Friday, March 16th, 2012



In the summer of 2011, photographer and dear friend Takahiro Kaneyama ventured to the distant shores of northeastern Japan to visit and photograph Mt. Osore. Literally translated as “Mount Fear,” this active volcano is one of the holiest destinations in all of Japan, believed to be the final passageway as one journeys to hell. This spiritual site often attracts visitors to console and remember the many lost souls. It is believed by some that here you will be able to spiritually connect with lost ancestors. A visitor himself, Taka was able to capture the essence of both fearful and tranquil elements of this holy land through his gift of photography.

Taka’s hauntingly beautiful images are currently being featured in an exhibit at Miyako Yoshinaga art prospects entitled Shades of the Departed. So many thought-provoking themes and ideas are addressed throughout this series of images, yet their understated manner still provides a pure beauty that we may not necessarily expect alongside a representation of the underworld. Truly magnificent! The photographs perfectly combine darkness with inspiration, despair with reflection, and life with death.

The exhibit will run through April 21 and I highly recommend taking your own journey to these riveting landscapes of Japan through images, which delicately yet powerfully evoke emotions of all sorts. Taka’s talent is spectacular and this is absolutely a show worth seeing! Perhaps I should add Mt. Osore to the list for my next Japanese adventures…


Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

I visited Shino and Akane’s favorite housewares store in Tokyo, Daimonji, and left with the makings of a Japanese kitchen. Overwhelmed by all the gorgeous options, I fumbled my way around the store grabbing inappropriate (I was told) pieces. I picked soba cups to drink tea from (a big no-no), I chose a plate that would have no place at the table (wrong size), I grabbed a jet black serving bowl  (not good for showing off the food) until finally I gave up and asked them for help. They took me under their wings and pointed me in the direction of setting up my kitchen with the basics. It felt a little like I was Japanese,  a little like I was 20 years old and a lot like I was getting married. And then we were off to create my little kitchen that I would bring back to New York. It is made up of the following: two teacups—one for myself and one for John; the woman’s is always smaller and there is always a pair when buying anything for a couple, two rice bowls; same thing here, mine is smaller, John’s is larger, two miso soup bowls; the woman’s is always red and small and the man’s is always black and large, and a donabe for cooking up hotpots all winter. I couldn’t be more excited to add to this little collection over time as it’s surely one of my favorite things about traveling, bringing back mementos that remind you of your trip every time you use them. I can’t think of a better way to remember all the places you’ve visited. Now I’m off to make my first hot pot this evening!

Our new teacups with Beba in the background.


Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Visiting the Prada store in Tokyo is so inspiring. The building is designed by Herzog de Meuron and stands tall and proud in the small and elegant neighborhood of Aoyama and is graced with geometric windows flanked by thick molded concrete; it’s a beautiful shrine to modern architecture. Inside, the windows create magical light patterns across the floor depending on the time of day and everything is done to perfection–the racks are covered in fur, the floor is thick, luxurious (and spotless!) carpet, the sales staff  are beautiful and helpful. A lovely combination of grace and service inside makes the experience truly special.  Add it to your list of places to see while in Tokyo, you won’t be disappointed.


Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Eating in Japan is next level.

The attention to detail lovingly applied to everything – packaging, shopping, transportation, you name it – truly shines when it comes to the food. From sushi (sublime) to yakitori (delicious) to izakawa (why is this not in New York?) to train station bento boxes (surprisingly good) to Japanese breakfast (perfect start to the day) to in-room kaiseke dinners (a once in a lifetime experience) to miso ramen (delicious) to ochazuke (food for the soul) to Japanese parfait (best dessert imaginable) it is all incredible. I wouldn’t even know how to choose a favorite from all the meals we had. I do know that there wasn’t one meal that I wouldn’t repeat in a heartbeat. I already miss the food. And all of the other stuff too. I’ll let you know more about the trip in the coming week, till then have a great weekend and konnichiwa.

Parfait from a sweets restaurant in Kyoto

Potatoes from a yakitori joint

Miso ramen, apparently a new trend in Japan

Japanese breakfast at The Peninsula


Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Sorry about the absence over here. I’ve been in Japan (as most of you know) and decided to take a technology break for the week. I will be posting when I get back and am incredibly excited to share my experience. What an amazing trip it’s been. I feel inspired, lucky and happy–something I hope for all of you. xoxo