All along what has for decades been Japan’s most fashionable and up-market shopping street, the luxury brands are moving out to be replaced by cheap chic.
As the country struggles to raise itself out of the global economic downturn, companies such as LV and Gucci are downsizing or leaving Ginza, their former properties quickly snapped up by the growing trend of “fast fashion” houses.
Now the throngs that still visit the district are shopping with a vengeance at places where their cash goes a little further; Uniqlo, Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M from Sweden and the Spanish chain Zara have all opened stores within the last year.
Long the dream of television fans, the world’s first high-definition TV capable of projecting three-dimensional images will be released in Japan on April 23.
Home electronics companies have been focusing their recent efforts on creating a home-use 3D TV, but Panasonic has beaten its rivals to a launch date.
The 3D systems are based on the company’s existing Viera plasma display panels, enabling the company to keep the price increase down to just Y70,000.
A giant bluefin tuna fetched 16.3 million yen ($177,000) in an auction Tuesday at the world’s largest wholesale fish market in Japan.
The bluefin tuna weighs 232 kg – nearly four times as much as the average Japanese man.
It was caught off the northern tip of Japan’s main island of Honshu, in waters famed for high quality fish.
Renowned jewelry maker Ginza Tanaka has shaped out Mount Fuji in pure Gold.
The gold creation weighing 3 kg and sized at 6cm in height and 22cm in width has a price of 11.73 million yen ($132,000 USD).
Touted to be one of the three Holy Mountains of Japan, Mount Fuji is also the highest mountain of the land of rising sun.
Nigo is a Japanese music producer, DJ and the creator of the urban clothing line A Bathing Ape, otherwise known as Bape. He has 4 Murakami LV limited prints on his bedroom wall..
Media artist, Alexander Gelman, in collaboration with traditional Japanese artisans has designed an exquisite limited edition series of master chess sets.
The sleek and stunning sets are made of lacquer, silver plating and gold leaf — there are only 5 in the world, each is unique and priced up to $55,000.
Gelman and the artisans took up to 10 months to produce each piece by hand, using century old techniques.
Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka has a new installation set up within Maison Hermes in Japan.
Based off a window display he presented in 2004, this new set up features a restructured design with an appearance by a famed Japanese actress.
The window is designed with an image of woman projected on to a monitor. The scarf softly sways in the air in response to the womanâ€™s blow.
Japanese cafe chain operator Saza Coffee Co plans to sell Panama’s Esmeralda Especial coffee beans for 1,200 yen per cup ($18) starting Dec 2.
Saza is the first company in Japan to buy the high-quality beans through an auction by paying $117.50 per pound for the coffee.
And that is almost 100 times more than the cost of average coffee beans.
Japan’s craze for Beaujolais nouveau has beaten the recession, with tourists taking a dip in a hot mountain spring coloured red with the fruity wine.
The Hakone Kowakien Yunessun spa resort celebrated the annual uncorking of the seasonal drop by having a sommelier pour a few bottles into an open-air hot spring bath as holiday-makers enjoyed soaking themselves.
It was the fourth annual bath using the produce of the French winery Laboure Roi at the spa, which also offers baths with green tea, coffee and sake.
Tokyo has overtaken Paris as the city with the most Michelin three-star restaurants, cementing its status as the “world capital of gastronomy”.
The latest edition of the Michelin guide to the Japanese capital awarded 11 eateries the coveted three stars, against 10 in Paris.
Tokyo also kept its title as the world’s most-decorated city with 261 stars in total — 34 more than last year — awarded to 197 restaurants.
Japanese clothing designer Yohji Yamamoto’s fashion house has filed for bankruptcy protection in a Tokyo court.
The company said Friday its sales had been battered by sluggish demand amid the global economic slowdown with debts totaling six billion yen ($67 million).
Integral Corp., a Japanese investment company also announced today that it will be sponsoring the fashion company’s restructuring plan.
Bloomberg reports that Gianni Versace will shut down its stores in Japan as there is decline in the demand for luxury goods.
The fashion company has three stores in Japan, one in Osaka, one in Tokyo and one in Chiba according to the Versace website.
Versace, which entered Japan in 1981, isnâ€™t the first brand to take this step. Last year Louis Vuitton scrapped its plans to open a store in Ginza, Tokyo.
Straight from Japan Kanto’s Syd 5 iPod Speaker packs in 80 watts of power, a bass reflex port, and a frequency response of 45hz to to 20Khz.
Audio is delivered through 5.25” low-range and and 3” high range drivers.
The SYD 5 weighs in at more than 20 pounds, and its four drivers are capable of surprisingly high volume.
Japanese Design house Felissimo is launching an inspirational new product called the 500 Colored Pencils, a subscription of 500 different colored pencils.
The way to get them is unique. If you order this product, youâ€™ll get 25 color pencils each month. After 20 months, you will get all of them.
As the year progresses, your art will gain a new dimension, as 500 colors pretty much ensures you can capture almost any shade imaginable.
We have followed Hermes helicopter earlier too and today itâ€™s time to tell you all about Japan’s first Hermes helicopter.
The service will provide a 30-minute luxury helicopter shuttle service between central Tokyo and Narita International Airport.
The Hermes helicopter features calf-leather seats and walls decorated with the brandâ€™s signature Toile H fabric used in its leather goods.
If you think China is still a developing country, this piece of news is going to surprise you. China has overtaken the US to become the world’s second largest luxury market.
In 2008, China’s super-rich bought a quarter of the world’s luxury goods.
According to the World Luxury Association, affluent Chinese lavished US$ 8.6 billion on luxury goods last year.
Imagine a beach where the sky is always blue, itâ€™s never too hot or cold, the water isnâ€™t filled with salt and pollution, and the surf is always perfect.
Welcome to Ocean Dome, the worldâ€™s only indoor beach! Ocean Dome is known as the worldâ€™s largest indoor water park with a retractable roof.
The air temperature is always kept around 30Âº C and the water temperature is kept at around 28Âº C.
A farmer in the town of Tsukigata in Hokkaido, Japan, has grown watermelons that are shaped like pyramids!
The farmer attained this shape by putting the watermelon in a pyramid-shaped plastic casing and hanging it upside down.
Sixteen of the pyramid-shaped watermelons have been shipped to shops across the country, including the Iwataya department store in Fukuoka.
Tokyo is the world’s most expensive city, according to Mercer’s 2009 Worldwide Cost of Living survey released today, with the cost of living up 13.1% from 2008.
Japan’s capital is followed by Osaka and Moscow, which held the top spot in last year’s rankings. Geneva comes in fourth.
The significant changes from last year are due to massive swings in exchange rates, with many currencies at their weakest in years against the U.S. dollar, during the March 2009 survey period.
Louis Vuitton Japan has created an original game for mobile web SNS and game portal site Mobage Town by DeNA.
The free game, called Precious Cargo, will have a limited run from June 25th to July 7th.
The game invites participants to arrange the brandâ€™s icons in a specific formation to reveal images of the latest products.