Interiors: Flower power
Bring your gloomy flat back to
life with seasonal flowers. Carlo Niederberger digs up the best buds.
|The red parrot's dramatic color is reminiscent of
With its polluted air, frenzied schedules and cramped living spaces,
Tokyo is tough ground for cultivating and keeping flowers both indoors
and on stunted balconies and shadowed windowsills. But with hanami just
behind us and tulips decorating Omotesando, it's time to join the TMG
and get into the swing of spring. While you can usher out the chill with
a spiffy new trench coat or designer umbrella, surrounding yourself with
fragrant blossomsboth at home and in the officelifts the spirits.
You don't have to be an ikebana sensei or even have a green thumb to
keep this season's flowers at their blooming best. Shinsuke Morishige,
whose father, Yoshitaka, owns The Flower Company in Kasuga, has been pruning
and preening practical indoor plants and flowers for the past three years
and has plenty of advice for neophyte florists.
In gardening as in fashion, this season sees a number of perennial favorites
and growing trends blooming across the city, says Morishige. From city
streets to subway stations, Tokyo's tulips are already in full flourish.
Morishige recommends this hardy bulb as spring's best indoor flowerpick
a pot of your own from a range of colors and styles, including yurizaki,
yaezaki, French tulip and parrotsaki, most of which are grown in Niigata
Prefecture. Tulips should be watered as frequently as possible, but can
survive with fresh water once or twice a week, or even every 10 days,
according to Morishige.
Other low-maintenance bulbs sure to add some color to your cubicle or
chambers include daffodils, hyacinths and crocuses. But Morishige's favorites
are lily of the valley (suzuran) and Narcissus (suisen), which bloom from
January through March. The best part about these bulbs may be the way
they give backsimply dig them out at the end of the season and store
them in a dry environment until the following year, when you can replant
Should you choose to surround yourself with blooms both indoors and out,
the options just keep growing. Tokyoites have long favored such sturdy
stems as philodendrons and rubber plants. But those looking for a little
color can try the viola (pangy), a delicate flower most often found in
purple, white and pink. "These flowers look nice when aligned in
a bunch," says Morishige. Other decorative blossoms favored by the
Morishige household include hydrangea (ajisai), laurel (gekkeishu), geraniums
and maple (momiji ).
But the trend that truly seems to be taking off this year is home-grown
herbs. "These herbs are quite strong and resistant," says Morishige,
citing rosemary, basil and mint as the most popular. "Some use them
for cooking or to make herbal teas. Others take advantage of their scent
and use them for aromatherapy purposes."
Above all, Morishige says plants and flowers are meant to be enjoyed.
"We hoped to introduce a concept whereby flowers are seen not as
a glamorous accompaniment to weddings, funerals and extravagant events,
but rather as the simple, everyday decorations and gifts as they are everywhere
else in the world," says the florist, who spent many years in Europe
and the US before setting up shop in Tokyo.
Whatever your preference, Tokyo is teeming with green thumbs willing to
help. Check out the following florists to get your garden growing.
The Flower Company
From elegant, European-style flower arrangement to the conventional, solitary
blossoms, The Flower Company provides all the goods and services that
constitute a true floral haven. Bouquets, bridal flower designs, floral
products, imported gardening tools and related miscellaneous items are
all available for your every need.
3F Metro M Bldg, 1-2-3 Kasuga, Bunkyo-ku. Tel: 03-5684-0871. Nearest stn:
With over 400 square meters of floor space, U.Goto Florist hosts all kinds
of floral goods, from bushes trimmed to look like puppies, to arches made
of ivy, on top of the multitude of arrangements and seasonal flowers to
choose from. In fact, the space allows the store to host Welcome Baby,
an event featuring Anne Marie de Portu discussing table setting, with
the psychedelic grandeur in the background, until April 13.
5-1-3 Roppongi, Minato-ku, 10am-8pm weekdays and Saturdays, 10am-6pm Sundays
and holidays. Tel: 03-3408-8211. Nearest stn: Roppongi.
Hana Plenty Buying flowers is relatively expensive in Japan, but Hana
Plentyan emporium of more than 100 different kinds of seasonal
flowers at reasonable pricesoffers the chance to deck yourself
out in blooms without breaking the bank. Small plants start as low as
¥100. Flower-arrangement classes and aromatherapy sessions are provided
on the second floor. 1-16-2 Ebisu-nishi, Shibuya-ku, 11am-9pm daily. Tel:
03-5728-8701. Nearest stn: Ebisu
Zukky Herb & Flower
With an interior mimicking the flower boutiques of the Paris suburbs,
Zukky Herb & Flower only features flowers personally selected by the
owner. Keen attention is paid to the shade and texture of each species,
and everything from rare, imported flowers to plants bearing fruit is
managed by the store. Arranging the items as gifts are the specialty here.
5-18-18 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, 11am-7:30pm weekdays, 11am-6pm weekends,
holidays. Tel: 03-3209-5410. Nearest stn: Shinjuku
Established in 1966, K Florist is housed in a quaint building built entirely
by hand. Featured here is a selection of original bouquets arranged in
nine different colors. Also exclusive to this store is an original gift
selection, consisting of various artistically arranged floral patterns
designed for both men and women, as well as imaginative creations using
plants, candles and porcelain.
1-1-1 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, 10am-7pm, closed weekends. Tel: 03-3475-1186.
Nearest stn: Omotesando
Prominent in Asakusakaen's floral repertoire are the flowers in season
(sweet pea, peach, anemone and Margaret top the list for April), and flower
arrangements are available in all fragrances and shades. Many species
of conventional flowers are on sale for less than ¥500 per stem, allowing
a presentable bouquet to materialize from even a relatively shallow purse.
3-2-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, 10am-8pm, closed Sundays. Tel: 03-3875-5587.
Nearest stn: Asakusa
Photos courtesy of The Flower Company
|B u y i t o n l i n
from A to Z
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Club Boy Beau
Dr. Allen Leroy Robinson
Hair Dressers Archecal 03-0449-6106
Hayato New York 03-3498-9113
Japan Electrolysis Clinic (Ginza)
Over Studio Shiki
My Boo Nail Salon 03-5428-1121
Neal's Yard Natural Therapy Center
Roksen Bar Cosmetic 03-5658-7675
Takagi Skin Clinic
Tokyo Skin Clinic
Toni&Guy Japan 03-3797-5790
Watanabe Hair Dressing 03-3405-1188
Who Ga 03-5570-1773
Shibuya’s Zenmall (29-4 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku; 03-3770-1641), known for offering large clothing for men, is holding a two-day Early Bird Pre-Summer Sale. The sale will take place on the mornings of April 12 (Sat) and 13 (Sun) for three hours (9am-noon) each day. During these times, nearly everything will be marked 20-80 percent off. Some of the bargains include suits with a spare pair of pants for \9,800 (sizes 3-8L), and summer casual jackets for \8,000 (3-6L). Imported designer suits by makers like Calvin Klein and Boss are also marked down to \39,000 and \59,000, respectively. Those who spend over \10,000 can take part in the Cash Grabbing Contest, where shoppers can dig into a box full of cash. Spend over \30,000 for two chances to grab, and \50,000 for three. Don't miss this rare opportunity, as it could be one of the few chances for those looking to buy large sizes in Japan, especially at affordable prices.
529: Trend spotting
Trina O'Hara takes us on a tour of international furniture fairs to find
the top Japanese designers at work today.
521: Child's play
Trina O'Hara checks out the design celebrities hatching playful furniture
and accessories for kids.
517: Personal Effects
In celebration of the centennial of his birth, Trina O'Hara looks at the
life and enduring legacy of Japanese-American designer Isamu Noguchi.
513: Seeing the light
Trina O'Hara ponders the latest interior design trend and finds the answer
505: Lights of fancy
Trina O'Hara checks out the contemporary chandeliers and whimsical lighting
sculptures fast becoming fine art across the city.
501: Natural causes
493: Living rooms
Inspired by the diverse lifestyles of this teeming metropolis, design experts
Kyoko Asakura and Jaume J. Nasple-Baulenas have compiled an intriguing look
inside the city's private homes. Tama Miyake Lung talks to the authors of Tokyo
489: Living in the past
Art editor John McGee reveals three Tokyo stores that specialize in finding
the best of what's old in Japanese antiques.
485: Monochrome marvels
Black and white are back in fashion and making their mark in the interior
design scene. Martin Webb reports on how to get the look for less.
481: Cut and paste
Scrapbooking has swept America, where it's big business, and now it's catching
on in Japan. Chris Betros attends a "cropalong."
477: Moss cause
A sprinkling of moss can transform any windowsill into a miniature Zen temple.
Hanna Kite offers some tips for bringing a little tranquility home.
469: Ikebana for idiots
With a plethora of rules and schools, Ikebana can be intimidating, not to
mention time-consuming. But who says busy people have to miss out on this ancient
art form? Georgia Jacobs gives you the basics on no-fuss flower-arrangement.
466: A dyeing breed
Winning fans from New York to Tokyo, designer Akiyoshi Yaezawa is putting
a traditional stamp on modern accessories using a 17th-century hand-dyeing and
painting process. Krista Wilson reports.
457: Party of five
Matt Wilce lays out five luscious looks for New Year.
449: Thought out
Designers create spaces but they also like to inhabit them. SuperDeluxe offers
a place to drink and think for the design communityand of course their
445: Design on Tokyo
A trio of interior design events is on its way to bring style into our Tokyo
439: Setting pretty
Matt Wilce lays the table with styles for summer.
435: Tropical haven
Asian furnishings are finding their way to flats across the city
431: Wed white and blue
Treasures of traditional Japanese design, blue and white are the perfect foil
for Tokyo's sweltering summers
427: Have a ball
Who says you need tickets to catch a piece of World Cup action?
423: Collection point
Nishi-Ogikubo's 65 pre-loved furniture stores make up Tokyo's great antique
419: Flower power
Bring your gloomy flat back to life with seasonal flowers.
415: On the mend
Tokyo's fix-it men can have your furniture back in form
411: Phone home
Panasonic unveils the e-lifestyle of the near future
407: Launch Pad
Sputnik Pad lands in Jingumae
Ideé is one of Tokyos most established interiors stores
The days of sitting on the tatami floor are over
Tokyo's embraces ultra-modern design
Put feng shui to work at work
The ancient Chinese art of feng shui
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