In the past years I’ve been down on Tokyo sakura viewing. I mean when you can have a gorgeous castles in the background, see sakura on a mountaintop viewing regular sakura seems a bit boring? My mind really changed about how pretty Tokyo sakura viewing can be last year. One of my favorite spots was Nakameguro (中目黒). Nakameguro is famous as a destination for sakura because of its beautiful Meguro river that flows through it. The sakura drip over and its truly a gorgeous sight.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The quintessential Nakameguro Sakura View (TM) and people free!

 

Nakameguro is a sought out place to live in Tokyo because of its hip but laid back vibe. It’s right next to fancy Daikanyama but not as expensive, so a lot of younger people live in the area.

Reasons I like Nakameguro Sakura:

Because it’s a river walkway you may be put off by the concrete of it all and lack of proper Tokyo sakura hanami viewing space, but these two things put off people so it’s much less crowded than places like Ueno Park, Yoyogi Park and Inokashira Park that get tons of drunk rowdy people. And it serves alcohol and lots of places to eat unlike Shinjuku Park. It’s also free unlike Shinjuku Park. If you can get a bench along the river it’s easy to spend several hours gazing and chatting.

 

nakameguro-sakura-views-tokyo

Sakura suits the river so well. I do think the Tottori river sakura are more beautiful but for central Tokyo sakura these are hard to beat. I headed out with Nicola and Linda.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

During a weekday the crowds are manageable and we were able to snag seats.

nakameguro-sakura-tokyo-street-meguro-riber

The sakura do really cover all of Meguro river. Because of the shade and temperature differences theres a wide range when you can see sakura on just this one walkway.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When we finally got seats this was our view. Pretty special right? The river really makes the crowds feel not so crowded. You can see one of the food trucks parked across the river. There were lots of tasty food options.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

nakameguro-strawberry-champagne-sakura-season

The strawberry champagne was a big seller.

nakameguro-tokyo-sakura-pink-champagne

We also got a bottle of pink sparkling wine to celebrate the season. Instagram worthy!

nakameguro-tokyo-sakura-dog

Bonus! This super cute poodle we saw while enjoying an impromptu hanami.

 

Visiting Nakameguro for Sakura viewing:

Sakura season is finicky but even with buds or falling off the Nakameguro Matsuri is lovely to see. They do a light up as well for those seeking out a sakura light-up. It’s also an easy walk if you just want to put in an hour to view but not the whole day.

Nakameguro Station is a small station that can get super crowded during sakura season it’s on Tokyo Metro Hibiya and Tokyu Toyoko lines easily accessible through Shibuya. If you’re going at night or during the weekends I suggest getting off at Daikanyama Station of the Tokyu Toyoko Line (8 minute walk) or Ebisu Station on the Yamanote Line (14 minute walk) and walking to Nakameguro both of which are nice walks. Daikanyama has tons of cafes and cute food options in case Nakameguro gets too busy.

 

 

My first Sakura post of the year! I have more planned. I really got to enjoy sakura last year and I unfortunately can’t visit this year so hopefully posts on the blog turning pink will cheer up.  :hearts3:

 

follow the Doll on bloglovin | Universal-Doll facebook | Mitsu on twitter “miss_mitsu” | metoomitsu on instagram  | metoomitsu tumblr – join/add/follow? :bow:

After my Rady Shinjuku Lumine shop staff theft post I promised I’d post about the Rady Tokyu Plaza ladies. The Tokyu Plaza girls have lived under the shadow of the more popular Lumine EST store but with that store gone the Tokyu Plaza one in Omotensado is bound to be booming with business.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Two fabulous casual Rady styles. Love how a jeweled tunic and jeans just looks so Onee casual with a comfortable pair of heels and the right make-up and hair.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Both short haired! I love short-haired Oneegyaru. They still really look lovely and put together and show how it’s not just long-hair that makes lovely Onee hair.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The store is centered around a jeweled diamond. It’s really big and pretty.

Sorry to block out the shop staff’s face. She was caught off guard and looked a bit severe so I didn’t want to show a bad pic of such a pretty lady.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The girl on the left’s wonderful make-up and delicate accessories.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love how her lipstick matches the Rady logo. And somehow works with such a cool-toned outfit. Looks very summery!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Even super cute from the side. Such lovely hair with volume Onee curls.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The girl on the right’s nails were spectacular. Perfect Rady style without using the traditional prints. I really want to recreate those Swarovski hearts sometime.

tokyuplazaharajuku-rady

This is a photo of the store I took when it first opened in 2013. The style was much more neon back then. The whole look seems to have softened. The store is still beautifully white and sparkly and gorgeous, however.

The Rady Staff Blog constantly updates if you need more Rady.

Rady Spring picks

Rady has been putting out their Spring collection on-line (http://rady.jp/) and have been selling out as quickly as they stock it. Even with the scandal of earlier this year the brand doesn’t seem to be slowing down. I don’t know how Onee I put myself as. I guess I consider my style more vintage-cute-lady, but this Spring’s collection has gotten me wanting so much.

rady-spring-picks-1

Left: the peach tone looks so nice for summer without being another pink item in the overloaded pink of Onee styles (lavender, blue and yellow also popular this season). And I like how this piece gets away from the trend of just a jeweled neckline.

Right: I love a onesie that is loose on the top and does a nice flare out with shorts really leg flattering.

rady-spring-picks-2

Two really body flattering prints.

Left: Set-up that focuses the light upward and towards the face and makes the bust look bigger. It also does an arm flare so the shirt doesn’t make the arms look bigger and allows for more air flow during the horrible summer months.

Right: A long narrow front makes the body look slimmer.

Rady is not only killing it with their original prints but how body flattering they are. I was going through their webstore again and found example after example of how they really thought of a woman’s figure. Like how the flared sleeves conceal a smaller breast shape, or how this higher waisted dress flares just enough to be belly flattering.

Mini side rant but I see a lot of brands just slap prints down or do a cut on a dress and it doesn’t seem it corresponds to how the feminine shape is at any body type. I really love that Rady (also Datura) are thinking about the shape of the woman and how to flatter it best.

I will definitely be taking more photos of Rady staff this Spring because I’ll be shopping there a lot.

In case you missed it: Previous Rady posts including more Shop staff snaps | Over 100 shop staff snaps across Japan

 follow the Doll on bloglovin | Universal-Doll facebook | Mitsu on twitter “miss_mitsu” | mewmitsu on instagram | inspired-doll tumblr – join/add/follow? :bow:

I went to an owl and hawk cafe in Tokyo called Hawkeye (facebook) or Taka no Me (鷹乃目). My friend Stella (who owns cutey Frances) asked me to go but I was busy the day she went and didn’t feel to enthused going to an owl cafe. I mean it’s original, right? But seemed expensive and stinky. It was the stinky part mainly that shied me away. I’ve gone to 5 different cat cafes in Tokyo and the odor ranges from nothing to cat lady house to hoarder.

But then I saw her pictures and how everyone had the best time so I blocked out some time to go.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So many owl cuties, so much derp.

It turns out Hawkeye was neither stinky nor expensive. It was probably the best 1,000 yen ($10) I’ve spent in Japan in ages. Anyone who I find out is going to Tokyo I tell them to go to Hawkeye. I even recommended it to my vet (who was going).

Hawkeye Cafe is located close to Asakusa Shrine and Tokyo Sky Tree. It’s within walking distance from Sky Tree.

A little Hawkeye Cafe background

It’s in a more residental quiet area and it’s run by Mr. Kawashima (jp interview here) who comes off as an ex-salaryman who quit and decided to follow his dream. He loves hawks and owls and will talk to you for as long as you want about them. You’ve just come into his land of dreams. He actually decided to open up the cafe because he loved parahawking. Parahawking combines training hawks to fly with you as you paraglide.

I didn’t even know such a cool thing was a thing.

10170725_385135661629516_248543145_n

From the Hawkeye website. Taking his owls for a day trip near Mt. Fuji to watch other parahawkers.

Inside the Owl and Hawk Cafe

hawkeye-cafe-owl-view

Hawkeye Cafe is an actual cafe so once you enter you’re greeted by a super friendly hostess and a bar with stools for coffee or tea. The bar is quite different because it faces owls. Your 1,000 yen price comes with a drink which you can choose to take either before or after.

The cafe has only a few rules: no flash photography because it upsets the birds, no food or drink inside the owl & hawk area and wait for instructions on who to pet. That’s it.

Of course I said I’ll have my drink later, I’m seeing some owls!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It looks like a painting, right? They’re actually alive and in front of you.

The reason I mentioned Mr. Kawashima earlier is he loves to tell all his stories and they are good stories about the owls.

On the left is Lady Gaga a barn owl. Lady Gaga is the only owl that gets free reign anytime customers are in because she loves the owl on the right. On the right is Ta-chan who is a large Eagle Owl. He’s gigantic in person and when you enter your eyes are drawn to him. The rest of the owls fear and hate Ta-chan because he’s so big. When the owner brings him near the smaller owls they squawk and puff up as big as they can (which is hilarious and the owls calm down immediately). But Lady Gaga loves him and Ta-chan doesn’t mind Lady Gaga. Awwww owl slash.

owls-holding-hawkeye

I’m holding an owl!

Once you break the feeling of shock of being surrounded by tons of owls who look almost fake because they’re so fluffy and puffy and and giant eyed, you can hold them the small guys. Or they can hold onto you. Depending how comfortable you are with them Mr. Kawashima will just keep putting owls on you.

It’s a shock holding them because they’re calm and sweet and they weigh absolutely nothing. I know your brain works out that of course for something to fly it needs to be light but actually holding them it’s like soft fluffy air.  And they like being stroked on their back. So you can hold and pet all you want.

but then there’s the Hawks.

cassie-hawk-holding

My friend Cassie and her great picture of the hawk.

You get a falconry glove. You’re holding a hawk.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHawk town. I’m in it.

Man hawks are cool and I learned so much.

That beak looks menacing but it can’t do much. They only catch prey with their feet. Mr. Kawashima was trying to train one of the hawks (there are four!) so he was tossing it meat and teaching it how to catch with its feet. He said hawks are like dogs while owls are more like cats. In my short time with them it felt that way.

I was quite in awe on the hawk side of the area. They’re trained to stay in the area but it’s an openish space. Hawks weighed a bit more, but it could’ve been the giant leather glove. Mr. Kawashima went glove free.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hawk side profile realness

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Back on the owl side there’s one extra fluffy owl that only ladies can pet. #patriarchydefeat

And seriously look at that flatfaced puff that is the most pettable thing ever.

owl-cafe-pets

Going in

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You’re a lady, you shall pass.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have accepted you, madam. Reminds me of Mogwai from Gremlins.

1549287_352883624854720_916225413_n

All the owls are awesome and cool, but he got little crocheted hats for the little ones to wear. Luigi owl. Goddamn Japan.

He looks like a little train conductor. If Japan can make a cat a station chief then a small town definitely needs to one-up with an owl chief.

And now owl gratuitous photos.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtokyocafe-owls

So many owl types to love.

So about the owl restroom breaks, they just go off the back of their perches onto newspaper. It’s behind you and them and not where anyone steps. They don’t poop much or often because most of them weigh a pound or so. I noticed no smell and I’m very smell picky.

The trip changed my views on two animal species and made me love both. I had lovely conversations with both Mr. Kawashima and his owl cafe hostess who was a lover of the tv show “White Collar” and the new series “Dallas”, random but… okay. Meeting people who are passionate at what they do even if you are not passionate about it, they draw you to them and make you like their passion.

I really really recommend visiting Hawkeye, you’ll have a wonderful time and have tons of memories. I’m so ready to go back!!

Directions to Hawkeye

Hawkeye Cafe address is: 1-8-9 Sumida, Tokyo 130-0002

Here’s some simple google directions from Tokyo Sky Tree or you can alternatively access it from the Oshiage station via the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line or the Asakusa Line.

 

hawkeyecafe-access tokyoskytree-to-hawkeyecafe-owls

Just a five minute walk through a residential area. Simple and easy to get to. They’re open from 1:00-9:00 on all days but Thursdays and Mondays are closed.

Ingni is a giant Japanese women’s clothing brand I haven’t talked about much except for a previous shop staff snap. Ingni is such a wildly popular clothing brand it has stores in even the smallest of Japanese towns. In big cities you can see an Ingni from another one almost. They have a giant store on the first floor of Shibuya 109 and one barely a block away on Shibuya Center-gai. I’m sure when I head back to Japan they’ll have put another 15 Ingnis in.

So after ignoring the brand here’s a little history and talk about them plus a cute shop staff snap I took from Ikebukuro Sunshine City.

Ingni info:

katakana: イング

pronounced: “in-gu”… I have no idea how gni became gu but there it is

naming reason: The name is derived from the english ending “-ing” to mean always in flux.

stores: 100+ all in Japan, over 40 in Tokyo area. Chances are if you’re in a mall, you’ll find an Ingni.

history: Ingni first started in 1982 as a wholesale company selling Kobe fashion, which was a big boom in the 80s-90s. In 1998 they started their own self-named brand Ingni which was more of a CanCam brand at the time. Now Ingni sells to all types and is featured in Popteen, Vivi, Cutie and more.

parent company: It is now owned by Mitsumaru which is the clothing arm of Tokyu, who owns Shibuya 109 along with brands Heaven and Earth.

sister brands: Ingni First, Allamanda

style: the style is trend sweet casual. It’s considered a sweet discount brand for younger women.

discount brand or trend maker?: Ingni has stayed very popular for their price point as much as their style. Usually Ingni is 1,000 yen cheaper than similar brands yet they do often have original designs and produce collections like the trend brands.

official social media

website: http://www.ingni.com/ingni/
blog: http://ameblo.jp/ingni-tokyo/
twitter: https://twitter.com/INGNI_OFFICIAL

Ingni in Ikebukuro Sunshine City

Ikebukuro Sunshine City is a meandering above and underground mall that is near the famed yaoi manga haven, Otome Road. Ingni has a large shop closer to the Tokyu Hands underground entrance from Sunshine Road and was staffed by a lovely shop staff with classic Ingni style.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Classic cute date style. She’s actually wearing the same jacket of the Okayama shop staff I took previously even though it was 6 months in between snaps.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

She’s holding up the tunic I bought. It’s really comfortable and hasn’t lost or rusted any of the gold studs on it. Very nice quality. Aren’t her denim wedges so cute? I don’t think I’d consider them for myself but she wears them so cutely that I wonder now.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Soft casual make-up. Circle lens are popular for everyone now that you can get them without a prescription.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I really liked her soft casual ponytail and daisy earrings. She’s wearing a lot of accessories but they work really well to dress up a simple outfit.

I also like how she’s doing the simple touches to make an outfit more eyecatching. The casual way the jacket sleeves are rolled up, the daisies on her shoes, the socks that match her onepiece. All these style points that help make a look.

Once their Fall collection comes out I’ll talk more about the mega popular brand that’s always goING!

Need more Ingni? Check out the other shop staff I posted

Need more Japanese Shop Staff Snaps? Over 100 all across Japan Shop Staff Snaps to view here

follow the Doll on bloglovin | Universal-Doll facebook | Mitsu on twitter “miss_mitsu” | mewmitsu on instagram | inspired-doll tumblr – join/add/follow?  :bow: