Posted on Leave a comment

Community Spotlight: Jean-Paul, co-founder of Atelier Sensei

Atelier Sensei

In this week community spotlight, we have interviewed Jean-Paul, who has a very special bound with Japan. Indeed, Japan inspired him to create his own fashion brand for men, Atelier Sensei.

Can you briefly introduce yourself? Any social media we can visit to know more about you?

Hello everyone, my name is Jean-Paul, I am 35 years old, I am from Paris. I have two full-time jobs, Consultant Project Manager and Co-Founder of the fashion brand ATELIER SENSEI. I am passionate about art, in all its forms (cooking, music, cinema, painting, sculpture, clothing…), Japanese culture (its history, its values ​​and traditions) and travel. You can find me on my personal Instagram account @jp_loa_, where I mostly post photos related to my own passions, and on my professional Instagram account @ateliersensei, where you can find all the latest news from my clothing brand.

Atelier Sensei

Have you ever been to Japan? If yes, what was the highlight of your trip? If not, where would you like to visit?

I was in Japan in April-May 2017 with two friends. It was the best trip of my life. I have always dreamed of going to this land where respect, tradition and modernity coexist in perfect harmony. I only visited two cities on this trip (Tokyo and Kyoto) because I wanted to take the time to contemplate each neighborhood and try not to miss a thing. What struck me the most during this trip, I think, was the Asakusa district in Tokyo. We were staying in this neighborhood and every morning we passed in front of the local shops, the artisans workshops and finally the Senso-Ji temple. It is a relaxing and lively place at the same time.

What do you like the most about Japan?

Difficult to answer this question. I will say the Japanese mentality. This constant search for perfection, the respect they have for the simple things in life. They strive to perpetuate their know-how and pass it on to the next generation. That’s what really excites me about them. Japan is full of history and secrets.

Atelier Sensei

What do you like the most about our boxes?

I discovered Peko Peko Box through instagram. What I find very original and fascinating at the same time is the fact that they highlight the craftsmen with their videos on their YouTube channel Peko Peko Box. The videos are shot so that the viewer is immersed in the scene. As for the box, the products are so well wrapped that that is it almost heartbreaking to open the package. Personally, everyone time I open a box, I let myself be carried away by the emotions they give me.

Which item has been your favorite so far?

I will say the Asakusa box by its theme and the memories they gave me. The color red immediately reminded me of Senso-Ji Temple, the first temple I visited. I had been there the morning after I arrived in Japan to purify my mind. What immediately reminded me of that moment was the red uchiha. This one is now placed next to my torii that I brought back from the Fushimini inari taisha shrine.

Tell us about ATELIER SENSEI?

ATELIER SENSEI is a men’s clothing brand created in 2017 and launched in 2020 by three fashion, Japan and crafts enthusiasts: Johann, Kodjo and myself.
We aim to highlight quality, elegance, comfort, modernity and the people who work with us on the project. Our clothes are all made in Europe from fabrics exclusively from Japan. Indeed, Japan is known around the world for its textile know-how: weaving, texture, dyeing, color and patterns. You should know that Japan has been working with cotton since the 18th century and silk since the 4th century BC.
ATELIER SENSEI is also a place of sharing and support for men. We want to help men feel good and stylish in their everyday outfit. Also, we aim to pass on to them our passion for Japanese culture, its events and its history.

You can find us on:
Our online store: www.ateliersensei.com/boutique
Our Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/ateliersensei/
Our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ateliersensei
Our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTplSEGvS-L3Yea5uzUgUyw
Our LinkedIn page: https://fr.linkedin.com/company/atelier-sensei

Atelier Sensei

Can you tell us more about one or two pieces of ATELIER SENSEI?

On May 17, 2021, we released, in pre-order until June 17, 2021, our signature piece, the Kimono Hanabi 花火 shirt in Japanese indigo chambray slub, entirely handcrafted in Paris by our stylist. We wanted to bring out this traditional Japanese piece, the Kimono, by giving it a touch of modernity. Indeed, we wanted to combine the elegance of a Kimono jacket with the modernity of a sartorial shirt. Thus, it can adapt to our everyday outfits, in an elegant and relaxed way.

You can find all the information about our Kimono Hanabi shirt 花火 here: https://www.ateliersensei.com/page-d-articles/chemise-hanabi-precommande

What are the future projects for ATELIER SENSEI?

We have launched the prototyping of our “Nishihama” T-Shirts planned for this summer, made in Paris with Japanese cotton. Other pieces are also in the study phase. Watch our page https://www.ateliersensei.com/a-venir so you don’t miss out on our new products.

Atelier Sensei
Posted on Leave a comment

Community Spotlight: Marc

Community Spotlight Marc

For this article, we asked Marc, one of our first subscriber, to review our Peko Peko Box and to talk more about why he likes Japan so much.

Can you briefly introduce yourself? Any social media we can visit to know more about you?

Hello, my name is Marc and I am passionate about travel and history. I like to discover new cultures and to learn more about them.

Have you ever been to Japan? If yes, what was the highlight of your trip? If not, where would you like to visit?

Yes, two one-month trips in 2015 and 2017. The third trip was more or less planned for 2021 and will be postponed to 2022. I have so much to say about my trips to Japan, especially as the culture is so different with ours while still quite close on so many aspects.
An example of what I hadn’t expected: stumbling across three monks walking around the neighborhood where I was staying in Kyoto. I could hear them reciting sutras in the street and when I approached they called me out. From this meeting remains a memorable photo in which I am surrounded by two monks from Shokoku-ji. I also met a really nice Japanese couple in the countryside. I believe that meeting with locals is what makes a trip unique and memorable. I would like to visit Kyushu and Shikoku during my next trip to Japan.

Community Spotlight Marc
Senbei from the Kamakura box and little plate from the Joge box

What do you like the most about Japan?

I am a child of the 80s, I discovered Japanese culture through anime and manga. They also led me to take an interest in elements of my own culture (adaptations of European novels, European mythology, etc.) as well as to open up to Far Eastern culture. As a history enthusiast, Japan attracted me by its complexity. Japan has developed some unique characteristics through its history.

As a traveler, what a change of scenery! Like many, I am intrigued by the country’s successful past-modern mix. And if you love nature there are some great hikes to do too.

Community Spotlight Marc
Daruma and Goshuin from the Spirit of Japan box, Ox statuette from the New Year Box, Dove statuette from the Kamakura box, kimono fabric bowl from the Joge box

How did you first hear about Peko Peko?

With the pandemic, I escaped by following Instagram accounts about Japan, especially those of expatriates. And the algorithm did its job and showed me the Peko Peko account. So I waited a few months before the project came to fruition and became one of the first subscribers of the box.

What do you like the most about our boxes?

I had been looking for a Japan box to subscribe to for years. However, until then I had only found boxes on two major themes: anime / video games and snack / food.
These boxes are probably nice too but they didn’t suit me. So I waited patiently. And one day came Peko Peko Box! In these boxes, I found several things that interested me and none that displeased me!
At the beginning, I would have answered that what I appreciate the most are the more traditional items. Today, I would say that it is the connection with Japanese artisans, the fact that I can help them a little by getting the boxes.

Peko Peko Box review
Coffee cup and drip coffee from the Kamakura box. Tatami coaster from the Spirit of Japan box

Which item has been your favorite so far?

It is very difficult to answer, there is always such a nice selection in each box. If I have to choose one, I will choose the New Year box because the booklet had really improved. This is also what I like about the Peko Peko Box team, this desire to improve the concept by listening to their subscribers.

What future theme would you like us to do?

There are so many places that I would like to see in the boxes. I will choose Kanazawa because this city is twinned with mine. It is still pretty close from Tokyo while not yet a must-see tourist spot. I was able to visit it in 2017 and I think that this region (Ishikawa) and in particular this city deserves a little more visibility. Outside the cities, a box on the theme of Shintoism could allow people to discover this unique religion.

Posted on Leave a comment

Community Spotlight: Lucie

Community Spotlight Lucie

In this week community spotlight, Lucie talks about her travels to Japan, why she likes Japan so much and review our Peko Peko Box.

Can you briefly introduce yourself? Any social media we can visit to know more about you?

Hello, I’m Lucie from a coastal village of France. I’m a lover of music, literature and Asia. You can know more about me on Instagram @lousbooks 

Have you ever been to Japan? If yes, what was the highlight of your trip? If not, where would you like to visit?

I’ve been to Japan thrice already. My first time was back in 2009 during Christmas time and it was magical. Then, I worked for a year in Okinawa five years ago. Last time I traveled in Japan was last year right before the pandemic forced the countries to close their borders. Every time I went to Japan I visited a different part of the country. Every experience has been different and magical in their own ways. Next time, I would like to visit Hokkaido or Kumamoto, and to discover more of Japan countryside. There’s still so much I would like to visit. 

Peko Peko Box review
Coffee from from the Kamakura Box

What do you like the most about Japan?

Its culture, the way they incorporate the past in the future if I may say. They have a deep respect for everything past and it’s something I’ve been drawn to. Actually, I cannot put into words what I like the most about Japan because it’s a whole. It just feels like home to me. 

Its culture, the way they incorporate the past in the future if I may say. They have a deep respect for everything past and it’s something I’ve been drawn to. Actually, I cannot put into words what I like the most about Japan because it’s a whole. It just feels like home to me. 

How did you first hear about Peko Peko?

I like to peruse Instagram for more Japan related accounts and I stumbled upon Peko Peko during the time just before the launch of their first box back in August. I started following them and I am so happy to have found them. 

How could you review Peko Peko Box?

The care they put in every box and their contents makes it for a beautiful experience. This is something I really appreciate with these boxes.

Which item has been your favorite so far?

The card with the Kanji 夢 (yume). It has a special meaning to me. But really, I love all the items. The cup from the Kamakura box is a close second.

Peko Peko Box item
Yume card from the New Year Box

What future theme would you like us to do?

I would love to see a box about Okinawa, or one centered around the micro-seasons in Japan.

Posted on Leave a comment

Community Spotlight: Roxane

Roxane devant le Mont Fuji

In this Peko Peko Box Community Spotlight, you will meet Roxane. She has been writing her blog about Japan since 2017. She will tell you more about her 3 months trip to Japan in a camper van, as well as her experience with Peko Peko Box.

Can you briefly introduce yourself? Do you have any social media you want to share?

My name is Roxane and I have been the author of the blog Rokusan since 2017. I am 27 years old and I am a freelance ergonomist / UX designer. I have an Instagram @_rokusan and a Facebook page Rokusan – Japan, but I am mainly active on my blog where I regularly post new articles.

Peko Peko Kamakura Box
Peko Peko Kamakura Box

Have you ever been to Japan? If so, what was the highlight of your trip? If not, what places would you like to visit?

I have been twice to Japan, the first time as part of a road trip in a converted van for 3 months, and a second time just in Tokyo for 10 days. My first trip was very special and I had the opportunity to visit many places:  from Tokyo the Iriomote in the south, I had the chance to visit most of the south of Honshu, north of Shikoku and some islands of Okinawa. The trip was hard at times, because living in a campervan is not easy every day, but it was a wonderful experience that I will never forget and that changed me. It’s hard to say what struck me the most as I did so many incredible things … but I have excellent memories of the villages in Hiroshima prefecture, of the wild nature in Iriomote, of the tranquility on the Izu Peninsula and Kotohira-gu Shrine in Kagawa Prefecture.

What do you like about Japan and Japanese culture?

My love for Japan started through anime  like Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Sakura. I was barely 6 years old when I discovered Japanese animation, and at that time I didn’t know what Japan was. Over time, my interest for Japan grew, and I ended up loving its culture and its gastronomy, then its history and its art. Today, I would say that I am particularly interested in  Japanese folklore, including everything related to legends, yokai and deities.

Peko Peko Kamakura Box
Peko Peko Kamakura Box

How did you hear about our Peko Peko Box?

In addition to my personal blog about Japan, I am also the editorial manager of the Journal du Japon site. Last summer, we wanted to offer our readers a selection of boxes, and it was while looking for interesting boxes that I came across the Peko Peko Box. I don’t remember very well, but I think I just searched for “Box Japan” on Google. I was immediately drawn to the “local” and “human” side of the box.

What do you like the most about our Peko Peko Box?

I like the diversity of the products. I am happy to know that my purchase helps support local producers and artisans. The videos make it possible to have proximity both with the Peko Peko Box team and with its partners. I really like this side that is more human than a simple booklet. As for the products, I am never disappointed.

So far, which box has been your favorite?

I would say it’s the last one, the Kamakura box! I love everything we have received, especially the dove amulet and the coffee.

What kind of boxes would you like to see in the future?

I would very much like a box about the Tohoku region, and more particularly on Aomori prefecture! It is a region that we rarely talk about but surely has beautiful things to show us. This is one of the destinations that I would love to visit when we can travel again. I would love to go on Mount Osore and walk around Aoike Pond, among others. I like the themes by city or by prefecture because I find that it gives an additional “travel” dimension to the box.

Posted on Leave a comment

Community Spotlight: Margherita

Community Spotlight - Margherita

For this community spotlight, you will meet Margherita, a Japan enthousiaste from Italy. Discover in this article why she loves Japan and her experience with Peko Peko Box.

Can you briefly introduce yourself? Any social media we can visit to know more about you?

My name’s Margherita, I’m a Japan lover since I was born, now I live in Sardinia, a beautiful island in Italy. I’m a creative person who loves nature, I love painting and drawing, music and literature. On my Instagram you can find so much about Japan, from my books until my handpainted creations (often inspired right form Japan).

Have you ever been to Japan? If yes, what was the highlight of your trip? If not, where would you like to visit?

Unluckily I have not yet realized my dream to visit Japan but I hope I’ll do it soon, maybe this year would be the right one! I would like to visit Japan from North to South, exploring the main cities like Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka but also getting lost in beautiful historical villages like Shirakawa-go!

Ox statuette from the New Year Box

What do you like the most about Japan?

Japan fascinates me for every aspect of its culture! I love art, I love food, I love the bright colors of kimono and temples, I love people’s kindness and quietness but also the busy streets and their contrast with the peacefull country side and of course the world of mythology, legends and traditional characters. 

How did you first hear about Peko Peko?

I first hear about Peko Peko from a friend who showed one of your boxes.

What do you like the most about our boxes?

I love your boxes because they allow us to do a full immersion in Japanese culture even if comfortably from our home!

Which item has been your favorite so far?

My favorite item is the Daruma from Takasaki city I found on Spirit of Japan box

Daruma from the Spirit of Japan Box

What future theme would you like us to do?

I would really love a box all focused on Ukiyo-e! ♥️

Posted on Leave a comment

Community Spotlight: Kelly

Spotlight

Can you briefly introduce yourself? Any social media we can visit to know more about you?

Hello friends, my name is Kelly. I am a lifelong Japanophile from the Midwest in the United States. I’ve always had a deep interest and appreciation for Japanese culture. I decided about 2 years ago that I wanted to use YouTube as a platform to share that with others. It’s my creative way of expressing my love of Japan.
The social media you can get to know me more on are Instagram @itskellykawaii and my YouTube channel Kelly Kawaii.

Spotlight - Kelly
On Kelly`s desk: daruma and notepad from Peko Peko Spirit of Japan Box

Have you ever been to Japan? If yes, what was the highlight of your trip? If not, where would you like to visit?

I have not been to Japan yet. I did, however, plan my first trip for April 2020. Unfortunately, our vacation to Japan was canceled due to the pandemic. I spent about a year planning every detail of that trip. There were many places and activities we had planned for our stay.
Some of the activities I looked forward to the most were visiting the Pokemon Centers + The Pokemon Cafe, exploring Akihabara, and really, just getting lost in Tokyo. I also looked forward to visiting Arashiyama, temples, tea houses and onsen around Kyoto. I even had a hotel booked for us right in the heart of Gion. We had planned to stay in Tokyo and Kyoto, while also visiting Osaka and Nara. It was honestly a very detailed trip.
The only silver lining I can see from this delay is that it will allow me to prepare even more for when we will get to visit. The delay will allow us to save more money for the trip and give us more time to continue learning Japanese.

Spotlight - Kelly
On Kelly`s shelves: ox statuette from Peko Peko New Year Box

What do you like the most about Japan?

It’s not one specific thing that I love about Japan, but the country as a whole. I love the uniqueness and complexity of the culture. It spans from Japan’s zen all the way to its otaku culture. I love how Japan celebrates and incorporates the past along with always innovating for the future. I also love how the people of Japan work together as a whole for the greater good. There are so many things to love about Japan, but I think that sums up my feelings in short.

How did you first hear about Peko Peko?

I feel like this is a funny answer, but honestly, I happened to come across Peko Peko while scrolling through my Instagram feed. From there I followed their journey leading up to their first box. I’m so glad I came across Peko Peko box, because it’s honestly my favorite Japanese subscription box.

Spotlight - Kelly
Peko Peko Box Spirit of Japan box tatamis coaster perfect for Kelly`s morning coffee

What do you like the most about our boxes?

My favorite part about the boxes are the stories behind the items. I love that with the combination of story and video, I feel like part of me really got to visit Japan and obtain these wonderful omiyage. It really is the next best thing to being in Japan!
The other great thing is that these boxes help support small and local businesses throughout Japan. Tourism is such a huge part of the Japanese economy, and it saddens me that a lot of these businesses rely on the income from tourism to stay afloat. I’m glad these boxes help give back

Which box has been your favorite so far?

Honestly, I have loved every box so far. They are all so unique and give me a new experience each time. But if I had to pick one, I would say their very first box “Senses of Japan“. I say this because it was the first subscription box to ever give me an experience. Everything was so authentic and I could tell this was a labor of love. That first box made me want to subscribe to Peko Peko regularly. No Japanese subscription box has made me feel that way before.

Spotlight - Kelly
Kelly hung on her wall tenugui included in the Peko Peko Spirit of Japan box

What future theme would you like to do?

I have been thinking about this even before being asked this question. I know the March box includes coffee. But, one theme I’d love to see that I’ve never seen in another box is perhaps a coffee-themed box exploring Japan’s coffee culture. Many people do not think Japan has a coffee culture, so I think this could be a fun and educational box for coffee lovers.
I think other fun themes would be a matsuri box which could cover a specific festival, or give the feel of Japan’s festivals in general. Another could be an onsen and ryokan theme.
And also, I think, would be having boxes that cover the current season. Japan really celebrates its seasons, unlike most other countries. I feel like they really go all out to celebrate Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. I think that would be an enjoyable theme to cover.