Five senses #15

· Decoration, Fashion, Food

Here is a new Five senses episode to share what have stimulated my 5 senses lately : let’s go !

 

Sight

Sweatshirt American Vintage
Suit Urban Outfitters (2014) (already seen here)
Sneakers New Balance (2014) (already seen here)

 

I’ve got two main colors in my wardrobe: beige and grey. I find them easy to match together and with other colors too.

I also really like the pink color (for the fresh and “healthy glow” touch) that I wear with a few pieces of clothes (with a trench, long jacket, and a raincoat and pants). I didn’t have any pink top (apart from a pullover that I loved but had to give up as it was too itchy!) : so I invested in this pink sweatshirt (being 100% sure it won’t be itchy as it is made of soft and fluffy cotton).

So here is the outfit with a grey suit spiced up with a touch of pink, that I wear outside with a long warm coat. I will try to mix and match it with beige clothes : it’s my own way to bring some brightness to the current weather!

 

Taste

Quite a few yummy discovery lately and 2 sunny shops to recommend.

The first one is HÉBÉ (15 Rue Frédéric Sauton, 75005 Paris) The perfect balance between tastes and textures from starter to dessert. I was over excited in front of the tartare, the duck with lavender and crunchy millefeuille. A menu to share for a friendly and happy moment.

Beef tartare, grilled corn, octopus and dick with its lavender mash potaoes

Praline and nut Millefeuille and verbena peach

 

The 2nd one: TINTAMARRE (80 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris) is simpler but as yummy as the previous one. This address with Lebanese inspirations is dedicated to only use organic and seasonal products, directly from producers as much as possible.

Beef tataki, mememen, grapefruit hummus and chickpea fatteh , halloumi skewers

 

I particularly liked the cassolette with eggs and vegetables slightly spiced up called “menemen” as well was the various hummus with a delicious taste of “eat some more”. This being said, I will try to go back there to try out the brunch that looks pretty good too.

 

Touch

Agenda et refill Delfonics

 

The years go by and I can’t give up on my paper agenda (I can’t sort out my meetings with a calendar on my phone).

My favorite shops in Paris is called Delfonics (a Japanese shop) at le Carrousel du Louvre: Every year I buy my new agenda there. Last year, I chose a cover that I can re-use every year (as the year is not mark on the cover) and this shop sells agenda refills!

Therefore, I just bought the 2020 pages refill (I am part of the team “agenda pages start in January” and not “September”): so I am ready to start the next year, well organized!

The shop also has a lot of nice cards, pens, pencils and pouches: eye candy!

 

Hearing

What an excitement when after waiting 7 years, Keane got a new music album out “Cause and effect”, which I’ve been listening again and again.

CD/vinyl collector box Keane “Cause and effect”

 

As I was saying on Instagram, it’s not really easy to get into this album from the very first time you listen it considering the slow pace and the not very catchy melodies. But if we try harder (such as endive or Brussel sprouts) we can end up liking it (you’ll say that I am not objective I know…)

I actually already purchased tickets for the coming concert in January at the Olympia: when we love it…

 

Smell

My last passion these past few weeks are symbolized by this green pot filled with matcha spread, randomly found in a Korean grocery shop near by the Opera.

Matcha spread “Bokumjari” (found at ACE Opéra)

 

A very subtil smell of matcha (or nokcha as the product is Korean) which spices up the taste of milk jam, to spread on bread or brioche toast. For the non-Parisian, I found a recipe of DIY matcha spread here that I will probably try once this one will be done: to be continued! (English transation by Quiterie)

Awaji & Tadao Ando

· Art, Decoration, Food, Illustration, Travel

Finally ! After all the details about Osaka, here is the first step of our road trip. It’s now time to start this journey in chronological order.

Indeed, as soon as we landed at Osaka airport early in the morning, and right after getting our rental car (= all the info about this topic here), we drove non-stop toward the Awaji island. This island connects the main island Honshu to Shikoku (which will be our main interest for this trip). Let’s go!

 

Awaji Yumebutai

This garden/monument/park (I don’t exactly know how to describe it) was our very first stop to visit almost right after getting off the plane! But the excitement of being in Japan as well as the idea to discover this master piece of Tadao Ando kept us awake.

I am grateful to my favorite travel agent for suggesting me this stop that really worth the visit if you are a fan as me of the work of the architect.

Awaji Yumebutai was built after the earthquake in Kobe in 1995 by Tadao Ando, who was able to use the damaged nature to enhance this space. The result, quite wide to explore, gathers a hotel, a memorial, a botanical garden and various point of sea views.

The most impressive place is the Hyakudan botanic garden : multiple plant-filled terraces that you can admire below. The flowering was not optimal at that time but spring season must be amazing.

From models…

… to reality!

As always, Tadao Ando devotes significant attention to mix with harmony nature and architecture and it’s a real pleasure for the eyes. So make sure to plan at least a few hours to half a day: depending on how you can get amazed to look at every single details.

 

Naruto whirlpool

This curiosity of nature is located between the island of Awaji and Tokushima prefecture (Shikoku side) and can be observed twice in a day (around 8:00am and 2:00pm to properly see a whirlpool). We got there a bit later but we could still witness this phenomenon.

This whirlpool is created due to the Pacific Ocean and Seto sea tides meeting, which form this phenomenon.

From the ferry boat, we can admire the bridge such as a Golden Gate spanning the Naruto strait. And as always in Japan, mascots are part of the game!

 

TOTO Seawind hotel by Tadao Ando

This first day in Japanese territory (without sleeping!) will end up in this seaside hotel, designed by Tadao Ando (I told you my SO had found nice spots!).

We can recognize the very specific style of the architect: these lines, concrete, light and shadow effects. A strong minimalism very soothing for the sight.

The only downside: it’s so minimalist that if you arrive around 7:00pm without booking your dinner, you won’t find anything nearby and won’t be able to enjoy the dinner prepared on site (Japanese people hate unplanned situations so don’t even try to insist!).

We got trapped and ended up in our bedroom to warm up instant noodles that reception members found somewhere in the pantry (they really must not be used to see not far-sighted clients, such as us!).

Dreamy isn’t it? You cannot say that I haven’t warned you about the dinner to book in advance!

Regarding the breakfast it was perfect (we booked it!) : a buffet of various Japanese food (mostly salty= rice, fish, tofu…) where everyone can pick and arrange his/her favorite food in well compartmentalized plates.

A very nice housing address (surprisingly not so expensive for Japan = about 12000¥= 100€ per night) for anyone who loves architecture and absolute calm with sea view.

 

Sushi at Hayashiya 林屋鮓店

(HAYASHIYA 1168 Iwaya, Awaji 656-2401 Hyogo Prefecture) The only yummy address tested was this sushi place, where we had lunch before visiting the Yumebutai park.

I had the impression that all the population of the town was in this fully packed restaurant considering the empty streets.

Proof that it’s a good place! Sushi were very good and prepared on demand in front of us. Unfortunately I didn’t take any picture good enough to show you what we ate but it was delicious and terribly fresh! (I captured the ambiance on my Instagram stories).

Our first visit is ending here! The exploration of Shikoku will start in the next article before coming back to Awaji at the end of our trip for relaxing activities: talk to you soon! (English translation by Quiterie)

What souvenirs to bring back from Japan?

· Decoration, Travel

I was asked this question on Twitter and thought my answer would be more detailed in an article. Indeed, Japan has a lot of various items that worth to be brought back as souvenir but I prepared a short list of the best to carry in your suitcase back to France.

Obviously this list is based on my personal tastes and you might really want to have at the back of your car a Shiba dog with hanging head, but I hope it will give you a few ideas for your next trip to Japan.

 

Tableware and ceramics

It’s what I’ve brought back as a priority during my last few trips to Japan: I’ve tried to remain reasonable and have only chosen a few pieces each time, to enjoy them wisely and in order to complete the set piece by piece.

Tableware and ceramics from Tokyo, Osaka, Okayama and wooden spoons/forks from Kyoto
(at Inobun : I talked about it here)

 

Disney’s items

These could be skipped if you don’t spend your life inside Disney entertainment parks. I like bringing back accessories and souvenirs for my future visits in the Disneyland Paris park (such as small bags, tee-shirts, Minnie’s earring) as I know they will be useful to enhance my outfits.

As for the rest, I tend to buy small items (useful if possible) such as pens, cocktail stirrers or alien cable cover that I simply find awesome!

Don’t hesitate to visit the Disney stores in Japan (in addition to the TokyoDisneyland shops) as the Japanese aesthetic in term of Disney merchandising is always well thought and mixes useful and kawaii.

 

Movie posters

As soon as I walk by a movie theater in Japan, I get inside to grab a few small movie posters available (used as advertising flyer), they are always nicer than the ones in Europe and can be framed as a gift back home.

Surprise ! I didn’t expect to find this French movie poster “Le grand Bain”in Japan !

 

Delicacies

The Kit Kat with various flavors (rum and raisins, matcha, Sake, cheesecake…) are a safe bet as small gifts but you can also get kawaii candies, salty Japanese crackers : I have to admit that I don’t bring much of them anymore (for me) as we easily find them in Paris and I prefer to eat other Japanese specialities when I am there!

 

Knick-knacks from Daiso, Don Qijote or Muji

From my previous trips, I had found a lot of cooking accessories and most especially bentos. I also really enjoy going to the Japanese Muji, as I sometimes find products not available in the French shops and prices are much lower there (so if you have spotted one item in France, wait for Japan to buy it, it’s much cheaper).

 

A yukata

The ones with bigger budget can buy a nice and authentic kimono but as for me, a yukata is more than enough (and less cumbersome= I still have this one I bought in 2014)

 

A furoshiki

Just perfect to carry out everything with a small Japanese touch. (This one was not brought back from Japan but was made there and offered by my friend Candice)

“Daruma” Furoshiki to tie in 1000 different ways!

 

Japanese books and magazines

For inspiration! Even though I can’t read a word of Japanese it’s always very pleasant to look at them.

 

Japanese stationaries

For the script and paper lovers, Japan always creates beauties.

 

As I told you this list can be longer based on your tastes (feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below): For my part, I’ve brought back less and less (always to reduce my consumption and to try creating souvenir out there instead!). Anyway, I hope you got some inspiration for gift ideas from the rising sun country, for your friends and family (or yourself)! (English translation by Quiterie)

Page 1 of 193