Mominoki House & Design Festa Gallery

My favourite shopping spree grounds are Shimokitazawa and Harajuku and today I travelled to the latter, since, well, it’s on my way anyway. But first I ate at the Mominoki House which is a “food concept store” offering various vegan and vegetarian choices. I had the Vegetarian set (Brown rice, miso soup, seven kinds of veggies) and although the food is tasty and I like the restaurant, I’m always a bit annoyed when they reply in English. Well, time for learning the phrase “Sorry, I don’t speak English” in Korean, Spanish, Danish or whatever language. Or I try German. Heard it’s a nice language 😉

Oh, and they are one of the places labeled “English OK!”. I think this campaign is just stupid and the restaurant is not even in the middle of a tourist area anyway. But campaigns like this are usually not about showing appreciation for certain customers but more about getting more of them into your shop.

Colourful entrance to the various rooms

Afterwards I gave in my tendency to go into side streets which look just to nice to go unexplored and somehow arrived at the Design Festa Gallery. There are actually two of them and they are open for all artist who are willing to shell out the rental fee. The outside of DFG West is nicely designed with the kind of chaotic atmosphere that I like about the Design Festa event. There are various rooms to explore and at the time I visited there were some nice photographs and paintings exhibited. The Gallery cafe is also one of the few places in Tokyo with free WiFi.

Wall painting "Leaving already?"
“Going already?” sniff

Slightly off the Takeshita dori is a T-Shirt shop called “Design Tshirts Store Graniph“. This is just one store of many and they also have some stores inside other stores. What I like about their design shirts is their tendency to use random German language words. Bad English is just so 90’s! The only time the designers seem to get it right is when they can copy the whole text from the internet e.g. when it’s an older poem. While they have a website in English and show more non-Japanese than in an average Ayumi Hamasaki video, the staff speaks Japanese. That’s a plus in my opinion.

For the irony of it, I bought a shirt with lots of cameras on it. Looks cool, especially if I travel with my digi cam!

Mia Jaap

Journalist, developer and passionate about Japanese and Korean language. Japan is my #1 country for travelling, penguins my favourite animals.

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