Since Hoshinoya Tokyo opening in July 2016, everyone has been talking about it. Few years back, Tokyo had the most boring set of hotels ever, maybe because the city itself is so engaging, visitors spent every minute of their time outside, without big lodging expectations apart of a comfy bed.
However, for the past few years the hotel game in town has been changing, with big international luxury chains establishing themselves in Tokyo.
Hoshinoya, is a Japanese luxury resorts chain, mainly known by breathtaking locations: Fuji, Karuizawa mountains, Kyoto Arashiyama. So can they reinvent themselves by building a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), in the business heart of Tokyo, Otemachi?
I arrived at Hoshinoya Tokyo directly from the airport. It is conveniently located close to Tokyo train station (where airport train - Narita Express stops); (from there best is to take a cab for 2 minutes ride; but you can even walk if you are travelling light, which is never my case).
Already the entrance cuts you off from Tokyo business life. Japanese curtains, wood, tatami smell. Once you step in through the entrance, you’ll start a journey into traditional Japan, staff wearing beautiful kimono will welcome you kneeling and request that you remove your shoes before stepping on the tatami mat floors.
Each floor of Hoshinoya features a common area called Ochanoma (tea room) Lounge, exclusive to guests staying on that floor. Seasonal, finest Japanese tea selection and snacks are served during the day, while in the evening you can try different alcohol.
Consider this space as a semi-private study or living room, where you can read a book, catch up on work or mingle with other guests while staff wait at the ready to attend to their needs.
The rooms are big, and simply spectacular. Fluffy beds, tatami mats, amazing design. Each moment at Hoshinoya is an experience. In your room wardrobe you will find a beautiful kimono set, (wear it if you feel like taking a stroll in the nearby Imperial Palace gardens, or simply to take plenty of photos). There is also a set of instructions on how to wear it, or simply you can call a staff to help you.
Breakfast is a ritual. Japanese traditional breakfast arrives to your room, like a colorful surprise box. And then there is a coffee, a special drip with a blend imported from Colombia, I still think it was one of the best coffee cups I had in my life, and I did try many, and in different countries.
In the evening, I went down to the lobby where performances take place irregularly (check the schedule upon the arrival), I listened to a musical performance of an instrument I never saw before.
Then I headed for a light stretching class on the top floor, a bit of a Japanese style yoga and breathing exercise mix.
Even the lift has tatami mats inside. Sliding paper screens everywhere.
Inside of the room with a beautiful traditional and modern bath.
Evening tea and sweets in the lounge.
And spectacular in room dining, prepared with seasonal ingredients.
One of the most amazing features of Hoshinoya Tokyo is the hot spring bath on the top floor. A hot spring (onsen bath) is a defining feature of every ryokan, yet here Hoshinoya surpassed the expectations and created a true state-of-the-art facility, which draws on the area’s first natural hot spring, identified back in 2014. The bath is an open air one, with no roof.
I woke up early and decided to go to the onsen for a sunrise. When I entered the bath I looked up and saw the Tokyo sky lighting up with first sun rays, and beautiful snow flakes falling into the warm hot spring water. One of these truly dreamy experiences that I will remember forever.
My advice for your visit:
Spend some time inside the ryokan to unwind and enjoy
Check the performance, and different classes schedule
Spend time in the Ochanoma lounge (few times a day the lounge offers different things - from rice onigiri, through interesting tea blends, to alcohol in the evening)
Experience the onsen bath on the top floor (go in the evening for the most relaxing experience) but also if you can try it at sunrise, most likely you will have entire bath just for yourself !
Thank you! And well I have been trying to learn by myself about drawing people. I am making progress on some hings except the hair and shading. I have lots of struggle with it >~< What do you recommend me to do? Any tips? Have a great day!
Hello Anon!! I can honestly say, drawing hair is my LEAST favorite thing to do in a portrait! I think I’ve gotten better at it, but it’s still a struggle, so I’ll try to anwers as best as I can, considering I’m no pro at it :- )
Now I’m going to assume you’re asking about graphite drawing, since it’s what i do most, so I’m going to talk about that in this answer. It is a bit different for my drawings on toned grey/tan paper because I can use white pastel for these. So here we go:
The most common mistake for drawing hair is wanting to draw each and every hair you see. As you can see in my first drawing I did when I got back to it (in 2014) this is exactly what i was trying to do (and badly, at that. I admit even then i knew i sucked at it so i didnt put all the effort lol)
Basically he has a bowl of spaghetti on his head.
So, after many tries, i sort of figured out that hair is it’s own entity and not just many tiny hair that you have to draw individually. the best way to illustrate what i mean is this nice video here. If you understand that video and try it this way, you’re bound to improve your results.
As a general tip, i found that making the dark area then erasing the pencil to create the highlights worked really well for me. wich is mainly what i did in this one i drew in 2015. I drew the dark areas with my 4B pencil, then just erased the graphite to create the lighter strands (and the wrinkles around the eye, the light stubble etc…)
to make fine, white lines, i use an electric eraser (made by sakura). Since it’s rotating (no need for back and forth motion to remove the graphite), you can basically use it like a pencil or brush, with one stroke to make a mark. I also use tombow’s Mono eraser for fine lines and cleaning up tiny areas. this video shows them quite well (start at 1:11 for the erasers demo).
for this next one i did earlier this year, I tried a bit of different approach. I used graphite powder (with a soft-haired paintbrush) for the mid tones, erased using the electric eraser for the highlights, and went back with a Pentel Orenz mechanical pencil. this specific brand uses 0.2mm 2B leads (regular mechanical pencil uses 0.5mm) so I was able to darken the dark areas and keep everything really small. Since it’s a close up, the finer hairs had to be drawn, and this tiny leaded pencil was just perfect.
Well. There you go Nonnie! I hope this little post contained useful information for you (and for anyone else hanging around my blog :) ) Sorry if it was long, I’m always a bit chatty, but worry not, I shall tag accordingly !
Anonymous asked ro-taniah:Hi! I was wondering if you could design and draw a Ballgownstuck Crocker-Tier Jane? I really love your art, and if I had any money I would definitely buy some of your art. Hopefully after Christmas I can! Okay, bye now. c:
Last drawing of 2013???? FIRST DRAWING OF 2014?
I CAN’T DECIDE
also, thank you sweetie uvu i hope you had a wonderful christmas and holiday!