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All they want for Christmas

Nobby Kealey

Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be a hassle, thanks to Metropolis’ all-inclusive gift guide. Matt Wilce and Tama Miyake round up the best buys for everyone on your list.

 

 




FOR HER

Give the women in your life something to smile about with gifts that pamper and please.

 

Color her festive

Who couldn’t use a little color in her wardrobe this winter? Swatch’s latest line has something for everyone, from candy-colored watchbands to sleek silvery faces. (From JY4,500 at Swatch)
 

Body by Santa

Put a smile on her face and some bubbles in her bath with a holiday season kit from Sephora. Custom-designed cases in gold, silver and black are filled with soaps, bath gels, brush sets and polishes to get her through the season in style. (From JY800 at Sephora)

 

Give me Libertine

Released just this year in Japan, Vivienne Westwood’s Libertine fragrance is sure to delight with its mix of lily, English rose, honeysuckle and citrus scents. Pick up a bottle for that scented someone. (JY6,500 for 30ml, JY9,500 for 50ml from department stores nationwide)

 

Merry massage

Treat a loved one to some serious pampering this Christmas with a gift certificate from Shou Nail and Beauty Salon. Offering hydrating facials, sea salt body rubs and Swedish massages, this Harajuku haven is the perfect place for a little holiday downtime. (JY1,500 and up)

 

Smells like holiday spirit

Something about the holiday season always smells good. Give your friends a delicious sniff of spice and amber this year with a beautifully carved terracotta ball from L’Artisan Parfumeur. (JY13,000 from Anniversaire Omotesando)

 

Wrap ‘er up

Keep the women in your life looking stylish and feeling flush with colorful new scarves from Benetton. Available in sheer chiffons and chunky wools, these wraps are sure to suit every taste. (JY3,300~JY4,900 from Benetton)

 

Point it out

Give your PDA-toting pals a fashionable pointer with the platinum-plated stylus from Montblanc. Compatible with the Palm V, the touch pen comes with an inlaid Montblanc star and is also available with gold plating. (JY19,000 from Montblanc)

 

FOR HIM

Toss out the ties in favor of some fun and fashion for all the men on your list.

 

Warming trend

Make sure the men in your life don’t catch cold with Benetton’s latest wool sweaters and winter accessories. (JY3,900~JY13,000 from Benetton)

 


Koizumi Kitsch

Only in Japan could you get a likeness of the country’s leader to hang off your keitai or grace your wrist. Grab one of each for your fellow partisans and political watchers. (Watch JY3,500 from Hall M, strap JY580 from Kiddy Land)

 

Santa 007

Suunto’s new Observer is designed for the business tycoon, alpine explorer and urban warrior all rolled into one. Available in stainless steel or titanium, this compass-equipped timepiece measures altitude and barometric pressure while tracking split times and ski runs. (JY39,000 to JY62,000 from BEAMS and watch stores)

 

Base play

Baseball fans don’t have to wait until next year to catch a glimpse of Japan’s most famous export, Ichiro Suzuki. The 2001 American League Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player is available to grace desktops and bookshelves starting this month. (JY12,800 from Major League Baseball Properties)

 

Reel him in

Couch potatoes will love the chance to fish Japanese waters without leaving the comfort of home. Epoch’s “Excite Fishing” game hooks up to the television for hours of casting and reeling, complete with choice of bait and locale. (JY5,980 from toy and electronics stores)

 

Just relax

Soothe a friend’s holiday stress with a holistic relaxation plan from Sofitel Tokyo. These Western-style aromatherapy sessions include foot massages, reflexology and light French lunch and dinner menus, and are available with accommodations for two. (From JY8,800 at Sofitel Tokyo)

 

It’s a wrap

Nobby Kealey

Protect your loved one from plummeting Tokyo temperatures by wrapping him up in warm woolen scarves from The Gap. Available in charcoal, navy and other masculine colors, the scarves also come in plenty of styles. (JY2,400 from Gap stores)

 

 

FOR KIDS

Keep them happy with toys and treats even Santa would have a hard time topping.

 

Ho Ho Hogwarts

With Harry Potter now the most popular kid in town, these Lego sets are sure to fly off the shelves. Let aspiring wizards create their own magic with Harry’s Hogwarts School, the Forbidden Corridor and six other sorcerers' sets. (JY1,200-JY19,000 from Lego Japan)

 

Clay mates

Nobby Kealey
British exports Wallace and Gromit have already won raves for their clay animation films. Give Tokyo kids a taste of the goofy pair with videos like “A Close Shave” or playful straps and stuffed animals featuring their other animated friends. (From JY380 at toy and video stores)

 

Chocolate invasion

Let young explorers unveil the “mystery of outerspace” with these hollow egg-shaped chocolates filled with 100 different UFO and alien figurines. Already a hit with Japanese kids, Chocovader is set to become the next collectors' fad. Get ’em while they’re fresh. (JY150 from food and toy stores)

 

Flicks for kids

Perfect for a quiet Christmas at home, Disney’s latest animated films are sure to be a hit with kids. Entertain them with the release of the classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the new The Emperor’s New Groove. (JY2,980 from video stores nationwide)

 

Playing dress-up

Girls of all ages will enjoy getting their own tote and matching mittens in this season’s hottest shearling. Give the set to go with brightly striped belts in matching colors like green and pink. (From JY1,900 at Gap stores)

 

Ski ’n’ skate

Whether schussing the slopes or hitting the pavement, boys will look cool while staying warm with hats and scarves from the Gap. Get a set in every color for every young lad on your list. (From JY900 at Gap stores)

 

 

FOR HOME

Set the stage with gourmet gifts and all the traditional trimmings for home and away.

 

Kitchen cheer

Great for gourmands, star chef Nobu’s debut cookbook features many of the master of new-style Japanese cuisine’s most famous dishes. Kitchen crusaders can whip up celebrity favorites such as octopus tiradito and soft-shell crab rolls or peruse the anecdotes that are sandwiched between the mouthwatering photographs. (JY3,900 from bookstores and Nobu Tokyo)

 

It’s personal

For the host who has everything, one-of-a-kind is the only solution. Order a bottle, or even a case, of champagne with your own personal message of cheer printed right on the label. (Full bottle JY5,000, half bottle JY2,800 from Anniversaire Omotesando)

 

A little bit of bubbly

With a mini champagne bottle and bit of crème de cassis, this gift set from Anniversaire is the perfect party gift. Just add glasses and your guests are good to go. (From JY2,200 at Anniversaire Omotesando)

 

Home for the holidays

Deck the halls with help from People Tree’s Christmas catalog. The charming red-and-white stockings are made by refugees from Afghanistan. The mini “jute tree pot” is just the right size to add a bit of holiday cheer to every room in your home. (JY1,250 and JY1,200, respectively)

 

Grape expectations
Raise a glass to friends and family with an order of California wines from SanSonoma Wine Company. Phone, fax or e-mail any last-minute orders for next-day delivery throughout Tokyo and two-day delivery throughout Japan. (See www.sansonoma.com for 
price and shipping information)
           Nobby Kealey

 

United Colors

Fashion fiends will appreciate this limited-edition wine set from Benetton. Made from grapes harvested in the Italian design house’s hometown of Villa Loredan, this Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Siave will go well with any outfit. (JY1,600 and JY1,700 from Benetton and department stores)

 

Designer doggie
This terrier cushion from design f is made for man's best friend, but it's sure to please any man--and woman as well. Give it to your favorite pooch as a pillow or your favorite friend as a fun cushion. (JY7,000 from design f)

 

Read all about it

Tokyo newbies and veterans alike will never be at a loss for what to do or where to go with a year’s subscription to Metropolis. Filled with everything from restaurant news to fashion spreads, the city’s top English magazine is all they need to stay on top of what’s hot. (JY14,000 for 48 issues, see form on p 15)

 

Cyber cuties

They don't bite and don't smell, but they can remember their own names and express six emotions, like joy and discontent. Give space-age friends one of Sony's latest entertainment robots, Latte and Macaron, and they'll never be alone again. (Sets from JY107,000 at Sony and www.jp.aibo.com )

 


FEATURES:

DECEMBER

402: All they want for Christmas

NOVEMBER

399: To beef or not to beef
One mad cow and Japan's beef industry is bust.
398: In touch with tradition

an interview with 3 artisans who bring the best of the past to present-day Tokyo
397: Captain cooks

Out of the kitchen - Tokyo's rising executive chefs
OCTOBER
396: Ghost town

Tokyo's horrible history
395: Generation Next

The world-first launch of NTT DoCoMo’s third generation mobile phone network represents a quantum leap into mobile cyberspace. Stuart Braun goes online.
394: Sister act
Celeb sisters Kyoko and Mika Kano have taken Japan by storm, but can they win over the West? Chris Betros and Maki Nibayashi spend an evening with the divine duo.
393: Reel time
Matt Wilce gets a close-up of the Tokyo International Film Festival's hottest tickets.
SEPTEMBER
392: Lap it up
Michael Schumacher is champion again, but the unpredictable Suzuka circuit is still set to offer up a surprise-packed Japan Grand Prix on October 14. Stuart Braun goes trackside.
391: Everything old is new
You might think Azabu Juban is all swanky dining and dancing 'till dawn.....
390: Cooking the books
Celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s in town with his new book in hand.....
389: Up from the underground
Japan's literary superstar Haruki Murakami is home for the duration
AUGUST
388: First wave
John McGee dives into Japan's art extravaganza
387: Water world
Matt Wilce explores Tokyo DisneySea
386: Open house
Many people are sleeping on the streets of Tokyo
385: A moveable feast
Some of the city's best yatai fare
384: Hair
A look at Tokyo's salon industry
JULY
383: Summer in the city
20 ways to make August a little more bearable
382: Tokyo Tomorrow
Stuart Braun tracks the future of the metropolis
381: From zero to hero
81-year-old Zero fighter Sadamu Komachi looks back
380: Island escapade
Journey to Odaiba
JUNE
379: Open-air fare
Tokyo's alfresco dining spots
378: Reel story
Reel in the summer's hottest movies
377: Sonic relief
Gear up for the summer's hottest music festivals
376: All at sea
No shortage of fun in the sun on the beach
375: Your cup of tea
Tea time in Tokyo
MAY
374: No time to waste
Tokyo's mounting problems with garbage
373: Freetown
Tokyo's stylish suburb, Jiyugaoka
372: Broken record
Tokyo's ecclectic array of record stores
371: Bottoms up
Tokyo's finest martini bars
APRIL
370: Admit one
Regulations for foreigners wanting to live and work on Japan
369: After a fashion
Spring trends from the catwalks to the streets
368: Bandwidth wagon
Japan's move towards DSL
367: Just for sports
How to play ball this summer
MARCH
366: Life's a hitch
Helpful hints for hitch hiking in Japan
365: Altered state
Try Tokyo's tailors on for size
364: The Fringe Club
Shinjuku's infamous Golden Gai bar district
363: Take two Tomatos
Design gurus Michael Horsham and Steve Baker
362: Stage left
Innovative and intimate shogekijo (little theaters)
FEBRUARY
361: The lowdown on TC
Everything you ever wanted to know about TC, but were afraid to ask
360: A reversal of fortune
Tokyo's home of racing, Fuchu Racecourse
359: Funny Valentine
How to do Valentine's Day in Japan
358: Two-faced
Heartthrob Katsunori Takahashi
JANUARY
357: Read all about it
Amazon.com comes to Japan
356: Daikanyama
Central Tokyo's hippest hood
355: Wash out
Heaven Sento
354: Means to an end
Some good ideas to inspire you
352/3: Last Laugh
TC's rosey re-cap of the year
Signs of the times
Horoscopes for 2001
351: It's a wrap
TC's holiday gift tips
350: Cable ready
Cable and satellite broadcasting renaissance

ISSUES 349-
ISSUES 299-
ISSUES 249-

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