Cafe Centoro -Nasushiobara Cafe #1


First off, I’d like to introduce my favourite cafe in town! And let me tell you, Nasushiobara has plenty of exceptionally good cafes to offer – especially Kuroiso. And the best part: plenty of them are a walkable fistance from the station!


Cafe centoro is run by three sisters. It is a rather classic cafe atmosphere wise, wooden furniture, whitewashed brick walls, couple of plants and cute decorations. It is right opposite JR Kuroiso station, so it’s a convenient meeting spot. And great for people watching.


There is free wifi, jazzy bgm and sometimes, they have concerts!

As for the menue, it is a little pricey, but not ridiculously so. My favourite drink is genmai latte, it’s something between 400 and 500¥.


They also have cakes (often with local ingredients), sandwiches and lunch menue (the curry was nice).

Definitely check it out and let me know what you think!



Categories: Cafe, Japan, Nasushiobara, Tochigi | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tanya Wells

I’m so happy!! I just stumbled across a link of one of Tanya Wells’ music videos on youtube (someone had posted it on facebook).


After having enjoyed the videos there immensely, I found out that since the last time I checked (ages ago, I suppose) she’s put up this wonderful homepage where you can listen to plenty of her wonderful songs!

Just to avoid any confusion, she is the sister of Nicky Wells whom I mentioned a long time back. She has her own homepage as well…
I’m not someone with a whole lot of knowledge about music. All I know is that both of them make truly amazing art. If you enjoy truly beautiful singing, check them out 😀

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Alfred Sisley: Note to myself

So, I was just reading this darling story on fictionpress


when the name Alfred Sisley turned up. As much as I suck at art history, it is still my major and I felt obliged to look him up. Doing that, I stumbled across this article comparing Alfred Sisley and Fujishima Takeji.

Though I find the reason for the comparison of the two somewhat lacking, (or at least not something my profs would accept, anyways) I definitely want to do some reading up on the two of them at a later point!

Also, I’ll make sure to come back to the Modern Tokyo Times art section!



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The White Witches

I was just browsing for Pictures of Tilda Swinton as the white Witch when I remembered another white Witch in one of my childhood favourites. So I thought it might be fun to compare different movie characters which all portray a “White Witch” or “White Sorceress” of some kind. Enjoy!!

First of all, the TILDA SWINTON as the White Witch in the NARNIA Movies

Her character is that of the classical “bad witch”, she is cold and evil but strikingly beautiful. She has a very light, natural Makeup; The dreadlocks and Fur give her a somewhat rough, foresty touch. Note the different hight of her icycle crown at different points in the movie. I also like her battle outfit. The white is gone, it looks as though the ice has melted! And the way her hair and shaggy fur combine into a single mane like the image of Aslan is being reflected in her attire. The third picture is my favourite!

(I don’t remember that last one from the movie, but it’s so pretty 🙂

Next,  ANGELA MOLINA as the White Witch in FANTAGHIRO

I really loved the Fantaghiro movies when I was a kid, we had parts 1 and 2 on video. I always thought the white witch really awesome. She is a mysterious and kind of ambiguous character. Although she always means well for the heroine it is clear her priorities lie with her folks (like, the beings of the woods). I love how she is so wise and graceful. Her makeup is refined, kind of baroque but also somewhat frail. It makes her seem like a transcedent being. I don’t like all the details of her costume, especially not the high hat and the neckline. But I absolutely love the puffy volumes of the train… just look at the third picture. That dress looks like clouds or puffy cream ❤

She was also the White Knight that taught Fantaghiro to fight and stuff:

…. and a goose and a mouse. Check out prettier pictures (which I couldn’t directle copy) here:

(scroll to the bottom of the page)


I’m not actually sure she is referred to as a witch. She’s rather the white queen. She is supposed to be the good pure princess in comparison with her horrid sister, but she turns out to be a persiflage of it instead. Her movements are manneristic, like she is reproducing prinncess -esque patterns to promote a certain image. She is a good queen with a lot of quirks and a somewhat morbid and out-of-it air, I suppose. Her Makeup resembles that of the White Witch in Fantaghiro (dark lips, eyebrows and eyelashes, but white otherwise). Her long, wavy hair is that of a fairytale princess as is her white gown.



Galadriel is a little different as well. She is an elf, first of all, but one of the highest and powerful of her kind, ergo something like a soceress. Her living in the woods makes her someshat similar to the White Witch in Fantaghiro, but her appearance is far more natural. She is powerful, wise and good. However, we are also shown what kind of a figure she could have been if she chose to take the ring from Frodo. She is good, but she carries the possibility to turn evil within. Her makeup is very natural. Her long wavy hair is most like Anne Hathaway’s, but in a Lady-of-the-Lake way rather than a Disney princess.

… and in her terrible form when Frodo offers her the Ring

I have to admit that looked more impressing when I watched that part of the movie the other day!

So, what do you think? Are there more similar characters in other movies? If so I’d love to watch them!!


Categories: Fashion, Movie | 2 Comments

foodartists online

Today I would like to introduce a blog by one of my mum’s friends, Petra Schmidt! And no, it’s definately not boring! Since it’s about her job which is foodartist. Well, originally she is a photographer. Together with Saša Asanović she has specialized on taking pictures of…. food ❤ And that just so happens to be one of my favourite subjects!!

Seriously, I’ve always been in awe of her works… Everything just looks sooo tasty!  And really beautiful! One time she did the pictures for a book about viennese sweets… Just soo pretty!!

Unforunately, this is the only picture I’ll post here… Since it’s her job I guess I’d better ask her first! Anyways, you can check out her lovely photos on:

Foodartists blog

Foodartists official homepage

Their picture gallery

I hope you’ll enjoy these pictures as much as I do!!

\( ^_^)/

Categories: Art, food | Leave a comment

Yukinko Akira – rhythm painting

Going through some of my old stuff and unsorted papers I came across this flyer…

[picture to be uploaded some time]

I got this at a performance of the painter /performance artist Yukinko Akira in Kobe in February.

I was travelling alone and didn’t have much to do (Mainly because I suddenly got shy to call the Japanese couple I had randomly talked to in the museum back in Vienna and who were friendly enough to give me their address. I hate myself being chicken!). Well, anyways I was on my way to the youth hostel which was close to Sannomiya station. The evenings were rather chilly… But since I was bored and had nothing else to do I was really glad to stumble upon anything out of the ordinary. And believe me, Yukinko Akiras Performances are waaay out of ordinary. First, imagine this skinny guy standing in front of his easel.

And now imagine he’s not just standing there, but actually jumping and dancing to the rhythms produced by his very own porable beat box!!!  WHILE AT THE SAME TIME producing some really nice art! This guy rocks, literally!!

The picture with the scull like structure turned out to be a really nice portrait in the end!! And the flower picture was awesome too!! in the end he took the picture and rolled it up in the shape of a flower bouquet and bowed down while offering it to the audience which had gathered by then (since he was performing at a little square near the station people waiting would naturally gather… and everyone loved it 😀 ) It was something entirely new for me to watch and highly entertaining! I recommend to stay and watch should you happen to come upon one of his performances!!

Hugs!! Yukinko Akiras Homepage Blog Article about Yukinko with good pictures

♣ Find his stuff on youtube!!

Categories: Art, Japan, Music | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Rebirth Project by Yusuke Iseya

Today I happened to see something really interesting on NHK world’s “tokyo fashion express” program. They were introducing the REBIRTH PROJECT, which was started by the model and actor Yusuke Iseya (伊勢谷友介). I’m posting their article about it.

Yusuke Iseya: actor, chairman of “Rebirth project”
Rising actor Yusuke Iseya got his start as a magazine and runway model. Now he’s landing prime roles in TV dramas and movies. He also wants to raise awareness about sustainable living. We’ll introduce his Rebirth Project, an initiativ
e to help individuals find their own solutions to the various problems facing society. He’s hoping it will help people create sustainable lifestyles. His focus is on the three basic necessities of clothing, food and housing. We’ll look at his current activities. Clothing is first up, with the redesign and renovation of dead or damaged Lee denim stock. We follow Iseya to Lee’s Okayama factory to watch him select and design denim pieces. In the area of food, we introduce a rice cultivation project in Niigata Prefecture and a music event produced by Takeshi Kobayashi of ap bank fes, including Rebirth’s stall of organic juices and rice balls. As for living spaces, there is the Sensing Nature exhibition at the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills where three well-known Japanese artists explore nature amid urbanization, as well as the Japanese concept of the natural world. For the exhibition, Rebirth was commissioned to design the Nature Book Lounge, which houses about 300 works of Japanese mythology, cosmology and nature photographs. Iseya and his team created shelving and reading areas from recycled flooring, machines and various fixtures taken from a fashion school after renovation. We deliver Yusuke Iseya’s message of artistic sustainability. ( on sept.7th, 2010, 19:33)

I didn’t see the whole thing, only the part about recycling jeans. I’m not really a fan of jeans, you see, but his concepts are awesome! For his LEEbirth Project he uses jeans of old stock that wouldn’t sell as raw materials and gives them a new and unique touch. The lightening bolt designs he put on the jeans are really nice. They also showed how he visited a jeans factory to research the different techniques of destructing the material to give the jeans the well-worn look that’s in these days. For making the lightening bolts they actually used LASER BEAMS!!! But what really cought my attention was his reason for taking up his project. He is looking for ways to be more environmental-friendly! In fact, the unused/unsold/outdated/unsellable products of clothes manufacturers are often BURNED! Of course, they try to get rid of them in outlets first, but the remainder, which is quite a lot apparently, is burned. Iseya points out that solutions like donating these stocks to people in earthquake-struck regions, etc. are not an option for companies since they could be accused of trying to avoid taxes (I don’t really see why that should be so, but that’s what I understood from the interview, anyways.) So what he came up with to combat this unnecessary wasting of resources is the LEEbirth project. I feel any project aimed at protecting nature or at least not exploiting it should be promoted. I really respect his approach. I wish there were more people with this understanding♣

One point I started wondering about is this: Why is it always necessary to have famous people stand up for someting like this so it is covered in the media? I guess it’s a fact I don’t like but that can’t be changed (yet). So the only thing that remains to do is to hope that many more well-known people gain a deeper understanding of nature and sustainability♣

Links: Visit at Lee Factory in Okayama Rebirth project HP

Categories: Environment, Fashion, Japan | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Grimoire girls/ dolly kei

I first found out about Grimoire /Dolly Kei fashion on this blog explaining the differences between mori girl and grimoire. After taking a look at the pictures, I still like mori girl better, but it’s absolutely worthwile taking a look!


It seems the term Grimoire actually is used for magical books containing spells and explainations on how to make charms and talismans. (See wikipedia) However, the starting point for Dolly Kei is the Tokyo- based store Grimoire.

The store’s concept is an “antique boutique”. Focussing on Europe and the US., they are selling different “antique” items and acessories gathered from many countries and clothes mainly from the period from the second half of the 18th till the second half of the 19th century. Also, they are selling items designed and carefully selected by  Hitomi Nomura (–> dolly). Hitomi ‘s blog Hitomi Nomura’s brand, DOLLY. It’s the mobile phone site.

♣ Check out the article on!!

♣ Also, according to grimoire’s homepage,  there is an upcoming event, “MERRY GO LAND” which will be taking place on sat., September 4th 2010. One of the shops participating is TAROCK WITH RICCO which I’ll mention a bit later♥

The Style

Dolly kei seems to take up a lot of folkloristic and ethnic (mainly european) influences. They are put together in a very girly, princess like way often. It ‘s not so much on the simple, toned-down elegant side. Rather, it’s a wild mixture of different patterns, colours, styles with a lot of layering. The sheer abundance of different patterns, etc. is a little over the top at times (if I were to wear it, that is) but that’s also what makes it so intriguing. Also, there is such a big variety in the outfits… since there doesn’t seem to be any rules (like they have in Lolita fashion) yet. And there are pictures of some truly beautiful and amazing outfits too♥ I think some elements of Dolly kei blended with a casual style could make a really great combination!! Pictures of Grimoire 2nd anniversary event. My favourites:

Tarock with Ricco:


Since I am from an European Country (Austria) I thought how our traditional clothes would go with this fashion. I think some of the awesome designer pieces (eg. Ophelia Blaimer, trentini couture)  created these days could blend in really well (But OMG, are they expensive!!)

Links: has an archive of grimore pictures. Click on “Archive” and you’ll get tons of pictures! Dolly-kei community ♥ Another community many interesting links and info about diff. japanese fashion styles to check out♥ pinkhouse 2010 autumn collection Mori vs. Grimore. The article from which I found out about Grimore! Introduction to Dolly Kei & some nice pics!!

Categories: Fashion, Japan | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Mori Girl meets Gudrun Sjoden?

What would a crossover between Mori Girl and the clothes of the austrian imperial family look like? What would the name for such a fashion be and what could be names for brands selling such clothes? These were some of the thoughts that haunted my mind at work today, fuelled by a script about lolita fashion put together by Miss Alice Austen and the omnipresence of Habsburg aesthetics at my workplace. At first I was imagining a crossover between Lolita and Mori (which exists already. I found this picture of a very nice merge on a blog called Zerudas Wonderworld ♥) But with all the imperial carriages and clothes arround me I started wondering…

So upon returning home I started looking up pictures for Mori Girl and suddenly I started thinking that actually some of Gudrun Sjodens creations could be pretty awesome for Mori Girl… If you pick the toned-down items, that is ^^” But I think the kind of feeling associated with these stiles might be similar. Although Gudrun Sjoden uses quite big and striking patterns sometimes which could be too much for mori girl… But since she uses natural materials and has very comfortable clothes with a very connected-to-nature feel to them it seems to fit 😀

Ah, I don’t know. Is it odd to think Gudrun Sjoden might be used for mori girl fashion? Maybe it’s just me trying to connect two things I like ^^”


Mori girl checklist  –>

What are your opinions on the subject?


Categories: Fashion | Tags: , | Leave a comment

handmade blackberry jam <3

Today I made another jam, this time from blackberries/brambles. As far as I can tell it turned out really yummy ❤ (haven’t tasted the cooled down jam yet)

The biggest challenge is fighting the brambles to get the berries. Our brambles grow up into a high hedge which grows on into the neighbouring (neglected) garden. I had to use the ladder. I even tried to get some from the neighbours garden (it’s my aunt’s so it’s ok) and I felt like an adventurer cutting his way through the jungle… I have to take a picture of that!

The process of the jam making is the same as I described for the red currant jam, the only differences are that you don’t have little twigs to take off, you just wash it; After putting it through the strainer there was a lot of the fruit stuck on the bottom of the strainer which I also put in the jam.

I used the remainder of seeds, etc. from the strainer and cooked it with some water to make juice, but it turned out to taste like raspberry-water (which I liked never the less).  I tried some of the finished jam with yoghurt, it was delicious♥

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