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 BUYLINE
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.
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IN STORE ARCHIVE:
535: Anything goes
Add a little spunk to your life at Tokyo's zakka housewares shops. Hanna Kite visits five of the best.
531: To a tee
Tokyo’s hottest T-shirt shops boast designs by some of Japan’s top talents. Hanna Kite dresses down.
527: Treasure chests
Hanna Kite checks out five Tokyo jewelers that offer the perfect setting for your next shopping excursion.
523: Arts and crafts movement
Trina O’Hara goes in search of the Japanese creative spirit.
519: Bra-vo
Move over, Hello Kitty. Sexy has finally replaced cute in Tokyo's lingerie stores. Hanna Kite reports.
515: Bowled over
Trina O'Hara tracks down the latest tableware to suit any time of day.
511: East meets nest
Trina O'Hara finds that Tokyo's flea markets and shrine sales suit all types of personalities and interests.
503: The write stuff
Hanna Kite takes notes at Tokyo's finest pen and paper boutiques.
499: Blasts from the past
Tokyo trendsetters have a knack for making old fashions new again. Jennifer Au goes back in time at the city's coolest vintage clothing stores.
495: In the bag
From haute to mass-market, designer to dowdy, Tokyo has a tote to suit every taste and budget. Jennifer Au tracks down the best.
491: Paper chase
Steve Trautlein goes on a search for Tokyo's best English booksellers.
487: Happy trails
A love affair with the great outdoors is easily consummated at these Tokyo retailers. Steve Trautlein gears up.
483: Top hats
Whether it’s a rooftop barbecue, a riverside picnic or an afternoon stroll, there will be times this summer when you’ll want to keep the sun off your face. †Martin Webb hunts down Tokyo’s best headwear suppliers so you can stay shady in style.
479: Oriental express
This summer, all things Asian are hot stuff. Martin Webb finds out how to get the look without breaking the bank.
474: Haute haven
Forget Roppongi Hills’ aspirations to be the city’s cultural hub. This is the consumer capital of the world, and it’s all about shopping. Martin Webb reports.
468: New kit on the block
Backed by street-wise fashion chain store Beams, these seven new stores are upping the style quotient in Daikanyama. Martin Webb sizes up this brand new shopping experience.
463: Can buy me love
Stuck for ideas about how to make Valentine’s Day extra memorable this year? Martin Webb shops around for some great gift ideas for lucky ladies.
452: Perfect timing
For the rushed residents of our fair metropolis, keeping an eye on time is one of life's little necessities.
448: House of style
The newly open Marunouchi Building is drawing legions of eager shoppers from all over Japan
445: Present perfect
Tired of wasting your yen on last-minute gifts at duty free?
441: Toy story
Martin Webb tackles every parent's annual ennui and finds playthings that could earn you more peace and quiet than you bargained for
437: Natural selection
Seven new "select shops" are giving style seekers an excuse to keep spending
433: Window shopping
Stephen Cotterill indulges his yen and peers into the retail oasis that is Glassarea Aoyama
429: Jet, set, go!
With the holiday high season just around the corner, trendy travelers are in hot pursuit of packing accessories
425: Loud and clear
No home is complete without a sound system, and for audiophiles, time at home revolves around those little black boxes
421: Red brick revival
Once at the heart of Yokohama's bustling port industry, Akarenga Soko has a new lease of life as an exclusive entertainment and retail complex
417: Eye browse
An eyewear boom has seen new stores open and old favorites prosper
413: Sporting goodies
Shibuya sportswear
409: Go Figure
An army of action figures
405: Puff 'n' Stuff
Tokyo's best cigar shops
381
379
377
375
373
371
368
367
366
364
362
360
357
355
351
349
347
345
343
341
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336

Treasure chests

Hanna Kite checks out five Tokyo jewelers that offer the perfect setting for your next shopping excursion.

The urge to wear jewelry, it seems, is an ancient human instinct. Pick any society, and thousands of years ago—whether it was in Egypt, Rome, or China—the people there hinted at their wealth with stone, pearl, silver or gold doodads. For Tokyoites in 2004, little has changed. And as the area of bare skin increases the closer we move towards summer,
a well-placed necklace or bracelet can be the dramatic centerpiece for any outfit. (No, a baby-blue iPod doesn’t count.)

Original jewelry can be found in almost any clothing boutique now. Changes United Arrows and Lingerie Aqua Girl, featured recently in these pages, are two good examples. The five stores below, however, specialize in the craft and offer a wider selection of one-of-a-kind jewels. If you’re the type to be disappointed when you encounter the same ring at Kichijoji’s Marui that you did in underground Nishi-Ginza, then these are the stores for you.

 

Silver County

Akemi Saito was a college student when she first started selling jewelry outside Pierrot, a Shimokitazawa used-clothing store that transforms into a live music space at night. Three years later she decided to open up her own shop, and she didn’t travel very far from home—her new location is kitty-corner to Pierrot and Saito still sells there every night. Once a year, though, she flies across the Pacific to buy wares from her favorite silver jewelers in Mexico. The pieces she selects both stand the test of time and defy trends of the moment. Funky bracelets, earrings, and rings for both men and women fill Silver County’s jewelry boxes. Pierrot, unfortunately, will be closing its tarps soon, but it’s our guess that Silver County will be around a while longer.

3F OT Bldg, 2-14-1 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku. Tel: 03-5300-9101. Open Mon-Fri 6pm-midnight, Sat-Sun 3pm-midnight (occasionally later). Nearest stn: Shimokitazawa.



en soleillé

Note to future husband, wherever you are: Please buy engagement ring at en soleillé. Blessed with one of the most distinctive silver jewelry selections in town, en soleillé’s is for the almost-grown-up girl in all of us. The subtle variations that result from using different stones, and the angles and curves of each product, never fail to surprise. The shop also has some of the best crosses, dangly earrings and pinky rings we’ve ever seen. Owner Akemi Jitsuta explains that the store’s name was inspired by a phrase she heard on a trip to Spain; en soleillé means “a place in the sun.” All the jewelry is imported from Europe, and en soleillé will have a one-year anniversary sale starting May 1. All customers will receive a small gift.

1F Sky Plaza, 2-13-2 Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku. Tel: 03-3718-8290. Open Tue-Mon 11am-8pm, closed Wed. Nearest stn: Jiyugaoka.

 

Karako

Karako is better known as a haven for incense and furniture from Bali, but at their Jiyugaoka store the second floor is filled with beaded jewelry. Half do-it-yourself bead school and half craft gallery, Karako has a variety of goods ranging from ¥3,000 rings to a ¥48,000 wedding necklace. Also in the upper range are necklaces like the ¥45,000 Red Berry, a fruity creation of ruby, cherry quartz, and coral—“one-of-a-kind” does not even begin to describe the piece. Matching earrings are ¥18,000. The more expensive goods, besides being painstakingly crafted, are made with antique beads and hard-to-find stones. To save money, customers can wipe off almost ¥1,500 off their bill by making some of the rings or necklaces themselves; beginner kits are available starting at ¥1,000. Necklaces and other jewelry can also be made to order.

1-35-9 Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku. Tel: 03-3717-5965. Open daily 11am-8pm. Nearest stn: Jiyugaoka.

 

Jewelry Clinic Putaha
Have you received that lecture from your parents about recycling? That plea from the older generation to not throw everything away? Well, here’s your chance to respond. As you might guess from its name, Jewelry Clinic fixes and mends old jewelry that’s either lost its charm or needs to be adjusted for new finger sizes. Chief Manager Manabu Koda explains that Putaha can take the stones off an old ring and rearrange them into a pair of earrings. It all depends on what the customer wants. Putaha has several photo albums of photographs for inspiration. Service is key here—tea has never been whipped out for browsing customers so fast. Putaha, incidentally, is the name of the ancient Egyptian god of craftsman.

2-15-9 Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku. Tel: 03-3725-4230. Open Thu-Tue 11am-7pm, closed Wed. Nearest stn: Jiyugaoka.

 

Atelier Magic Theater

Magic Theater is the jewelry store for those with an obsession for beautiful stones. While the shop’s plain silver pieces are exquisite, those with gems have so much depth that looking at them is almost like staring into someone’s eyes. Magic Theater’s silver and wood inlay work is also quite rare in Tokyo. The shop is run by three friends, who craft each of their pieces in-store, and who feel their jewelry reflects a special Asian spirituality; their designs, however, are universal. Popular with residents of neighboring Sakura House’s Harajuku location, Magic Theater accepts online orders in English, and custom orders are also welcome.

3-20-21 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3478-5534. Open daily noon-8pm. Nearest stn: Harajuku or Meijijingumae. www.magic-theater.org

Photos by Hanna Kite, Martin Hladik


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