Japan is known as the the land of the rising sun. It's also a land resplendent with mountains & volcanos, beautiful beaches, automation and efficiency, deep-rooted traditions and etiquette, quality food at every price level, futuristic high-tech cities and villages where nothing has changed for generations... We explored Tokyo and the western part of the country for 3 months and were repeatedly surprised by the quirky, the cute and all the other idiosyncrasies.
If you would like to venture outside the major cities of Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima it can be overwhelming and hard to decide where to go. On our trip these are the places we enjoyed the most:
This town on the northern coast is full of authentic and traditional experiences and famous in particular for its historic Samurai and Geisha areas where you can see original samurai houses or attend a traditional tea ceremony. The laneways are captivating and even more so because of the many Japanese visitors dressed up i...
How often do you get the chance to spend time in a unique one-off artwork? Or to choose if you would rather sleep surrounded by sumo wrestlers, a bamboo forest or giant gold fish??
At Park Hotel Tokyo you can do just that. Their 'Artist in Hotel' program takes 'artist in residence' one step further. Since the project was launched in December 2012, 15 Japanese artists have each decorated a bedroom with 4 more currently underway. By 2016 all rooms on the 31st floor will be transformed.
As I toured the rooms it struck me how each artists had relished these large scale, three dimensional canvases. All paintings are done directly on the walls and some literally make use of all available surfaces and continue into the bathroom or wardrobe as if they didn't want to stop.
I very briefly met the artist busy painting the soon-to-be-launched Satoyama Woodlands room. She showed us that she had even painted underneath the luggage shelf.