I’d heard there was an exhibition of the first YOSHIKIMONO collection, and I was determined to go. The exhibition required you to reserve a day & time slot – I hadn’t had time to make a reservation before arriving in Tokyo, but luckily there were still spaces available and we were able to make a reservation. The website required a Japanese address and telephone number, so I used the address of the apartment we were staying at and my Tenso (forwarding service) telephone number.
The exhibition took place at Spiral Hall in Minato – the nearest station is Omote-Sando.
We were allowed to take photos in the entrance and of the first room, but not the main exhibition area. The entrance had Yoshiki’s piano and the kimono he wore for the YOSHIKIMONO show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week on display, as well as a few other kimonos and photos of the fashion show.
After we arrived, we had to take our shoes off and were shown into the first room. In here they played a video of the fashion show and a video message from Yoshiki, then a staff member briefly spoke about the exhibition. There were some photos of behind the scenes work, but they were smaller than those in the entrance and I believe they’ve all been posted online already, so I didn’t take any photos of them.
The main exhibition area had lots of kimono and obi, some hung up but most were folded, around the edge of one side of the room. On the other side there was a small table with shoes from the collection, showing the different types of each part as you can get a custom design made. Visitors were allowed to try kimono on, so in the centre there were two rows of mirrors where staff members were fitting the kimono properly. Of course, we both took the opportunity to try some out! I picked the black version of the design with butterflies in a skull shape, and an obi with roses. Steph picked the red kimono with black & gold roses. It was my first time trying on a kimono, and it was fitted in the traditional way – we even got to try on tabi slippers. The fabric itself wasn’t very thick, but there were lots of layers so it ended up being quite heavy and hot. A stiff piece of I think plastic was also placed behind the obi, so it felt a bit like wearing a corset. But it was a really fun experience, and if the kimono weren’t so expensive I would very likely have bought one!
After we’d looked around, we spoke to another visitor in the entrance. I’d noticed this girl after watching Yoshiki’s video message, because she also had a Yoshikitty plush keychain on her bag! She asked where we were from, and how we found out about the exhibition. Like me, she’s also an X Japan fan and is going to their live at Wembley in March! We exchanged Twitter usernames and since then we’ve been discussing bands and food we like, and I’ve recommend places in London as it’s her first trip there.
While we were in Minato, we went in search of Q-pot Cafe. We headed back to Omote-Sando station as it was closest to an exit on the other side. We’d learnt from previous experiences that it’s best to find your way from the nearest station exit or a large landmark, rather than trying to navigate side streets!
Takarazuka Revue poster in the station! I really want to see Takarazuka shows on my next trip to Japan!
Exterior of Q-pot Cafe
The interior is really lovely – sweet, but elegant at the same time. And of course there’s the famous mouse hole by the bathroom (top right)!
By the cashier there was a display of the desserts available for take-out. The cheesecake slices are adorable, they were shaped like slices of cheese.
We each got the ring plate set, which comes with 2 chocolates, a drink and either a cupcake a macaron. I chose the pumpkin macaron, Steph had the blueberry cupcake.
The Cafe had a selection of goods available to purchase – I really like the ghost character, so I bought a phone case and cookie with him. We also received some free Q-pot Cafe tea.
There were two designs of the ghost cookie available. I got the one with a top hat, Steph purchased the one with the bow. They were very good!
Then we visited the Q-pot shop, which was just across the street from the cafe. Just like the Cafe, the exterior and interior of the shop are adorable!
From the entrance, there was one floor down and two floors up. Although we weren’t allowed to take photos on those floors. The shop mostly had jewellery, but there were other products available too, including items for babies! There were Nightmare Before Christmas and Winnie the Pooh collaboration items I liked, but they were quite expensive.