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Adjacent to the Nature Reserve of the Institute for Nature Study is the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum. The gorgeous art deco building, once the residence of Prince Asaka and his wife Princess Nobuko (a daughter of the Emperor Meiji) was built in the 1930s by famous foreign and Japanese craftsmen, most notably René Lalique, one of France’s leading glassmakers.
The building is surrounded by landscaped grounds and a Japanese- as well as a Western-style garden.
I’m a big lover of museum shops and the one at Teien Art Museum does not disappoint. It’s small, but sells a well curated selection high quality items.
The Nature Reserve of the Institute for Nature Study is a beautifully green and quiet haven in heart of Tokyo. The area covers around 20 hectares and contains ponds, forests, rivers and wetlands which are home to all sorts of plants, birds and insects.
I love popping in there for some peaceful nature walks and to get away from the city’s hustle & bustle. It never gets very busy as only a maximum of 300 people are permitted at any one time.
Asakusa with its Senso-ji temple is one of Tokyo’s most popular tourist attractions. It’s great to see during the day, but my favourite time to visit just after the sun has gone down. The area is much quieter and I love how beautifully all the buildings are lit up.
Yokohama is a great location for a day trip from Tokyo, there is just so much to see and do. One of my favourite areas is the historical Yamate / Bluff district. This is where western foreigners settled after Japan’s isolation ended sometime in the 1850s. The foreign traders didn’t just arrive with goods and their families, they also brought their residential building styles and architecture with them.
I have a huge soft spot for buildings of that era and love strolling around the neighborhood imagining what it would have been like to live there at the turn of the century.
Can you believe it’s already October?! Christmas is officially on the way and I can’t wait for those the beautiful Japanese autumn colours to start coming out 🍂
Happy weekend! Alex x
WATCHING “Long Way Up“ I’m not a biker, but I’m a traveller and I loved the first two TV series with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman in 2004 and 2007 when they rode their bikes from London to NYC and from Scotland to South Africa respectively. This time they are travelling on prototype electric Harley Davidsons from the southern tip of South America all the way to LA. So good!
GETTING ORGANISED for Christmas 🎄 Yes, it’s only early October, but I’ll be extra organised getting my gifts sorted his year – the international postal systems are all messed up and things just take so much longer to arrive. Bonus point: no more last minute rush to the shops a couple of days prior to Christmas!
READING “Florence Adler Swims Forever“ by Rachel Beanland Set in Atlantic City in the summer of 1934 three generations of the Adler family grapple with heartbreak, romance and the weight of family secrets.
LOOKING FORWARD to autumn! Autumn is my most favourite season in Japan – those colours are just breathtaking! 🍁
And July it is. Half of 2020 is gone and what a strange year it has been so far. I can’t help but wonder what the second half will bring.
The start of the summer school holidays usually goes hand in hand with quite a bit of change – families moving across continents to start new adventures elsewhere or return to their home countries. This year is no different. I said goodbye to a number of good friends and lovely customers but without sayonara parties/drinks/dinners this time round.
In the meantime I’m enjoying the somewhat cooler, albeit rainy, days before the summer heat arrives.
Keep smiling, Alex x
BINGE WATCHING the lastest season of Queer Eye on Netflix. Love it!!
HOPING for the numbers to go down again so we can go on a road trip…
READING “The Henna Artist” by Alka Joshi * I’m on chapter 2 and can’t stop reading!!
Right – what’s going on in the world?? The last couple of weeks have been … interesting … to put it politely. Event cancellations left, right and center, closed schools & museums, travel restrictions etc.
I hope you are all okay out there. Keep up the spirit! (I’m finding that one a bit difficult, especially on rainy days like today, but hey…)
Despite the current turmoil I’ve decided to keep on going with my Open Days for the time being, but will let you know if things change.
Stay healthy & happy Alex x
READING “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides
EXPLORING the Izu Peninsula. This is rather last minute and I haven’t done any research. We had booked to go to Bangkok, but a certain virus messed up our plans… Would love your recommendations!
GETTING EXCITED ABOUT the amazing ceramics I found on my last sourcing trip – available in the Showroom at the end of March
REPLANNING a whole bunch of trips. I usually go sourcing in spring, but that’s probably not going to happen at this stage… 🦠
BEAVERING AWAY on my online shop. I’m hoping to have the first set of products up & running at the end of the month!
Upcoming Showroom Open Days
11am - 5pm on the following days: - Tuesday, 12 October 2021 - Wednesday, 20 October 2021 - Thursday, 28 October 2021 Please get in touch if you would like to browse the Showroom outside the regular Open Days. Weekend and evening appointments available.