Friday, February 18, 2011

There's no place like Tokyo

The next month is filled with a few weekend trips to Tokyo. I am rather excited as it is such a magical city and this time I'll be seeing Belle and Sebastian live as well as meeting a wonderful friend from Sapporo who is always so much fun to be around. 

The thing I love the most about Tokyo is the diversity of the suburbs and how you can feel worlds away from the intensity of Shibuya and Harajuku after just a few minutes on the train.

The video above is Shugo Tokumaru performing along the streets of Shimokitazawa, one of my favourite suburbs in Tokyo. The bottom six images are from the Lo-Fi Tokyo guide from This is Naive. Both a great guide and a great website! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Small face

Being a half Indian girl in Japan can sometimes be a confusing thing when it comes to the beauty aesthetics. They don't stock foundation in my colour at many beauty counters and there is a questioning 'aaaeeeeeehhhhhhhhhh' noise when I ask which blush would suit my skin tone. It is all a rather exciting and somewhat mind boggling experience and I feel like my eyes have been opened to a whole new world of fashion and beauty. 

People have told me I have a lovely 'small face' or kogoa which seemed like the strangest compliment in the world. I later learned Japanese have slightly bigger head to body proportions thus a more balanced look is greatly desired. Apparently having big eyes and a small chin is a good thing while a larger cranium and a broad flat face is considered not such a good thing. This was all news to me but it's something that seems to be recognized among many Japanese.

While initially all I expected to see was gothic lolitas and cutesy Harajuku girls there is so much more to Japanese women in their approach to beauty and fashion. Some women have a very relaxed natural beauty aesthetic. The poster girl to this would probably be Yu Aoi, an incredibly beautiful actress. She is feminine in a very natural earthy way, with just a hint of tomboy. With very little make up, layered clothing and relaxed natural colours it's a definite breath of fresh air in a sea of false eyelashes and thigh high suede boots. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Winter wonderland

Where I live has transformed into something of a winter wonderland. We had a snow festival this weekend and although it was very very cold it was so beautiful and exciting to see. People in my town carved snow lanterns all week in preparation and I was lucky enough to be able to help. I have been making a lot of spiced mulled wine to try and help me through the winter days as well as spending excessive amounts of time beneath the warmth of my kotatsu (a low wooden heated table). My friends and I have been eating a lot of gyoza, ramen and okonomiyaki to try and keep warm, so delicious. Speaking of food, I am teaching a class of twenty Japanese people how to make a very simple Indian curry this weekend. I am very nervous but I'm sure it will be a fun experience! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Oh Annie

I watched Annie Hall last night. It was such a nice way to spend a Sunday evening. Diane Keaton is so effervescent and goofy, I love it. It's nice to know the clothes worn by Keaton in the film are her own.

 "She came in," Allan recalled in 1995, "and the costume lady on Annie Hall said, 'Tell her not to wear that. She can't wear that. It's so crazy.' And I said, 'Leave her. She's a genius. Let's just leave her alone, let her wear what she wants.'"

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Handmade portraits

I recently discovered the Handmade portraits series by Etsy on YouTube. They are a great collection of videos showcasing masters of arts and crafts emphasizing the idea that you should do what you love and be the best that you can be!