5 Japanese Shoe Brands You Should Have On…

Shane | November 3, 2023 | 41

Japanese craftsmanship is renowned worldwide, especially when it comes to fashion and footwear. Here are five Japanese shoe brands that blend tradition, technology, and trendsetting designs. Whether you’re looking for sporty, chic, or something uniquely eccentric, these brands offer something special.

Retro designs – Onitsuka Tiger

Onitsuka Tiger, an iconic brand, is synonymous with vintage-inspired designs that blend modern aesthetics with classic styles. Established in 1949, it gained popularity with its Mexico 66 design, recognized by its distinctive stripes. These shoes are a testament to Japanese craftsmanship, combining style and comfort. They are perfect for those who appreciate a retro vibe in their footwear.

Sporty picks – Mizuno

Mizuno, known for its commitment to sports excellence, offers a wide range of shoes catering to various athletic needs. Founded in 1906, Mizuno has been at the forefront of sports technology, providing athletes with high-performance footwear. Their designs focus on enhancing performance while ensuring comfort and durability. Whether you’re a runner, a golfer, or just looking for an athletic casual style, Mizuno has something for every sports enthusiast.

Comfy and casual – SUICOKE

SUICOKE is a cult favorite for those in the know. Initially starting as a small, anonymous collective, it has grown into a brand recognized for its wide array of functional and comfortable footwear. Known for their sandals, SUICOKE combines utilitarian design with comfortable materials, making them a popular choice for casual, everyday wear. Their innovative approach ensures that comfort doesn’t compromise style.

Chic and eccentric – Hender Scheme

Hender Scheme is a high-end footwear and leather goods brand, famous for its artisanal approach. Founded by Ryo Kashiwazaki, the brand is known for its handcrafted shoes that pay homage to classic sneaker designs, recreated in luxurious, natural leathers. Their products are a statement of chic and eccentric style, redefining boundaries and elevating traditional shoe concepts to art.


Mamian is not widely recognized outside Japan and lacks readily available information. It’s a placeholder for emerging or niche brands that may capture the essence of Japanese innovation and style. Exploring smaller, artisanal labels can lead to discovering unique, handcrafted pieces that represent the forefront of Japanese creativity and craftsmanship.


Japanese shoe brands offer a diverse range of styles, from retro and sporty to chic and eccentric. Each brand has its unique story, blending tradition with modernity and comfort with style. Whether you’re a fashion enthusiast or simply looking for quality footwear, these brands are worth exploring for their quality, design, and innovation.

4 Japanese Dishes To Keep You Warm During…

Shane | August 16, 2023 | 0

As the temperature dips, whether during a damp spell or the depths of winter, our desire for warmth goes beyond just layering up with thick jackets or mittens. Instead, we often seek the solace of deliciously warm meals, like a steaming bowl of ramen brimming with tender meats, fresh vegetables, and a savory broth.

Yet, ramen isn’t the only Japanese cuisine to savor in the chill. Discover these four delightful alternatives that promise to warm you from the inside out!


Embrace the chill with shabu-shabu, a beloved soup dish. This Japanese hotpot features an array of vegetables like Chinese cabbage, mushrooms, and carrots, accompanied by thinly sliced beef or pork. The ingredients simmer together in a flavorful dashi broth seasoned with kombu (sea kelp) and a splash of sake. Instead of boiling the meat with the vegetables, it’s gently swirled in the hot broth until perfectly cooked. To enhance the flavor, a variety of dips and sauces, including ponzu and a creamy sesame dressing, are served alongside.


For those who prefer lighter fare that doesn’t skimp on flavor, oden is an excellent choice. This one-pot wonder combines a variety of savory components simmered in a soy-sauce infused broth. While the ingredients might vary by region, staples like fish cake, radish, boiled eggs, and potatoes are commonly used. Oden is widely available in convenience stores across Japan, but for a homemade touch, many supermarkets offer ready-to-cook oden kits.


Indulge in sukiyaki, a traditional one-pot meal featuring a succulent mix of vegetables and meat, typically prepared in a cast-iron pot. Renowned across Japan, sukiyaki varies in style from region to region and is popular throughout the year, with a special nod to the colder months. Differing from shabu-shabu, the meat and vegetables in sukiyaki are simmered together in a rich broth of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin (sweet rice wine). It’s commonly enjoyed with a side of white rice and a dip of raw egg, enhancing the dish’s flavors and textures.


And for something entirely different from soupy comforts, try Yakiimo. This simple yet delicious treat consists of roasted sweet potatoes. In a nostalgic scene often found in Japanese neighborhoods, vendors slowly drive through streets, filling the air with the sweet scent of these slow-roasted delights. The roasting process caramelizes the sweet potatoes, making them tender and incredibly flavorful. You’ll find these warm treats in street markets and supermarkets, especially as the weather turns colder.

So, which of these warming dishes are you eager to taste first?

Top 3 Thrifting Havens in Tokyo

Shane | May 18, 2023 | 0

In recent times, the trend of thrifting for garments and footwear has gained momentum, offering individuals a more economical alternative to conventional shopping while contributing to environmental sustainability by reducing waste in landfills. Besides the cost savings, thrifting brings the excitement of unearthing unique finds amidst a sea of apparel and accessories. If you’re venturing into Tokyo and are keen on exploring some of the city’s renowned thrifting spots, here are the prime locations for uncovering hidden treasures.


Situated in the heart of Tokyo, Harajuku is a hotspot accessible via the JR Yamanote loop line nestled between Shibuya and Shinjuku. This area is celebrated for its eclectic and vibrant street fashion, along with a variety of thrift shops offering everything from affordable finds to high-end vintage pieces. Look out for RagTag Harajuku, a famous destination for designer thrift items, including rare pieces from lesser-known designers.

Thrifting in Harajuku is an adventure filled with more than just shopping. The district is alive with art exhibitions, such as Nanzuka Underground, and numerous cafes and eateries where you can take a break and indulge in the local culinary scene. Once you’ve had your fill of shopping, these spots offer a perfect retreat to unwind and recharge.


Nestled in Setagaya Ward to the west of Shibuya, Shimokitazawa exudes a cool, laid-back atmosphere, setting it apart as one of Tokyo’s most charming neighborhoods. Known for its vintage boutiques, bookstores, quirky cafes, and music shops, the area cultivates a distinct bohemian flair. It’s particularly popular among students for its fashionable and relaxed vibe.

For those looking to blend shopping with entertainment, the local cinema near the station is a must-visit, offering a chance to catch a film in between browsing the eclectic mix of stores.


For a harmonious blend of urban energy and natural tranquility, Kichijoji is the ideal destination. Located in Musashino City to the northwest of central Tokyo, this area offers a delightful thrifting experience amid scenic surroundings, including tree-lined streets, a charming boat ride, and even a cinema. Just a stone’s throw from Inokashira Park, the neighborhood is dotted with restaurants, bars, and vintage shops, offering a plethora of activities for visitors.

The locale is a treasure trove of shops offering a wide array of items, from daily necessities to unique second-hand clothes and souvenirs. After a day of exploring and shopping, enjoy the local cuisine at numerous cafes, bakeries, and casual dining spots, or cap off the evening with a drink at one of the standing bars in Harmonica Alley.

3 Thought-Provoking Japanese Movie

Shane | February 28, 2023 | 0

Japanese cinema has long been admired for its introspective narratives and profound thematic exploration. Here, we delve into three thought-provoking Japanese movies that offer unique perspectives on love, challenging conventional notions and inviting viewers to reconsider their understanding of affection and connection.

Ride or Die (2021)

Directed by Ryuichi Hiroki, “Ride or Die” is a compelling tale of love and liberation. The film follows Rei, a lesbian who helps her long-time crush Nanae escape from her abusive husband by committing an extreme act of violence. This intense act sets them on a tumultuous journey together, exploring the complexities of love, sacrifice, and what it truly means to be someone’s ‘ride or die’. The film’s raw portrayal of love and desperation challenges viewers to think about the lengths one would go to for love.

37 Seconds (2019)

This poignant film directed by Hikari presents the story of Yuma, a talented young comic artist with cerebral palsy. As she strives for independence and seeks her place in the world, Yuma encounters various forms of love – familial, romantic, and self-love. “37 Seconds” is a narrative of personal growth and empowerment, beautifully illustrating how love’s transformative power is not bound by physical limitations. The movie is a heartfelt exploration of the intersection between disability, societal expectations, and personal aspirations.

MOTHER マザー (2020)

Directed by Tatsushi Omori, “MOTHER” is a raw and intense portrayal of a toxic and codependent mother-son relationship. The narrative revolves around Shuhei, whose loyalty and love for his abusive and manipulative mother lead him down a dark path. As the boundaries of maternal love are tested, the film questions the often romanticized notion of unconditional love within the family structure. It is a stark reminder of the complex and sometimes destructive nature of love that exists in the shadows of familial bonds.

These films, with their unique storytelling and profound messages, offer a different lens through which to view love. They challenge audiences to question and perhaps redefine their understanding of what it means to love and be loved. Whether it’s through the lens of sexuality, disability, or family dynamics, each movie provides a distinct narrative that enriches the conversation about love’s multifaceted nature.

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