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Hi All,

I’m just back from my trip to Japan, just thought I’d report in, with a bit more detail.

I love Japan!

Arrived Sunday morning at Tokyo Narita, after a long and tiring flight I snoozed on the coach into Tokyo.It's rainy season so very hot and sticky. Dropped off at the Cerulean Towers Hotel in Shibuya so I walked to my little hotel just off the Shibuya bus depot, up a quiet little hill with all sorts of restaurants and shops nearby.

You mustn't sleep during the first day or you've lost it with your body clock (although it was midday in Japan I was thinking it was 4AM!) so off I went to find lunch and check out the area.

Sunday is MAD in Shibuya, everybody was out. It’s brilliant on the famous Shibuya crossing, when the lights change and thousands and thousands of people cross the huge roads in every direction. It swamps you and makes you feel like an ant.

So off I walked to my favourite Starbucks (I know, but I needed familiarity) in Harajuku. But the whole place was heaving so I ended up getting pasta in a groovy little cafe off Cat Street. I walked around for a bit but there were too many people for my taste so I headed back to the Hotel for a shower, a beer (biru), then set out in search of supper. It is rainy season here so I bought an umbrella (casa) and strolled the streets. I've never found bad food in Japan so it's just a matter of seeing what you feel like. I ended up in a cafe in the basement of Tokyu eating a set meal of Tempura and Soba noodles. More beer, an episode of Faulty Towers on my lap-top then SLEEP, ahhhh!

Monday AM a briefing at the Embassy. Good job I left loads of time because it took me half an hour to find the underground (Shibuya Station in huge!), then 15 mins to buy a blooming ticket. They've stopped doing Passnet cards, and it didn't allow me to get a Passu (?) card, so I gave up and bought a single to Hanzomon, which I know well because I've stayed there before. The Embassy briefing was great, I met Mrs Muto and Kae etc. and got loads of ideas etc. Then off to H.P. offices, just off Meiji Dori. I had a good chat with Satomi, Ryoko, Tomoko and all. We arranged our schedule, I took my samples which I needed for appointments and off I went to sort them into the display box. (walked back to the hotel, stopping at Aigle to check out kagool for Denise.

 

Satomi, Alex and Ryoko at HP France

Satomi, Alex and Ryoko at HP France

Then off to Lisette in Futako tamagawa, about 20 mins taxi drive from Shibuya. (Lunch in Takashimaya first) The shop was lovely, in a cute shopping street in a residential area. They have two other shops as well, and we made all sorts of plans, then Kazutake (?) drove me back into town in his Renault 4 (classic 1970's French car!). Then taxi to Yoyogi to meet Hiromi for tea in the coolest tiny cafe, right off the beaten track called Dada cafe.

 

Hiromi and Alex in Cafe Dada

Hiromi and Alex in Cafe Dada

 

Overland train back to Shibuya and supper sitting at the bar in a classic Japanese sushi bar. You forget how good proper Sushi is. Oishi desu!

Tuesday. Did a bit of work in my room. Rougeloup and Coincidence both want appointments but am having trouble fitting them in.... will ask the Embassy to help. Dropped off the trunk show pieces and Anklets at HP. Gave pressies etc, then took a walk to Yoyogi Park, the Irises and the shrine. At the shrine you can make wishes and offer them up by writing them on special wooden tablets. Lots of world peace etc but I like 'Please let Reading F.C. get promoted this season' best , slightly worried by the 'Take to the seas and world domination' one, but each to his own.....

 

Prayer tablet in Yoyogi Temple

Prayer tablet in Yoyogi Temple

 

Lunch in the Aveda cafe in Aoyama which I love.

Back to Hotel for appointment with Lyly-pad.

Not sure what to have for supper tonight, but I know a little Okinomiyaki resaurant.

 

Okinomiyaki

Okinomiyaki

 

So. Wednesday, mad day. Started off with La Jiruma, out of town, found it after a struggle and met the gang. There were about 20 girls! All Kawai-ing etc. They were lovely and really kind. We were hoping to go out for lunch but we ran out of time!

 

The La Jiruma girls

The La Jiruma girls

 

My day was supposed to go like this; 10AM La Jiruma, Lunch. 2PM ecoincidence in Aoyama dori, 3PM Mariko at Gallerie Vie, quick nip back to the hotel, shower and HP offices by 4.30, nip over to Goldie Takashimaya for trunk show until 9PM, then out with Mr Kameyama for supper.

So here I was at 12.30, an hour from Aoyama, with my lovely clients who wanted to take me for lunch and over to their shop in Daikanyama. After much smiling and bowing, I was accompanied by 2 girls to Daikanyama (which is a lovely area) saw the shop and hopped into a taxi back to the hotel. Picked up more catalogues etc, another taxi to the Starbucks on Aoyama dori only to get completely lost. Mobile phone died on me, but I did find my client and she made a nice order. Nice shop, one of three I think.

Whizzed over to meet Mariko (late) v. quick lunch with M. in the Gorgeous ‘Gallerie Vie’ café, then taxi to hotel, change, shower, pick up pressies then over to HP and off to Takashimaya. And wow it was busy and hectic! There were LOADS of people. We sold out in 30 mins. Signatures and photos non stop. Everyone came to say Hi, and I even met Mayo’s mum! It went on very late, so quite late to meet Mr. K. The restaurant was great, as usual. My ‘Mr. Kameyama’ meal is the highlight of my year. He is such a great host and really knows his food. The Oden set was very good. Not sure about raw horse though!

 

Goldie in Shinju ku

Goldie in Shinju ku

 

 

Left at midnight. Lovely evening, lovely day.

Thurs was HP day. Early AM Goldie Shibuya in Parco 1. Then meetings with Satomi and web-guy. Then press interview, then Lunch with Satomi, Tomoko and ? P.M. more general meetings with Satomi.

Then back to the hotel, shower and off to see the antipast girls and Tonchan. Very nice supper (Korean). They are such lovely people, it’s so nice to have such great friends when you’re traveling. Thanks Junko, Kyoko and Tonchan! Best socks in the world! http://www.antipast.co.jp/info.html

 

Antipast

Antipast

Fri. AM check out, taxi to Hotel Pacific, where I left my big case, then train to Haneda. Met up with  and flew to Sapporo, then bus to Noboribetsu bus terminal, change and small bus to Takinoya, (very brave of me as no English is spoken) and what an amazing place it is! http://www.takinoya.co.jp/

 

Onsen meal

Onsen meal

If anyone ever wants a real treal Takinoya Onsen is the place.

I had long relaxing outside baths and loooooads of delicious food.

But it all had to come to an end and I caught a bus to Sapporo on Saturday morning.

The Trunk show in Sapporo was a great success, very busy and I was sorry to leave at 5 o’clock, but we had a plane to catch.

 

Goldie in Sapporo

Goldie in Sapporo

sapporo trunk show

sapporo trunk show

 

 

Back to Tokyo, a short night and then caught the morning flight for Heathrow!

Phew.

Thank you so much to all the kind people in Japan who made my trip so lovely!

See you next year! Mata Rai Nen!

One thought on “Alex Monroe in Japan, June 2009”

  • Tomoko

    Hello, Alex
    Glad to read all through your lovely trip in Japan.
    It was a short time, but you have very meaningful and wonderful time at least!

    We are all looking forward to seeing you in rainen!!
    Wish you the best!

    Reply
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