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Tokyo Trip (Part I)

I came back from my Hong Kong and Tokyo trip few weeks already and I have been delaying my post.  In Hong Kong, mainly I met up with friends, ate, and hung out.  Since I lived and worked in HK for almost five years, I didn’t do any tourist activities, nor exploring new neighborhoods.

I also traveled to Tokyo and spent there for a week.  Japan is always one of my favorite countries to visit, and I had been there several times, almost each time to different cities.  I am a huge fans of sushi, so eating was almost the main activity for me.  This was my third time visiting Tokyo.  Not to mention the metropolitan vibe and the food that I really like and enjoy, I also love that how every neighborhood in Tokyo has something going on. Each area feels like a city hub to me–with shopping malls and restaurants everywhere.

Here are some of the highlights and photos that I took when I was there (National Art Center, Ginza Six, and Asakusa):






Besides eating a lot, I finally visited the National Art Center for the first time.  The full height undulating glass wall is amazing.  It is brightening the space with lots of natural light.  Inside the space, there are three floor levels.  No matter where you stand, you still can get a very good view of the exterior space.  The photo above was Yayoi Kasuma’s exhibition.





The Ginza Six department store, in Ginza, was just opened a week before we arrived (I found out when I was there).  It was extremely packed.  The interior space and finishes looks pretty luxury and well designed.  At that moment when I was there, the central atrium had Yayoi Kasuma’s art installation.











Asakusa Area — I would say this is one of the most popular sightseeing places in Tokyo.  There is a long and crowded shopping street that leads to Sensoji Temple.  The entrance gate to this street is Kaminarimon.  In this street, shops are selling souvenirs and Japanese food, like a food stall.  This street is not wide and is always packed with tourists.  In term of the actual length, is not that long.  But because there are many distractions, people and shops, it took us almost two hours to get to the temple.  Right across from Kaminarimon, it is the Tourist Information Center, by architect Kengo Kuma, one of my favorite architects.

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Packing for Trips







The past weekend I started to pack for my upcoming trip to Hong Kong and Tokyo.  I am leaving this Thursday for two weeks.  Since I have a busy work schedule during weekdays, so I packed over the weekend.  When it comes to packing for trip, it is always a long and thoughtful process for me.  I am not that type of person who is able to pack light.  Although always attempted to try, but……!!  Also, it depends on the destinations and the activities.  For Hong Kong, I know I will be meeting up with friends and dining out a lot; for Tokyo, I will be shopping, sightseeing, dining, and strolling around.  So, I like to prepare, mix and match my outfits for each day.  That includes shoes, bags, and accessories.  Somehow, I always pack more outfits than I actually need.  I usually would prepare extra outfits for activities that I might do (but might not).  Such as……maybe I will go for a hike? to the beach? or heels to parties and drinks?  Does this scenario sound familiar to you?  Do you have any tips on packing?

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Spring Blooming









Finally back to sunny and warmer weather the past two weekends, despite of few week nights of heavy rains.  My mood usually gets better during sunny days, and I finally feel that I am in the Spring season and wearing lighter clothing.  At the moment, it is also the cherry blossom season.  You can visit Golden Gate Park and see the blooming cherry trees.  The past Sunday, I attended the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown, which I had not been for many years.  It was packed with people.  Traditionally, besides the music, games, shopping for souvenirs, Japanese food was the biggest attraction.  I went there with an empty stomach since I wanted to try their food stalls.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try any of them because all the lines were way too long.  I was too hungry to wait, so just had some bits in a nearby restaurant.

I always like to add some colors to my outfit, especially during the Spring season, and here I am wearing an orange loose sweater.  I am pairing it with a pair of black and white pattern sloan fit pants and silver heels.  I can wear this outfit to work, since my firm doesn’t require me to wear very formal attire.  Or in a causal weekend, I can change my heels to flats, and strolling in the park.  I like to wear loose sweater, not only it is comfortable, but I can also play around with different styles.  Here, since the sweater is hip length, I half-tuck the front part into the pants and roll up the sleeve to 3/4 length to create the polished look.

fashion · Lifestyle · outfits

An Afternoon in Napa: Wine and Dine








Last weekend, finally no more rain, we decided to drive up to Napa to spend my afternoon there.  The advantage of living in San Francisco is that it only takes a little bit over an hour to get to Napa.  Although I do have few favorite wineries in my list, I try to visit new wineries and/or restaurants whenever I go there.

I have been wanting to go to Domain Carneros for a long time.  Every time when I drove by this estate vineyard on highway 12, I was drawn by the beautiful garden, and the grand staircase that leads to the terrace.  When I was at the terrace last weekend, I liked it even more.  Not only the chateau is very elegant, but the view looking down from the terrace is amazing.

For the tasting, I tried the “Chateau Sampler”, $30, two sparklings and two reds.  I was debating if I should try the “Sparkling Wine Sampler”, since I know they are known for sparkling wines.  But I was also curious about their reds.  Well, after I tasted, I actually really like the sparkling wines way more than the reds.  My favorite one is the “2011 Estate Brut Cuvée”.



For dinner, very last minute, we decided to go to Bottega in Yountville.  The only reservation that they had was at 6pm.  Immediately, we drove and rushed to get there.  I was glad that we got there before dark so I could take some photos.  This was my first time visiting Bottega and I had a very good experience.  Before stepping into the restaurant, I was drawn to the floor pattern on the exterior flooring and staircase.  The pattern looks like a Bohemian rug to me. I felt like I was passing through a foyer before entering into the restaurant.  The overall interior atmosphere is nice, open kitchen, partial brick wall, and exposed black metal beams.  I was not able to take some nice photos since the interior lighting is quite low.




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Black Base + Camel Boots




Sometimes I do like to size up the sweater so I can wear it like a loose fit top with leggings.  The sweater that I am wearing, although a bit plain at the front, there is a row of button at the back.  I find it quite interesting.  I usually wear XS from Banana Republic, but I was looking for a sweater that I can wear it with leggings.  So I sized up to medium, which it fits perfectly on me.  Since I am only 5’2″, I think wearing leggings with a loose top will make me look taller…lol.

Wearing overall black as the base could be simple and fun.  I can accessorize the outfit, without the feeling of “too much going on”.  Here, I am pairing it with camel boots and a necklace.  If you pay more attention to the detail, you will see that my boots, necklace, and handbag, all share one common language subtly — pieces of gold.

Sweater: Banana Republic  |  Leggings: H&M  |  Boots: Coach (similar)  | Bag: Kate Spade

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Gloomy Day



Version 2


Another Rainy weekend, but I managed to take some photos this morning before the rain.  Were shooting until we felt some drops over our heads.  As you can see from my photos, the sky was grey.

I bought this City Coat from J.Crew Factory for this winter season, and I have been wearing it quite often.  I think it is perfect for San Francisco winter.  I bought the light grey in petite 0, and I love the color.  It is such a versatile coat that I can wear it with a pair of jeans or with a dress.  Here I am wearing it with a pair Jeggings from American Eagle and a sweater underneath it.

Coat: J.Crew Factory  |  Jeggings: American Eagle  |  Bag: Tory Burch (similar)