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Posts tagged ‘Midtown’

Christmas in Tokyo

As promised, I took my new Sony camera for a test shoot in the evening. I decided to go around Tokyo taking photos of Christmas illumination. These are my most favorite spots.

Christmas tree at Villa Fontaine hotel in Shiodome

Me and the girls at Austrian embassy Christmas bazaar

Roppongi Hills Christmas bazaar

They are selling delicious German food all through December so if you want to try some pretzels with beer or white cheese sauce pasta, head to the bazaar in front of Toho Cinema.

This is Christmas village decorations at Shiodome

Beautiful Caretta illumination. You can see how it looked two years ago here.

Shiodome from Yurikamome line

Odaiba skyline at sunset

Keyakizaka street illumination at Roppongi Hills. This one is right in front of entrance to the TV Asahi. When I was passing it, the familiar smell of the lobby hit me. I used to go there for three and a half years every Saturday evening for live broadcast of Sma-Station. That were super fun times because I got to hang out with my best friends and get paid for it. ^-^

Keyakizaka street, in front of new Michael Kors shop. A strong earthquake hit at the moment I was taking this picture. It felt like the train was passing underground only there is no train there so I was very puzzled at first. Then, a minute later I got all these Facebook messages with people screaming “Earthquake” and that’s how I realized what it was. When you are outside, you can’t really comprehend if it’s a strong one or not. Apparently it was the strongest and longest one since 3/11 earthquake last year. Luckily, the trains didn’t stop for too long. I was able to get home without any trouble.

Armani store at Keyakizaka street

Beautiful LED lights

I discovered this great “star” effect while playing with blur function on my Sony. If I make it really sharp and hold the camera still, it creates these beautiful stars out of light.

Self-portrait using retractable screen. Again, I look like a tourist here.. Need to get some tips on how to pose from my friend Laura..

Louis Vuitton store at Keyakizaka street

Illumination at Mori garden in front of TV Asahi

Tokyo tower from Roppongi Hills

66 Plaza Illumination at Roppongi Hills sponsored by Suntory whiskey. You can try various whiskey samples right next to it.

Midtown illumination

Christmas decorations at Midtown

Trees in front of Ritz Carlton hotel at Midtown

Starlight garden illumination at Midtown sponsored by Emirates airline

Christmas tree in front at Midtown

Sakura illumination at Meguro river sponsored by Mitsui residential. It is run on used cooking oil – very cool!

So I am extremely happy with my new camera. It takes amazing night pictures that are sharp and bright. I think I made the right choice although I still feel quite sentimental about parting with my old Lumix GF1…

Tokyo’s Mercedez Fashion Week or how I almost missed it ^-^

This year, I gave myself a promise to go see Tokyo’s Mercedez Fashion Week and then I almost missed it entirely. I was planning to shake some of my friends for invitations to the closed fashion shows but since most of them are during the day when the whole working Tokyo is.. well working (including moi), I felt too unmotivated to even bother.. Then, I wanted to go check new Mercedez connection building just to get the taste of the fashion fever that was in the air that week and then again, my husband canceled on me the very last minute so I decided not to go alone..

In the end, Ginza fashion show was all I saw this year. And seeing it was quite a challenge! By the time me and Sergey – my fashion friend, arrived to Ginza, it was already closed for access. I will never cease to be amazed at the zest of Japanese event organizers with which they keep public away from accessing a public event! The fashion show on the Chuo street in front of Mitsukoshi department store was supposed to be a public event open to see for the people shopping in the area. Yet, it was closed with white sheets of canvas that was held by an army of event clerks.  You can see on this picture, just how many people they used to keep that sheets on and the runway was several hundred meters long!

So, we became creative and found a spot on the 6th floor of a nearby building. I could see most of the show before the event organizers spotted us and a bunch of other people watching the show from a non-designated location and forced us to go down. It was a really funny commotion. I used my best “I don’t speak Japanese” behavior so the guy who was pushing me, went down, learned a couple of English words, went up again and told me to leave. If that’s not an example of Japanese loyal commitment to their responsibilities, I don’t know what is.

Anyway, the show was weird. The clothes itself was beautiful, lots of Japanese denim outfits that I would love to have. Only, nobody announced the designers or labels. There was no pause between one collection and the next. The models just came out one after another in a long procession, walked the runway and disappeared again. So, I have no idea where to buy the denim jacket that I liked…:(

After the show, we went to check Mitsukoshi’s “New York runway” selection shop – my favorite place to shop for Alexander Wang, Vince and Catherine Malandrino (during the sales period of course, otherwise – no freaking way). They had a mini runway show of their own.

These are my three favorite looks from what they have shown. The floral shift dress with pockets is by a Japanese brand “Beautiful people”. I was sure it was an import but then I checked the official website and it is in fact a Japanese brand – very cute!

After Mitsukoshi, we went to check Issey Miyake’s flagship store called “Elttop tep” or “Pet bottle” in reverse.  I have finally given in and bought a beautiful Bao Bao prism bag in pearly white. I love it! It is very comfy and when it folds it looks magical. I already got so many compliments, it is definitely a keeper.

Then, we went to check Ginza’s new and the world’s biggest UNIQLO store. It was huge, 7 or 8 floors high with lots of collaboration pieces. I liked Orla Kiely t-shirts but so did bunch of other people so I didn’t buy any..

Our final stop was new Dover street market that was moved from Omotesando to Ginza. It was very similar to “Opening ceremony” in Shibuya. Grotesque design gallore, a lot of space for just a few pieces of very expensive clothes and absolutely no customers. I am giving it a few months. ^-^ Although, it has survived all this time in Omotesando. Maybe it only needs a few customers a month to produce some sort of profit…

Oh, there was one more thing that was kinda Fashion week related. Midtown – the main venue for the event was celebrating 5 years anniversary so my Japanese model friend Meg invited me to join her for some champagne and window shopping.

There was a spectacular acrobat show and I think a runway that we managed to miss because we went upstairs to the Suntory museum of art that had free admission that day. I am sure the collection of Chinese and Japanese china artifacts was worth it. ^-^

So that was my Fashion Week. I didn’t see much but at least I didn’t miss it entirely. Next season, I will try to be more active. ^-^

Ice skating in Midtown

A few days ago me and Laura went ice skating to Midtown, Roppongi. We couldn’t have chosen the worse day for that though. It was so terribly cold and windy. Later, I had to soak in hot bath for an hour to get warm again. ^-^ But it was fun anyway! There were only a few people there so we had the rink almost entirely to ourselves which was a relief as I am not very maneuvery.. It was only my second time to stand on ice.

Both Laura’s and my mom used to do figure skating when they were young so both of them are amazing on ice. Me, I never had an opportunity to skate till last year when my brother took me to a ski resort in the outskirts of Saint Petersburg.

Midtown ice park is beautiful because of its illumination at night. There are strings of light that fly back and forth in between the trees surrounding the rink.

I managed to skate without falling. I even learned to turn and twirl. The rink is open till the end of February so I should go again and practice. ^-^

One hour was enough for me to get so cold I couldn’t stop coughing. Next time, I will make sure to wear a hat!!! ^-^


Snowboy latin jazz in thundering Tokyo

Billboard live

Yesterday my fiancee took me to Billboard live house for the first time and I love it. It’s located in Midtown, Roppongi and has such a great view on city and Midtown park. The view yesterday was especially good – pouring rain and lightning blurred out the city lights and created a perfect ambient atmosphere for Afro-cuban jazz performance. I was kind of familiar with the music because it’s often played on the background at home but I had no idea I would enjoy it so much. I really wanted to  just jump on my legs and dance but with my very reserved fiancee I felt somehow reserved to myself as well. I closed my eyes and tried to figure which instruments were playing at that particular moment and to my surprise I could always guess bass guitar and second bongo drums even though the sound was kind of muted.


Showboy is a British percussionist who was inspired by club jazz and then created his own Latin jazz project which many great musicians. I got to meet all of them after live and they signed my CD.

Snowboy CD

We chatted for a while and they revealed that I am probably the 100th Russian they meet in Japan on their tour because they happened to stay in the same hotel as Philharmonic orchestra from St.Petersburg.  The bass guitarist turned out to be French medical doctor – funny!

I also discovered new Mexican restaurant with great open terrace and live Mariachi music. It’s called La Colina (same group as Fonda de la Madrugada) and although food wasn’t to my liking, it is a great place to chill over Margaritas and enjoy summer breeze. Renting that terrace space for a birthday party could be a nice idea…

La Colina terrace