Posts Tagged ‘asia’
Japan is filled with all kinds of interesting shrines and temples, but Gotokuji Temple (豪徳寺) in Tokyo caught our eye for its devotion to the “Maneki Neko” (招き猫) or beckoning cat. Found everywhere in Japan, this classic Japanese icon is thought to bring good luck, with its waving hand which beckons luck to come its way. Visitors will find an endless ocean of white maneki neko cats stacked everywhere around the grounds.
It’s that time of year again — sakura, or cherry blossom viewing season in Japan. There’s no experience like walking through a park filled with cherry blossom trees and watching the tiny floral petals float down softly like fragrant snow as they blanket the ground with color. The locals throw hanami parties, festive picnic gatherings that take place under the blooming trees, which by the way are cultivated for their flowers rather than for their cherries (they don’t bear fruit). Here are some spellbinding spring images out of Japan…
Don’t these mountains look absolutely surreal? Insanely enough, they are actually real. These photos are from Zhangye Danxia Geological Park in Gansu Province, China (a remote region in northern central China). The intense color of the mountains are the result of red sandstone and layers upon layers of mineral deposits that were sculpted by the rain and wind over thousands of years to form pure rainbow perfection. (No doubt a little Photoshop action contributed to their stunning beauty as well.) Amazing.
Perched 28 floors up at the top of Hong Kong’s fashionable Hotel ICON in Kowloon, Above & Beyond serves up dim-sum and seasonal Cantonese cuisine amid a spectacular harbor view. This upscale restaurant is just minutes away from the bustling urban center of Tsim Sha Tsui, buzzing with shops, restaurants and museums. However, all that excitement melts away the minute you step into Above & Beyond’s sleek, modern realm.
40 years ago in 1971, the Shangri-La opened its very first hotel in Singapore, eventually spreading out into 72 hotels and resorts around the globe cultivating an effortless lavishness. It is a glamorous place that doesn’t need try too hard, but still exudes extravagance in every way.
The St. Regis hotel in Beijing is home to a number of the city’s hottest dining spots and watering holes. Highlights range from Cantonese to Italian cuisine, and from a cigar lounge to a steakhouse with city views. Yet one standout among these is the Press Club Bar, a stylish find located just off the hotel’s opulent main lobby.
In Singapore’s Little India district there’s a stylish boutique hotel making waves. The Wanderlust Hotel is a haven for contemporary design, filled with funky, one-of-a-kind rooms decorated around cool themes like outer space, bling, a tree, and a typewriter.
In a busy city packed with people, Italian architect Gaetano Pesce has designed a garden that reaches skyward. Crawling up the walls of a building filled with restaurants, shops, and office space, Pesce’s upward-sprawling garden houses 80 varieties of plants, all above street level.
[ via Fresh Home ]
Hongtao Zhou is a furniture designer and performance artist who started out studying chemistry in Harbin, China and ended up working as a furniture designer and sculptor, obtaining a Ph.D. in furniture design from Purdue University along the way. The wax chairs pictured above are from his series “Burniture” and are made to be lit until the candles finally burn, melt, and collapse the piece.
“These small wicks are burning down the “coldness” of the icy-looking wax chairs. Cold chairs generate “hot” seats, baking, melting and disappearing. At the same time, the hot wax liquid is melting down into “icicles.” Conflicts. Over consumption will weaken the chair system and eventually cause chair figures to collapse. It is just a matter of time. Burn the ice, burn our seats, burn us.” —Hongtao Zhou
Many of Hongtao’s works, such as his snow furniture pieces below, involve manipulation of ice and snow.
[ via hongtaozhou.com ]
For vampire lovers and creative types, you’ll find oodles of inspiration in the land of love hotels and maid cafés, among Japan’s many fantasy themed establishments. When I lived in Japan, one of my favorite places to go was the Christon Café, a lounge filled with decorative relics and church paraphernalia purchased from various churches around the globe. Everything in there was a feast for the eyes! Well, looks like there are a plethora of new places that have popped up around Tokyo recently with equally imaginative themes, like the Vampire Café pictured above. For the scoop on more themed restaurants check out the guardian.co.uk
[ photo via the guardian.co.uk ]