Japan

False Advertising – A Story About Sweatpants

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Trying to find the balance between athleisure and the office, I wore: goldtone and brown aviator sunglasses – 7x, ASOS // royal blue merino wool v-neck – Uniqlo // blue and white striped cotton button-down shirt – Drizabone, thrifted // navy cotton elasticated slacks with windowpane check – Uniqlo // camouflage case – BackNumber, Japan // bright blue Juvenate runners – Nike //

 

Over the past couple of years we have had more and more sportswear crammed down our throats as viable everyday wardrobe options. First it was normcore, then it was sports luxe, and then athleisure. People like Kanye West with his Yeezy line (who copied Pharrell with his clothing line, whatever that was called), and now Australian designer Pip Edwards; are making a killing selling us insanely expensive sweat pants and logo t-shirts that in any other context we would shun for being too basic, too sporty, and not chic enough.

I’m not saying that this is a bad thing at all, because I am very much the kind of guy who would live in sweatpants and a blazer if he could. I am concerned, however, because I am very aware that me in active wear is a case of false advertising. It is sort of like seeing a tray of bloody, delicious steaks in in the butchers with a huge “100% VEGAN!” sign in front of them. You know that they’re not vegan at all, and you know that I am not athletic or sporty at all, and so you’re confused. Hell, I’m confused, and I’m the one who loves (and keeps buying) active wear. (more…)

Liberty London for Uniqlo Floral Linen Shirt

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When you find a shirt this gorgeous, you need to base your entire outfit around it! Today I wore: Tortoiseshell and gold-tone sunglasses – ASOS | navy pinstriped wool blazer – thrifted | blue and white floral linen shirt – Liberty London for Uniqlo | white cotton pocket square with polka dots – Uniqlo | brown leather belt – Sportscraft | heavily distressed Arc 3D Jeans – G-Star Raw | whiskey brown leather loafers – ASOS |

 

Liberty London would have to be one of the most well known and well loved fabric houses still in operation today. Quintessentially British in history and in design sensibility, Liberty London are known for their fresh floral motifs and bright colours.

Quite opposite to Liberty London you have Japanese street and LifeWear brand Uniqlo. Known for their high-quality basics and simple designs, Uniqlo has rapidly expand its operations to fourteen countries globally and has an ever expanding market for its wears.

A collaboration between Liberty London and Uniqlo was always going to turn heads. (more…)

5 Travel Tips I Learned In Japan

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No doubt by now you are all really sick of hearing about my Japan travels; but today marks 100 sleeps until I return to my beloved Japan, and so I wanted to write a post to commemorate the beginning of the countdown to this next trip. I thought long and hard about what the content should be, and then I thought that it might be fun to share 5 Travel Tips that travelling in Japan has taught me. I’m obviously by no means an expert, on travel OR Japan; but I have learned a lot travelling in Japan that I feel is really applicable to travel generally, if not life itself. What follows are 5 Travel Tips from me to you, to ensure that you have the best time possible on your next holiday, getaway, or even a mid-week working trip!

I’ll obviously be preparing for my next trip in the months to come, and I will obviously want to do some more posts and tutorials in the subjects of travel and Japan. If there are any questions that you might have about either, of if you would like more than 5 Travel Tips from Japan; let me know in the comments section down below. I have a few ideas already, but I would be really keen to hear your thoughts. (more…)

Nagasaki and Kyoto – Japan Week Day Four

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Stunning view of Nagasaki from our room in the Richmond Hotel – I thoroughly recommend the Richmond and Nagasaki.

 

Nagasaki and Kyoto are our third and fourth stops for #JapanWeek, and they were as different as two places could possibly be.

 

I didn’t really know much about Nagasaki before we decided to go there besides what I had read on Trip Advisor, and this might exxplain why I loved it so much and why we had such an amazing time. We stayed at the Goregous Richmond Hotel which was insanely cheap, and we were thrilled with the location as well. While in Nagasaki we visited the impact site of the Nuclear bomb, the Peace Park and the Museum. However, we also visited completely off beat attractions, and just enjoyed the salty rip-tide undercurrent of the city itself. I fell in love with Nagasaki, and I cannot wait to visit again.

Kyoto, on the other hand, I knew lots about. I had a full itinerary planned out when we arrived at our goregous AirBNB property, driven by our friendly and helpful host Koji. However, for the next three days it rained CONSTANTLY! I won’t lie, my spirits were pretty damp as well. Local attractions that I was dying to visit like the Fushimi Inari Shrine and the Nishki Markets became choked with pushy, wet tourists; and I was over having damp feet in about three-seconds. Three days of wet feet? Not something I relished. It was lucky then that we chanced upon a gem of a craft beer pub, Bungalow, in the centre of Kyoto. We enjoyed delicious beers, fries and a cheese plate while we watched the soggy foot traffic and dancing lights of the wet afternoon.

I will return to Kyoto in May, and I am hopeful for a dryer visit this time around. I have no doubt that I will come to love the amazing city of Kyoto as much as I do Nagasaki  when I return in May, and I am looking forward to sharing my adventures with you.

You can view the Osaka Vlogs here: https://youtu.be/CoGMKoMmp8Q (more…)

Style Stalking Japan – Japan Week Day Three

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Lost in Translation vibes on a rainy day in Kyoto – loved this guy’s sense of style (and that Louis Vuitton Keepall too 😛 )

 

When I left for Japan this time around, I promised myself and my readers that I would make a bigger effort on this trip to capture the style that I encountered on the streets of Japan, the style that the country is known and celebrated for.

And I did.

Sorting through the (literal) thousand-plus photos that I returned home with, I unearthed over a hundred that I have come to class as style-stalking.

Why style stalking, you ask nervously, looking for an immediate exit.

The truth of the matter is that my Japanese is beyond poor, and limited greatly by my lack of confidence in my own ability to speak Japanese. As such, I am still not at a place where I am comfortable approaching people and asking if I can take their photo, like I do in Canberra.

So, I creepily captured photos of the amazing style that I saw, like a perverted salary man on the train; with my mobile phone, or while pretending to be photographing the scenery.

The shame…

I am determined to turn my Style Stalking into Style Scouting by May this year, and I am working on my Japanese daily. In the interim, however, please enjoy these photos which represent the best of a badly-sourced lot. (more…)

Osaka – Japan Week Day Two

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Exploring the Namba Yasaka Shrine

Osaka is our second stop for #JapanWeek, and it was our first time visiting a major city outside of Tokyo. It proved to be an unforgettable experience.

Chief on my list of things that I wanted to do in Osaka was to visit the Kaiyukan Aquarium, in order to see the Whale sharks. The Aquarium was unlike anything I have ever seen in my life, and we were completely blown away by the sheer size and scale of the place. Highlights included finally seeing a capybara in real life, seeing whale sharks and hammerhead sharks, and getting to pat sharks and sting rays in the Aquarium’s rock pool.

Osaka isn’t just about the Aquarium though!

Completely by chance I booked us into an AIRBNB property in the lively Dotonbori red-light district, and so our night was a neon adventure of street food and window shopping. There were stunning boutiques everywhere in Osaka, and I am so looking forward to heading back in May with friends who are as fond of shopping as I am. We visited the gorgeous Osaka Castle and got to see some stunning architecture, and I was also able (thanks to the boyfriend’s superior Google-fu) to visit the amazing Namba Yasaka shrine and to see the stunning lion stage in this quite little temple that’s off the beaten track.

Food and booze again played a huge role in our adventure. We discovered an amazing Craft Beer pub named Kamikaze which served delicious food and beers amongst a punky sort of vibe, and I tried Mellon Bread for the first time. Osaka is also known for takoyaki, and after a few poor quality examples we found some truly delicious octopus dumplings.

I have no doubt that I will discover much more about this amazing city when I return in May, and I am looking forward to sharing my adventures with you.

You can view the Osaka Vlogs here: https://youtu.be/q7o7dvkB6kI (more…)

Hakone – Japan Week Day Five

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Magical, magical Hakone. You didn’t just steal my heart, you consumed it!

 

Hakone is our fifth stop for #JapanWeek, and this was the place the was such an eye-opener for me in Japan.

I first discovered the existence of Hakone through the amazing Vlogs of a fellow YouTuber, and I knew that I wanted to stay there as soon as I had finished watching. Nestled in a mountainous region of Japan, Hakone is a town built up around the hot springs tourist industry. The town is geared towards tourists, but it doesn’t have that built-up touristy feel, and retains its own charm and beauty. We stayed at the fantastic Hotel Suimeisou Ryokan, which again I learned about through YouTube. The service and the hotel itself were impeccable, and we spent our two days at the Suimeisou wearing Yukata, soaking in the private open-air baths, and eating 14-course meals.

A note on hot springs and tattoos: It is still largely a social taboo to have tattoos in Japan, and while this attitude is changing, a lot of hot springs (Onsen) and public baths (Sento) refuse service to those with tattoos, including foreign tourists. Knowing this, I looked for a place which had private baths, so I could book one out for the boyfriend and myself, and not have to worry about upsetting or offending anyone with my ink. I am firmly of the opinion that as a tourist, it is your responsibility to conform to the customs and norms of the places you visit. So, my inked brethren, in Japanese baths or hot springs – cover up!

It wasn’t all open air baths and stuffing our faces however. There’s a rich culture to the town, and lots of things to see and do, most of which we didn’t even get around to. Something special that we did manage to see however was the Hakone Shrine on beautiful Lake Ashi. This place is magical, like something out of a Hayo Miyazaki film. Towering ceders, bright orange tori gates and hundreds of stone steps – this was a definite highlight of the trip, and a place that I will always treasure visiting.

I was so impressed with our stay, and so sad we only scratched the surface, that I will be returning to Hakone in May this year with my best friend Mags and our good friend Amy, and I am determined to cross a few more of the local attractions off my list..

You can view the Hakone Vlogs here: https://youtu.be/mlNhyH22R_o (more…)