Foreign places

Good morning! It's another gorgeous day here in Kobe. The weather yesterday was absolutely perfect. It was about 15 degrees Celsius/60 degrees Farenheit. It's the kind of weather that only requires a scarf and possibly a light cardigan or sweater. Can you believe it's already December?!! This year has gone by too quickly.

Recently I haven't been as busy as I'd like. If I haven't mentioned it before I teach conversational English part-time and have recently started a friend's business in Japan. They make and sell jewelry in Bangkok and London and had aspirations of expanding their business to Japan. I'm passionate about fashion and love their jewelry so I'm trying it out. I won't lie, it's been a bumpy beginning. Unlike a posh market like that of Notting Hill, Japan's flea markets are filled with second-hand things that are inexpensive (Clothes for under 500 yen/$6 per piece and so on) but proves to be difficult competition to the new and antique jewelry that I sell. It's okay though because it's all a learning experience and each path I try, whether it succeeds or not, will teach me something important.

The main reason I wrote today was to upload pictures from the trip I took last month. Azerbaijan, Turkey, the Netherlands, France, Spain and Turkey. What was originally only a two country trip ended up being six. Slightly chaotic but more so enjoyable and exhilarating. I feel so grateful to have visited some new places and even see new things in places I'd already been. I'm having issues with my computer-lack of space- and therefore I can only post pictures from the first half of my trip. Here they are:

Old City in Baku

Beautiful detail for the entrance of Shirvanshah's Palace

Shirvanshah's Palace

Shirvanshah's Palace

Baku and Caspian Sea

Another view


Streets of Amsterdam

Yohji Yamamoto Spring 2011

Breakfast and coffee at the bakery
Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur

Colorful chairs in Montmarte

Eiffel Tower

Up close


Dinner that included mussels in the Latin Quartier



As soon as I upload the rest of my trip onto my computer I'll post the pictures. The many people, different kinds of food and the contrasting environments. It was truly a wonderful trip.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day (or night)!

Lazy days and Fashion

The weather, except for yesterday, has been absolutely amazing. Granted, I haven't been out much but this is mostly due to the fact that I enjoy relaxing and spending time in my apartment with its numerous plants, and the glorious amount of light through its many windows. Another reason is that something about fall makes me lazy which really shouldn't happen as that should be done more in the winter when this coastal city gets a bit nippy.

Overall women living in cities in Japan, especially in Kobe, dress up daily. Not just put together an outfit that matches or suits them but they go all out with makeup, heels, tights, accessories etc... This fact has proved to be a double-edged sword for me since I, being born and raised in Hawaii, adore tank tops, shorts/jeans and flip flops aka 'slippahs' and resort to a more simplistic style with a few accessories.But since my time in college was spent in upstate New York where winter temperatures shouldn't even be mentioned, forced me to layer and bundle up always I gained a bit of experience with cold weather wear. Oddly enough, I prefer the cold to hot (especially humid).

However, since living in Japan I have had to deal with bundling up and dressing up. Women here, no matter what time of year, have what seems to be an innate ability to layer in such a beautiful way I can't seem to pull it off like they-maybe being half Japanese gives me only half the ability or sense haha. The one thing that is strange is that people here are both "samugari" and "atsugari"; meaning they are both weak to the cold and to the heat. Generally those around me seem more weak to the cold but winter temps here in Kansai don't even compare to those in upstate New York but people dress up and yes, wear far too much clothes in my opinion for temperatures in the teens and 20s celsius( 50s& 60s Farenheit). I constantly tell myself to toughen up and remember the blistering cold in upstate NY in comparison so that I won't become "samugari". What's annoying is that in the summer you wear little clothes and when you go in stores the AC is freezing and then in the winter you have on a down jacket (or similar) and you go inside and it's far to warm so you end up having to taking extra time to take off and then put on your coat etc...

I started writing not knowing what would come out but I like where this is going. The seasons continuously excite me being born and raised in Hawaii where there's only about two reasons: rainy and not rainy.

So yes, autumn, my favorite season requires me to seek the fall foliage but I get lazy with dressing all cute and layered as seen in magazines or women here but it doesn't look like much will change since my basic style is still simple and comfortable. I will put in the extra effort when I go out but sometimes I don't see the point. I LOVE fashion and really desire to experiment with contrasting styles but like my exercise routine, or lack thereof, I can't seem to continue it beyond a few days.

Will post pictures from my trip next:)

H&M Osaka



H&M opened their fourth (possibly fifth) store in Japan -right in Shinsaibashi-last Saturday. Openings of big name stores generally draw A LOT of people. The first day it was raining and about 2500 people lined up to get in. Even this week there continues to be a big line of people waiting to get in.

The Ebisubashi H&M is laid out well. Through a friend I was able to attend the opening reception party last week Thursday. They gave the attendees a generous discount as well as souvenirs-early in the night it was cloth bags and when I left it was a limited edition t-shirt as well as a golf umbrella. I didn't really want to get much and it was generally diffucult to concentrate with the music and people added to the fact that I'll be visiting the States in a few weeks. WIth the strong yen, it'll be cheaper to buy things there. In the end I purchased a short-waisted black jacket and a pair of cotton capri pants (room wear like). At the opening reception there were couple famous Japanese models as well as many other models from agencies here. I also got to see a few friends I hadn't seen in awhile so I enjoyed myself. Plus there was free champagne;p

Anyway, here's a picture of H&M from the outside-an evening of rain and cold:(

I've been trying to keep up with this blog but alas I'm not doing so well... Will make sure to post more pictures of food and the city. Especially with spring around the corner.

Pictures

It's already March! Time flies by!

Here are some pictures I've been meaning to post. Some from the weekend when my senpai visited with his friends and also from the Kobe Collection.


View from my seat during the second stage



Kobe collection. LOTS of people!



Starbucks in Kitano. So nice on a lovely day.



Sunset from Suma beach


Night view from Kitano of Kobe. Kobe has one of the top three nights views in Japan- the other two being Nagasaki and Hakodate.




Kobe beef. My friends wanted to try it on their visit here. I'm a vegetarian so I didn't partake but they were quite pleased.

That's all for now. I'm off to have some Mediterranean food with my close friend and her mother. It's going to be a fun night:)

Kobe Collection

I'm really excited to be able to attend the Spring/Summmer 2010 Kobe Collection today. I've been wanting to go to this fashion show since last fall but at that time the tickets were sold out so I couldn't go. Luckily this season a friend of mine had tickets and wasn't going to go so she gave them to me:) I'll be taking a good friend of mine who I haven't been able to spend much time with so it'll be fun.

Japanese fashion shows seem to run a lot differently. The Kobe Collection is a fashion show that includes four stages-each stage having many brands(both domestic and international)-and also has music performances.

I'll make sure to upload pictures soon.