected to do a lot, I myself sometimes stayed at work for more than it was agreed. But there are good aspects as well. You learn how to be precise, how to use your time efficiently, and your work will be appreciated, but not in the beginning. That’s just how it works here.

If you missed the posts about Japan

  1. First day
  2. Edo-Tokyo Museum
  3. The East Gardens of The Imperial Palace
  4. Ichiran Ramen
  5. The Meiji Shrine
  6. Dominique Ansel Bakery
  7. Coco Curry
  8. Shopping in Tokyo
  9. Okonomiyaki
  10. 3D Latte Art Caffe
  11. Franzé & Evans London
  12. Shaved Ice and Fluffy Pancakes
  13. Traveling Tips for Japan

 

And now it’s time to relax and have fun a bit. My first stop is Budapest and the Sziget Festival, or you may know it as The Island of Freedom. I’m going to visit some friends and we are just going to party and have fun.

Hope you are all doing good.

See you on Monday,

The Fashion Eclectic.

Traveling Tips For Japan

Hello everyone!

Today’s post will be very low on pictures because I really want to focus on the tips that I’m giving. Also, I’m going to try to make everything as simple as possible and I will use Tokyo as the starting point. Let’s start.

Airports

When you are flying to Tokyo, you have two options. You either fly to Narita airport which is a bit further from Tokyo, or you fly to Haneda airport, only 30 minutes away from the centre. Getting to Tokyo from the airports it’s super easy with trains and obviously, there are cabs as well, which usually operate at a fixed rate when you travel between the airport and a particular district.

 

Public transport

Now you will find the public transport confusing. Why is that? It is because there are several different companies that have trains. First, there is the Tokyo Metro, then you have the Toei Subway, then the JR trains (these usually travel outside Tokyo as well), and then you have other railway companies which connect Tokyo with other prefectures. I hope you can see what I meant by confusing. Don’t worry, take a deep breath and make sure you have an app downloaded about the public transport here and get the most important thing that’s going to be your friend while you are here, the Pasmo or Suica card. It doesn’t matter which one you’ll get, but you need one. This card is amazing! You just top it up and you are good to go. By the way, you can also pay with it at vending machines and stores too.IMG_7268

The language barrier

This might shock you but the official language of Japan is……Japanese. I would suggest that you start learning some basic terminologies and sentences because most of the people still don’t speak English. Even if they do understand what you are saying, they will probably reply in Japanese.

 

Eating out

Tokyo is filled with restaurants. There are tiny restaurants, international restaurants, restaurants that specialise in a particular type of dish like okonomiyaki etc. One thing to remember, if you see a queue forming at a tiny restaurant, that’s the indicator of good food but usually, those restaurants won’t have an English menu, so get ready.

 

Nightlife

Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Roppongi, these are the areas where most of the nightlife is. I actually live in Shibuya and I have 5 different bars just around the corner. What I see is that beer and craft beer places are a thing, which is good news if you like beer. For those of you who don’t, there is a plenty of cocktail bars and clubs as well. A word of caution, be careful in Roppongi and Kabukicho. There are some bars that are directly aimed at tourists and they don’t want anything more than you r money. These places will have someone outside trying to be really friendly with you. They will invite you in and if you don’t see any prices on the menu or anywhere, it is better to walk away before you get yourself into trouble. Yes, Japan is a super safe country but that doesn’t mean that there are no bad people here.

 

Currency

Although at most places you can pay by card, I think Japan is still a cash country, so make sure you have some Japanese Yen with you all the time.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do not talk on your phone while traveling on the train

Do not talk very loudly when using public transport

Do not eat and walk at the same time unless it’s ice cream

Do carry a small plastic bag with you, because there will be times when there won’t be any trash can

Do line up while waiting for the train

Do not tip, tipping is not common

Do try to speak Japanese, it’s fun

Do not smoke while you are walking, smoking is only allowed at designated areas

Do remember that you are in a completely different country and try to be open about it

 

When is the best time to visit Japan

I think Spring would be the greatest just because of the cherry blossoms, but Autumn is nice as well. The big no no is summer. I know, I made that mistake now but never again.

I hope this post clarifies some things about Japan. If you have more questions, do comment and I will answer them.

See you on Saturday,

The Fashion Eclectic.

 

 

Shaved Ice and Fluffy Pancakes in Tokyo

Hey guys!

Are you ready to kickstart the week? My last week in Japan has officially begun and probably this post is the last one about food in Japan, so let’s end this chain of place recommendations with some sweet stuff.

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Last Saturday, we went to Moké’s Bread & Breakfast. A little background story before I continue. We were actually going to Hatanodai, a station in Shinagawa, to have shaved ice. We agreed to meet at the station with my friends. Of course, the station was very confusing and I didn’t have service and the wifi wasn’t working, so we were wandering around the station a bit. After we found each other, we immediately went to the place which was closed because of unexpected events. We didn’t really know what to do, so one of my friends, Yui, started to search for places that offered shaved ice. Moké’s Bread & Breakfast had very good reviews and it was closer to the centre, so that’s how we ended up at Moké’s, and we have no regrets actually that we ended up there.

Moké’s Bread & Breakfast is literally a 3-minute walk from Naka-Meguro station. The restaurant is right on the main avenue so there is no need to go around small streets having your maps open on your phone. This is not going to be a surprise either, we had to queue. I think this is one of my top tips when you come to Japan, accept that you have to queue a lot.

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The interior of the restaurant is super minimalistic with pastel blue and white walls. They do offer a good selection of both sweet and savory dishes, but we were only interested in the sweets. By the way, sorry but I forgot to take a picture of the menu.

 

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First, we got this watermelon slushie, which had a very weird taste. It was like a big glass of sour watermelon candy and not the good type. Also, the chocolate chips didn’t make any sense. I don’t even have to say that after this we started to be a bit skeptical about the other dishes we ordered.

 

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After the disappointing watermelon thingy, we got the black sesame banana milkshake. This was actually very delicious.

 

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And finally, the fluffy strawberry pancakes with milk cream and the macadamia nut shaved ice arrived. Both tasted like heaven however we agreed that our absolute favourite was the shaved ice. After I told my colleagues about the place, they said that it is a very popular place because the shaved ice they serve is completely different compared to the traditional one. Apparently, the traditional one is just ice and syrup. I’m going to stick with the Moké’s one.

See you on Wednesday,

The Fashion Eclectic.

Franzè & Evans London in Tokyo

Hello everyone!

This is my last weekend in Tokyo and I just can’t believe I spent almost a month here. To me it, feels like it has been one week. Anyways, the place recommendation continues. This week, I started to miss the foods that I am used to. Don’t get me wrong, I am still filling my stomach with extensive amounts of gyoza, ramen, and curry but I just wanted to get something different. Luckily, I found out that there is a Franzè & Evans in Tokyo.

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For those of you who are not familiar with Franzè & Evans, it is a really cool restaurant in London. You can find the restaurant in Shoreditch (the London one) and you can get brunch, lunch, coffee and all that. Actually, they even have a catering service in London.

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The one in Tokyo is next to Omotesando actually. Remember I told you to explore the surrounding streets of that area?

 

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In terms of food and design, it is identical to the London one which I really liked. Probably it is a hype place here because we had to queue a bit, and obviously, I got the huge veggie arancini, which is filled with grilled vegetables and cheese, and then I had the red velvet cupcake.

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I don’t know if it was because I actually missed the European cuisine, but both of my food selections were so good and delicious. Of course, I had no doubt about it. Anyways, if you are around the Omotesando area, it is definitely an option to go there if you want something non-Japanese.

Hope you are having a fun weekend. Next week expect the final posts about Japan with some place recommendations and I think I’m going to write a post about some traveling tips.

See you on Monday,

The Fashion Eclectic.

3D Latte Art Caffe in Harajuku – Tokyo

Hello everyone!

Hope everything is alright and you are having a great week. Today I am sharing a post with you about a tiny but very cool place we found in Harajuku during the weekend. The place is called Reissue and it is located just a few steps away from Takeshita street.

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Get your maps and phone ready, because you might not find the entrance. The shop is not advertised with huge signs. When you find the entrance, go upstairs and you arrived.

 

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The coffee shop itself has a very retro design and it feels more European. Also, it is not a very big place, but when we went there, there were still some tables available.

Before I dive into the coffee itself, let me share the good news with you. They did have an English menu! Okay, so basically you can order any type of hot coffee or hot chocolate with 2D or 3D prints. You don’t get a list of the existing designs, you should check out their Instagram for inspiration. But we had to go with Totoro (hope most of you know who Totoro is).

 

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The making of the 3D coffee takes some time so be patient or you can have something to eat. To be honest, we went there after lunch so we didn’t look at the food menu but some of the other guests were having katsu curry. When we got it, we took some pictures and Totoro was gone forever. By the way, the coffee tastes great as well so it’s not just about the visuals.

The coffee shop has got some to go souvenirs if you want to buy something for friends and family. You can buy their coffee for the coffee lover friend of yours or some kawaii stuff.

Hope you put this place on your bucket list.

See you on Saturday,

The Fashion Eclectic.

 

Okonomiyaki in Harajuku – Tokyo

 

Hey Guys! Are you ready to start the week with more food?

Hope your answer is yes. Today it is time to talk about okonomiyaki. Let’s talk about the origins before we carry on. Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake mixed with ingredients that you like. Actually, okonomiyaki means “grill what you like”. The basic dish is usually made out of pancake batter with cabbage, green onions, seafood, and dashi.

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Finding good okonomiyaki in Tokyo is very hard. This is because if you want to get  ‘real’ okonomiyaki, you should be looking at tickets to Osaka or Hiroshima because those are the regions where the dish originates from. Unfortunately, we don’t have the time required to go there, so after reviewing dozens of restaurants, we decided to go to Okonomiyaki Yai Yai in Harajuku.

 

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You will find restaurants that only specialise in different styles of okonomiyaki. One thing is sure, if you go to a good okonomiyaki restaurant, you will have a teppan (iron griddle) right at your table. Okonomiyaki places usually allow you to cook the okonomiyaki for yourself, but we didn’t have enough experience.

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First, we had the Hiroshima style okonomiyaki with kimchi, pork belly, and lots of green onions, and then we had the Osaka style one with seafood, cabbage, green onion, and ground pork. You guys might be wondering, what’s the difference? Don’t worry, I’ve got the answers.

Osaka style okonomiyaki is the most famous one. This is the type when you mix the ingredients into the batter and then you pan fry it as a pancake. At the end, you top it off with katsuobushi (dried shredded tuna) and mayo.

However, Hiroshima style okonomiyaki is when you cook all the ingredients separately and then you assemble everything, so it is like a layered pancake.

To be honest, both of the pancakes were crazy delicious.

Wishing everyone a nice week.

See you on Wednesday (yes, the post will be about food),

The Fashion Eclectic.

 

 

 

Shopping in Tokyo

Hello everyone? How are you doing?

Hope you have some fun activities for the weekend. This weekend I’m visiting a lot of places, so expect more posts about restaurants. But today we are talking about one of my favourite activities to do, which is shopping, so consider this as a guide.

There are several places to go in Tokyo when it comes to shopping, but here I’m only covering the places where I have actually been in the past two weeks.

GINZA

Ginza is a very hype place to go to these days. The district gives home for huge department stores like Mitsukoshi, and Matsuya. Also, there is a good mix of brands out there from high-street retailers like H&M, Uniqlo to luxury houses like GUCCI, Dior, Fendi etc. And of course, the Dover Street Market is in Ginza as well. What I like about Ginza is that there is a pedestrian only zone, where no cars are allowed, which is very nice because you have more space to move between the crowds of people. You will find bars, restaurants, coffee shops there as well.

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Omotesando

Now Omotesando is the absolute winner to me. Omotesando is an avenue starting from Aoyama-Dori and ending at the entrance of the Meiji shrine. The architecture is very nice and the avenue is lined with zelkova trees.

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Here you will find mostly luxury flagship stores and the Omotesando hills mall as well. Other than that, there is a huge variety of coffee shops and restaurants starting at very low prices and then there are the fancy expensive places too. When you are at Omotesando, don’t forget to explore the small streets around the avenue. You can find small Japanese restaurants specialised in serving one type of food like gyoza, ramen, and okonomiyaki.

 

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I would suggest that you start at Aoyama-Dori and walk through the avenue. Then you can go to the Meiji shrine, or just turn right and you will find yourselves at the entrance of Takeshita street, the famous shopping street of Harajuku.

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Takeshita street requires patience to go through it. It is very tiny and usually, there is a massive amount of people trying their best to taste and buy everything. It is not that long though and it is worth to go there.

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Do not forget to stop at zaku zaku for a soft serve ice cream. It is one of the best soft serves you will ever have. Once you are finished and you are not exhausted, go to Laforet Harajuku, a department store with brands that I have never heard of, but it is worth the time to check it out.

That is it for today. Hope you enjoyed the reading.

See you on Monday,

The Fashion Eclectic.

 

 

 

Japanese Coco Curry

Hello everybody!

It is time to talk about food again. To be more specific, coco curry. Before I start, I want you to forget everything that you know about curry. This is required because coco curry is a completely different dish compared to the other types of curry. It is nothing like Thai or Indian curry.

Now if you are in Japan, getting coco curry should not be a problem. There is a restaurant chain called CoCo ICHIBANYA. When you are in a major city, in my case Tokyo, it is pretty easy to find it.

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Also, I am bringing some good news, they do have an English menu. A lot of the restaurants in Japan won’t have English menus, so usually, you are limited down to the illustrations and pictures on the menu if you don’t speak Japanese.

 

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First, the menu can be a bit confusing but it is super easy to order. Before doing anything, choose the base. This can be pork, beef, or hashed beef. Vegetarians don’t be alarmed, they have a vegetarian option as well. After you have chosen the base, decide how many grams of rice you want. I think 200 grams is more than enough but hey, there is the option to get 500 grams so somebody must love their rice. Now it’s time to add some heat. You can go up to level 10 spiciness, however, I heard that if they see you are not Japanese, even if you ask level 10 you would probably get level 5 or 6. After this, there is the option to add honey, but I skipped it. And for the finale, you can add extra toppings. This is where you can let your creativity and imagination carry you away. You can add veggies, meat, eggs etc.

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Ta-da, the coco curry is ready. It tastes nothing like the curries I had before, and it was amazing.

My order was:

  • beef curry with 200 grams of rice
  • level 4 spiciness
  • extra toppings: mushrooms, fried garlic, and cheese (yes, cheese because cheese is life)

That is it for today. Hope everyone is doing good.

See you on Saturday,

The Fashion Eclectic.

Dominique Ansel Bakery – A must visit when in Tokyo

Hey everyone! How are you doing?

Let’s start the week with a place recommendation. This weekend I went to the Dominique Ansel bakery with a couple of my friends. The bakery is one of the most talked about places nowadays. They make a lot of different cakes and sweet, but we went there for the special stuff. They are famous for their frozen S’more and they always have seasonal specialties. Now they have the what-a-melon soft serve and the creme de la corn soft serve. We went for the frozen s’more and the what-a-melon.

Thank you Yui – san for the video.

 

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Everything was heaven, however the place is a bit pricey, especially the seasonal offer. You can find the bakery at two locations in Tokyo. The first is in Omotesando (this is where we went), and the second one was opened recently in Matsuya – a department store in Ginza. I would personally suggest that you go to the Omotesando one because it is a lot bigger. The one thing you have to prepare yourself for… THE QUEUE. We went there pretty early so we stood about 20 minutes but in the afternoon it was crazy. But if you love food and sweets, it is definitely worth going there. If you want to try something else besides these, try the cronut or their Tokyo only cake, the Paris Tokyo.

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Paris Tokyo cake – “A twist on the traditional Paris Brest with matcha ganache and a soft passion fruit curd” 

Please do not ask for the cheesecake, it is just not that great and it is not the place to go to when you want cheesecake. Hope you will check this place out, I’ll leave the link to their website down below. Wishing you a wonderful week.

See you on Wednesday,

The Fashion Eclectic.

Link: http://dominiqueanseljapan.com/en/food