Walking along the shaded avenues, looking across the expanses and views of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden on a crisp afternoon, I suddenly longed to paint rooms.
I imagined a serene home designed in the varied and wondrous winter tones spread before me. I wanted to create names for the colours, but try it sometime. How challenging it is.
Paint companies have it down to an art reminiscent of haiku. Listen to the poetry in these samples from Benjamin Moore: Balboa Mist, Cathedral Gray, Buckhorn.
So I tried.
Getting back into ikebana after a 20-day hiatus wasn’t easy. Like any skill-development abandoned for a significant period of time—exercise, music practice, that golf swing, whatever—there’s a certain muscle tone and mindset which deteriorates in the interval. Continue reading
How serendipity strikes: After a party of three left the restaurant where I was waiting at the counter to place my order, one of them turned around and dashed back in to give me his card. “In case you might need someone to do your hair,” he said. “This is my shop. We specialize in foreign hair.” Continue reading
Beige, the Alain Ducasse restaurant in the top floor of the Chanel building in Ginza is where I spent most of yesterday afternoon. I’ve never enjoyed a Michelin star restaurant before and prefer to supply a link the Beige website for professional photographs. Those showcase the room, menu options and philosophy behind the food better than anything I can do with a phone. Continue reading
Though it wasn’t on the trip “To Do List” I was open to being tempted by Tokyo fashion. I’ve bought beloved and timeless clothing in Japan that is still going strong more than a decade later. However, on some previous trips I didn’t have room in a single carry-on suitcase for purchases. This time I do. Continue reading
Today I picked up my order of Osechi-ryori, boxes of celebratory New Year’s foods. These are freighted with auspicious symbolism and beautifully packaged inside boxes called jūbako. Continue reading
Christmas, in my view, is more intimate than other occasions on the calendar. At least it is in the Pacific Northwest where I have experienced the majority of my Christmas celebrations. Inside the home trees, lights, fires and candles glow. Rich aromas permeate the air. Whether it rains or snows, the blackened windows reflect the backs of those seated and envelope the space. Everything feels closer.
More so at Christmas than at any other festive time, in my mind food is linked to love Continue reading
Last weekend I hopped the train to Yokohama—about an hour out of Tokyo—to join friends for the Christmas Market in a former warehouse district now converted to event and boutique space. On Christmas Eve Sunday I’d been invited back for Christmas lunch Japanese style in their home. Continue reading
Twenty-two minutes before the Solstice sunset I was seated on the 41st floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo in Shinjuku with a glass of champagne. Looking west through semi-sheer blinds diffusing the view, a large orange ball hung over the Japan Alps. Suffused by haze the orb seemed to expand as it sank toward the peaks gilding everything with shades of orange, turning the blue skies to dust and dun. Continue reading