We arrived at Soekarno Hatta International Airport at around 7pm and went directly inside to do the check-in. We chose All Nippon Airways (ANA) to take us straight from Jakarta to Haneda airport Tokyo. The flight was 7-hour long. Students were all excited and ready with their winter outfit. The airplane finally took off at 10pm.
After a long flight, we arrived in Tokyo at 7 in the morning. We got picked up by a private airport transfer and went directly to the hotel with a mini van. We stayed at a 4-star hotel called Centurion Grand Akasaka. It’s located in Akasaka district and the nearest metro station is Akasaka-Mitsuke
Station. The station is only 2-minute walk.
Upon arrival at the hotel, we just dropped our luggages off and went to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden for a brunch-picnic. Also, we showed the students how to use the metro and hotel surroundings so that they can get used to it.
It was a sunny day and temperature was perfect to be out at a park. After finished eating, we packed up and had an afternoon stroll at Shinjuku. Approximately at 5pm, we went back to the hotel to check-in and called it a day to rest.
Our first workshop was Tokyo Street Style Workshop with Motoki. Motoki is a Japanese man who is currently working at Valentino Tokyo. He is experienced in Tokyo fashion. This tour is very interesting as we did not go to the usual fashion scene where European brands are placed. We went to these alleys in Harajuku and Omotesando area where Japanese streetwear brands have their unique flagship stores.
Students get to know Japanese brands that they never heard before and were shocked knowing that the price was very close to the European luxury brands they familiar with. They also did some shopping during the tour as the products were irresistible. Motoki also explained about the history
of Tokyo streetwear scene and gave us map showing all the hot streetwear brands’ store. We walked for 3 hours straight and visited many fashion stores such as Beams T store, Visvim, Comme Des Garcons, Neighborhood, Supreme, Proof, Heather Grey, Opening Ceremony, Journal Standard and many more. All the stores we visited have a very strong design concept. Beams T is the most interesting ones. As they only sell t-shirt but their store has an automated garment conveyor system all over the store. In other words, the t-shirt are moving around the store.
The workshop was ended at around 2pm and we went straight to a restaurant in Omotesando that is very famous for its katsu dishes. Around 4pm we had coffee at Cafe Kitsune which is a very famous coffee shop in Tokyo owned by a French fashion brand - Maison Kitsune. Students found out that fashion brands can also tap into the food & beverage industry.
The Kimono Day
On this day students were all very excited to do the workshop because we got to experience being a local in Japan. We went to Asakusa district to learn how to wear a kimono. We arrived at the kimono shop at around 10am and students were amazed by how massive their kimono collection
is. The guide then asked them to pick one kimono for them to wear. Afterwards, they got into a room full of hair dressers and stylists to teach them how to wear the kimono and also get their hair and make up done the Japanese way. Women’s kimonos are all flowery and very pretty. As for the men’s they are all looking very sharp and cool in plain fabrics. It took approximately 90 minutes till they are all done and we got to walk around Asakusa dressing
like princesses and princes of Japan.
We also had lunch at a famous okonomiyaki restaurant in Asakusa. We finished enjoying the area at around 5pm and went back to the kimono shop to return the kimono.
The Day Full of Arts and Japanese Fabrics We visited Mori Art Museum in Roppongi today. As Mori is the most talk-about museum in Tokyo. On that day there was a Doraemon Exhibition. Doraemon is a famous cat robot comic character from Japan. All of us spent our childhood watching the cartoon on local tv station. The exhibition was surpassed our expectations. It was huge and the art works were amazing. There are 28 very famous Japanese artists that were asked to interpret Doraemon in their own way. Takashi Murakami and Yoshimoto Nara’s works are the most photographed works.
The next stop was Nippori Textile Town. When we arrived we were confused because there was no sign of fabrics near the Metro station. After walking around, we finally found the textile town and fabrics were literally every where. A wide variety of Japanese cotton and any other type of fabrics
The costume and dyeing day
We were finally on our last workshop day.
In the morning, we visited Futaba En office in Tokyo. Futaba En is an Edo-dyeing company. Initially, this type of dyeing is used for kimonos. However, as Japanese kimono has shifted more into the Western style, there are only 10 companies left that are still doing the traditional dye in Japan. One of them is Futaba En Corporation. Arrived at the workshop, we were greeted by the guides. They were all wearing kimonos. Beside the Edo-dyeing workshop, they also sell their fine products there. We then moved to their production area where we can see people dyeing fabrics and making patterns.
All handmade, we saw very little machines inside. The guide then explained about the history of Edo-dyeing and gave the students one piece of cloth. The workshop started with getting to know the tools first and then started working on the flower patterns for the cloth. Students were so happy and excited to see the end result.
At around 2pm we finally finished the workshop and had lunch at Shinjuku. We also stopped by the hippest coffee shop before going to the museum. Upon arrival at Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum, we were in awe to see how big and modern the building was. The area was also looked like a business district. We went inside and enjoying the exhibition and at around 5pm we took an afternoon stroll at Ginza whilst waiting for the farewell dinner.
We also went to the new hip fashion district in Tokyo called Naka-Meguro. It was the home to the current “it” Japanese brands.
We visited Wacko Maria store and Breakfast Club Tokyo. Wacko Maria is one of the most famous fashion brands among hipsters. As for the Breakfast Club Tokyo is a very famous breakfast spot in Nakameguro that just launched a fashion line. Their t-shirt is always sold out and has collaborated
with other famous fashion brands like Olympia Le-Tan. These visits giving the students idea how food and fashion have become very close nowadays
We also visited another interesting district named Daikanyama. Different from other areas, this area is famous with the collaboration between music and fashion. The leading store is Bonjour Records. Around 7pm we had our farewell dinner before the free days. The dinner was at a fancy
Japanese traditional restaurant in Ginza area. All Japanese foods from sushi to katsu. We finished dinner at 930pm and went back to the hotel.
Day 07 & 08
The free days
The school programs were over and students were enjoying their 2-day free time. Some of them went to Disneyland and Disneysea. Some of them decided to visit Akihabara known for the hub of Japanese anime. Some also went to museums for some interesting exhibitions.
The Day We Went Back Home
We went back to Jakarta at midnight local time and arrived in Jakarta the next day on Nov 21 2017 very early in the morning. Students were all tired but happy. This marks the end of a fun and inspirational field trip.
This trip has been done successfully and students are back with tons of inspirations and many new knowledge about fashion - especially Japanese fashion. The fashion industry that they thought they knew everything about is actually still so many things that they just found out during the trip. They may never see fashion business the same ever again. Fresh new ideas will shower them during working on school projects for the upcoming terms.
A truly eye-opening trip, we just had.