Design Elements

24.09.2014 § Leave a comment

Photographs and inspirations from my trip to Japan.

Ota, Japan

18.09.2014 § Leave a comment

In Japan, my sister and I visited the hot spring place called Ota. Ota is in the countryside and was beautiful. It’s well known for its miso too, so we had miso ice cream there, and it was delicious! « Read the rest of this entry »

Rangetsu Ryokan

15.09.2014 § Leave a comment

Ryokan means “inn” in Japanese. Usually it’s a tatami place with shoji doors. It’s popular to stay in Ryokan at the hot spring resorts in Japan. My sister and I went to one called Rangetsu. It had a private hot spring opening to a small garden as well as a public one (where we went) which also had an outdoor hot spring pool.

Rangetsu Ryokan Rangetsu RyokanRangetsu Ryokan

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One-Man Theater

09.09.2014 § Leave a comment

One-Man Theater

On the day we visited Kiyomize temple, the temperature was sizzling. At the entrance of the temple, there was a man, a one-man theater, passionately acting out his play. I was very touched by his passion for theater and stood there watching him for a long time. « Read the rest of this entry »

Kyoto, Japan

05.09.2014 § Leave a comment

More photos from my trip to Japan in and around Kyoto.

Golden Pavilion

Golden Pavilion Golden Pavilion

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Kaiseki Cuisine

03.09.2014 § Leave a comment

Kaiseki (懐石) or kaiseki-ryōri (懐石料理) is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. The characters literally mean “stone in the bosom”. The idea came from the practice where Zen monks would ward off hunger by putting warm stones into the front folds of their robes, near their bellies. Kaiseki has since evolved into a sumptuous feast of 14 items including an appetizer, sashimi, a simmered dish, a grilled dish, and a steamed course in addition to other dishes at the discretion of the chef. We had a full-fledged Kaiseki dinner at Rangetsu Ryokan in Kyoto.

The nine Japanese-style servings took two hours. Here are the pictures. « Read the rest of this entry »

Day Trip to Matsumoto City ~ 3

22.08.2014 § Leave a comment

I saw these lovely wall tiles in Matsumoto city.

Wall Tiles in Matsumoto City Wall Tiles in Matsumoto CityWall Tiles in Matsumoto City

Day Trip to Matsumoto City ~ 2

21.08.2014 § Leave a comment

Matsumoto city’s streets are preserved from the old days. They are lined with lovely shops. There was an antique Kimono shop where I bought a tie-dyed, soft turquoise blue coat and a few fabric fragments cut from old Kimono. I also ran into a gallery-looking shop that sells items handwoven by a weaver and vegetable dyer. From her I bought a peach wood-dyed, chamomile color scarf.

Vegetable Dyes Vegetable Dyed ScarfVegetable Dyed Scarf

There were other shops too, and inspiring colors from my day trip to Matsumoto city: « Read the rest of this entry »

Day Trip to Matsumoto City

15.08.2014 § 1 Comment

My sister came to Japan to visit me, and we went on a one-day visit to Matsumoto city. It was a two and a half hour train ride from Tokyo to the foot of the Japanese Alps mountains.

The area is well known for its miso and buckwheat noodles. So, for lunch, I had wasabi leaf noodles with grated radishes. My sister had deep-fried burdock noodles with field greens. They were refreshing and delicious—and beautiful.

Matsumoto lunches

Waseda University

11.08.2014 § Leave a comment

My first week at Waseda University for a short-term, intensive summer Japanese class started with a bit of heat shock. The classroom is different every day, and the teacher is different for almost every class even when the subject is the same. Despite the heat, students are encouraged to climb the stairs to any classroom below the fifth floor. The professors are not very happy if you are late for class, so I have been running to look for classes every day in this blazing hot sun.

Still, I have had time to explore and found some great Japanese textiles, museum collections and books from their library. I’ve always found the manhole covers in Japan fascinating too, so I couldn’t help but take pictures of the ones I’ve found so far on the university campus.

Kimono Collection, Tokyo National Museum

Kimono Collection, Tokyo National Museum

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