It's hard not to stare at Yoko Arano's socks. The spry 89-year-old is otherwise sharply attired, from her neat trouser suit to the amber beads around her neck. Yet her unusual hosiery, covered in Pollock-like ink splatterings, hints at another story.
Arano is one of Japan's most celebrated calligraphy artists. I'm standing in her Niseko studio alongside the local gallerist Kiyoe Hosokawa, who introduced us only minutes earlier. Beyond the windowpane, snow is falling in thick, cartoonish tufts. But in this cozy, light-flooded space, where signs of Arano's craft abound—artworks drying on walls, folded newspapers, ink splashes across floors—time feels distant.
The bright, minimalist lobby lounge at Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto
A heater hisses gently as Arano slips overalls on over her clothes and removes her necklace before laying paper on the floor. Then, after a moment of stillness, her performance begins. With a low groan, she bends her knees, hunches her back, and with a primal force, lifts a knee-high brush from a bucket, its bushy mass of horsehair weighted with syrupy black ink. Splashing onto the paper, it dances across the whiteness before taking the softly blurred shape of a Japanese kanji character. Seconds later, Arano pauses, and with a final groan heaves the brush back into the bucket. She stands and surveys her wild abstraction before slipping smoothly back into conversation. “I chose the kanji teinei, which means ‘polite,’ ” she says, smiling, “because it's a nice warm feeling meeting you today.”
For many, Hokkaido means one thing: snow. (Or whatever you want to call it—yuki, in Japanese; upas, in the Indigenous Ainu language; or Japow, a hip local contraction of Japanese and powder.) Though it's the least populated and northernmost of Japan's islands—closer to Siberia than to Tokyo—Hokkaido attracts a booming winter sports crowd, which is drawn by the light, fluffy mixture that blankets its mountains each year.
The painter Shigeru Tokumaru, from buzzy Hirafu
Unusually, and somewhat unfashionably, my wintertime visit doesn't involve hitting the slopes. Instead, I'm forging a different path, heading out in search of Hokkaido's creative spirit. No doubt about it, the island's aesthetic sensibilities are tied to its dramatic landscapes. Stark black trees etched into the skyline, sharp sunlight on mountain peaks, the crisscross of forest shadows on snow: These details find manifold artistic expressions, from volcanic soil–glazed ceramics to austere snow-and-skies photography and, as evidenced by my visit with Arano-sensei, poetic calligraphy.
This synergy between nature and art can be credited largely to Hokkaido's complex history. The island became part of Japan in the late 19th century, but
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While the big boys are continuing to expand their portfolios—with some spectacular announcements for 2024—the coming year is also shaping up to be a good one for people who prefer a bit of whimsy, a dollop of homegrown style and the one-of-a-kind feeling of an independent hotel (or at least one that’s part of a small regional group). From Aspen to Athens, Bhutan to Botswana, here are 15 new hotels that share a close attention to detail, a distinctive character and a genuine interest in sustainability.
The rise of remote work and digital nomads presents opportunities for smaller cities to boost their local economies. By employing targeted and immersive video advertising strategies, these cities can attract digital nomads and capitalize on their interest in unique experiences, providing a significant boost to tourism.
AT invites winter sports enthusiasts to experience the highest point of comfort and convenience. It has adopted the principle of providing a smooth and enjoyable transfer to passengers who want to go from the airport to popular ski spots with the first-class vehicle fleets and professional drivers of the most reliable local solution partners in different parts of the world.
In the course of 2024, ISO FastSearch will not only calculate and provide package tours and individual services in real time, but will also dynamically package travel packages. ISO is thus extending the flexible packaging in the modular reservation system “ISO Pacific” with an even more dynamic variant. ISO FastSearch can be used in combination with ISO Pacific as well as a stand-alone solution.
In September, hours after landing in Paris, I headed straight to Signature Montmartre, a French-Korean bistro friends had been lavishing with praise. But already this is a series of words I find startling. I had lived and worked in Paris awhile during college; I go back when I can; until this trip, I didn't recall noticing a Korean shop or restaurant here. The bistro's lights shone from large windows like an inviting beacon, guiding me to food that was, as reported, astonishing: French cuisine shot through with distinctly Korean flavors, like tender prawn-filled perilla in a curry aioli, followed by a fig tart with jujube cream, one of the most delicate, fascinating pastries I've ever had.
A U.S. Senate panel on Monday announced an investigation into airline fees for baggage, seat selection, ticket changes and other services, demanding justifications from the CEOs of five major carriers for these charges that generate billions of dollars in annual revenue for them.
Niseko Village, otherwise known as the “Aspen of the East,” is elated to unveil Niseko-yo in time for the 2023-2024 winter season. Among Hokkaido’s pristine powdery paradise, Niseko-yo offers a blend of gastronomy, nightlife, and other exceptional experiences.
It just got easier to plan a trip to the Riviera Maya in Mexico. United is the latest airline to announce that it will launch service directly to Tulum's soon-to-open airport. Specifically on March 31, it will begin service between several hubs and the popular beach destination.
The holidays are a time to spend with loved ones and, for many people, a season of giving. Points and miles can play a key role by making family travel cheaper and more attainable, whether for yourself or as a gift for someone else.
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