OCCUPATION: President/CEO, YM Design Studio LLC
STYLE: I like a mix of styles—vintage and modern, hot and cold colors, and high-end brands with something picked up at a flea market—both in my fashion and home. I also like mixing style elements from different cultures, but usually stick to a basic, muted color palette with one pop of color. I might pair a black All Saints leather jacket over a sweet lace mini-dress from a thrift shop; or maybe my vintage Dior Sunglasses, Deux Lux sequined clutch, and Fiorentini and Baker flat boots to top it all off. My bedroom has a generally Californian look with Indian-inspired accents.
I LOVE TOKYO BECAUSE: There’s are so many resources for mothers—there are small things, like the nursing rooms adjacent to many restrooms, and the benefits you receive from the government for having a child are not so small!
Café & Meal Muji
After perusing the famously minimalist and eco-friendly housewares at Muji, visit the café to see some of the cool cutlery and containers put to use. Park bakery with fresh-baked rolls and part deli with an array of inexpensive fresh salads, the café will leave you satisfied with both your meal and the bill. Yuki Mori Rutner goes for her daily chai latte, but for something even sweeter, try the green tea pudding or the old-fashioned soft-serve ice cream. Not surprisingly, the main store’s simple yet playful aesthetic carries over to the café. The chandeliers made from drinking glasses and the oh-so-comfy Muji seat cushions might have you pretending you’re eating in your own home!
After stocking up on luxury labels like Louis Vuitton and Gucci on Omotesando-dori, keep the jetsetter vibe going at this bar and restaurant with tinted windows and retro-looking leather sofas befitting of a Pan Am VIP lounge. The food is international as well; dishes include Chinese cabbage and pork mille-feuille, salads, beet soup, and mozzarella korokke. Yuki Mori Rutner brings clients to Montoak, but eventually the power lunch crowd gives way to sceney bar hoppers. And in case you want to make the bar extra exclusive, Montoak hosts private parties.
A true man for all seasons, Nezu Kaichiro was a businessman, politician, philanthropist, and serious art collector to boot. In his will, he specified that his collection was to be preserved. The result, the Nezu Museum, opened in 1941 and houses pre-modern Asian paintings, calligraphy, sculpture, and ceramics. Outside, you’ll find a traditional garden and teahouse (Kaichiro was also a tea enthusiast!) After a three-year renovation, the Nezu Museum reopened in 2009 in conjunction with the opening of a new building designed by renowned architect Kuma Kengo. In the fall of 2012, the museum will host an exhibition of paintings of fans titled “The Tale of Heike.” Photo credit: Fujitsuka Mitsumasa
Maenohara Onsen at Saya-no-yudokoro
Hot spring bathing is a mainstay of Japanese leisure culture. The geothermal waters are meant to improve joint mobility and blood circulation while also stirring up a sense of community. Those at Maenohara Onsen promise no less, and certain suped-up tubs offer electric hydro jets. Don’t be put off by the water’s greenish brown color—that’s just the sodium chloride that will leave you feeling revitalized. After your soak, you might want to indulge further by getting a hot stone massage, or simply a bowl of soba noodles at the attached Restaurant Shitensha, surrounded by a traditional Japanese garden.
As the head of a design company, Yuki Mori Rutner is always on the lookout for good materials. She makes a fair amount of trips to Textile Town, a mile-long Nippori street lined with fabric stores. Of the bunch, Tomato is her favorite. With a whopping six stories, it’s likely that Tomato has what you’re looking for. Or you can just browse and wait to be inspired while in the good company of the many fashion student and sewing enthusiast regulars.