Sunday, February 19, 2012

Odaiba, part 2...Tokyo fashion

Several of you have asked about the fashion trends in Japan.  Fashion here changes quite rapidly.  I am sure I will have ongoing posts concerning this topic, but we did find a few stores yesterday that maybe the names might give you a laugh or two.  If the doggy fashion didn't make you laugh, this just might.
The name "Lip Service" just was too funny when comparing it to the length of the skirts that were sold in this store.  It may just be that the price of the outfit may make it impossible to afford the bottom half. 

"Insert your own caption here"

Men are not excluded from making a fashion statement in Japan.  These are dress shoes, very expensive dress shoes.  Available in all colors, electric blue, maroon and green wood. (see next picture)

These styling shoes are even on sale. They are discounted from 155,400 yen (roughly $2000) marked down to 68,250 ($900).  All wardrobes should include at least one pair of these.  Quite a bargain.

Odaiba for the day Part 1...Toyota showroom

On Saturday, February 18th, we visited Odaiba for the day.  Odaiba is a man made island south of Tokyo.  It has some great stores and the Toyota showroom for all their new technology.  We had a great afternoon checking out the interesting sights and returned home with a new adventure under our belt.  The first few hours were spent at the Toyota showroom.  The showroom highlights all of Tokyo's future technology and upcoming cars that are and will be available.  We loved the new colors coming out. 
This baby blue Prius might just be my next baby.

This bright orange should attract attention
Several cars were handicapped accessible.  Toyota is quite aware of the needs of handicapped drivers.
For a small car, you can store a wheel chair in the back and the seats for the passenger are remote controlled to come out of the car to access for wheelchair bound passengers.
Evan making sure no one has dropped any money under the seat, or he could have been strategically placing a bomb diaper...we seem to be missing one at the end of the day.

Check out the comfort in this car, better then airline seats.

Several words could describe this picture, we'll let you guess on the best ones.

If this doesn't give you night frights, nothing will.

Yes, this is Evan making sure he could fit in the trunk and no, we haven't put him there before.

This was Tom's happy car... He said it just made him feel happy from the orange color to the shag carpets throughout. 

Trying on the "drive happy" look

Love the whimsical colors and designs inside the car.  Doesn't it just look fun to drive.

"Yeah, I'm over this"

The Beloved Dog

Disclaimer:  If you believe you are a parent if you have never had children but you have a dog, please don't read this post.  You will be offended.  I am about to get on a soapbox about dogs, it is my blog right, and I can blog about anything I want to.  Ok, if you want to be entertained by dog stories, feel free to read on.

By now, if you have read any of my blog, you know that Japan is very expensive.  You will also recognize that often times, the focus on things in Japan is placed on things that are sometimes hard for us to understand.  That idea applies to the love of pets here.  We had two cats that we left behind in the states due to the difficulty of trying to move a family of five to Japan let alone trying to worry about two animals.  So, we tearfully said our good-byes and "moved on."  We loved our felines, but come on, they did not give me the right to say I am a parent because I parent a pet.  That is sometimes not the case in Japan.  We have met several people that are under the influence that because they have a pet, they understand and have the title of being a parent.  Also, just to clarify to those that are confused on this:  THE JAPANESE DO NOT EAT DOG!!!!

We have determined a few things about pet owners in Japan, namely "certain" owners of dogs.  They are overly obsessed with the care of such animals and the dogs now outnumber the children in this country.  We have had many dinner conversations discussing the care of pets in this country.  The Peasleys have determined a few things:
1.  It is expensive to raise a family here so therefore many young people have foregone the idea of having children and have instead decided to raise pets (namely dogs once again)
2.  Although they do not realize it now, deciding to forego having pets in lew of children will at sometime come back to bite them in the butt.
3.  A dog will not take care of you when you are old.  He will not be able to help you go to the bathroom when you can't do it on your own anymore.    A pet will not go to the pharmacy for hemorrhoid medicine when you need it the most nor will they cook for you or take care of other necessary requirements that will become the burden of your children later on in life. A pet will not plan your funeral or bury your remains.
4.  We are very curious on the recycling of pet waste in this country.  We now wash our fruits and vegetables just a little more since we have decided the only way to dispose of all the pet waste is to use it as fertilizer.  Again, much discussion has been had on this subject.

So, a little more description of how we have decided dogs have taken over.  There are many stores and services dedicated to the care of dogs.  First of all, we have not found pet shelters here in Japan but have found that the cost of a pet is equivalent to a car purchase here.  The pets in the windows have signs next to their description with more zeros behind their price then should realistically be included in the price of something that has four legs (Unless of course it is large and lives in a zoo.)

The care of these animals once you have spent the $3000-$5000 dollars to now own a four legged friend include a few of the following:

A store window dressing.  All the needs to make your precious dog the talk of the fashion world.

Name Brand Doggy clothes, in different sizes as well.
Coordinating doggy diaper bags

The perfect doggy rain coat, wouldn't want your precious pooch to get wet now.

There are of course the dog grooming stores that now exist at almost every street corner and have popped up at about the same rate as ramen restaurants.  There are the dog clothing stores, solely dedicated to dressing your little shiatsu in the most fashionable styles.  There are the dog massaging parlors where they get most offended if you stop to take a picture of said animal getting a massage.  There are the dog care stores that include the 50,000 yen and up strollers, the best foods available, the dog dish sets (to include cup, bowl and saucer), the dog travel store for all your doggy traveling needs and so many more stores to cater to such animals it now requires more kanji education to decipher between the dog needs store and the baby needs store.   The doggy diaper resembles baby diapers other than the added hole for tail.
Hope you know what size to buy.

What do you think the NG relates to:  NOT GOOD!!  This is why we have doggy diapers.

These are for larger dogs, no wonder people gave me funny looks when I took Evan out for a walk in our jogging stroller.

We now have signs in trains determining what cars a dog can ride in or not, restaurants that have signs that say whether dogs are allowed (these number about the same as the restaurants that do not allow children), signs in parks pointing the way to "doggy refreshment" stalls and the list goes on.  When we go out, we have now been able to distinguish which strollers are made for canine travel and the other few that actually have a child occupying it.  It has been helpful to make this separation to keep Evan from squealing in delight to see a dog in a stroller and having the owner scowl at us because we have just awaken the precious canine from his nap.

Sign in mall directing you to all stores that cater to the needs of your dog.

So, if I sound a little annoyed at this nuance that we have noticed, I am.  Chalk it up to the fact that I am actually the parent of 3 children, two of which are teenagers (rolling eyes and all) and a toddler that has the normal two year old tantrums at warp speed the time they are suppose to appear.  Some days I want to trade in said children for the little dog in the stroller that I can walk without comment from him/her and leave outside in the cold if I want to venture in to a tiny store to shop their wares.  The little dog that will wear the funky little outfit I buy him with no complaint and wear the hair ribbons I place in her fur.  And of course, wouldn't it be a plus to have the dog that doesn't talk back when instructed to do something he/she doesn't necessarily believe is necessary.

But of course, having a dog instead of a child will bring so many headaches in the long run.  I have no worries that some day, I will have three beautiful young adults to help me go to the bathroom when I need help, go to the pharmacy for any uh hum, medicine I might need and to fix me something to eat in my old age.  I also happen to know that real human beings live longer then canines and I won't have to go look in the pet store for another being to lavish my money and love on.