Finnish design

This post is for Trish, Jani and Nikki.

I have discovered that Japan is a bit mad for the Moomins. A Moomin theme park will open in Tokyo in 2015 and there is Moomin merchandise in many stores. I have seen many Moomin books, cookies, sweets etc.

And while out for some retail therapy with P some weeks back – I found the perfect answer to my study blues … A Pikku My t-shirt just for me.

My in my pikku my shirt

My in my pikku My shirt

But Moomin is not the only Finnish influence we have noted in Japan. The wondrous and colourful designs of Marimekko have also found a home in Japan. On mobile phone covers, bags, key chains and numerous other places. I had not seen a Marimekko outlet, that is until this weekend. I was in Kagoshima (about two hours flight from Tokyo and one of the southern most points in the main island chain), when out to dinner in the main shopping precinct there it was – the first Marimekko I have seen in Japan. Sadly for me it was after closing time, so I was not able to indulge in any Marimekko design magic. But I still got someone to take my picture!

If only we had got there earlier

If only we had got there earlier

Oh and one final things, you know your great relaxing chair Trish. The wooden one with the fabric cushions (scandanavian/sweedish/danish design)? Well I have been tempted to buy one for us from the local homewares store. The chairs in the apartment are industrial to say the least. Comfort is not a factor they have considered in furnishing this place (nor is upkeep, actually). But only being here for 12 months stops me every time I get close. Maybe I will just have ot get myself one when I get back to Oz.


Adding some colour to the apartment

This afternoon, I rewarded myself with an afternoon for exploring after finishing my first exam for school.And what better way to spend my afternoon, than with an explore of some of the crafty stores in Shinjuku. I know that others may be more interested in exploring the streets of Shinjuku and sampling the numerous bars until they found the izakawa they could. But not me, or at least not this time around.

Today I decided to use my afternoon to search for somethings to add some colour to the apartment. You’ve all see the pictures in one of my first posts. And while the place is spacious, I think most of you would agree it is not particularly homely or inviting. So I set out to see what I could find to ‘Shellify’ the place, and I had success. Unfortunately it was not amazing Japanese art, but some colour in the shape of pretty fabric is a start.

What do you think? Now to decide just what to do with it. Front runners are: throw for the bed, cushions for the couch, or just hemmed and hung on the wall. Any other suggestions from you?

Shopping at Yuzawaya in Shinjuku

Shopping from Yuzawaya in Shinjuku



Oh and Inspired by the awesomely crafty Emma, I also bought a few balls of yarn which I am planning to crochet – into either a bag, a small rug, or cushions. Thanks to the inspiration of the November 2013 issue of Better Homes and Gardens – which I just happened to put in my bag to bring to Japan with me.

Woollen craft

If this inspiration works, maybe I’ll have to put a request in for another crafty or cooking mag from Oz.