Category Archives: shopping
I went to this shopping mall a while ago with a friend. D-Cube is one of the newer shopping malls in Seoul and has the usual mix of shops, restaurant and cafes with occasional events to keep the customers entertained.
Obviously, D-Cube is more a place to do window shopping rather than buying clothes and accessories. It is not the cheapest place to shop although there is a Uniqlo at D-Cube too.
The Japanese company Mori Building Group took part in the development of D-Cube City. It opened in September this year.
It’s been a while since I’ve been to an Apple Store. Yesterday I went to the Shibuya one since it was on the way to the Camera Cabaret store (more about that later). After the slight redesign of the store, all static signs have been replaced by iPads. They are quite nice for price and feature comparisons but a bit confusing when the item you shop for is actually an iPad. An iPad describing an iPad!
I own an iPad 1 and it’s still an excellent device. I think it’s too heavy and big to carry it around everyday but there is a lot of tablet optimized apps available and os updates are available immediately for all iPad owners once the update is released – on of the weak points of Android.
I picked up an iTunes card to finally buy some songs for Konami’s music game jubeat. jubeat is one of the few music games that work with a touch screen and like other Japanese music games is a challenge even on “easy”. The app itself is free and contains three songs but is only available on the Japanese app store.
Besides the card, I picked up the camera connection kit. I remember that for the months after the first iPad’s release the kit was always sold out – even in Apple Stores in San Francisco! I do wish Apple would put a SD card slot into the iPad, but I think that people would then expect that the tablet could actually do more with the SD card than just importing photos and videos.
Because of rainy season, they sold a happy bag (fukubukuro, lucky bag) with Lomography goods. I guess I was the perfect customer for that bag because I didn’t own a single Lomo camera. There were two types of bags, one selling for 10000 and the other for 20000 Yen. Both contained two cameras.
I bought the cheaper one. Watch me unwrapping the happy bag!
The Diana F+ with Flash alone is almost as expensive as the happy bag. The other two cameras are the Fisheye camera and a disposable camera. I’m happy!
While there are the lomo society and toy cam lovers in other countries, in Japan the toy cameras are particularly popular. The definition is fuzzy though, because it includes some vintage cameras such as Polaroid ones as well. Of course the Holga and Lomo cameras are available here too.
Then there are the new toy cameras which were manufactured after the toy camera craze. Some of them are film, others are digital. A few of them are bought because of their looks, like the biscuit camera or various pinhole ones. The toy cameras that are only bought for their looks are usually digital and contain optics similar to a bad cell phone. When buying a toy camera, people look for imperfectness – it’s not the megapixel count but the “character” of the photos which make a toy camera popular. That’s where books about toy cameras come in handy: They describe the particular weakness of each modell, how strong the vignetting is, etc.
Digital Harinezumi 2
My favourite shopping spree grounds are Shimokitazawa and Harajuku and today I travelled to the latter, since, well, it’s on my way anyway. But first I ate at the Mominoki House which is a “food concept store” offering various vegan and vegetarian choices. Today I had the Vegetarian set (Brown rice, miso soup, seven kinds of veggies) and although the food is tasty and I like the restaurant, I’m always a bit annoyed when they reply in English. Well, time for learning the phrase “Sorry, I don’t speak English” in Korean, Spanish, Danish or whatever language. Or I try German. Heard it’s a nice language 😉
Oh, and they are one of the places labeled “English OK!”. I think this campaign is just stupid and the restaurant is not even in the middle of a tourist area anyway. But campaigns like this are usually not about showing appreciation for certain customers but more about getting more of them into your shop.
Afterwards I gave in my tendency to go into side streets which look just to nice to go unexplored and somehow arrived at the Design Festa Gallery. There are actually two of them and they are open for all artist who are willing to shell out the rental fee. The outside of DFG West is nicely designed with the kind of chaotic atmosphere that I like about the Design Festa event. There are various rooms to explore and at the time I visited there were some nice photographs and paintings exhibited. The Gallery cafe is also one of the few places in Tokyo with free WiFi.
“Going already?” *sniff*
Slightly off the Takeshita dori is a T-Shirt shop called “Design Tshirts Store Graniph“. This is just one store of many and they also have some stores inside other stores. What I like about their design shirts is their tendency to use random German language words. Bad English is just so 90’s! The only time the designers seem to get it right is when they can copy the whole text from the internet e.g. when it’s an older poem. While they have a website in English and show more non-Japanese than in an average Ayumi Hamasaki video, the staff speaks Japanese. That’s a plus in my opinion.
For the irony of it, I bought a shirt with lots of cameras on it. Looks cool, especially if I travel with my digi cam!
“Ssamziegil” written twice in different styles
I still don’t know how to pronounce this word, but Ssamziegil is definitely the best place in Insadong. It’s a culture centre with lots of art, craft and other stores. The things they sell there are usually not the ones you can find in the many tourist shops of Insadong.
The whole place has an alternative feel. For example, there are four floors but you don’t need to climb stairs (although you can, and there’s an elevator as well) since you basically walk upwards. The goods you can buy there are not cheap, however.
I still need a few things for tomorrow’s hiking trip and so I thought it would be a good opportunity to try out the supermarkt my neighbour told me about. It was near the Apple pachinko parlor near the Apple cleaning store (a lot of Apples here and they are selling everything, except Apple computers). They had some cheap fruits and so I won’t starve to death tomorrow.