こんにちわ, konichiwa, hello! We’re so happy to be featuring Japan for the third time in our 20 year history (the first time was in 2009)! This fall, we’re taking cues from tsuyu, the late summer rainy season in Japan. Hydrangeas are in bloom, colorful rainbows fill the skies, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see one overhead. Inspired in part by the Tsukiji fish market, this collection features marine and nautical vibes, a soft take on denim, and easy to wear basics. It’s play-meets-everyday in a collection that’s ready for fresh adventures and a new school year!
While we weren’t able to visit Japan for our usual design inspiration trip and photoshoot, we were able to meet up with Tokyo-based photographer Nanako Koyama in Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo district. We’re lucky enough to have worked with the oh-so-talented Nanako on several photoshoots before, including our 2016 Japan photoshoot.
We loved exploring Little Tokyo—a center for Japanese-American culture, art, and commerce since the 1880s. We’re excited to share some of our favorite places to play, shop, and get a taste of Japan!
JAPANESE PLAZA VILLAGE
Located at the gateway to the Little Tokyo District of downtown L.A., this historic shopping center is the perfect spot for shopping, eating, and exploring.
BUNKADO GIFT SHOP
Bunkado was opened in 1946 by survivors of Japanese-American incarceration camps. This two-story house of culture is full of treasures– kamifusen (paper balloons), koinobori (carp kites), and an impressive selection of gifts.
We loved this Japanese specialty market—we filled our baskets with Pocky, seaweed wrapped crackers (nori maki arare), and fish-shaped wafers filled with chocolate called taiyaki. Take a look at Marukai’s hours here.
JAPANESE AMERICAN CULTURE & COMMUNITY CENTER
The local Japanese-American community gathers here to celebrate, perform, and learn about the arts, culture, and heritage of Japan. We visited the center’s garden, tea room (chashitsu), and a huge plaza designed by renowned artist Isamu Noguchi. Check out their programming and events on their website.