According to local and international media, Tokyo‘s fashion business is gradually getting back to usual.
After the earthquake hit Japan on March 11, many brands including Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Cartier acted to bring some of their executive staff back to their home countries and closed local boutiques.
News outlets including WWD and Racked now confirm that on March 22, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dior, Chanel, and Forever 21 reopened their doors in the capital.
The Shangri-La Hotel in Tokyosaid Monday it would not accept any new bookings “until further notice”, citing the city’s uncertain power supply following Japan’s massive earthquake and tsunami.
The hotel said it hoped to resume normal operations as soon as possible but the decision highlighted problems the tourism industry will be forced to confront as Japan recovers from the deadly March 11 twin disasters.
“Following the natural disasters in Japan on 11 March 2011 and the resulting logistical difficulties and hazards, Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo will not be accepting any new guests until further notice,” the statement said.
Virgin Atlantic has become the first airline to lay on a complimentary helicopter transfer for its Upper Class passengers between Tokyo’s Narita International Airport and the center of the city.
Around 75 km to the east of Tokyo, Narita is infamous for its remoteness and poor links to the heart of the metropolis.
New bus and train links have reduced the time required to make the transfer to under an hour, but Virgin has realized there would be solid demand for a faster and more efficient method of beating the traffic.
According to a Women’s Wear Daily report, young Japanese shoppers are less impressed by designer brands and more value-driven than their parents.
The consulting firm McKinsey & Co. already reported last July that “almost 30 percent of shoppers under 30 in Japan named price as the most important factor they consider when shopping, compared to just 21 percent for those over age 50″.
As a result of its economic collapse, Japan’s per-head spending has radically declined — a trend that will continue — with the luxury market being particularly affected, having shrunk by 23 percent between 2006 and 2010.
Mercedes Benz on Wednesday unveiled a chocolate-themed version of its Smart car in Tokyo, just a couple of weeks before Valentine’s Day.
In Japan, there’s a tradition which says that women have to buy chocolate for men on this occasion.
Designed by designer Tadaaki Wakamutsu of Japanese luxury jeweler/chocolatier Q-Pot, the unique Smart city car features a special chocolate-themed paint scheme.
Swiss luxury watch maker Franck Muller has designed a special case for the iPhone, which is now available for pre-order in Japan for a whopping $1,270.
The cases will be sold as a limited edition, with Japanese iPhone provider SoftBank offering a total of 6 different models that will be produced 500 times each.
A monster bluefin tuna sold for a record 396,000 dollars in the year’s first auction at the world’s biggest fish market in Tokyo Wednesday amid intense pre-dawn bidding.
The 342-kilogramme (752-pound) fish — caught off Japan‘s northern island of Hokkaido — fetched a winning bid of 32.49 million yen (396,000 dollars).
It was the highest such bid yet, topping the previous record of 20.02 million yen paid for a bluefin tuna in 2001, the officials said.
Fans of Apple’s iPhone who just can’t get enough of the popular gadget can now travel to Japan to gobble up a tasty cookie modelled on the popular smartphone.
A small bakery in Japan has enjoyed a surprise hit with its “iPhone cookie”, a handmade chocolate biscuit decorated with colourful, edible application icons.
Green Gables in Tokushima prefecture pioneered the tasty treat in 2008 as a special birthday gift for a customer’s husband, said Kumiko Kudo, the owner of the store.
Japanese jewelry maker Ginza Tanaka has put on sale a 2011 calendar made of 6 kilograms of pure gold featuring popular Dutch rabbit character Miffy.
The calendar measuring 64 centimeters by 40 centimeters is on sale at eight outlets of the company as well as online.
The special solid gold Miffy calendar celebrates the â€œYear of the Rabbit 2011â€ and is on sale for a whopping 55 million yen ($655,000).
Tokyo is now the city with the most Michelin three-star rated restaurants in the world trumping Paris, once considered the gastronomic capital of the world.
The Tokyo metropolitan area, which unseated Paris from the No. 1 spot and this year, the number of three-star restaurants increased from 11 to 14.
The total number of restaurants rated in the Tokyo guide was 266 — with 54 two-star rated venues and 198 one-star rated venues.
For those who need more bling in their lives, Mercedes released these limited edition key fobs garnished with Swarovski crystals.
A limited edition of 800 of these luxurious keys will initially be offered to customers in Japan.
The idea for the Swarovski Mercedes keys came internally, amongst the employees of the companyâ€™s Business Innovation Community.
A hotel in the northern Japan city of Nagano has installed one of the largest scale model railway sets in the country in a special luxury suite.
The diorama measures 6 meters by nearly 2 meters wide and displays many of the prefecture’s most popular tourist spots, including Zenkoji Temple and Nagano’s famous mountains.
The Hotel Metropolitan’s model has four kinds of electric trains that guests can steer around the track, including a miniature version of the Asama “shinkansen,” the bullet train that runs between Nagano and Tokyo.
Michelin unveiled Tuesday its new guide to Japan’s western cities of Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe, with a novelty: a selection of 106 top restaurants that offer courses under 5,000 yen (60 dollars).
The guide, due to hit Japanese bookstores on October 22 in both Japanese and English, lavished the ancient capital of Kyoto with seven three-star ratings, all for Japanese cuisine, 22 two-star and 71 one-star ratings.
Kyoto is famed for the quiet sanctuary of its temples, shrines and Zen gardens, while the more boisterous, working-class Osaka has been nicknamed “Japan’s kitchen” and port city Kobe is famed for its premium beef brand.
To celebrate its fifth anniversary, the five-star Mandarin Oriental Tokyo hotel is offering the opportunity to rent the entire property for one night for $670,000.
Under the plan, the entire hotel — 178 guest rooms, all nine restaurants and all spas — would be reserved from 3:00 in the afternoon to noon the next day.
There will also be the option to have a cocktail party for 500 people featuring pastries from an award-winning Japanese pastry chef.
The ranks of Asia-Pacific millionaires are likely to continue growing faster than those from developed countries as regional economies led by China and India power ahead, a report said on Tuesday.
The study on high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) — defined as anyone with investable assets of at least one million US dollars — was issued by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and consultancy firm Capgemini.
“Moving forward, China and India will lead the way in the region with economic expansion and HNWI growth likely to keep outpacing more developed economies,” the Asia-Pacific Wealth Report said.
Dolce & Gabbana has announced that is dramatically scaling back operations in Japan of its D&G line, which is aimed at the younger fashion market.
They blamed the decision to halt the distribution of the D&G ready-to-wear lines, leather accessories and shoe collections in Japan on the scarcity of available locations for its boutiques and the widespread availability of counterfeit products.
The decision to regroup in Japan comes in the wake of Versace and French Connection UK leaving the market entirely within the last year.
Japanese electronics giant Toshiba plans to market the world’s first 3D TV that does not need special glasses later this year, a report said on Tuesday.
Toshiba will unveil three models of the television, which will cost several thousand dollars, before Christmas, the Yomiuri Shimbun said.
The company has developed a new system that emits a number of rays of light with various angles from the screen so that viewers can see stereoscopic images without glasses, the daily said.
“People can enjoy images in three dimensions from various positions and suffer less stress,” it said.
Japan’s major electronics makers launched 3D television this year, but sales have not been as strong as expected while many customers have complained of being irritated by the glasses.
In Japan, watermelons have become a luxury food that apparently now requires a carry-on luggage-like cooler/warmer, a world’s first.
First came the square watermelon creation that was introduced to the global market with the hefty price tag of $75 (â‚¬56.41) for 6.8kg. In Japan the same square watermelon can cost Â¥10,000 yen (â‚¬90).
The Japanese site Joybond.co.jp sells the single round watermelon on-the-go cooling or warming device for Â¥19,950 (â‚¬179) referred to as “ã¾ã‚‹ã”ã¨ã€€ãŸã¾ã¡ã‚ƒã‚“”.
Walt Disney’s animated characters Stitch and his girlfriend Angel made of pure gold are displayed at the jewelry shop Ginza Tanaka in central Tokyo.
Made with about 280 grams of pure gold, the 15cm high figure is priced at 5 million yen ($57,000).
A monster tuna caught off Japan turned heads at a Tokyo fish market Friday, where the 445 kilogram (981 pound) bluefin — the biggest caught here since 1986 — sold for 3.2 million yen (36,700 dollars).
“Many of the people who work at the market have never seen a tuna that big,” said an official of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which runs the Tsukiji fish market, the world’s biggest seafood market.