Sapporo snow festival

· Fashion, Food, Illustration, Travel

I was joking about it but I think it will really take a year to finish this story about my winter trip in Japan! (it still remains a few cities to talk about).

I am really sorry that it’s been taking me so long if you’ve been counting on me to prepare your winter trip but we never know, you might be ready for winter 2020!

Let’s not wait more, today we are leaving Akita to go to Sapporo, located in the north, on the Japanese island Hokkaido.

 

To go to Sapporo

Leaving from Tazawako station, we had to change our train twice during a 7-hour train trip: once in Morioka, then at Shin Hakodate station to finally get to Sapporo, my train tickets still booked with my JR Pass.

If your departure point is somewhere else, no worries, Sapporo is well connected.

 

For the hotels, we booked in October for February but occupancy was already high (and expensive!).

So we stayed at the Best Western Sapporo Odori Koen located in front of Odori park: very small room (we almost slept in the middle of our luggages!) but clean and perfectly located to access all the activities of the snow festival.

 

Sapporo Snow Festival

In front of the Osamu Tezuka ice artwork

 

The snow festival called « Yuki matsuri » is organized every early February. In 2018, it was from the 1st to the 12th of February. Only two days were enough to enjoy the event as we wished. Book an extra night if you would like to explore the city more.

To stay in Sapporo during the 10 days of festival seems way too long unless you are a sledge addict, contemplate artworks for hours or you are a member of the team participating to the international festival of ice carving.

The festival opens in 3 different areas of the city, each of them accessible during a certain time of the matsuri.

 

  • Odori park

To my point of view, the most interesting is the one in the Odori park: it’s where the night animations are done, and the ice sculptures are shown, all more impressive than the last.

At night, the sculptures are animated thanks to light projections: the crowd is around so is the coldness! Make sure to stay warm to not end up frozen as a sculpture of the festival.

 

Chance meeting with Instagram star Marutaro !

 

Each year, different themes are suggested: here, they paid tribute to the mangaka Osamu Tezuka with this immense construction of Astro Boy, Princess Knight and Kimba the White Lion.

A huge Final Fantasy XIV fresco covered with snow was also showcased.

I think, the most impressive part was the area dedicated to the sculptures contest where countries compete against each other: watch all these team working, polishing every details of the creation and showing unlimited creativity was quite fascinating.

The winner was the Thai team

 

Besides the pleasure of the eyes, we can also enjoy the various food stalls in the streets! Ramen, doughnuts, hot drinks: the ambiance is as warm as a Christmas market… a bit more exotic!… with a touch of kawaii with all the mascots ready to take a selfie!

Sapporo TV Tower and the city mascot “Terebi-Tosan”

 

 

  • Susukino quarter

Another part of the festival is located in the neighbourhood called Susukino, not very welcoming but worth to explore to admire the ice sculptures.

The pieces are not showcased properly enough in the middle of this street considering the detailed work done for each of them. But it’s worth to be seen.

 

  • Tsudome park

We didn’t visit the third and last area of the festival: Tsudome, mainly dedicated to sliding sports. But I am mentioning it in case you are more athletic than we are.

As per the city, we only visited the neighbourhoods around the festival and crossed the old park of the governor palace followed by a small snow storm.

 

I don’t have much recommendation in terms of visit as our main objectif was the snow festival but I am sure people who loves beers will visit the museum.

 

My yummy addresses in Sapporo

 

  • RAMEN SHINGEN (8 Nishi, Minami-6jo, Chuo-ku)

The ramen are the food speciality in Sapporo. I had read on the Internet about the restaurant called Ramen Shingen and we decided to try if the ramen were as good as said.

The line in the cold was very long, so was the wait inside before eating the Holy Grail.

Indeed it was very good, but does it worth the wait? Not so sure. So if you pass by and don’t see a long line (or nonexistent) just go. Otherwise, it should depend on your love of ramen.

Curry ramen and gyozas

 

  • DONABE HANBA-GU HOKUTOSEI (5-20 Minami 2 Jo Nishi, Chuo-ku,in front of Grids hotel in the Tanukikoji gallery)

This one was our favourite. Very simple, the hot stews served with rice comforted us like never before.

Not very photogenic but sooo good !

 

  • KINOTOYA BAKE (Sapporo JR station, East entrance)

For the sweet tooth, these cheesecake style pies are perfect. Light and gourmet at the same time. We may find this shop somewhere else in Japan but give it a try if you are close by. It’s very good. (English translation by Quiterie)


My Outfit

Downjacket La Redoute (already seen here)
Chapka Agnès B (2009) (already seen here)
Snood Next
Jeans La Redoute (2017)
Boots Sorel

Anti-trend

· Fashion

The purpose of this post is not too tell you what to do nor to spread a universal truth, or even show you my rebel side but I would like to talk about fashion trends I decided not to follow this season, in ordre to being in line with my will to consume less and timeless wardrobe.

For the past 11 years writing this blog, I had the time to understand what fits me better. Even though I can find other people wear them perfectly, here are my arguments for and against a few Autumn winter 2019 fashion trends I can start seeing around me.

 

Daddy shoes

Why I could be tempted: the comfort and cavalier side: “yes, I wear huge multicolore running shoes with a pair of jeans and a trench… and so what?”

Why I won’t succumb: I already tried the sneakers with platform from Isabel Marant but unfortunately these “beauties” are still in my closet and no-one even wanted to buy them…

It’s the big problem of these Ugly shoes: we get used to it after seeing all the time the stylish fashion editors wearing them, we buy them and then we regret our silhouette of fake athlete (in the same vein, fingers crossed for my summer investment, the Birkenstocks).

Moreover, it must be noted, this big sneakers are not enhancing my silhouette.

 

The waistbag

Why I could be tempted: Nostalgia from the 90s and the “cool” side. Fashion is a cycle: I wore a waistbag when I was a teenager, it comes back this year and I could wear it again in 20 years.

Even though I am quite sure I wouldn’t go for the sportswear, I like the leather belt/pouch which is more elegant. And I like wearing it on the shoulder rather than around the waist.

Why I won’t succumb: I am not cool (haha) and I don’t want to fill up my closets with accessories that are too representative of a period.

Are we going to get excited in front of a waistbag the next 2 years? Maybe yes, maybe not. Do I want to leave it after in my closet for the next 20 years? Not sure.

 

Winter long dress

Why I could be tempted: the bohemian style lookbooks that really push us to follow this trend and the comfort to put on a long dress without thinking.

Why I won’t succumb: my point of view is totally subjective and I talk about the style I would like to have to fit my silhouette.

I would definitely go for a long dress in summer (freedom!) but in winter, it’s harder because you need to match it with a coat: I find the long dress-long coat combo not good for my silhouette and gives me a “Urban Amish” look not that great.

 

The scarf/tapestry prints

Why I could get tempted: To spice up my uniform looks, to give some character: patterns are good sometimes.

Why I won’t succumb: The H&M with Morris & Co collaboration is the typical example I won’t buy as it’s simply not my style at all.

This pattern is also difficult to manage: long dress and pussybow shirt, all the ingredients to make me look like a Granny. I can’t (or at least not before the menopause).

 

So here is a quick overview of the trend I refuse to follow. The future will tell us if I will succumb or not. What about you? Is there any trend you won’t never like? (English translation by Quiterie)

 

Photos credits : Elle.fr, Topshop, H&M, Sézane, Net-a-porter

Tadao Ando

· Art, Fashion

Since last summer, I am quite spoiled in terms of exhibition in Paris thanks to the « Japonismes » event that will last until the beginning of next year. Unfortunately I missed « Jakuchū » at the Petit Palais (which seemed to have a lot of success as I couldn’t get tickets online and looking at the endless line at the doors).

For this new exhibition of Tadao Ando, I had to be much faster! So I went to the Centre Pompidou last Sunday when the doors opened, with my e-ticket on my phone..

 

Tadao Ando, the self-educated architect

Actually, before Sunday, I didn’t know much about Tadao Ando, apart from the museum of contemporary art in Naoshima island (you know, the island with the huge pumpkin from Yayoi Kusama).

This exhibition gave me a huge input of his impressive work, knowing that he learnt everything on his own after traveling around the world, observing everything (of course, talent helps too).

 

Komyo-Ji temple, Saijo, Ehime and Rokko Residence, Kobe scale models

 

I got totally transported by his ideas and master pieces: a mix of graphic, minimalist lines, intrinsically linked with the nature and even sublimating the whole.

 

Nature and architecture

What particularly got my attention was the very smart way to use emptiness to create a space filled with soul, where the nature and the concrete are in total harmony, hence the name of the exhibition: The Challenge.

Because yes, it’s a nice challenge to be able to create these « spaces of essential emotions »: Tadao never forgets human nor nature in his work.

For me, the most impressive piece is the Hill of the Buddha (2015): an artificial hill built long after this sacred statue, to give some mysterious and spiritual character to the monument.

The lavender planted above this hill change the aesthetic of this place each season, for a purple colour in summer, green during spring and a white coat the whole winter.

What a shame we didn’t know about this monument when we went to Japan last winter as it’s located in Sapporo in Hokkaido!

 

La Bourse de Commerce scale model

 

As consolation, I will be able to admire the results of the work of the Bourse de commerce in Paris since Tadao apparently started doing some refurbishment.

A big cylinder made of concrete nested in this historical dome: I totally love this mix of genres (and time!).

 

La Punta della Dogana in Venice scale model

 

Church of Light, Osaka and Church on the water, Hokkaido scale models

 

We could say so many things about this artist that I could talk about every single project I saw but this is not the objective as the exhibition is made for this!

I loved discovering his work and scale models so much that I left the museum after buying the catalog of the exhibition: a beautiful book explaining the exhibited work, along with an original drawing signed by Tadao Ando. I am the kind of person who loves this kind of limited signed edition!

I hope you also like this kind of raw, graphical and minimalist aesthetic, no matter if you are into architecture or not. Anyway, these pieces of Tadao Ando had a very relaxing effect on me with a this additional touch of soul. (English translation by Quiterie)


My Outfit

Blazer Jeanne Damas pour La Redoute (already seen here and there)
Shirt Tommy Jeans
Jeans Uniqlo (already seen here)
Flats Boden (already seen here)
Net bag brought from Chatuchak market in Bangkok

Earrings Soko
Necklace Minetta Jewellery
Watch Cluse

Eyelash extensions “Russian volume”  Les cils de Marie (already seen here)

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