Maach Ecute – Tokyo, Japan

Maach Ecute 002

Maach Ecute Kanda Manseibashi

(81)  33.257.8910
1-25-4, Kandasudacho, Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo 101-0041, Japan

www.maach-ecute.jp

Open Hours:
9:30 – 18:00    Daily

On the edge of Akihabara (electronics’s town), on the embankment of  the  Kanda River, lies the Mach Ecute mall.

In 2013, as part of the reconstructed old Minsebaishi Station, the lower level of the red brick viaduct was transformed into a shopping arcade;  the arches separating each space.  Showcasing young designers and manufacturers in a combination of fashion, housewares, restaurants, cafés and bakeries.

If you are cruising Akihabara, definitely swing by.  There is access to the pltform cafe and roofgarden and, importantly, there is a Hitachino’s Nest Brewing Lab for tasting many a life affirming beer!

Maach Ecute 003
Maach Ecute 009
Maach Ecute 005
Maach Ecute 006b001 copy
Maach Ecute 004

Maach Ecute 008

Isetan – Tokyo, Japan

Isetan_011

Isetan Department Store

(81)  33.352.1111
Shinjuku, 3−14−1
Tokyo 160-0022, Japan

www.isetan.mistore.jp

Open Hours:
10:00 – 22:00    Daily

In a city where Department Stores rule, the youthful and luxury Isetan, in the heart of the Shinjuku district, stands out.   Isetan is a wonderful place to see and shop for new and established Japanese designers; and most importantly, to eat!

The lower level of the building, as in most department stores in japan, holds a football pitch of food!   Supermarket, specialty food booths, tiny kitchens preparing delicious  dishes for take away, Liquor and wine sections, and a sprawling pastry area, create a food fantasy!  In the sweets,  It is very difficult to choose; each stand has the most seductive sweets and chocolates most of them french but with the Japanese touch of perfection.

The top floor of the building  is a green roof park with a children’s playground area, as well as benches and tables where one can consume the delicacies from the lower level.  This is a perfect way to start the day with a quick bite in a lovely setting 🙂

If You are visiting Japan, Isetan and Mitsokushi are the two best places to buy food to bring home.  It is definitely  worth visiting the 2 department stores  as they both sell supreme Japanese food, from all over the country.

    Isetan_055Noix de Beurre – Chestnut pudding
Isetan_059Noix de Beurre – Chestnut pudding
IMG_9013
Isetan_062
Isetan_045Patiserie Aoki éclair, beer, Sandwich Magic – Brie mini Baguette
Isetan_048Patisserie Aoki éclair, Andersen’s Veggie quiche, beer
Isetan_043Noix de Beurre – Breads
Isetan_049Shredded turnip puffs
Isetan_067
Isetan_039
Isetan_018
IMG_9169
  Isetan_073Patiserie Aoki – Green Tea Opera Cake
IMG_9142Patiserie Aoki – Green Tea Opera Cake
Isetan_005

Isetan Tokyo

Dolmabahçe Palace – Istanbul, Turkey

Dolmabahce-Palace_101-

Dolmabahçe Sarayi

(90)  212 236 9000
Vişnezade Mh., 34357
Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Turkey

www.dolmabahcepalace.com

OPEN HOURS:
9:00 am – 4:00pm Tuesday, Wed, Fri, Sat  & Sundays
Dolmabahce-Palace_005
Gate of the Sultan

Fourteen tonnes of gold leaf building in the ceilings and the largest collection of Bohemian and Baccarat crystal chandeliers – including world’s largest Bohemian crystal chandelier in the Ceremonial Hall (Muayede Salonu); a gift from Queen Victoria, this chandelier holds 750 lamps originally powered with city gas converted to electricity in 1912 and weighs 4.5 tonnes – Dolmabahçe Sarayi (meaning filled garden) was ordered by Sultan Abdülmecid (1839-61) to compete with the grandness of European capitals.

The palace was built between the 1843-1856 by Garabet Amira Balyan and his son Nigoğayos Balyan; the Balyan family was a dynasty of Ottoman imperial architect; of Armenian ethnicity, the Balyans are responsible for the architectural westernization of Constantinople.

Dolmabahçe is the largest palace (45,000 m²) in Turkey, and the first one built in a western style.  Its designed in the Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical styles, integrating Ottoman elements.

Charles Séchan (1803-1874) who, under Charles Garner also decorated the Paris Opera, was responsible for the interiors of the palace.  He proceeded to integrate European furniture, Petre Dure and Sèvres porcelain, similar to that which was in French palaces and villas.  All of this was quite unusual for Ottoman architecture and showed the European lean of the Sultan.

Dolmabahce-Palace_020Gate of the Treasury

Dolmabahce-Palace_070

Among its many treasures are  the Hereke carpets collection. These heirlooms are very large and are made in Anatolia with wool, camel hair and silk on cotton, as well as silk on silk.  The knots are very small in size, permitting  highly detailed patterns.
The famous crystal baluster staircase has the shape of a double horseshoe and is built of Baccarat crystal, brass and mahogany.

Dolmabahce-Palace_051Staircase of Sultanate or Christal Staircase

Dolmabahce-Palace_047

After the abolition of the Caliphate in 1924 and the creation of the new republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk used the palace as a residence until his death on November 10th 1938 at 9:05am. all the clocks in the palace are currently stopped at this time.

Guided tours run every 15 minutes.  Be prepared, they will rush you and no chastise you if you start to wander around !

Dolmabahce-Palace_038

Dolmabahce-Palace_064

Dolmabahce-Palace_086

Dolmabahce-Palace_149side of Sufera (Ambassadors) Hall

Dolmabahce-Palace_108-(1)Ceremonial Hall (Muayede Salonu) World’s largest Bohemian crystal chandelier

Dolmabahce-Palace_106-(1)

Dolmabahce-Palace_105Ceremonial Hall (Muayede Salonu)

It was in the Ceremonial Hall (Muayede Salonu) that, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk made his first speech to the people of Istanbul as the president of the Republic.  When Ataturk died, his body was placed in this hall in a casket for the public to visit to express their condolences.

Dolmabahce-Palace_130

Dolmabahce-Palace_162

During the Ottoman period this room was the Sultan’s winter bedroom; now it contains Atatürk’s deathbed. Located in the former Harem section of the palace,  a silk covering  with the Turkish flag embroidered in gold and silver and bequeathed to the palace by Olgunlastirma Institute commemorates the venerable leader.

Dolmabahce-Palace_169

Dolmabahce-Palace_081Sultan’s Hamam; the walls are made of Egyptian Alabaster marble and  the floor is covered with Marmara marble

 

Dolmabahce-Palace_189

Dolmabahce-Palace_120
Central part of the front facade which faces the Bosphorus
Dolmabahce-Palace_127Gate to the Bosphorus

Dolmabahce-Palace_101

Dolmabahce-Palace_105