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Franzè & Evans London「フランツ アンド エヴァンス ロンドン/表参道」

Franzè & Evans has recently landed directly from London’s Shoreditch cool neighbourhood and has already become a hot spot in town. They offer tasty, healthy and fresh modern British meals/ pan-Mediterranean meals, salads and snacks.

franze & Evans

franze and evans

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, this is the place to indulge yourself with their amazing selection of cakes, cupcakes, cookies and pastries. The display next to the counter is so beautiful you just want to take lots of photos and then eat all of them!

franze and evans

franze and evans

Red Velvet Cupcakes

franze & Evans

おいしそう!

franze and evans

franze and evans

Tea time with my dear friend Lori ♡

franze and evans

Victoria Sponge Cupcakes ♡

 

Great addition to Tokyo !

 

I’d like to thank Franzè & Evans staff who kindly let me shoot their lovely cafe, ありがとう!

 

thanks

Franzè & Evans 1F, 4-9-4 Jingumae, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo, Tel 03 5413 3926, Official Website HERE, Follow HERE

 

All photos on this blog were snapped by me unless otherwise noted. If you see something you’d like to share, please be sure to provide a link back to this space. Thank you!

A Pleasant Stroll in Shimokitazawa 「下北沢の散歩」

Shimokitazawa  is a very cool neighbourhood on the western side of Tokyo.

Shimokita, as known by locals,  is well-known for small independent fashion boutiques, second-hand and vintage fashion retailers, cute cafes, theaters, bars and live music venues.  There are many narrow alleys and streets surrounding the station… perfect to explore them on foot!

shimokitazawa

Simokita train station divides the area in two parts: North and South.  I started exploring the North Exit first. It has an edgy and cool atmosphere. It reminded me a bit like Yanaka, where you can find lovely boutiques right next to warehouses and old homes.

shimokitazawa

shimokitazawa

shimokitazawa

shimokitazawa

shimokitazawa

shimokitazawa

shimokitazawa

Since Shimokita is a little less mainstream than Shibuya, Harajuku or Daikanyama, it’s also a little bit cheaper and more laid back.

shimokitazawa

shimokitazawa

I then crossed the railways and walked around the South.  The southern part is where you will find the live music venues, “pachinko” and arcades centres, tattoos parlours and the well-known Honda Gekijō and Suzunari theaters.

shimokitazawa

shimokitazawa

shimokitazawa

shimokitazawa

I had Lunch at Kate Coffee, a very cool and relax cafe in Shimokitazawa (South Exit).  This is probably one of those places frequented by Shimokita’s locals. I didn’t stay long but it felt like you can order a cup of coffee, grab a book from the Cafe’s bookshelf and stay there for a long while.

shimokitazawa

shimokitazawa

shimokitazawa

 

My suggestion when you visit Shimokitazawa? Come here with no plans. There are so many places to check out, you’ll soon discover those things that tick all the boxes in your list.

 

Thanks for a lovely afternoon Shimokita ♡

 

thanks

 

Sadly,  there are redevelopment projects underway, so who knows how much longer Shimokitazawa will be this bohemian neighbourhood 😦

How to get to Shimokitazawa? From Shibuya Station take the Inokashira Line and from Shinjuku Station take the Odakyu Line.

All photos on this blog were snapped by me unless otherwise noted. If you see something you’d like to share, please be sure to provide a link back to this space. Thank you!

 

Canvas Tokyo 「キャンバストウキョウ / 広尾」

I recently bumped into Canvas Tokyo, a new coffee shop corner in Hiroo.

Canvas Tokyo

Canvas Tokyo might be small but it nests Mark Espresso a cute cafe stand, a healthy restaurant and much-loved Nico donuts, cool goodies and a rental art space on their 2F.

canvas tokyo

canvas Tokyo

canvas tokyo

canvas Tokyo

canvas tokyo

Every Friday Canvas Tokyo opens up their space on the 2nd floor and holds an art event (check HERE if you’d like to become a member or you’re interested in renting the space) I’m not a member, but I enjoyed a good cup of coffee anyway in their 2F.

canvas tokyo

canvas tokyo

I drank my coffee too quickly and forgot to take a pic of the lovely latte art. If you go there off-peak hours, you can ask the Barista to personalise your coffee with a design of your choice ♡

canvas tokyo

おしゃれなカフェ!

 

I’d like to thank Canvas Tokyo’s staff who kindly let me shoot their lovely cafe, ありがとう!

thanks

 

 

Canvas Tokyo: 5-19-6 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Opening Hours: Daily 11am-8pm, Fri espresso bar 6pm-10pm, Closest Station: Hiroo (Hibiya Line),  Official Website HERE, Follow HERE

 

All photos on this blog were snapped by me unless otherwise noted. If you see something you’d like to share, please be sure to provide a link back to this space. Thank you!

Macoto Takahashi: An Invitation into his Fairytale World 「高橋マコトの世界」

Macoto Takahashi (born in Osaka in 1934) is one of the leading manga artists of the 1950s. Ever since his debut in 1957, he dedicated to Shōjo manga.  Shōjoshojo, or shoujo manga is manga aimed specially for teenage females readers. Their narrative ranges from historical drama to science fiction and they are always focused on romantic relationships.

During the early 20th century, the most important illustrator associated with this style was Junichi Nakahara. You can see this artist’s influence in Takahashi’s young female characters with their big sparkly eyes, long eyelashes, wavy hair adorned with flowers and ribbons and fairytale pastel dresses.

macoto takahashi

Large sparkly eyes were invented by Junichi Nakahara in the 1930s and further popularised  by Macoto Takahashi around 1956.  In the 1950s, artist often placed a star-shaped highlight next to the pupil.. This become the key visual marker for identifying a comic as shōjo manga. In regard to what these eyes signify, some have argued that starry eyes symbolise “the love and dreams” of the characters.  「…」In other words, the eyes literally are the windows of the soul; by looking at the eyes, the readers can intuit the character’s feelings, which remain unexpressed in dialogue.. Using oversized eyes, therefore, is a key technique used by shōjo artists to evoke empathy from readers (Extract from “Japanese Visual Culture: Explorations in the World of Manga and Anime” but Mark W. MacWilliams)

macoto takahashi

macoto takahashi

macoto takahashi

Macoto also gradually began drawing everything in one frame, rather than in manga panels, by creating a story within it, using mainly watercolors and oil-based colored pencils to express his subjects’ “elegance, gentleness, shyness and sense of cleanliness.” (Extract from the interview “The doe-eyed world of Makoto Takahashi”, The Yomiuri Shimbun, 2010)

macoto takahashi

“Why do I always draw girls? I have this lingering image I had when I was a sixth-grader, right after the war”. “There was a church of the Allied Occupation Forces near my house, and one day I saw a girl over the fence. She was about 5 and was playing in the garden filled with flowers. “The girl, her leg in a cast, was called by her mother. She turned around and ran to her mother, her beautiful blond hair flowing. It was such a beautiful scene in such a gloomy time as was postwar Japan. The image stuck with me, and I came to want to paint that girl.”

(Extract from the interview “The doe-eyed world of Makoto Takahashi”, The Yomiuri Shimbun, 2010)

macoto takahashi

Macoto’s artworks are embraced by the real life fashion Lolitas who wander around in Harajuku. Take a look at the way they dress… they are Macoto’s live models! (all photos below via Tokyofashion.com)

Over the years, Macoto’s illustrations have been featured in magazines, and he has also contributed illustrations for use on stationery and other merchandise

Manga x Fashion: Macoto Takahashi + Anna Sui Collaboration ♡

American fashion designer Anna Sui and Macoto Takahashi have teamed together. Anna Sui has designed “Dolly Girl” a clothing and accessories collection inspired in Macoto’s pretty girls. The collection will be available in Isetan Shinjuku from March 23rd to March 29th, 2016 (Images below from “Dolly Girl” Isetan Shinjuku catalogue)

macoto takahashi

AnnaSui

AnnaSui

 

Over 80 years old, and Macoto Takahashi is still mesmerizing us with his fantastic illustrations. Thank you!

 

thanks

 

All photos on this blog were snapped by me unless otherwise noted. If you see something you’d like to share, please be sure to provide a link back to this space. Thank you!

All images are from Macoto Takahashi. All credits go to him.

Salon de The Rond 「サロン・ド・テ ロンド/ 国立新美術館のカフェ」

The National Art Center Tokyo, designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa (1934 – 2007)  is the largest exhibition space of any museum in Japan.

cafe the Rond

The main hall of the museum has two gigantic inverted cones. On top of one sits “Brasserie Paul Bocuse Le Musee” (a 3-stars Michelin restaurant) and on the second one Salon de The Rond Cafe, where I enjoyed some quiet time after seeing the Center’s current exhibition.

The Rond

↓↓↓ This gigantic cone nests Salon de The Rond. Pretty cool, right?

The Rond

The Salon offers an assortment of delicious treats, including sandwiches and a variety of cakes, as well as tea, coffee, and a selection of wines. There’s a very relaxed atmosphere in the cafe and of course an excellent view!

The Rond

The Rond

NACT does not have its own permanent collection but instead holds special exhibitions only.  Entry to the National Art Center is free so you can wander around this amazing building and enjoy a cup of tea or a meal and then visit their excellent museum shop.  You can also enjoy for free their relaxation area with designer chairs on the basement level and the NACT’s ‘Art Library’ on the third floor.

Amazing architecture inside & outside!

The Rond

the rond

the rond

The Rond

Love how the light reflects on the building facade

the rond

The Rond

The Rond

 

 

I’d like to thank Salon de The Rond’s staff who kindly let me shoot their lovely cafe, りがとうございます

thanks

 

Salon de The Rond : 7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku Tokyo, Closest Station:  Nogizaka Station (Chiyoda line), Roppongi Station (Oedo, Hibiya lines)

 

All photos on this blog were snapped by me unless otherwise noted. If you see something you’d like to share, please be sure to provide a link back to this space. Thank you!