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Summer 2022 schedule

I’m off to Germany for the month of July to see family and friends – Turquoise Port will take a break as follows:

LAST SHOWROOM OPEN DAY: Wednesday, 29 June
LAST ORDER DAY: Wednesday, 29 June
LAST SHIPPING DAY: Thursday, 30 June
LAST DAY FOR PRIVATE APPOINTMENTS: Tuesday, 28 June

4 August 2022: Shipping resumes
5 August 2022: Showroom re-opens for private appointments
10 August 2022: Showroom Open Day 

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Our favourite hotels in Japan

Hotels in Japan are a different ball game compared to other places throughout Asia. The vast majority is rather dated, although well maintained and generally very clean.

Rooms tend to be small which is an issue when travelling with larger pieces of luggage. We prefer to travel light with hand luggage only or duffel bags when on longer journeys as hardshell suitcases take up too much of the limited floor space. Also ensuite bathrooms can be very small, but we’ve never had any issue with the water pressure or temperature of the water.

Service is almost always super friendly and staff will go out of their way to help even with rather limited English language skills.

Whilst Japan has amazing high-end hotels with all the comforts, mod-cons and suites to rival the best in the world, this list does not include any of them. We paid around ¥15,000 – ¥25,000 (US$130 – US$220 | EUR115 – EUR190) per double room per night which might seem a lot compared to accommodation options in other Asian countries, but isn’t that much in Japan at all.

Please bear in mind that things can change quickly, prices go up and down and the quality of rooms/hotels change over time. We stayed in these places between 2019 and 2022.


Myoko Forest Lodge
Myoko, Niigata Prefecture (Honshu)
https://www.myokoforestlodge.com

Run by an Australian husband and wife team, Myoko Forest Lodge is a gem and felt like a home away from home. We loved the minimalist rooms, great common area and fabulous food and hospitality plus the snow was unbelievable!


Nishitetsu Hotel Croom Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture (Honshu)

https://croom-nagoya.nishitetsu-hotels.com

Nishitetsu Hotel Croom Nagoya is a Japanese business hotel done right. Centrally located and fairly new, offering modern rooms at a very good price. Great location, subway access. We wish there’d be more hotels like that.


Mascos Hotel Masuda Onsen
Masuda, Shimane (Honshu)

https://mascoshotel.com

What a gem! We discovered Mascos Hotel Masuda Onsen on our long road trip through Western Honshu in December 2021 / January 2022 and it was a breath of fresh air after staying a string of rather mediocre rooms. Brand-new Mascos is beautiful, the use of concrete and wood throughout feels luxurious and grounding at the same time. Breakfast is served in the light filled restaurant on the ground floor which is buzzing with the local hip crowd in the evening.


Sierra Resort Yuzawa
Yuzawa, Niigata Prefecture (Honshu)
http://sierraresorts.jp/yuzawa/en/

This hotel sits quite high up on a hill and right next to a ski slope and chairlift. The common areas are modern and airy, the bar feels intimate and cozy at night. Our room was larger than average, but somewhat dated. We’d stay there again despite the dated rooms as we loved the common areas, location and views.


My Lodge Naoshima
Naoshima, Kagawa Prefecture (Shikoku)
https://mylodge-naoshima.com

A lovely small lodge on a hillside, My Lodge Naoshima is located within walking distance from the ferry port. Our room with a little balcony overlooking the ocean was small, but super comfortable and modern. The restaurant downstairs serves great breakfasts and one of the best dinners in the area.


Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse
Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture (Honshu)
https://www.suiden-terrasse.yamagata-design.com

What a place! Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse is an architectural masterpiece designed by award-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. The light filled structure was built using vast amounts of wood, concrete and glass and sits in the middle of a rice field. We loved the spacious simplicity of the rooms, the lovely common areas (including a self-serve sake on tap bar) and the farm-to-table food in the restaurant.


Noku Kyoto
Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture (Honshu)
http://www.nokuhotels.com/kyoto/

Noku Kyoto is a great place from where to discover all that Kyoto has to offer. Located right above a subway station and with a bus stop across the road, most of the city’s sights are in easy reach. The hotel is new, the rooms large and beautifully appointed. We loved the personal touches of local snacks and treats that were waiting for us when we arrived.


Solest Takachiho Hotel
Takachiho, Miyazaki Prefecture (Kyushu)
http://www.solest-takachiho.jp

We really enjoyed our stay at Solest Takachiho. The fairly new hotel is centrally located and offers modern and comfortable rooms. Takachiho Gorge, the main attraction, is just down the road, about 20 min walk away.


Hotel Alegria Gardens Amakusa
Amakusa, Kumamoto Prefecture (Kyushu)
http://hotel-alegria.jp/en/

Alegria Gardens Amakusa is a hotel and wedding venue. The common areas and larger than (Japan-) average rooms could do with a bit of a refresh, but are clean and well maintained. The biggest draw is the hotel’s location – perched at the edge of the water, the views are amazing and there are plenty of options for coastal walks nearby.  


Lake Biwa Otsu Prince Hotel
Otsu, Shiga Prefecture (Honshu)

http://www.princehotels.com/otsu/

We usually prefer staying in small and intimate hotels, we chose this hotel for it’s great view across Lake Biwa, the largest fresh water lake in Japan. Located right at the edge of the lake, the location is a perfect starting point for long walks along the waterfront.

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Free cushion with every cushion cover!

I have a special offer on cushion covers this week:

Buy any cushion cover and receive a free matching cushion inner worth ¥1,500.
The offer is available online (no coupon code needed – the inner will be added to your parcel automatically) as well as in the Showroom. Offer valid until 11.59pm JST on Friday, 10 June 2022 or until stock lasts.

Alex x

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This month I’m … June 2022

EXCITED ABOUT
spending some time in Germany with family & friends

Turquoise Port will be closed for the month of June – click here for the summer schedule.

CELEBRATING
having visited each of the 47 prefectures in Japan!

I’ve written a blog post about the best hotels we have come across on our travels. Read it here.

SPENDING
days without rain in our little garden

Watch the “Styling Video: How to create a stylish outdoor space for summer” for inspiration

DECLUTTERING
the house

Being stuck inside during rainy season is the perfect time to declutter.
There will be some things I’ll give away – keep an eye out for them on my Instagram and Facebook Stories.

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Some of my favourite links … May 2022

Cushion styling tips, a travel quiz & a Japanese cheese maker in this month’s roundup.

Achieve an interior-designed look with these pairing and styling tips.
5 tricks for styling cushions & pillows like a designer

Travel Quiz! 
I’d love to hear your results! Mine was “Seeing the Northern Lights in Lapland”. I’m totally up for that! 
QUIZ: Where should you go on vacation next?

I might not be able to stay in any of these, but they offer great snippets of inspiration.
Inside 9 of the world’s most stunning holiday homes

Image credit: Kapsimalis Architects/Photography Julia Klimi via livingetc

Truly Japanese cheese?! I can’t wait to visit this place!
One woman’s quest to create truly Japanese cheese

It took me years to figure that I’ve got sun allergy. Maybe you are suffering from it too?
Is your itchy rash a sign of a ‘sun allergy’?

Related posts:

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Recipe: Swiss chard fritters

Swiss chard fritters on white plate

We get a lovely weekly veggie box delivered to our doorstep by Oishimon Organic Farm and I love the surprise factor – you just never know what’s in it! Swiss chard and other greens feature regularly and I love making this yummy Swiss Chard Fritters recipe from one of my favourite cook books:  “Jerusalem” by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi.
**vegetarian**

Ingredients:
– 400g Swiss chard leaves, stalks removed (I usually use a mixture of Swiss chard & other greens)
– 30g flat leaf parsley
– 20g fresh coriander
– 20g fresh dill
– 1.5 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
– 1/2 tsp sugar
– 3 tbsp plain flour
– 2 garlic cloves, crushed
– 2 eggs
– 80g feta, crumbled
– 60ml olive oil
– Lemon wedges, for serving

Get cooking:
– Bring a pan of salted water to a boil and simmer the chard leaves/greens for 5 minutes.
– Drain and squeeze well until completely dry.
– Whizz in a food processor with the herbs, nutmeg, sugar, flour, garlic, eggs, a third of a teaspoon of salt and some black pepper.
– Fold in the feta by hand.
– Pour a tablespoon of olive oil into a frying pan over medium-high heat and spoon in a heaped tablespoon of the mixture for each fritter.
– Press down gently to shape into 7cm wide, 1cm thick fritters, and cook for 3-4minutes, turning once, until they take on some colour.
– Transfer to kitchen paper and repeat with the remaining fritter mix and oil.
– Serve hot with a wedge of lemon.

Bon appetite!


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This month I’m … May 2022

Sitting woman holding ceramic jar
Sitting woman holding ceramic jar

SUPER EXCITED ABOUT
the arrival of new ginger jars & candle jars!

The lovely new items will be released to my mailing list, on Thursday, 26 May. Not on the list? Sign up here.

Japanese temple at night

EXPLORING MORE OF
Tokyo before the heat of the summer hits

Some of my favourite Tokyo places are listed on my blog. Take a look here.

Corn fritters with tomatoes and avocado

ENJOYING HOME COOKED
weekend brunches

Happiness = a simple home cooked Sunday brunch. These corn fritters topped with chopped avocados and tomatoes, a dollop of sour cream and some Thai sweet chili sauce are yum!
Recipe: here

Instabasics

LOOKING FORWARD TO
the last ‘InstaBasics – Instagram for small business’

We have 3 spots left for the last class (1 June) before the summer break.
Click here for further details
.

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Some of my favourite links … April 2022

Small living room ideas, strange European traditions & Japan’s wrathful ghosts in this month’s roundup.

Got a small living room?
Small living room ideas to make a tiny room feel bigger

Image credit: James Merrell via Living Etc.

I might convince Mr M to sign us up for the Wife Carrying Race 😀
12 of Europe’s strangest traditions

Image credit: Iakov Filimonov//Shutterstock via Fodor.com

I enjoyed this colourful list even though some of these are more regional rather than national costumes
Traditional national costumes from around the world

Japan’s terribly feared wrathful ghosts
Onryō Spirits inhabit a purgatory of revenge and cosmic rage

When life gives you lemons … store them properly!
This storage hack keeps your lemons fresh for months

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