Experience Japan Unlayered at Fairmont Pacific Rim

I was in Vancouver this week to see the Japan Unlayered, an exhibition on Japanese Art, Architecture and Culture happening at Fairmont Pacific Rim. The event features brands like MUJI, BEAMS JAPAN, Waketokuyama, ACURA and Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience as well as architecture by Kengo Kuma and designs from Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garcons) and Yoji Yamamoto.

When you enter Fairmont Pacific Rim, first thing you see is the Floating Tea Room by Kengo Kuma on your right. The use of “Super Organza” reminds me of the childhood fort in a way, but at the same time there is a sense of serenity.

On your left, is the much-talked-about MUJI Pop-up store. To explain what MUJI is for those who don’t know what it is, it’s an extremely popular Japanese retail chain known for its unique yet simple designs. MUJI is short for Mujirushi Ryohin, which means No Brand, Quality Goods. They don’t market themselves as cutting-edge design company, but rather, natural (a lot of their cotton and paper are unbleached, so they are in beige color) and environmentally friendly. They’re not flashy, yet their products work. Their products often feature simple yet ingenious designs. See the flashlight video here. (As of February 1st, this flashlight was sold out at the pop-up store. I am not sure whether they will be restocked or not. )

I love their stuff. So I was very excited to hear that MUJI is opening 2 stores in Vancouver (Robson St and Metrotown) this fall.

Due to the high volume of interest, entrance to the MUJI pop-up store is currently registration-based, and the spots “sell out” very quickly, but in you have time to line up for few minutes, you can get in. Here’s a quick video of the shop. It is very very small.

Kengo Kuma’s architecture exhibition is just above the RAW bar and lobby lounge. There are many Japanese elements Mr. Kuma uses in his designs, and each of them are explained in detail here. I loved them all, but this one in particular was my favourite:

RAW bar features special Chef’s Plate (Gozen) lunch by chef Hiromitsu Nozaki from the 2-stat restaurant Waketokuyama and Fairmont Pacific Rim’s own Chef Takayuki Omi. I’ve had a privilege of working with Chef Omi (Taka Sensei) in the past, and I am sure this will be extraordinary. Reserve your spot here.

Tea and Wagashi (Japanese sweets) are also served at lobby lounge during the day.

BEAMS Japan, another iconic Japanese lifestyle brand has their own pop-up store inside the Giovane cafe.

I bought this Japanese style towel at BEAMS shop. This traditional Japanese pattern is called hemp leaf. One of my favourite patterns.

Japan Unlayered is free admission and continues until February 27th. Be sure to check it out and experience Japan – Unlayered.