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.
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.
Tokyoâ€™s Inner Central District overtook Londonâ€™s West End to become the most expensive office location in the World – with an occupancy cost of $183 per sq. ft. – according to the CB Richard Ellis global office cost survey.
Moscow, Hong Kongâ€™s central business district and Tokyoâ€™s outer central district were in third, fourth and fifth position.
Financial centres around the world have been hit by declining occupier demand. In many cases office occupancy costs have dropped by 20% or more over the last 12 months.
French jeweler Mauboussin gave away 5,000 tiny diamonds as part of a promotion in Tokyo on Monday. The tiny diamonds were 0.1 carat diamonds worth about $50.
Mauboussin’s flagship Japan store opened in Ginza, one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in Japan, in February.
But the store had often been empty because its name, though associated with international celebrities, isn’t widely recognized among Japanese.
The first model of Leica’s chic new limited edition all-white digital camera has just been spotted at the Audi Forum Tokyo.
River Re Wall is a system for green walls that’s developed by Hokkaido Sanyu Corp. It seems like a mini version of a riverbed or garden turned on its side.
Behind the moss-covered wall panel is an irrigation system that ensures all-around healthy greenery and generates a faint, trickling sound of water.
The sound is designed to create a sense of real, living nature, as well as encourage relaxation.
The yokozuna Asashoryu has appeared in the Shibuya Girls Collection show in Tokyo this week and entertained a crowd of 20,000 mostly teenage girls.
He was wearing a school uniform as a reference to him starring as a high school student in a recent TV commercial. Source: Relaxnews
Last time, Lipton teamed up with Pierre Herme and this time, collaborate with the Westin Tokyo!
These freebies are named â€œTea time accessory collectionâ€. Eight kinds of faux cakes or cuties are ready for tea time. Via: 8tokyo
A sales clerk for Japan’s Takashimaya department store displays a ¥10 million (US$100,000) music CD called â”Woman, Sweet 10 Diamonds,” made with a platinum case and studded with 10 2-carat diamonds, in Tokyo yesterday.
Universal Music unveiled the “world’s most expensive CD,” produced by Universal Music and jeweler Nagahori, for a commemorative album showcasing 18 songs by female vocalists.
Via TaipeiTimes / AFP
Him and Her, two exclusive chocolate pralines handmade by Miura Naoki, celebrates Valentineâ€™s Day in Il Cioccolato, a top quality chocolate shop in Bulgariâ€™s Omotesando twin store of Tokyo.
Elegant and refined gift boxes includes these two different melodies for the palate: Her represents the courage to break the rules with white and extra dark chocolate blended with floreali notes and strawberries accents. Him is a small poem of taste, born from the union of the paste of cocoa with coffee and grappa.
Tokyo Tower was hailed as a stunning symbol of Japan’s recovery from the devastation of World War II when it opened on December 23, 1958.
Though much has changed in the last 50 years, Tokyo Tower, named the 20th tallest tower in the world, still faithfully performs its original prime function of beaming telecommunication signals across Japan’s largest city.
This year, the Tokyo Tower celebrates its 50th anniversary; to commemorate this momentous occasion, jeweler Ginza Tanaka has created a miniature 24-carat replica called the Golden Tokyo Tower.
What does the world’s most expensive sushi taste like? Smooth, succulent and a little on the light side according to Yumiko Ono.
The Tokyo restaurant world was shocked last week when a 128 kilogram Japanese bluefin tuna fetched 9.63 million yen ($104,800) – the highest price paid for a bluefin tuna in eight years.
Two restaurants with distinctly different styles bid jointly at Tokyo’s first fish auction of the year, splitting both the cost and the fish.
Two customized Mercedes-Benz SL600, Luxury Crystal Benz, studded with 300,000 Swarovski crystal glass, are displayed at the pavilion of custom car accessory company Garson/D.A.D at Tokyo Auto Salon 2009 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, east of Tokyo, January 9, 2009.
The annual auto show, which showcases custom cars and accessories for cars, will be held until Sunday.
Last week, at the Seibu Department Store in Tokyo, Tomy Toys, a toy company from Japan unveiled a diamond doll.
The specially produced doll with the name “Licca–chan” (The Licca-chan doll is a widely popular Japanese version of the Barbie doll) comes clad in a tiara and gown studded with 881 diamonds, a total of 51.4 karat.
This diamond doll was part of an exhibition called “Girlish Culture” geared toward what they describe as, “happy adult by fashion”.
Recently, I discovered an incredible pastry-shop in Paris, Pierre HermÃ©, where you can try some interesting flavored macarons, such as caramel with fleur de sel , passion fruit with chocolate or even rose petal cream.
(Macarons are French, meringue-like cookies made with almond flour â€“ sometimes called luxembourgers – while Macaroons are cookies made with coconut)
Pierre HermÃ© is an artist – an artist of pastry making – and he is known for his innovative recipes. He began his apprenticeship at Gaston LenÃ´tre at the age of 14, where he discovered his passion for pastry making.
This luxury doghouse was created in 2007 for a sales event at a department store in Tokyo and designed in collaboration with a maker of high-end pet goods. It’s worth3.9 million yen (32,000 dollars).
The most expensive doghouse in the world, large enough for a Chihuahua or terrier, is decorated with 7,600 crystal beads and has a pillow in the shape of Hello Kitty’s face.
“There’s been a boom in luxury couches for larger dogs, so we thought there might be room for something new,” said a Sanrio (the company behind Hello Kitty) spokesman.
Mercer has just released its top 50 most expensive cities in the world based on cost of living.
Mercer’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2008 is used to help multinational companies and governments determine living costs for their expatriate employees, who usually demand a relatively high quality of life.
Mercerâ€™s survey covers 253 cities across six continents and measured the relative cost of over 200 items in each place, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.
Takei-Nabeshima-Architects (TNA) designed a country retreat in the town of Karuizawa outside Tokyo, Japan, wrapped in rings of glass and wood and has an uninterrupted 360 degree view of the forest.
TNA designed rings around the facade so that areas of private spaces and utilities could be met. The height of each ring was decided by the function concealed behind it.
The glass between the rings allow you to look straight into the forest, so the whole house appears to dissolve into the forest.
Built on Owners’ Hill, a resort in the Karuizawa forest near Tokyo, Ring House occupies one of the hundred or so plots set aside for city dwellers to build weekend retreats.
This diamond studded platinum handbag was on display recently in Tokyo by jewelry maker Ginza Tanaka.
Valued at $1.63 million dollars, this bag is shaped out of pure platinum and boasts 2,182 diamonds totaling 208 carats – Via lifeontop
Highly visible, more than a thousand Swarovski boutiques and concessions are located in all major fashion capitals around the world. Now, Swarovski opened a new flagship store in Tokyoâ€™s renowned Ginza district on Saturday, March 29, 2008.
It will showcase the entire Daniel Swarovski Couture Line and the jewellery and accessories from the Swarovski fashion collection.
Three exclusive Ginza limited edition pieces will be available at this particular flagship store: the Black Elvis Pendant, the Signature Necklace and the Signature Power Evening Bag.
Modelled on the flagship store, all of the other Swarovski boutiques will be refurbished from 2008 according to the new architectural concept. These new design concepts have resulted from the collaboration between Swarovski and the famous Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka.
Inside the Ginza boutique the â€œCrystal Forestâ€ comes to life. All of the walls are textured with reflective white relief prisms of various lengths. These faceted, multi-layered elements create visual depth and exude an internal rhythm. For this one-of-a-kind boutique, named Swarovski Ginza, the conventions of design are challenged by bringing the â€œinside to the outsideâ€. An experience to embrace when in Tokyo!