Bond Girl

Living in Japan makes me reflect a lot about beauty. What is praised, desirable and attractive.

It also makes me question the young forever icon gurl that sells so well, specially among adult men, in North East Asia. Simply because I'm from Spain, I suppose. Where beauty is a grown up woman, with the strength of a dragon - as our Bond Gurl Severeine, put it herself - who kills without even having to touch you.

So we watched Skyfall. I saw her. On that backless lace dress. Smokey eyes. Wine lips. Piercing gaze. She crystallizes what (I feel) is understood as true beauty, for most of the Spanish I know. 

Having said so, I don't think it's her steel cut jaw, her curves or her dark eyes. The magnetism is on the self-confidence that reads on every gesture, move & smile. Something that surgery cannot copy, something that time will neither tear down.

How do your beauty icons look like? Is it Sophia Loren, Audrey or more of a blonde bomb style? 
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Marie : My lovely blast from the past.

My good old friend from Stockholm, Marie happened to be in town. Long legs, red hair and that witty smile shining brighter than the first time we met. Life turns up and down, so now looks like a promising time for our rising H&M Star.

So we went to a concert on Friday, joined the backstage & R2 till the wee hours. On Saturday, with the coldest weather and worst hangover EVER, we walked around Shibuya, went shopping & reminded the good old days along the water of Södermalm. It's nice to be with someone who fully understands your priorities, concerns & background. Where you came from and where you are heading.

I miss people like Stina, like her, like that. Young women, not afraid to openly show that having a career does not compromise being feminine, fashionable or in love. Girls who are willing to walk 3 steps in front of a man and shit in make up, if they happen not to feel for that. Like Blanca or Yvan. It's not about being woman or man, just a person who dares to break the stereotype. 

There is no such thing as "engineers don't look like X". We are all humans. We are complex entities, a mixture of talent and needs for creative, analytical & physical stuff.

Japan should get over that crap, for good.

Guess I'm gonna have to write a tablet with my wish or I may end up drinking one of these barrels, every night, in despair.

Anyhow, thanks for your sweet visit. We enjoyed it, very much.

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Seoul : Noryangjin Fish Market

Noryangjin Fish Market está lejos del resto de Seoul. Sin embargo, merece la pena acercarte hasta allí para contemplar el impresionante espectáculo de una lonja de agua dulce [MAP]

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Japanese Scandinavia : Enföld

Supongo que todavía me queda un regusto a los maravillosos diseñadores suecos que tanto adoraba en aquellos maravillosos años en Estocolmo. Puede que esa sea la razón por la que me sienta atraída a esta tienda de Harajuku. En la cual no abundan las lolitas, sino los cortes estructurados, minimalistas pero de patronaje arquitectónico.

Si algo queda claro al leer la web, es que la marca es 100% japonesa - por su dominio del inglés especial.

Worldview derived from an original perspective that fuses Japonesque mystique with various other cultures

Sensitivities muted in the harmony of stylish, bold colors
Virtues of deliberately concealing the body’s contour
Calculated, minimal, structured forms
Dignified manners and inner passion
The clothes not for dress up for anyone, but for the best luxurious feeling of yourself

El caso es que me hacían falta unos zapatos formales, ahora que parece que voy a ir a más meetings con clientes y me decidí por estos. Son planos, algo más escotados de lo corriente, como si de un pigalle plano se tratara. No son una ganga, pero comparando los precios de ZARA (3 veces lo que cuesta en España) y la calidad, tienen un precio razonable.

Están deseando salir a pasear por la ciudad.

Podéis encontrar ENFÖLD en la tienda online y en la boutique de Harajuku [MAP] 
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Tokyo Fine Dining : Two Rooms, Aoyama.

My friend Natsuki introduced me to Two Rooms. Since then, it's one of those places I always look forward to. Maybe the cool interior, the convenient location - near home and my hairdresser - or the lovely waiters that make the magic. Either to hang out at the bar, enjoy a lovely dinner or just to sit down and relax, watching the sunset over the Tokyo heights.

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Hokkaido : Hatsune Miku

Hoy os presentamos a Hatsune Miku, en todo su esplendor.

Que convertida en chibi y con un abrigo bien gordo se convierte en Snow Miku, la adorable mascota del Yuki Matsuri.

Este personaje podría parecer una entre muchas otras chibis cabezonas que tanto nos gustan. Sin embargo, la historia de Hatsune Miku va más allá, tocando la fibra de todo lo que siempre imaginamos acerca de la parte futurista de la cultura Japonesa.

Hatsune Miku (初音ミク) es un avatar digital. Descrita como una aplicación sintetizadora de voz con personalidad femenina viene a ser una especie de holograma que usa el Vocaloid SW producido por Yamaha para cantar. Crypton Future Media tuvo la genial idea… Hasta el momento, es un crack.

Llena conciertos, baila como nadie, no envejece ni se pilla borracheras que los paparazzi terminan por capturar.

Qué os parece? Supera a las llamas de Beyoncé en la NFL?
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Hokkaido : Yuki Matsuri

Welcome to Sapporo's Snow Festival!! Every year, the first week of February, the northern capital of Hokkaido gets all dressed up and brings art to the main street called Odori.

Mono no aware (物の哀れ), literally "the pathos of things", also translated as"a sensitivity to ephemera", is a Japanese term used to describe the awareness of impermanence (無常 mujō), or the transience of things, and a gentle sadness (or wistfulness) at their passing. In Japan, Cherry Blossoms symbolise clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse and because of the blossom’s short life span, an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life which is embodied in the concept of ‘mono no aware’.

I believe that Japanese are particularly charmed by ephemeral things. Their architecture is based on wood, so it's somewhat ephemeral, resilient to time and the fury of Nature. If it's burnt down, you can build it back again. The society of the eternal youth, the ritual of wrapping, the fireworks and the mannered geishas. It's not that your inner honne (本音) doesn't count, just that the temae (手前) or appeareance towards others is relevant - specially in formal settings.

This is just my reading, I may well be wrong. But the yuki matsuri appears to me as a winter version of the sakura viewing. So let us walk you through such chilly beauty, the day before it was destroyed by Komatsu Cranes - as a security measure.

February 11th is the National Day of Japan. Hence, lots of families went together to enjoy the rare event of a National Holiday among the cute snow structures.

Anpanman, we've talked about him, right? He's the single most famous character in Japan. His head is a bread filled with red bean paste and gets swapped every single day. Who wouldn't like a superhero whose head is an edible yummy bun?

Totoro, the most successful figure created by Ghibli Studios.

Now we start talking, here come the big buildings!

And the puppets - as usual.

Fun to see that the Thai Embassy recreation is being swipped - same brushes as in Koh Tao!

My favorite, The ICE Palace <3 p="">

Well… Japanese people are nothing without their tabearuki (食べ歩き) or walking munchies.

The group! Japanese-Spanish-Swedish carrying a salmon and two mini-santas… Sounds like a joke.

Super famous pop group - have no idea what their name is - with a bunch of fans jumping like crazy. NOTE : It's a TEENAGE GIRL BAND, but most fans are ADULT MEN O_O

Fantasy figures around a temple from Horiguchi-san hometown. That horse was gorgeous, though ruined by the lottery event.

Audi, was also there.

More ice, which is what I really like.

As the night falls in, the figures awake on a different look. Somewhat crispier, if I may say so.

The ways of 食べ歩き are inexorable.

Hokkaido, home of the best seafood in Japan.

Thai Embassy, at night.

Anyone know him? Pi… Ka… Chu!

Here we are, where we started. Time for exploring the area of guest countries and amateur figures.





Cute chibi couple.


Salaryman's stomach ulcer - KEEP THE ART FLOWING!

The worst enemy of Anpanman.
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Hokkaido : Best Seafood in Japan

While you are planning for visiting the Yuki Matsuri in Sapporo, all your Japanese friends talk wonders about the tabearuki 食べ歩き or stuff which you eat while your walking. There are too many chances to get something to munch while watching the shows & snow statues.

Street-food is often great, probably much better than everything else you can find in most restaurants of the surrounding area. It's cheap, freshly fished and prepared with love and little add-on. Crab, scallops, lamb, milk. You name it, they got it.

However, there is a single issue with the outdoor dining. This is February, near the Polar Circle.

Trust me, after a day walking at -10C you feel for anything involving a heated indoor setting. Andreas' Birthday was also our last day in the North. So we had to leave, through the major door (as we say in Spain).

Here's our recommendation : Go fresh, save a bit and get the best of the Earth and the Sea.

Sashimi (sea urchin,abalone, scallops, tuna, toro & other white fishes)

Hairy Crab (nearly 70€) is better shared and enjoyed sparingly, as caviar of the Northern Sea. If your father is not from Galicia (like mine) you may not know this but PLEASE EAT THE HEAD! IT'S THE BEST OF IT ALL!

Excellent Scallops, with also excellent Japanese mushrooms.

Fruit + sparklers = Happy Birthday!
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Hokkaido : Sapporo Ice Statues

Todo empezó en 1950, cuando 6 estudiantes de instituto se pusieron a construir estatuas de nieve, una cada uno, en la avenida Odori. Cinco años después, se les unieron las fuerzas armadas que tienen su base muy cerca, construyendo las primeras estatuas gigantes… Por las que el Festival de la Nieve Yuki Matsuri es un evento tan famoso hoy en día.

Sapporo, es la capital de Hokkaido (sí, la isla al norte de Honshu, que es la más grande de Japón) una prefectura que vive de la agricultura en verano, las vacas y el invierno más blanco que atrae a los tableros del mundo - there is no powder like that.

Entrada a susukino

Las estatuas de nieve, se encuentran a lo largo de la avenida principal Odori y las de hielo en Susukino que es un hoy una zona comercial, herencia del barrio rojo que se creó hace unos 100 años para mantener a los trabajadores en la ciudad. Sapporo, en 1857 tenía 7 habitantes. Hoy, son cerca de 2 millones. Así que la ciudad es nueva, trazada al estilo americano, navegable y penetrada por una red de túneles subterráneos que facilitan la convivencia con este frío sueco.

Tengo entendido que en España, lo sacaron en las noticias. Aquí os dejamos un poco del evento, desde nuestro punto de vista :)

El Fénix.

Tan bonito como cruel con los pobres pescados. Display patrocinado por Sushi Zanmai - sí el del hombre ese que paga millonadas por atunes.

La Grulla

El Puma.

Ahora vienen los patrocinados por múltiples licorerías.

Cerveza Local - la Sapporo Ichiban allí es como La Zaragozana para nosotros.

For relaxing times… Suntory Time.



Todavía es Navidad.

Restaurán Iglú.

Unos peces más… Y a otra cosa.
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