Two of the most recognisable faces in the Tokyo Gothic lolita scene are the duo who make up Kokusyoku Sumire, Sachi & Yuka. If you don’t know them, allow me to introduce you.
Those who have the Gothic & Lolita book will certainly recognise them – they’re in it. But who are they and why are they famous?
Sachi plays violin and piano, while Yuka plays accordion and piano and sings. They perform, model, and run a lovely Lolita Bar in the Golden Gai, called Sumire No Tenmado. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting there and taking tea and cake several times – although the very first time I visited, they were away in Hollywood visiting Tim Burton on the set of Alice in Wonderland! (But I found my fave punk bar, so it all worked out).
In April this year however, the bar was open and I attended with Valerie from Tokyo Fashion & Art Factory and Jim of Horror High School. (BTW, a great article on Valerie’s blog was in the Japan Times in June). We met some illustrators while we were there – it’s quite bohemian that way!
Next time I will plan ahead and get some good photos of the cafe so you can see how charming it is, with little replicas of cakes, dolls, beautiful artwork and lolita touches everywhere. Yuka serves up delicious home-made cakes and pies with sinful cream and ice-cream, (or hot food if you prefer!)
It really is a must-see for any lolita, or any lover of japanese lolita culture. However, it is so small you may have to wait for a while before you can sit down. Sumire No Tenmado is open for afternoon tea from around 5pm or in the evening (bar time) from around 8pm. Weekends and holidays it is tea time all day, 12 – 8pm.
Intrigued? Visit the Kokusyoku Sumire website to find out more about them.
Their latest album just released is called Alice in the Underground (see below), again with fantastical stylings, and they toured Europe with it in May this year. You can read more about them and their performances in their blogs – Yuka’s blog, and Sachi’s blog.
As I mentioned, Sumire No Tenmado is in the Golden Gai, and the map is here: