Naoshima

· Art, Food, Illustration, Travel

It’s been almost 2 years since we left for this road-trip on the island of Shikoku in Japan and I still haven’t finished telling you about it! It’s a good thing because I’m not going to go there anytime soon, so this will allow us to travel by proxy.

Going through the pictures and my memories requires a little effort of memory to be able to transcribe the rest of this trip but I will try to do the best I can so that you can teleport yourself for a moment and why not plan a future visit to Japan (fingers crossed). Let’s go now!

 

Preparing your visit to Naoshima

Last time, I left you on a “nature and slow” note with this stay in Otoyo with our adorable family in the mountains. This time, I’m going to Naoshima Island, a small island transformed (thanks to the help of the architect Tadao Ando) into a real jewel of contemporary art.

I’m skipping for the moment our intermediate city Takamatsu (which I will detail in a next post) to tell you about our day in Naoshima: Indeed, if you look again at the details of our itinerary, you will notice that we left from Otoyo (Nagafuchi) to reach further north, the city of Takamatsu.

We stayed there for 3 nights and visited Naoshima Island by doing just a day trip. It was intense but it seemed to be the easiest in our case (don’t forget that we had a car which couldn’t be taken with us to Naoshima!). However, you can also choose to stay longer on the island. Here are some tips to prepare your visit:

  • Book in advance the tickets of the museums you want to visit on the Benesse art site especially for the very popular Chichu Art Museum: You will be able to choose your visit time. The other museums are more easily accessible without reservation.
  • Book your hotel on the same site if you choose to stay longer on the island. Unfortunately, I don’t have any recommendations for you as we were going back to Takamatsu on the mainland in the evening.
  • Be sure to bring sunscreen and a hat (bucket hat ?) if you go during the sunny season because there is not much shade on the island.

 

Getting to Naoshima

To get to this island, there is no other way than by boat. A ferry leaves about every hour from Takamatsu harbor from 8am with a journey of about 50mn (you can also leave from Okayama if you are not from Shikoku)

I already told this story on Instagram but because we forgot our museum tickets in our hotel room in Takamatsu (and I was not sure if they accept the electronic version), we had to go back in a hurry to get them and missed our ferry.

If you are as dizzy as I was (=I was in charge of the tickets), you should know that speed boats (more expensive and faster: crossing in 25mn) also allow access to Naoshima island with different time slots: what we took to catch up and manage to respect our appointment time for the reservation of the Chichu Art museum. Intense, I told you!

So I can’t advise you enough to check all your reservation tickets before you go to the port: My mistake may be useful to you! I’m not sure if ferry/speed boat tickets can be booked in advance on the internet though, but you can find the boat departure schedule here.

There are 2 ports on the island: Miyanoura and Honmura. The ferry coming from Takamatsu arrives at Miyanoura harbor while our speed boat docked at Honmura, further east.

The “cloud shaped pavilion” from the  architects Sanaa on the Honmura harbor

 

Getting around Naoshima

The island is not very big and can be reached by bike or by foot. But if you want to discover the museums and a maximum of artworks scattered all over the island, you can save up time by taking the bus which more or less goes around the island.

Despite our early morning loss of time, we chose to explore the island on foot: we are far from having seen everything but it was nice to slow down the pace and admire the artworks more quietly. (To be able to visit the whole island and all the museums, I think that 2 days minimum would be perfect, for information)

 

Admire the artworks on the island

“Naoshima Pavilion” by Sou Fujimoto

 

Just walking around, you won’t be able to miss the artworks that are scattered all along the way. If you are sensitive to the contemporary art and minimalist architecture of Tadao Ando, you will love it.

When you think that before the 90’s, Naoshima was almost unknown to the main public until the Benesse company took a look at it by calling Tadao Ando to “pimple” it into an artistic visual place, it’s pretty crazy!

Here are the works that crossed our path: from the famous pumpkins of Yayoi Kusama to the sculptures of Niki de Saint Phalle, we didn’t know where to look. And everything matches so harmoniously with the surrounding nature!

“Yellow pumpkin” and “Playhouse pumpkin” by Yayoi Kusama

“Another rebirth” by Kimiyo Mishima

“Shipyard Works : Stern with Hole” by Shinro Oktake, “3 Squares Vertical Diagonal” by George Rickey

“The bench” by Niki de Saint Phalle (Sorry for the tourist photo !)

 

Stairs by Tadao Ando which includes “Seen/unseen Known/Unknown by Walter de Maria

 

Naoshima’s museums

On Naoshima, there are not only artworks in the nature but also museums and art houses. We only took the tickets for the Chichu Art Museum (those we forgot at the hotel!) while for the other museums, since the reservation was not mandatory we wanted to see how the day was going to be to choose to visit them or not.

In the end, we only visited the Chichu Art museum in depth but here is an overview of the others so you can make your choice.

 

CHICHU ART MUSEUM :

Photos are not allowed inside, so I only have these few exterior shots to offer you but since I bought a book describing Tadao Ando’s work on the island, I have a few glimpses of the works you can admire there.

“Open sky” by James Turell and “the nympheas” by Claude Monet

 

In this museum with concrete architecture (signed Tadao Ando) are grouped 3 permanent works in 3 different rooms: “The nympheas” by Claude Monet, “Open sky” by James Turrell and “Time/timeless/no time” by Walter de Maria.

Time/ Timeless/ No time by Walter de Maria

 

As in many places in Japan, you have to take off your shoes before the visit: take care of your socks to honor the place and the art, haha. In any case, the architecture of the place is pure and plays with the light, highlighting the works of art. Conquered I was.

 

LEE UFAN MUSEUM :

We only went outside this museum presenting, as its name indicates, the works of Lee Ufan, a Korean artist.

 

BENESSE HOUSE MUSEUM : I regret not having had the time to enter this museum which mixes perfect architectural lines and majestic artworks. We were still able to admire the works of Niki de St Phalle located outside the museum.

 

ART HOUSE PROJECT : 7 abandoned houses rehabilitated into artworks are located on the side of Honmura harbor. Paintings and sculptures can be admired there.

Haisha : “Dreaming tongue” by Shinro Ohtake

 

ANDO MUSEUM : which consists of a concrete cube elegantly integrated in a hundred-year-old wooden house.

NAOSHIMA BATH : It is possible to take a bath in this unusual sento with kitsch, colorful and non-minimalist design by Shinro Ohtake.

Naoshima bath

 

MIYANOURA GALLERY 6 : designed by architect Taira Nishizawa. I hear it’s closed right now (but between us, is this information really useful in our current situation?)

 

Eating in Naoshima

CHICHU CAFE : No real time to try restaurants on this island. But we chose to have lunch at the Chichu Café of the Chichi Art Museum and here is the view we had while having our meal.

This cafe offered quick but tasty lunch platters (rice pilaf with beef for my SO and a rice burger with chicken teriyaki sauce for me). Chocolate fondant and ice cream are also offered.

Here are a few other dining tracks I spotted on the island (but didn’t try):

CAFE SALON NAKA-OKU : Omurice (omelette au riz) dans une maison japonaise traditionnelle

NAOSHIMA CAFE KONICHIWA : Curry rice et risotto

MAIMAI : Burger de poisson

APRON CAFE : Produits locaux et menus de saison

 

I hope you enjoyed this visit of Naoshima island and that it will be useful if you plan to go there: I tried to detail without saying too much, to let you have the satisfaction of discovering new things if you have the chance to step on the ground of this island one day.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions in the comments anyway, I’ll be happy to help you out! See you on the next visit: Teshima Island, less popular but not less interesting, rather the opposite! (English transation by Quiterie)

Five senses #19

· Beauty, Decoration, Fashion, Food, Illustration

It’s been over a month since I’ve been away from my blog but I’m back today with a new “Five senses” post to give some news and share my latest favorites. Here we go!

 

Touch

I recently collaborated with the committed brand The Simones to create a teeshirt to celebrate all the women we are. The brand is donating €1 per shirt sold and I decided to donate the entire amount I will receive for this collaboration (which will vary depending on the number of shirts sold) to the association called PLAN.

This association works to change the rights of girls and equality between girls and boys by developing programs promoting the education of the most vulnerable children.

 

T-shirt “Just as you are” The Simones x Tokyobanhbao

 

The sentence “just as you are” is the one Mark Darcy says to Bridget Jones (a little romcom wink hehe) but should also be said by us to ourselves. We are all different, with our qualities and our imperfections. Loving ourselves “just as we are” is the first step to taking power over our lives. That’s why we need to celebrate our uniqueness and that’s what I wanted to convey with this T-shirt.

Thanks for your first feedback on Instagram about this project which is very important to me.

 

Sight

 Quilda desk La Redoute
Eames Vitra chair

 

This is the place where I spend most of my time: as I already said on Instagram, I wanted this workspace to be purposely uncluttered because I’m someone who can easily lose focus, so there’s no way I’d have a ton of distracting objects in sight! And anyway, I now prefer to live in a minimalist environment, which I find more relaxing.

Shelves Serax
Desk lamp Bloomingville

 

Here are a few pictures of my office area that might help you find inspiration for decorating yours.

Ipad sleeve Wouf

 

 

Smell

I recently received a few new beauty products from ALAENA (made in Biarritz, organic ingredients and “Nature &Progrès“ label) as well as a candle, all of which are particularly delighting to the sense of smell.

  •  ALAENA combination skin moisturizer that will help me regulate sebum secretion, exacerbated by wearing the mask (I’ll give my verdict here or on Instagram once I’ve finished the jar!).
  •  ALAENA mango avocado soap (cold saponified) to wash my face (which is temporarily replacing my fetish soap from Les Inspyrées that I usually use).

  • MALIN & GOETZ candle with a spring “Mojito” scent (mint and lime) that changes a bit from the woody winter scents I usually diffuse at home: A little freshness doesn’t hurt to welcome spring!

 

Mojito candle Malin & Goetz

 

Hearing

My morning walks allow me to discover new sounds: Here are some new sounds that have charmed my ear lately:

-The Moonlight edition of Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia with new tracks like “We’re good” or “That kind of woman” that I love: No disappointment, only delicious bonuses added to this album already so loved in 2020.

 

Møme & Ricky Ducati : “They said” (a very catchy eighties track: The album “Flashback FM” is rather pleasant to listen to make the Daft Punk spirit last.

 

For my other favorite songs, I let you browse my instastories playlist on Deezer: I always add the songs I use to illustrate my instagram stories. There are already those from 2018, 2019 and 2020. So my 2021 playlist is a work in progress!

 

Taste

My 2 favorite cookbooks of the moment are those of Yotam Ottolenghi, which I highly recommend for lovers of gourmet dishes, rich in color and simple to prepare.

 

 SIMPLE and FLAVOUR by Yotam Ottolenghi (Editions Hachette)

 

I have already tried several recipes from his best seller SIMPLE and I am discovering those of FLAVOUR, more oriented towards vegetable-based dishes.(English translation by Quiterie)

 

(This post contains affiliate links)

My fashion purchases of 2020

· Fashion

The month of January inaugurates the year, but can also be the time to look back at the year that has just gone by. I thought that it would be interesting to make the 2020 sum up of my purchases in clothing and accessories, especially since I have been consuming in a more reasoned way for the last few years. This is part of my quest for minimalism and simplicity.

This assessment would have been impossible for me to make (or would have been very indigestible to read) 5-10 years ago given the excessive amount of clothes that entered my closet every month (week?). This year, unless I forgot, there are 8 items that have entered my closet consciously.

The idea is not to make you feel guilty if you bought more but just to show you that my consumption (and awareness) has evolved over time. I own much less than during my “fashion blog” years, carefully selecting clothes according to my criteria of quality (and usefulness) but the pleasure of dressing up remains intact. My looks have gained in simplicity and I have gained in freedom.

 

8 novelties in my wardrobe in 2020

When I say “8 purchases”, I’m talking about global acquisitions: 5 items on this list were gifted via partnerships (so they were offered to me) but I accepted these rare fashion partnerships with care, so I consider that it was as if I had bought them.

So I’m going to present this list of the 8 fantastic ones by telling you why I fell in love with them and how I felt about their quality until now. Let’s get started!

 

THE MAKE MY LEMONADE DUNGAREES

Hedwige Make my Lemonade dungarees (already seen here)

Date of purchase : July 2020

Reasons for the purchase : Favorite for the cut, the color of the garment and the responsible approach of the brand (organic cotton, quality of the relatively thick fabric, European manufacturing).

My daily use : I wear it from time to time, especially when the weather is nice, because of the light color, it can get easily dirty, but it follows me all year long depending on whether I wear a t-shirt or a sweater. Here is the autumn winter version (you have already seen the summer version here). I’m satisfied with it, it looks good after several washes.

 

THE UNIQLO DENIM SHIRT

Denim Uniqlo shirt (already seen here)

 

Date of purchase : March 2020 (gifted)

The reasons for the purchase: : I develop them in this article.

My daily use : I have been wearing this oversize shirt a lot at home since March. It’s not a particularly flattering piece but I feel good in it for a “cool” look and it’s easy to live with.

 

THE UNIQLO WHITE LINEN SHIRT

Linen shirt Uniqlo (already seen here)

 

Date of purchase : March 2020 (gifted)

The reasons for the purchase : I also develop them in this article.

My daily use : Perfect for spring and summer, it is a basic that I missed. I am satisfied with it.

 

THE COMPTOIR DES COTONNIERS JUMPSUIT

Pictures by Alice Jacquemin during a Comptoir des cotonniers collaboration

 

Date of purchase : June 2020 (Gifted)

Reasons for the purchase : The casual chic side that I like, the quality of the linen.

My daily use : I haven’t worn it much so far because I’m waiting to hem it at the bottom of the legs to get the right length… and I’m dragging a bit to get it done! But I hope that it will be ready next summer because I would like to wear it with sandals and a hamper (if we get free by then).

 

THE BERET LE BERET FRANCAIS

 

Date of purchase : October 2020

Reasons of the purchase : I already had a beret of the same color, from another brand but the size was a bit too small for my (big) head. So I decided to invest in a new beret in my size. The manufacturing in France guided me in this choice of brand.

My daily use : I wear it a lot since this fall (the influence of Emily in Paris no doubt!) and this beige/camel color goes well with the camel/grey/black/cream palette of my wardrobe. Nothing to report on the quality for the moment, I’ve had it for too little time (and never washed it) to say anything about it… but it’s all good for it!

 

THE YOUNG FRANKK NECKLACE

“Classic chain” necklace Young Frankk

 

Date of purchase : August 2020

Reasons of purchase : Since the big dangling earrings I used to wear with the mask are a bit embarrassing in my daily life, I wanted to invest in a big necklace with links that would serve to spice up my most basic outfits. I chose this brand because I already have a pair of Young Frankk earrings that hold up well over time. So I wanted to be sure of the quality.

My daily use : I wore it a lot this summer and fall, with a half-open shirt or on a simple tee-shirt. It also works very well with a sweater. I don’t regret the purchase (even if I took 40 euros of customs fees to get delivered, since the company is based in the USA= Carbon footprint level I could have done better too but well…)

 

ELOīSE FIORENTINO EARRINGS

“Océan” earrings  Eloise Fiorentino

 

Dateof purchase : December 2020 (gifted by the designer)

Reasons of purchase : I have several pairs of earrings from this designer that you can see here here and there. My first pair was bought a few years ago in a small store in Dijon. Then I purchased new ones each time I came back to Dijon because the quality is there, in addition to the pure design and their lightness that I appreciate. I was lucky this time that the designer gave me a pair for Christmas.

My daily use : These buckles are elongated but don’t bother me when I wear a mask so despite this COVID crisis, I wear them quite frequently (haha! the detail that counts since 2020). They are simple but sophisticate a bit my basic outfits.

 

THE COMPTOIR DES COTONNIERS BUCKET HAT

 Comptoir des cotonniers bucket hat worn at La Clusaz last summer

 

Date of purchase : June 2020 (gifted)

Les raisons de l’achat : I have a black bucket hat from &OtherStories since 2019 and it has served me well but I blame it for collecting dust very easily. When I saw this one, I saw the difference in quality and its gingham lining adds a little twist.

My daily use : I used it a lot this summer during my walks in Belle-île, Dijon or La Clusaz and it does the job well. It doesn’t catch dust and fulfills its role as a space-saving sun protector.

 

My assessment

I brought quite a few things into my wardrobe last year (the lockdowns and lack of opportunity to go out helped quite a bit too, so it’s not a big feat) and I’ve planned to do the same this year. In fact, I don’t think I’m missing much adding up things in my wardrobe.

I have in my wishlist a khaki hooded parka (without fur) with a simple and warm design for winter (which would be a winter equivalent of my spring oilskins when it rains= so practical not to carry an umbrella!) : I’ve been looking for one for several years but I have never found one that meets all my criteria.

I also aim to find a vintage Hawaiian shirt: again, relatively simple colorful patterns that could match my wardrobe, to be worn with flowing pants and a hat in summer. I didn’t launch an active search but I have these two targets in mind.

I am delighted in any case to have succeeded in moderating my acquisitions for a few years: It’s up to you to tell me if you are in the same spirit: Out of curiosity, how many clothes (and accessories) did you add in your wardrobe last year and are you satisfied with them? (English translation by Quiterie)

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