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Experiences we love – East Asia, August 19

Inspiration for this month’s Experiences we love comes from a recent trip to Seoul, Tokyo and Shanghai. We saw a lot that we loved and could write an article three times the length of this one, but we’ve managed to narrow our long list down to a handful of favourites. Here’s a mix of old and new experiences we think are worth checking out.


RYSE Hotel

Based in Hongdae, RYSE’s location is just one of the things that makes the hotel a great place to stay.

RYSE hotel

What we love

The design. Contrasting materials and playful touches make RYSE an eye-catching and personality-filled space.

The multi-purpose space. RYSE is truly multifunctional, with facilities where guests to work or work out, event spaces, multiple dining options, a club, an art gallery and a lounge dedicated to print. There’s also a pop-up space called DIS.PLAY and a 5,000 sqft retail space occupied by Worksout. The store stocks brands from around the world over 3 floors.


The clothing brand’s first flagship store is a striking setting for its designs.

What we love

The drama. The building’s architecture is made up of simple contrasting shapes with both curved and pointed edges. The façade is entirely black and the interior is dominated with a black, grey and white palette. Dramatic lighting and theatrical VM add to the space’s striking atmosphere.

It offers more reasons to stay. Shoppers can unwind in the coffee shop that overlooks the store’s patio where a suspended potted tree floats.


Takeo Kikuchi

The three-storey flagship of the menswear brand invites customers to take in the store at their own pace.

Takeo Kikuchi

What we love                                                                                            

It offers space to relax. For customers who want to take a break, there’s plenty of seating in and around the store and even a garden at the back for some respite. Wanting to let the building breathe too, the designers added timber-framed windows to let in fresh air.

Gone is the cash register. To encourage interaction between staff and customers, the store has no cash registers. This also frees up space as register counters tend to dominate.


A.P.C.’s Daikanyama Homme store is an impressive space.

APC Daikanyama

What we love

The sense of discovery. The store’s architecture makes the space feel like a place of discovery, with various rooms having their own theme and story. The store’s entrance is via a narrow garden pathway, giving customers a sense of adventure.

The design. Industrial materials are layered for an unfinished yet clean look.


Gentle Monster

We included Gentle Monster’s Shanghai store in our last East Asia roundup of Experiences we love. However, the store in Huangpu District has since undergone a transformation.

Gentle Monster Shanghai

What we love

The theatricality. Never a brand to do things by half, the new experience is as impressive, creative and slightly disorienting as Gentle Monster’s other spaces. The concept ‘Mobitecture’ imagines a world where the moon drifts out of orbit, changing the environment and creating a 13th month. Shoppers are immersed in this dystopia through the design and installations.

Assemble by Réel

The men’s fashion and lifestyle concept store in Réel Mall doesn’t skimp on the details.

Assemble by Reel

What we love

The layout. The store’s layout is inspired by the trendy young people of Shanghai, their passions and lifestyles. The space is divided into four zones based on city motifs: Church, Park, Skate Park, and Gallery. Each district has a distinct design and stocks a different fashion style – classic, designer, urban and contemporary.

The eye-catching design. Each zone has details reflecting the city amenity it takes after. For example, the Church area is filled with arches and columns while the Skate Park has a ramp. The partially open-plan space features a fun palette of materials, with varying materials and textures.

A water station. As well as the considered design touches, there’s also a water station where shoppers can refill.

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