Some of you may be aware that I visited my #1 worldwide destination earlier this year: Japan. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I would encourage anyone who has been fascinated by either the beautiful, the culture, the Anime, the ancient, the architecture, the technological, the weird and wonderful (or in my case, all of the above!) of Japan to visit at least once in their lifetime.
The Skyscraper District – Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
We visited during Sakura season, to try get the best view of the country’s famous cherry blossoms. This was perhaps the best part of the entire trip, so the timing was beyond perfect. We did arrive a bit too early, but we were there for three weeks and by the time we were leaving the petals were falling, so we were there for the entire cycle of the blossoms. It was just breath-taking!
Beyond the beautiful blossoms and temples of Kyoto, Japan, We went to town (Tokyo, to be precise) to enjoy all the famous tourist attractions that we’d been recommended that we simply HAD to do. This involved, of course, visiting Shinjuku, Shibuya, Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Tower and a cat cafe to name but a few.
Before you all think I’ve forgotten what my blog is about, of course I had a look at the lingerie that Japan has to offer. What struck me and what is worth pointing out now is just HOW different the culture is in Japan – every little thing can seem so bizarre and alien to a foreigner, but for me the most mind-boggling thing was how much I loved the lingerie sections of department stores – they were just such a happy, sunny and colourful place to be!
Popular Japanese lingerie store ‘Amo’s Style’ was particularly full with bras in all colours from sugar frosted delights to acid brights. We saw them all over, from Kyoto train station to Tokyo, there was even TWO on Harajuku high street.
I rather enjoyed this little visual on the effects of a well-fitted bra…The sheer amount and array of colour on display was a bit of a shock to the system, but very refreshing. You’ll understand what I mean if you’ve walked into any UK department store; blacks, nudes, whites and the odd flash of fashion colours and pretty designs. There was practically no ‘nude’ lingerie in Japan so I felt right at home there.
Triumph and Wacoal are two very prominent names over in the land of the rising sun, and I wish they would bring more of their Japanese designs over here to the UK and beyond. The colour schemes, embroidery, quality and innovations were just superb, with no boring bras in sight, but often a LOT of padding.
The biggest cup size i came across (and I did a LOT of searching) was a G cup, however that wasn’t really so odd to me. Stores in the UK that go above a G cup are still rare, but thanks to the rise of the full bust industry, not completely unheard of. In Japan, it’s much more rare to need larger cup sizes so the majority of bras have quite heavy padding and cleavage-enhancing properties. I must admit, some of them looked very uncomfortable to me and looked every so slightly like torture devices.
Some bras, however, were made to increase comfort and ease of wear, and a good example of this was Triumph’s ‘Cool Sensation’ technology bras, which promise to feel cool and comfortable against the skin, even in very hot weather – Japan can reach 40 degrees Celsius (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit) in the high summer!
Speaking of which, an example of Japanese innovation has been doing the rounds lately… The ‘Ice Bra’:
In light of the Fukushima disaster, Japan’s branch of Triumph came up with the ‘Ice Bra’, a device which promises to keep women cool during Japan’s hot summers. I went during Spring when it was – for the most part – freezing cold, so I can’t vouch for the practicalities of this bra but I can’t say I’m surprised by this crazy innovation! You only need to visit Shinjuku’s ‘Tokyu Hands’ or Akihabara to get a glimpse of how gadget crazy the Japanese are!
For a great post about Sakura print in lingerie, check out The Lingerie Addict’s post on the subject.