Lost in Paradise

See me grin. My hotel’s next door neighbor. 

YOU’LL know if you’ve lost yourself in some paradise when the images you have at the end of the day are saved in the memory bank of your brain and not in the flash card of your handy camera. Such was the case with me when I found myself in my kind of paradise right by my hotel’s next-door neighbor in the busy business district of Shinjuku, the Takashimaya Times Square.

Takashimaya is a large Japanese department store chain founded in 1829 by Iida Shinkichi. Here’s the more interesting story- it started out as a retailer of used clothing and cotton cloth. Humble beginnings indeed but look where it is now- all over Japan with outlets in Taipei, Paris and Singapore, selling a wide range of products that includes luxury brands from all over the globe. Not bad, huh?

In need of a stylist?

Yes, to many folks like me, this destination is paradise, fourteen floors filled with beautiful things worthy to take home to introduce to your parents and live with happily ever after. I don’t mind getting lost in this maze, or live here for that matter.

A day in this paradise is not enough. Checking out the basement alone with its to-die-for offerings for everyone’s sweet tooth will take so much time, and that’s just the admiration period. Choosing which to buy first will take even longer, unless you want to hoard everything.

image from ciramisu.blogspot.com
From the hundreds of delectable pastries that surrounded me, I opted for a dark chocolate slab baked by this shop who gave me temporary amnesia after sampling their goodies. I quickly left or I will end up with more desserts that I can handle.
Beautiful thing wrapped in pink. Beautiful & delicious thing unwrapped.
But before I exited the building to enjoy my purchase, I did my courtesy call at the third level, the Salon de Chic. Chic has a price, an expensive one. This is where all the luxury boutiques are. Nice to see, nice to hold, once you love it, consider it sold. I didn’t dare risk it. I already knew what I wanted most, something made by a local and the local’s name is Issey Miyake, and another local, Junya Watanabe. I love everything Japanese.

So I went back to the comforts of my hotel room and took out my precious purchase and carefully unwrapped it. The taste of decadence took me to heaven. I made the perfect choice. I shot a glance at the paradise next door through my bedroom window and bowed as a sign of gratitude. I knew I was going to be in this building the next day.

And, I still didn’t manage to take enough photos.

Recycling in style. Plastic water bottles take new form at the terrace of Takashimaya.

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