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Entries in travel (5)


chichu museum

the chichu museum, (which means underground museum) designed by tadao ando, is on the island of naoshima. this island is home to a number of art projects and installations.


where to stay, tokyo

kimi ryokan in ikebukuro is popular, affordable and clean. halfway between a traditional ryokan and a youth hostel, the rooms are traditional japanese tatami and clean. they have a japanese bath for private use, but it was always in use whenever i've stayed there. no meals, but a hostel style kitchen. it's a great deal, and fills up fast, so book early.

for a more traditional but still affordable ryokan, sakura ryokan is great. family run, they serve japanese breakfast and dinner available with reservation. tatami rooms, japanese bath, convenient to the subway.

for a more contemporary take on the ryokan, andon ryokan is lovely. brand new, the design is gorgeous. the rooms are small, tatami but very modern. small clean showers, and a jacuzzi availalbe for private use. western-style breakfast and self serve coffee are both excellent. andon has a great staff, and is committed to sharing japanese culture with foreign visitors. they even have a tea ceremoney demonstration. since their prices are by the room, rather than per person, andon is affordable for 2 people sharing a room, but not for single travelers.

curious about a capsule hotel? the capsule inn in akihabara is new and seems promising. previously, there was only one capsule hotel for both men and women (in separate areas, often capsule hotels are men only) in tokyo, the asakusa riverside capsule hotel, which is a little tatty, but cheap and decent.



eichigo tsumari art triennial 

located in a handful of small mountain villages in the south of niigata prefecture, the eichigo tsumari art triennial invites artists to create site specfic works for the traditional mountain villages. the triennial has been held in 2000, 2003, 2006, and will also happen in 2009.

this art event has become a model for community-based art exhibitions. it's a little off the beaten path, but well worth it for anyone who is interested in comtemporary art or installations that contribute to community.


the miho museum

the miho museum is located in an absolutely stunning natural location, with a impressive collection of ancient art.
it's in an interesting building integrated into the scenery.



takayama woodblock prints

i took a few days trip at the end of 2007 to gifu prefecture. i saw this store in takayama, that sells woodblock prints, mostly that have been made into paper trays.
the store is in a traditional shop house, which made it even nicer.
they also made these lovely stuffed animals (for all the zodiac years-2008 is the year of the mouse) from block printed fabric.