Monday, 30 December 2013

The Unique Way of Celebrating New Year and Christmas in Japan

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As whole world is gearing up to celebrate Christmas and New Year, how could Japanese stay away from the most anticipated time of year? Japanese people are known for their big heart and the way they celebrate various festivals.

New Year is one of the significant holidays of the year in Japan and the celebration is nothing less than the champagne-popping celebration in Western countries. On this day, most Japanese people, staying away from their homes for work, return to their hometowns and share special meal with their family members. The tradition of sending greeting cards and wishing for health and happiness of the loved ones holds stark similarity with the traditional Christmas celebration in Western countries.

On the other hand, Christmas is not a national holiday in this country, as Christians make up only 2 percent of the popular. However, it does not deter Japanese people from having fun on the Christmas Day.

The holiday songs and decorations are a lot like Christmas season in Canada, though the celebration is unlike the West. Typically, friends and family celebrate and exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, as the day is considered very romantic for couples, a lot like Valentine’s Day.

Soba Noodles on New Year Eve

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There is a tradition of eating a special soba, buckwheat noodle, dish, known as toshikoshi soba. The word toshikoshi means ending of the old year and beginning of the new one, whereas the long soba noodles signify long life in the coming year. One can eat soba noodles either hot or cold on the normal days but on the New Year, people eat the dish typically in a warm broth.

Christmas Cake is Different

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Christmas is an important part of Christmas Eve tradition. While the entire world eats fruit-filled loaf, Japanese prefer to eat a vanilla sponge cake with whipped cream or ice topping. The Japan’s version of Christmas cake looks a lot like a birthday cake, except that it is generally decorated with little Santa Clauses or greetings for holidays.

Mochi Flowers are used for Decorations

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The mochibana are popular decoration during the New Year in Japan. It is made as substitute because flowers naturally do not grow in the snowy, cold regions in the winter months. Mochibana brings a little beauty of spring during the dreary winter of Japan.

Parties are About Forgetting

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Most Japanese companies hold bonenkai parties that means forget the year party. At least one bonekai is hold for the employers in the December month. This is similar to the Christmas parties in the West. During this time, co-workers indulge in heavy drinking and forget their problems, relax their usual formalities and hope for a successful year ahead.

So, when it comes to celebrating the holiday season, Japanese lifestyle and culture can be said as similar to the West.

Monday, 23 December 2013

The Lives Japanese People Lead

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Japan is a country that is usually associated with culture, heritage, history and tradition. However, Japan is way beyond that. Japan is not just associated with the past but it is also an extremely advanced and modernised country. As we all know, Japan is the tech capital of the world but along with keeping up with modernity, the people of Japan are very well rooted in their customs and traditions.

The People of Japan

Japanese culture speaks volumes about the kind of people that live in the country and the lifestyle they follow. The people in Japan still follow a few important customs, especially during festivals. As the New Year celebrations are drawing close, you will find how the Japanese follow age old customs to celebrate it. Before the New Year begins, they clean their homes as they believe Gods will enter to bless them. As they step into the new year, they do not utter any bad words or recall any unlucky events as they believe that it might impact the new year negatively. They eat lucky food like, prawn and red snapper; they wear new underwear and use a new towel on that day as they hope for a new beginning. This is just an example of a few traditions they follow.

Their Habits and Lives

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When it comes to food, the Japanese believe in eating healthy food and they mostly eat a lot of seafood, juice, and herbal or organic tea. If you take a look at Japanese fashion, you will see how modern it is. If you believe that it is restricted only to kimonos, then you are highly mistaken. People in Japan are extremely fashion conscious and religiously follow trends that are current in the fashion capitals of the world. They are also ‘brand conscious’ and love shopping. However, the people of Japan don’t just shop at boutiques and they also shop at small shops in the shopping districts of Japan.

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Japan is a picturesque country and the people of Japan love to indulge in short weekend getaways. They go to bathe in Onsens or hot water springs and stay at comfortable ryokans (bed and breakfast). They basically like to mix work and pleasure to balance their lives. If you want to visit Japan anytime soon, then you can read up blogs about Japanese lifestyle, people and culture, so as to learn more about the country. This will help you adjust well once to reach Japan.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Japanese Fashion Blogs: Filling you in on Latest Trends

People in Japan are extremely fashion conscious. People from all walks of life are never seen ‘under-dressed’. Whether it’s a teenager or an office goer, everyone walking the streets of Japan is dressed for the occasion. The people of Japan seem to have an innate sense of style. Japanese denizens follow current trends of the fashion capitals of the world including Paris, Milan and New York. The trends in Japan change every season. Here are a few of the fashion trends that are doing the rounds in Japan presently.


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If you go by pattern, then the houndstooth print is extremely ‘in’ this season. It can be incorporated in any piece of garment, be it the jacket, top or pants, the print adds a certain zing to the entire ensemble. It can be sported in casual wear, you can also wear the print while you’re going clubbing and a houndstooth printed jacket will look fabulous when paired with semi-formals.

Colours this Season

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One of the best colours in this season is definitely navy. This colour can be sported very well in winter this year as it has the seriousness winter requires yet adds a dash of brightness that will turn the dull season around. The usual colours black and grey can never really go out of style as they are winter staples. Other colours that are ruling the fashion scene this season are emerald green and red. These two colours are bold and add a sense of vibrancy to winter.

Tartan Print

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Another pattern that is very ‘in’ this season is the tartan print. The print that has its roots in Scotland is not just ruling the streets in Japan, but has the whole world at its mercy. From coats, to caps to jackets to bags to blouses, everything has been touched by this print.

Short Blouson

For all the tomboys and women who like sporting a boyish style, the short blouson is here to save the day. Though made of a light material, the blouson is perfect when it comes to layering in winter.

Big Silhouette Jackets

This fashion trend has not died and continues its run this season as well. These big and slightly mannish jackets are still very popular with the crowd. This too is very good for layering in winter.

Japanese fashion trends are hard to keep up with because they aren’t widespread but if you do want to keep track of the trends read a blog about Japanese fashion. These blogs are written by citizens of Japan or people from the ‘in circle’ of the fashion world, therefore, they will have authentic information.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Gilt Helping Promote Ohne Titel

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People in Japan are extremely fashion conscious. You will seldom find a citizen not dressed in dapper clothes. The citizens of Japan, whether they are teenagers or office goers, are always dressed in their best and follow current fashion trends. They follow trends that are a rage in fashion capitals of the world like Paris, Milan and New York. However, the Japanese do not ape the west; they add a twist to the designs making them look a little different yet stylish.

Lately, the Japanese subsidiary of the Gilt Group, played host to a preview of the spring collection 2014 of Ohne Titel on Thursday in Tokyo. Designers Alexa Adams and Flora Gill were invited to a private club to mix with the local fashion press. The club was on floor number 51 of the Roppongi Hills complex. This event was to start off one of the initiatives of Gilt Japan.

The Gilt Japan Initiative

The web based retailers will soon open, for three days, a pop-up store in a stylish Montauk cafe which is located in Omotesando Avenue. This pop-up store will showcase a variety of international brands. Shoppers can go through the clothes in the shop and if they want to buy any, they can simply purchase it on the Japanese site of Gilt. Styles are mostly likely to sell out and therefore new collections will be showcased each day. Only the brand Ohne Titel will be on exhibit on all three days. Ohne Titel will most certainly get a lot of exposure in the Japanese market through this pop-up store as the distribution in Japan is still very low. The brand is only available in two of Tokyo’s departmental stores.

“Everything in the pop-up shop is curated international brands, so we really wanted to bring one of our favorite designers to really showcase not only their product but also just sort of be that American representative. [Gilt is] not only about one specific brand, it's about the mix of the different brands, but we really wanted to showcase their spring collection. It hasn't really made its way into Japan much yet, and I think it's so perfect for this market.”

- Joanna Dubin, chief executive and representative director of Gilt Japan


Adams and Gill truly hope that Japanese consumers will like the uniqueness and versatility of the brand. This initiative will bring the brand in to focus and make it readily available to the Japanese market.