Looking at the city through the condensated window from our hotel room with rain drops trickling down its surface. Seemed like a cold and wet day ahead, again.
In the subway station and heading towards Omotesandō.
The first flagship store you would encounter is Comme des Garçons, which only opens at 11am.
Continue walking for a minute and you would see Prada.
The reality in Herzog's words: "...to see constantly changing pictures and almost cinematographic perspectives of Prada products, the city and themselves".
One of the most recognisable architecture in Omotesandō / Aoyama.
There are several Issey Miyake stores all along the same street.
Tadao Ando's La Collezione building right after the FROM1st building.
|Perspectives of Tadao Ando.
The street is a paradise for fans of Issey Miyake, begging for more pleats, please.
The Spiral building by Fumihiko Maki in Aoyama, completed 30 years ago.
Visited the Three Cosmetic building in Aoyama. An interesting case study of a lifestyle destination comprising retail, F&B and a spa. Take Exit B2 from Omotesandō station and turn into the small lane before Found Muji (http://aoyama.threecosmetics.com/).
Revive Kitchen - the restaurant café.
The retail shop that sells a whole range of Three products from skincare to hair care and make-up.
The new Apple Store in Omotesandō, right outside Exit A2.
An outstanding triple-volume store that is bright and inviting, with the thin elegant roof supported by 5-ply thick laminated glass stiffeners all around.
The elegant spiral staircase that leads down to the subterranean floor. Design, details and workmanship in the entire store were impeccable and extraordinary. Exposed joints and welds doesn't exist. A truly good design lies in its details.
|Hugo Boss by Norihiko Dan and Tod's by Toyo Ito, side by side along Omotesandō.
Louis Vuitton by Jun Aoki - an assemblage of spaces inspired by a random stacking of trunks.
The façade of Tadao Ando's Omotesando Hills building against the zelkova-lined boulevard.
Inside Omotesando Hills shopping complex.
Delicious tempura oysters for lunch.
Diagonally across the street from Tadao Ando's Omotesando Hills is Dutch architecture firm, MVRDV's Gyre Shopping Center. Do visit the MoMA Design Store on level three where many interesting products can be found.
Other than the glamorous fashion flagship stores and vibrant shopping centres along Aoyama, the other place to visit is Tokyo Midtown - a mixed-use development designed by SOM with a 5-level shopping podium. A huge Muji store is located on B1, alongside a beautiful upscale supermarket - Precce Premium. (http://www.tokyo-midtown.com/en/)
Roof gutter and discharge design.
On the top floor of PePe is a huge store called Can Do. It's a 100¥ shop, alike Daiso in Singapore, where everything is priced at only 100¥ (which is no more than S$1.20). And some of their products are way much better than Daiso's in Singapore.
Feeling lazy to wonder the streets in search of dinner, we just grabbed some onigiri from Omusubi Gonbei located at B2. Simple, delicious and delightful. (http://www.omusubi-gonbei.com/)
- Date: February 2015
- Accommodation: Prince Hotel, Shinjuku (http://www.princehotels.com/en/shinjuku/)
- The weather could feel colder than the numbers suggest due to wind and rain. It's better to be over-prepared than under-provided. Do bring along REAL winter jackets from reliable makers.
- Jackets with hoods are absolute essentials. Scarfs, neck and face warmers are very effective as well.
- Bring a good pair of gloves that are thick enough but also fit well. Better if it's a pair of touchscreen-enabled gloves since we use our smartphones so often. It can be annoying if you are planning to use your smartphone as your camera and need to remove your gloves every now and then.
- Consider bringing heat packs as well to add some warmth in your pockets.
- Cold weather is dry weather. Bring some REALLY good moisturiser with you. Those little travel-size tubes will not be enough as it's easy to underestimate the amount of moisturiser needed everyday. Bring different types if you are particular about application on different areas like body and face (remember to check-in if it exceeds 100ml).
PHOTOGRAPHY INFO & TIPS:
- Was using Nikon D5100, Nikon AFS DX 10-24mm f3.5-4.5, Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 DC, Nikon AFS 50mm f1.4, Nikon AFS VR 70-200mm f2.8, Sony HX50V, Sony Action Cam AS30V, Apple iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy Edge.
- Other than keeping your hands warm and functionable, gloves should be of perfect fit to handle and operate your camera easily. Best if they are designed for winter photography. Get touchscreen-enabled gloves if you're using cameras with touchscreen feature.
- Consider bringing cameras with bigger buttons and controls if you don't mind the bulk. I find it hard to use those tiny buttons on the D5100 with my gloves on.
- Use a lens hood. It can be useful to prevent rain water from hitting the glass directly, which can be annoying and hard to wipe dry. It rains quite often in Tokyo during winter.
- Extra batteries are critical as they deplete fast in cold weather.
- A waterproof outermost jacket with a hood could potentially eliminate the need to carry an umbrella. Imagine carrying an umbrella while trying to shoot.
- Most indoor areas are well heated during winter, which is great for us but not our lenses. If you have stayed in the warm indoors for long enough (e.g. for a meal), condensation will occur. Hence, try to keep your camera cold in the bag if you want to be able to shoot immediately.