Design Festa Harajuku Kawaii Exhibition

18 Apr

Thanks to Lisa‘s suggestion, I finally checked out Design Festa Gallery Harajuku the other day with her. I knew this whimsy building but never had a chance to go check out inside until that day!! ๐Ÿ˜€

They were holding a kawaii exhibition. BTW this explains kawaii well. Some people always ask what kawaii means. It can be cute, pretty, sweet, adorable, cool…it’s difficult to explain with one word, because what one thinks kawaii should vary from one person to another. Some people find something kawaii, while others don’t at all.

Ah…this post will be so long. Click below to continue reading if only you are interested.

It’s located in Urahara.

Disclaimer: The map is from Design Festa Gallery website.

How interesting to find this outstanding building exists as a matter of course right next to a very normal Japanese styled house. Yes, of course that’s possible. It is Japan! We normally have no regulations about the colors, designs or signs of house or building. Only the area regulations apply, whether it is a commercial area or residential area. In case of commercial area it’s questioned what kind of business is allowed, and in residential area it’s questioned how high the house can be as well as right to sunlight. Thus, we can build a purple-pained house or bizarre shaped house right next to an ordinary house. That’s why Japan’s town scenery regardless of city area or residential area has no unity at all. This is why I’m so impressed at how European towns are kept in unity. Such beauty from unity can not seen in Japan, unfortunately.

The building is too wide to fit into the photo, as the street in front of the building was narrow.

Haha, funny, colorful and cheerful drawings everywhere! How amusing!

Even a vending machine looks cute!

Inside is drawn too but with dark taste, which is quite opposite atmosphere from outside.

There is a cafe in the back yard. But we didn’t eat there, because we already had a lunch at Double Tall Cafe and later we had a fika (coffee time in Swedish, according to Lisa ^ ^) at Cafe de Take.

At Double Tall Cafe in Harajuku, both of us had a CLT (chicken, lettuce and tomato) sandwich and iced cafe latte. I guess I had a glass of iced cafe latte for the first time since autumn 2010. Meaning, it’s as warm as that. That day was rather hot. I liked their cafe. But I learned later when I was checking Tabelog, it’s said their tea espresso is so good. Maybe I should try it when I have some sweets there next time.

At Cafe de Take, Lisa took a rich chocolate cake with hot cafe latte, and I took a strawberry tart with hot cafe latte. We seated outside seats because inside was too dark.

We saw everything exhibited at the site. But it’s no way I can cover everything here in one post. So let me show you my best 3.

My most favorite: A drawing on the wall by one girl with one simple black pen. (Well, she used up a lot of pens but what I mean here is she used 1 type of simple black pen.) I am totally impressed with this work! I cannot but admire her persistence!! Just AMAZING!!!!!

My 2nd most favorite: Felt animal goods

My 3rd most favorite: Felt animal toys…well, actually I liked the gentle and warm facial expression of her work. I liked her animal drawings too. Here’s her blog in which you can see what I mean. ^^

Followings are other interesting works to be mentioned.
I sensed these goods could be purchased in a shop like Bleu Bleuet and to my surprise it was bingo, according to the designer! (This is a secret :p)

So many Kappa (folklore) dolls…maybe scary a little bit? ^ ^; I don’t know but I personally didn’t like this sexiness mixed with cuteness. They’re too womanly to me.

Kawaii? No, Kowai? (means scary in Japanese) I like how she displayed these with some little “eyeballs” she made of foamed polystyrene or something and a picture of herself stressing her eye.

Strawberry is definitely a cute motif!

We left comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

Turtle graphics all over the ceiling was fun.

This could be a wall paper…

We even joined a mini workshop led by a talkative man. This looks good under LED light, but I forgot to take that picture. :p

There were a lot more. Maybe Lisa will blog about them. As everyone has her own taste of kawaii, her kawaii should be different from mine. ๐Ÿ˜‰ What a lovely day it was! Thank you Lisa for the wonderful time that day, and hope to see you again soon~. ๐Ÿ˜€

I intentionally used W480 x H640 sized photos, but let me know if you think they are too big and slow to be shown on your computer. If you have no problem, I may keep going with W480.

38 Responses to “Design Festa Harajuku Kawaii Exhibition”

  1. lluvia April 18, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Hi Kirin (If I may) ใฏใ˜ใ‚ใพใ—ใฆ,

    I'm a spanish people who arrived to your blog by chanche (well, or because I usually use google for search many kawaii things ^^').
    Your blog seems so interesting, thank you for try to explain and share the art, inspiration, merchandising, the culture that means the kawaii concept from his origin country :O

    The design festa gallery seems an amazing building. It remind me the house of some vanguardist artists like Frida Kalho.
    Maybe it's true, there is a big idea of kawaii in general, and then the own idea of kawaii in every person ๐Ÿ™‚ But I think this gallery shows how the self expresion art and the hand-made help to create more kawaii things that a single person can imagine.

    Have a nice day. Greetings from one little corner of Europe :o)

    • kirin April 19, 2011 at 9:04 am #

      Hi lluvia,

      ใฏใ˜ใ‚ใพใ—ใฆ๏ผWow, you write in Japanese!! I'm learning Spanish from TV dramas lately. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Thank you for dropping by and greeting by leaving a comment here. ๐Ÿ™‚
      I don't know who designed the building but it's so impressive. I'll never forget such a building. haha! ^ ^;

      Muchas gracias!
      Kirin

      • lluvia April 21, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

        I can write some japanese since I was studying a short curse here one year ago. In my case thanks to some japanese anime, drama, and also some music I get accostumed to listen and understand some ๆ—ฅๆœฌ่ชž since I was very young. But I must say that my level is still soooo low -.-

        You can watch spanish drama! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ From Spain or America? ^_^ Learning a language can be difficult, but also funny and interesting.

        Mil gracias a ti pot tu amabilidad y tus palabras.
        Many thanks to you for your kindness and words to me.

      • kirin April 22, 2011 at 10:00 am #

        I know someone who learned Japanese through Japanese anime. She said she tried to watch Japanese anime 30 minutes everyday. I quite liked this idea.
        As for the Spanish dramas I am watching lately, the location is often in Miami or Florida in the U.S. Considering this, they are from the U.S? Some of the TV dramas are called telenovela, and another one is from tele mundo? or something.

        ใ‚ณใƒกใƒณใƒˆใ‚ใ‚ŠใŒใจใ†ใ€‚ใพใŸใ‚ใใณใซๆฅใฆใญใ€‚
        Thank you for your comment. Please come back again. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • lluvia April 26, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

        Sure they are form the U.S ๐Ÿ™‚ 'Telenovela' are the latin dramas. Some of them have some succes also in Spain.
        I don't know if Telemundo is a telenovela producer or TV channel, but something similar.

        Thank you so much.

      • kirin April 27, 2011 at 1:26 am #

        I see, Telenovela is from the U.S, which is why the location is in the U.S…like Miami.
        Thank you for your information! ^ ^

  2. sedonia2 April 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    What a cool place!

  3. winnie April 18, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Hi Kirin,
    This post is awesome!! I like every picture! There are so kawaii and kawaii!!
    Make me feel crazy about them! All the Artworks are wonderful!!

    Thank you for sharing!!

    • kirin April 19, 2011 at 9:09 am #

      Thank you winnie.
      There were many kawaii artworks but it was impossible to cover everything in the blogpost. Ah, you know what? A big Design Festa will take place in Tokyo Big Site on 14 and 15th of May. That's both Saturday and Sunday. This one is huge! Unlike the Harajuku one, this event is not free but costs you 1000yen for admission but I'm sure you can have fun with your family there! I think your daughter will love it too.

      Check it out! http://www.designfesta.com/index.html ^____^

  4. Tokyochel (rachel) April 18, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    I love this post Kirin! This place obviously explored many different sides to the meaning of kawaii. Like you said, everyone has a different take on what is kawaii. It looks like it was a very interesting, nice day. Thanks for sharing with us ๐Ÿ™‚

    • kirin April 19, 2011 at 9:12 am #

      Thank you rachel. ^ ^
      Yes, exactly. That's what I meant. Thank you for understanding my English. You explained it better. ^ ^

  5. nao April 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    Kawaii!!! ^^

  6. megan April 18, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    I went to Design Festa in 2009…There weren't any special exhibits, but it was still neat! It looks a bit different; I will have to maybe visit next time I go to Japan.
    I like the pen drawing, and the felted animals are super cute too.

    • kirin April 19, 2011 at 9:15 am #

      This time their theme was KAWAII, which was perfect for me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. StephanieMvl April 18, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    Everything is so colorful, cheerful and artistic. I would definitely love to be there.

    Todo es tan colorido, alegre y artístico. Yo definitivamente amaría estar allí.

    • kirin April 19, 2011 at 9:33 am #

      Definitivamente!! A long word!!
      Todo is everything! I see. If I make it "Todos estan tan colorido" that will be all the things are so colorful, verdad??
      How interesting it is to learn a foreign language!

      I watch Spanish drama as often as possible. It's El Clon. ^ ^

  8. barbara April 19, 2011 at 2:46 am #

    I am glad you showed the inside of the gallery. In December, we walked by, but were too nervous to go in. It was a different exhibit at that time. Now we will not be so hesitant to go in, if we get to visit Tokyo again soon.

    • kirin April 19, 2011 at 9:34 am #

      Haha! I'd understand that definitely. If I didn't know what it was, I'd feel the same way as you did!! ^ ^

  9. ichigoichielove April 19, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    Wow, you summarized our visit so well! Now I don't need to write any more about it, haha! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Actually I'll definitely link to your post wehn I start doing individual artist profiles, because you give a lot more sensible info… like where to find the place, hehe! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Thank you for another great day out!! ๐Ÿ˜„

    • kirin April 19, 2011 at 10:02 am #

      Thank you for that day. I really had a great time with you!! Without your suggestion, I would definitely have missed this opportunity. I'm looking forward to reading your post, and of course please feel free to link my post if needed. ^ ^

  10. hyperbaric chamber September 7, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    I’ve been recently traveling to your site for some time now i always locate a gem within your brand-new posts. Thank you for expressing!

    • kirin September 11, 2011 at 11:46 am #

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Samuel November 9, 2011 at 1:28 am #

    Wow! what a nice color you have. It's so very artistic. It shows that japan is very nice place to visit. This great!

    • kirin November 9, 2011 at 11:16 am #

      Haha, that building was interesting. There are many reasons why Japan attracts foreigners. ^ ^

  12. Ben Summers November 10, 2011 at 3:17 am #

    The background was full of colorful blooms and Bright full of different hues.

  13. ErlindaDolphin November 11, 2011 at 6:10 am #

    I really like Japan. They had lots of wonderful stuffs. Very colorful. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Victoria K. Eddings November 14, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    I love what you feature and you can see the beauty of Japan and we will know what in there. They become a very creative person.

  15. zoe November 14, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    It was so artistic. Very attractive. I'm sure many people were amaze. I would really enjoy eating eating there. Thanks!

  16. John November 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    My first impression was yuk! And then I saw the beauty it holds.

    Very different but so very beautiful, particularly enjoyed the coin cases.

  17. Barbara November 15, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    Japan is such a beautiful place. They make people amaze with their unique work, inventions and etc. Thank for sharing the photos.

  18. Steven Hodge November 16, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    Well, Japan is one of my favorite destination that gives a lot of beautiful experience every time I visit this place. A lot of destination to be visit their and have some great experience.

    • kirin November 17, 2011 at 7:51 am #

      I see! ^ ^

  19. Barry November 16, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    @ first photo, I think the red color at outside the building or red steel making us nervous because there's a big chance it will be fall and public safety. I Think, one of the best known for making a Building stories are Japan finest construction companies. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • kirin November 17, 2011 at 7:50 am #

      Oh, I've never thought of that but that sounds so true. It must be built with safety guaranteed.

  20. Hollie Chan November 22, 2011 at 4:45 am #

    Anime fanatics tend to either love or hate the series as it is considered either wildly funny, or tasteless and depraved.

  21. Lola John November 24, 2011 at 3:54 am #

    The design may refer to preparatory stages for a work of art or it may be extended to include the compositional elements in a finished work of art.

  22. Alex November 24, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    Hi! I really love your post! The place is so wonderful and colorful. I wish I could go there with my friends to spend time and have fun. Thanks for posting.

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