I’m not really interested in fashion brands. I’m especially unfamiliar with the latest brands in other countries (outside Japan).
But I heard on the TV news today about a clothing store in America called Forever 21.
Do you know this store? Do you shop there?
First of all, it seems that Forever 21 has a clothing line titled “Shibuya Mon Amour“.
It’s supposedly a cross between Tokyo fashion and French fashion. (Shibuya is a part of Tokyo popular with young people).
I was surprised by that! Is 渋谷 (Shibuya, Tokyo) famous overseas?
Before I came to Japan, I had never heard of Shibuya, Akihabara, Roppongi, or any other sections of Tokyo (I came to Japan in 1990. Before the internet. So it was a different world back then).
I also heard that the American pop singer Gwen Stefani loves the 原宿 (Harajuku) section of Tokyo, which is popular with a different group of young people that those who like 渋谷 (Shibuya).
There are “Harajuku girls” and “Shibuya girls” in Tokyo. Even though those two areas are close to each other, the fashion of each is quite different from the other. That singer, Gwen Stefani, calls her back-up dancers “Harajuku Girls”.
Anyways, the reason that the American clothing store chain “Forever 21” was on the news in Japan today isn’t because of their “Shibuya Mon Amour” line…it’s because they opened their first store in Japan today.
It’s in the 原宿 (Harajuku) section of Tokyo.
Whenever a new store opens in Japan, they almost always have a big “Grand Opening Sale”…which results in a crowd of customers waiting to get in even before the store opens.
Here’s a picture of the crowd that was waiting to get into the Forever 21 Tokyo store today for their Grand Opening sale:
Grand Opening of "Forever 21" in Tokyo.
今日は「昭和の日」 (Today is “Showa Day“).
Until 1989, April 29th was 天の誕生日 (the (Showa) Emperor’s birthday), but when the (Showa) Emperor died in 1989 his son became the (current) Emperor…so in honor of the Showa Emperor’s love of nature, his birthday became the Japanese holiday 緑の日 (Greenery Day).
But a few years ago, 緑の日 (Greenery Day) was changed to May 4th and April 29th became known as 昭和の日 (Showa Day).
You can read about Japanese holidays on my FAQ page by clicking here…and you can read about 昭和の日 (Showa Day) in particular by clicking here.
At a 神社 (shrine) near our house, our town had a 縁日祭 (Neighborhood Festival).
We usually go to this festival every year.
In past years at this festival, my youngest daughter has played the Koto* with her Koto class, my oldest daughter played the trumpet with her brass band when she was in Junior High, and I volunteered once to help at one of the booths.
(*Koto is a traditional Japanese instrument).
Even though this festival is small, I enjoy it alot because I have lived in this neighborhood for many years so I know many people and it’s enjoyable to have a beer and talk with friends and neighbors and enjoy the festival.
This year, my wife volunteered in help at one of the booths. She helped at the booth selling かき氷 (shaved ice).
Today is Wednesday but it’s a day off. It was nice to have a day off in the middle of the week. A nice break.
We all had a good time at the festival. Each of my daughters went to the festival with their friends.
I saw my father-in-law there talking with some neighbors…I sat with them and had some beer and food and small talk.
I saw my daughters and their friends walking around, so I bought them all some イカ焼き (grilled squid).
We all had a good time.
Here are some photos I took:
「こいのぼり」 (Carp streamers). It's a traditional 子供の日 (Children's Day (May 5)) decoration.
What types of neighborhood festivals do you have where you live?