Tokyo

Spring 2017 by geraldine kane

A walk along Kanda river in the university town of Waseda, Tokyo...

You can see 早稲田さくらまつり written on the paper lanterns, meaning Waseda cherry blossom festival. It was a sunny breezy day and the trees and lanterns kept swaying in the wind, making it difficult to get a focused shot. The results, however, manage to capture the hazy, dreamy atmosphere of the cherry blossom clouds. 

🌸 G


 

Colour and Texture, Tokyo by geraldine kane

Tokyo is a city full of lines and textures, an unrelenting patchwork of pastels and chromatic greys. I often wonder if it's because of the boom time in the 80s that there are so many beautifully faded colours here. I can imagine these buildings were much more vibrant when Japan was in its economic bubble. Perhaps the strong winter sun has dampened their vibrancy over the years. Or maybe it's the frequency of earthquakes that dictates the materials used in construction and therefore the colour choices available. There isn't much red brick here, and the shapes and details are very different to Ireland and other European cities.These funny little low-rise greyish boxes are very distinct to Tokyo and other cities in Japan.

The streets and buildings are kept incredibly clean and are well-maintained, but there is a real retro feel in Tokyo once you get away from the modern glass of places like central Shinjuku, Marunouchi and Omotesando with their purpose-built office buildings, designer shops and high-end restaurants.

I wandered around the edges of Shinjuku yesterday, visiting small quiet neighbourhoods within walking distance of the neon and noise you expect to find in a major city. I had intended to go to the park in central Shinjuku but found it was too crowded to go in. Shinjuku Gyoen is usually a peaceful, sparsely-populated space but we are almost at 満開 'mankai' (full bloom) in Tokyo and everyone is hoping to sit, eat and drink with friends under the cherry blossoms - a lovely way to spend a Sunday.

Instead of photographing the blossoms in the packed park, I decided to walk around for a bit and capture the pastel tones of this strangely beautiful city. I've cropped a lot of the images as I wanted to really highlight the layers and textures of a city of 13.62 million people :) There is little outside space and gardens are really a rarity. Windows are often tiny or covered to provide privacy. It's likely that you'll look out of your apartment window and be facing a wall 30cm in front of you. Yet it's the sense of calm, the general safety, and the orderly and respectful interactions of its citizens that makes living in such a densely populated city not only possible, but very pleasant - especially on a clear sunny day like this.

またね

G


 

Pin Cushion Ring by geraldine kane

I made this for my sister's birthday (H) a few weeks ago...

She likes to sew and makes beautiful things. So I thought she should have something special to help her make beautiful things.

It was difficult to stitch such a tiny cushion using the thick kimono fabric, but after several attempts I managed to get a reasonably neat finish. 

The sides are a matt finish and the base has a high polished finish, just to add a bit of texture to such simple lines.

I wonder will she wear it...
 

Gold vermeil ring [18ct gold plated silver]
Kimono fabric cushion

Thank you

G


Modern Sparkle by geraldine kane

Solid 18ct yellow gold Fionn Mini Gem that sparkles as you move

G


Stor, A New Irish Design Shop in Tokyo by geraldine kane

There's been a lot happening here in Tokyo recently. I've been working with a good friend, Mizue, who has decided to open a design shop in Daikanyama that showcases contemporary  Irish design.

The idea began slowly, a long time ago. We had been discussing, on and off, Mizue's desire for a new challenge and a new career. Originally a graphic designer, she hoped for something creative but with a different pace of working.

After exhibiting at Showcase 2015 with ISLE, I showed her photos of the interesting and beautiful products I saw there. Instantly she said 'I'll open an Irish Design shop' - and she did.

www.stor-daikanyama.com
@stor_daikanyama [Instagram + Twitter]

Thank you,

G


Sakura, Sakura by geraldine kane

Yes, it's cherry blossom time! Every year I forget just how beautiful they are. The only problem is that the blooms don't hang around long. I managed to snap these on my way to the supermarket.

Enjoy!

G


big buddha day trip by geraldine kane

Recently, ISLE's lovely mum and dad visited Tokyo for a couple of weeks. After plenty of pottering around town soaking up the buzz, we decided to get out of the city and head to Kamakura, a beautiful coastal town about an hour from Tokyo. Apart from lots of stylish little shops and cafes, Kamakura's biggest attraction is the Big Buddha! It stands (sits) serenely at almost 44ft tall, overlooking the teeming tourists posing for photographs.

We were lucky to have a beautifully crisp sunny day for our trip- perfect light for taking photos and annoying the others by constantly stopping to photograph something else :)

 Hot off the press custard-filled Buddhas 

Hot off the press custard-filled Buddhas 

 Hello!

Hello!

After all the sightseeing, photographing, eating and drinking, we watched the sun set from Kamakura beach. As the light faded, we began our journey back to city-life and turned our attention to the important issue of Saturday night food and drinks with friends.

Not a bad little trip out of town, eh?

G


Keita Maruyama by geraldine kane

Last week a very lovely woman kindly gave me a couple of tickets to see an exhibition of Keita Maruyama's work at Omotesando Hills. Omotesando is a pretty swanky shopping area in Western Tokyo, close to Harajuku, where there's a whole lotta edge and style marching up and down the streets. Here are a few snaps of the area outside of the exhibition to set the scene...

Inside the exhibition, I wasn't really allowed to take many photos but I managed to get a taster of the floral fiesta of Maruyama's designs. The mix of patterns and colours made a fun and energetic show. Although some of the clothes weren't quite to my taste, I really loved the eclectic floral vibes that were especially relevant for me as I develop my own floral collection. There was a lot to take inspiration from but I think I'll draw the line at pompoms on stalks for accessories :) 

Catch ya later,

G