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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Hiko Mizuno College of Jewelry (corazón+corazón)

Among the many highlights of my vacation in Japan was pausing in the disorienting heat to sip my thirtieth or so bottle of cold green tea (ample vending machines = non-stop hydration) and, once semi-refreshed, realizing with a delighted squeal that by pure chance I was standing in front of Tokyo's Hiko Mizuno College of Jewelry — which also meant I was standing in front of corazón+corazón, the school's jewellery shop, which I've been stalking online for months! Their webpage doesn't come close to representing the number of tiny treasures crammed into that tiny space. I bought the only non-metallic piece I could find, the clear plastic tubing with lilac rhinestone pictured here; the shop people weren't sure what that silver-painted bit is made of, but I bought it anyway. The artist, identified merely as Y. Odazima, calls it a "martini ring" — according to the guy working there (who is, as it turns out, also the guy who built their website), the ring allows drinkers and teetotallers alike to enjoy a martini. There were some cuter, brighter stones as well, but they were in a different style, with the gem facing sideways so that you could only see a thin slice of colour. In typical Japanese fashion, my inexpensive souvenir (¥1,500 or ~$15) was wrapped in tissue, sealed with a sticker, placed in a cloth drawstring bag, which was in turn secured in a clear cellophane bag, sealed with a sticker, and then placed in a paper bag, which, yes, was sealed. So wasteful, but so cute.