September 6, 2010

These Are a Few...

...of My New Favorite Things.

We've been in Sapporo, Japan (Hokkaido) this past week/weekend for a 2.5-day mini-vacation.  I have photos and more regarding the time we spent there.  For now I would like to show you some of the fabulous (to us, anyway) things we were able to purchase on our trip.

Let's begin with Day One's purchases, all made in Otaru, a coastal town northwest-ish of Sapporo.  They are very well known for their glass work and a little less well known for their music boxes.  Of course we had to check them both out.

Here is my new music box (jewelry box):

They had boxes of all shapes, sizes, colors, and intricacies.  Anyone could find something they like.  There were tiny little boxes, some that only played music, some that looked bedazzled, gold, silver, and every color under the sun.  They also had lacquer-ware ones like mine of all shapes and sizes.

 The inside of all of them is quite nice, usually featuring a mirror and the red velvet-like material.  It was very difficult to choose one as there were literally hundreds (thousands?) of boxes in one shop and everywhere you looked you would see something that caught your eye.  I chose this type because I kept coming back to them.  I figured that was a good a sign as any that I liked it more than the others.

The inlaid floral patterns (and pagoda scenes, etc.) are really beautiful.  There were many with the cherry-blossoms as one might expect.  I chose this one because the flowers are small and there are even a few petals being blown away on the front edge of the box (you can see them in the second photo).

Once the music box purchasing had been finished, we meandered back towards the center of town and checked out a few glass shops along the way.  Otaru is known for the glass artisans; they once made the gas lamps in town and glass buoys for the fishing boats.  Since neither of those items are much in use any more (well, buoys are, but they are made of different material these days methinks), the artists took to creating all sorts of glassware.

As with the music boxes, anyone could find something they like in the way of glassware in Otaru.  The color range encompassed all hues and the styles ranged from very simple to more modern and then the more typical Japanese (at least to us) looking items.

We purchased a drinking set that includes the pitcher and five of these little cups.  The photos do not do the colors justice.  The pitcher is made so that your pour the liquid into the top for serving and to keep it cold, you place ice in the side pocket which is sectioned off completely from the interior.  It would not be Japanese if not functional.

On Day Two, we managed to take a taxi out to a tiny hole-in-the-wall (under the house/in the carpark) kimono shop.  Here they work on kimonos and all of their accessories.  There were obi, kimono, shoes, bags, pins, and even stripped down kimono fabrics for sale.

We were looking for an Obi, and this is the first that caught my eye.  It is difficult to choose which one you like because once again, they come in every color imaginable.  Your house from the 60s or 70s that you've never upgraded and therefore has the original color palette?  You could absolutely find multiple options for an obi to match your decor.

The second obi we chose is covered with fans and scenes from the countryside.  I really like that it has some larger light-colored sections to really stand out.  It is a different color-scheme, but has some of the same tones as the first and we hope they can be in the same house if nothing else without clashing terribly.  Surely this is possible.

 I think we'll find places for them both regardless.  Now to find out where everyone purchased the nifty obi-hangers I've seen here in their homes...

I am very happy with these new items.  When living in Spain, I usually took tons of photos as our reminder of our travels.  It wasn't until just before we left that we finally made some decisions about what we'd like to take home.  Now that there are kids involved, I only manage to take a few photos of any quality, so having other items is very nice.  Plus, we'll have these things forever...if we can prevent the aforementioned children from ruining them all.

Only time will tell!


Brianne said...

LOVE the music box -well, love everything actually, but especially the box. The Japanese have such good taste.

Debbie said...

beautiful!; lucky you

The Social Web Analyst said...

Hmmm, Yes, I agree with Brianne. The Japanese really do have good taste. This is a very nice collection. Thank you for sharing this.