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japan

sakura

May 6, 2017 |Comments

 

Admittedly I’ve been chasing cherry blossoms ever since I got into Tokyo, to the annoyance of my brother, so of course I made my way to Shinjuku Gyoen that has one of the most beautiful Japanese gardens in the city. Although it is a vast park with different garden sections, I only ended up finding one sakura tree in proper bloom. Better than nothing, I told myself, as I waited for all the tourists to clear before managing the above shots. Worth it though, right?

We took to Tokyo’s ‘kawaii’ capital next, and as expected the place was mighty packed on a weekend. I love people-watching around Harajuku and grabbing crepes stuffed with brownies at Takeshita Street, and get this: if you don’t ‘gram the biggest fairy floss ever from Totti Candy Factory, it didn’t happen.

eau, be mine

February 17, 2016 |Comments

 In collaboration with GUCCI
The first thing I am struck by when I catch a whiff of the new Gucci Guilty EAU is its warm aquatic accord and sweet lychee notes. Unmistakably, the new flanker is a smoother and lighter interpretation of the classic Guilty, and breaks tradition by conveying a more delicate, romantic attitude. The fragrance features a milky and delicate heart of lilac, while the floral signature of the original has now been tinged with wild strawberry. Most of all, I love its musky base that emulates the sultriness of bare skin and awakens a daring sensuality that is very much the essence of Gucci.I previously met the wonderful team in New York City, and this time we were gathered in Tokyo for the unveiling of the evolved scent – an appropriate choice for its Japanese onsen experience that triggers fond thoughts of relaxation and deep inner warmth. From the careful curation of our food menu to the artfully personalised Gucci Guilty EAU sensuality spa, it seems the highly celebrated fashion house knows that the finer details are the ones that count.
 
Gucci Guilty EAU de Toilette

Gucci Guilty EAU Pour Homme
At our welcome dinner that took place at Enjyu Restaurant, we gushed over Gucci makeup products, swimming with whales and how Japanese strawberries are the best strawberries. A food coma and a very comfortable sleep after, I shined and polished up in silky burgundy for the Gucci Guilty EAU Workshop where Gucci’s very own fragrance meister gracefully presented the concept and aroma behind the scent.Admittedly the masculine version of EAU is also real dreamy. It opens up with top notes of noble woody orris, creating a heady contrasting aromatic blend of lemon and bergamot, all the while bringing an intriguing infusion to the orange blossom signature of the original scent. And at the base, a suave patchouli and musk blend creates the scent’s timbre. Swoon.
My time spent with the team revealed that the Gucci Guilty EAU individual is authentic and intoxicating, one who lives in the moment. EAU is essentially an empowering and sensual scent, and as an author once said, the fragrance of romance is gratitude. Nothing says I love you like saying I love you. And as we already know, Gucci Guilty EAU develops with body warmth, so here’s an excuse to kiss, hug and get intimate – all in the spirit of Valentine’s.

four seasons tokyo

February 8, 2016 |Comments

In collaboration with Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi

It should come as no surprise that the world’s most sprawling city, Tokyo, is a dynamic urban landscape well-known for its cutting-edge and high-tech efficiency. Quite frankly too, the teeming metropolis is a place of hidden wonders where you can find an ancient temple wedged between skyscrapers, or a tiny shrine down a suburban lane; the fantastic and futuristic beside the everyday. It must be so then, that the Marunouchi business district is the commercial heart not merely of Tokyo, but of all Japan.
Within arm’s reach of Tokyo Station, Ginza and the Imperial Palace, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi presents its most intimate property yet. The hotel’s boutique rooms blend state-of-the-art convenience with timeless luxury, and I had the greatest pleasure of indulging in their inspirational farm-to-table French cuisine at their newly opened MOTIF Restaurant and Bar.

The first thing I did every morning was gaze over the Pacific Century Place courtyard from my spacious room that had some of the best natural light situations. Certainly, floor-to-ceiling windows never let you down and it’s important to note that the décor was just as ace. Think meticulous attention to detail – contemporary furnishings, leather canopies and Japanese-lacquered doors and tabletops. And as if a walk-in closet wasn’t quite enough, the room’s spacious en suite featured a deep soaking tub that functioned to drown out all my worries.

Surely it made sense to pay a daily visit to Ginza, one of the world’s most prestigious shopping districts, since it was only a 5-10-minute walk. Here you’ll find popular department stores like Matsuzaka-ya, Mitsukoshi and Matsuya among the array of high-street and luxury brands. Meanwhile if you’ve been itching to head towards Akihabara Electric District, the largest electronic shopping area in the world, it’ll simply take you 4 minutes by rail. If you’re more into apparel shopping and the busiest pedestrian crossing, however, the famous Shibuya district is only 17 minutes away by rail.

Now, we come to one of my favourite conversation topics that is food and so it is only apt to highlight Four Season’s MOTIF Restaurant and Bar. Offering a breathtaking view of the iconic Tokyo station and the historical Marunouchi business district, the French restaurant embraces the spirit of modern voyage and echoes the hotel’s unique backdrop where past meets the present.

For dinner, I had their signature MOTIF menu prepared by Head Chef Hiroyuki Asano and Culinary Advisor Chef Hiroshi Nakamichi, and frankly it exceeded expectations. After all, the restaurant is founded on the core principles of esprit terroir – spirit of earth, and highlights included the scallop that was breadcrumbed with shiso, the mouthwatering sea urchin flan with bisque, and the presentable surf clam sautéed with udo risotto. A ten course culinary experience and an overly satisfied stomach after, I came to the conclusion that it simply is what it is: a gastronomic journey that is uniquely MOTIF.

Thank you for your wonderful hospitality, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi. Till we meet again.

 

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