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Tokyobanhbao | Fashion by Tokyobanhbao - 1M ago

Here’s the episode 13 of our regular “Five senses” section. I still enjoy a lot sharing my finds and what could have excited my 5 senses lately : Hope you’ll enjoy reading it too !

Taste

Book “Deliciously Ella : The plant-based cookbook”
Wooden tray Monoprix

I have already talked about it on Instagram but I had to mark it down here too: even though the Internet is full of various recipes, I still love old fashion “cookbooks” which allow me to keep my “safe bet” nearby.

For instance, I love the book written by Ella Mills, Deliciously Ella “The plant-based cookbook”: a compilation of easy to prepare vegan recipes with easy to find ingredients (no need to go on a quest to find sesame flour from Peru or roasted nuts from Patagonia, as this kind of books usually require!).

I am not vegan but I like finding non-animal alternatives to classical recipes and this book have helps me a lot: I have already tried salty and sweet meals: ultra soft banana muffins and yummy almond and blueberry cookies but also pancakes with mushrooms to savor with a salad.

Smell

 Peach Sencha tea with mint  Jugetsudo

I’ve always preferred green tea rather than black tea and this last discovery could only delight my senses: a Sencha tea flavored with peach (& mint), found in the Mark’Style shop located in Le Marais( 6 rue du Trésor).

Flavored and light, this Japanese Tea is perfect to be enjoyed hot or cold… Only one slight sour note, the price (21€ for 40g!): So I am very slowly enjoying it!

Touch

Yoga mat Bonjour Mantra
Pants Puma
Bra Adidas

I finally found my yoga mat! I keep practicing regularly at home with Adriene YouTube videos and I was previously telling you I was looking for a sober and efficient model. Thank you for all your advices but I finally found it after listening my cousin’s advices!

I chose this model with stripes and as for now I am very satisfied: as explained on the website, I need to wet my hands with a little bit of water before starting to improve the adhesion and ready to start the sun salutations!

I am still far from doing acrobatics and other head down positions so my feedbacks about this mat is only from my novice point of view but I am quite delighted to own a pretty and efficient yoga mat. (I actually need to attend someday a real yoga class with a teacher to correct my poses).

Hearing

This spring I’ve been going to a lot of concerts: Take That, Backstreet Boys, Take That again (in Paris) and The Spice Girls. In July, I will go back 2 days to the Lollapalooza festival since I loved the ambiance last year.

The line up is not as good as last year for me but it allows me to discover new songs. So I have been starting to listen these new bands who will perform on these 2 days.

This is how I discovered the Irish band Kodaline (it sounds like a drug!): melodious pop rock as I like (my favorite songs are “Brother” or “Follow your fire”)… so I am looking forward to seeing them performing !

Sight

During my trip to London, I got the chance to get invited to stay at the Renaissance St Pancras hotel. I’ve already known it, as I’ve already stayed there during the shooting with My-Wardrobe and also after our British road trip last summer (but we were in the Barlow wing, more modern).

Staying in a room in the “Chambers” wing allowed me to discover more in the details the architecture of this historical building located in the St Pancras train station.

Room with a view at the station !

I took this opportunity to shoot a “spicy” video that you’ve probably seen on my stories: I couldn’t have missed the chance to dance in the mythic stairs where was filmed the movie clip of Wannabe from the Spice Girls !

What a beautiful hotel… (and a sweet memory of the afternoon tea quietly served in the Chambers club): better judge by yourself ! (English translation by Quiterie)

The mythical “Wannabe Spice Girls”stairs and afternoon tea at Chambers Club

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Tokyobanhbao | Fashion by Tokyobanhbao - 2M ago

I’ve been a bit silent lately over here but if you follow me on Instagram you probably know that I went to London to attend the Take That concert at the O2 arena… and it was as expected, unbelievable !

We took this opportunity to stay there a few days and visit, without pressure nor special planning. I can’t count my visits of London anymore, however I am far from knowing everything!

Here is an article to give you a few tips and mention your recommended spots (at the end the list was suggested by you on Instagram: so I would like to share it here so that everyone could have a look… unfortunately I didn’t have time to try them all, but it can give a lot of ideas!)

Columbia Road flower market

I had seen so many flowery pictures of this place on Instagram ! I wanted to see it myself… and I must admit that I was a bit disappointed…

The ambiance and the cute shops are really there but – as it became so popular – on Sunday morning, the street bordered by shops of plants and flowers is hardly accessible and overcrowded.

So it’s complicated to move forward or even to calmly choose a nice bouquet… but anyway at least this one will be marked down as done on my to-do list!

Your favorite addresses in London

Here are your favorite addresses you have shared with me on instagram (Huge thank you!)

BARS AND RESTAURANTS

  • Trailer Happiness
  • The Ivy Chelsea Garden
  • Granger & Co (brunch)
  • Madison rooftop terrace (with a nice view of St Paul’s)
  • Sketch tearoom (already seen here)
  • Hoppers
  • Honest Burger
  • The Good Egg, Kingly Court (fried chicken)
  • Din Tai Fung
  • Sushi Samba (for the view)
  • Trade (Breakfast)
  • Hakkasan (cantonese restaurant)
  • Dishoom (Indian restaurant)
  • Cereal Killer Cafe
  • Koya (Japanese noodles)
  • Tandoor Chop House
  • Ridding House Cafe
  • The Breakfast club
  • Gloria trattoria (italian “Big mamma”)
  • Double tree Hilton (for the view)
  • Peggy Porschen
  • Andina (Peruvian restaurant)
  • Shake Shack (My favorite veggie burger)
  • L’orangerie (teatime at Buckingham Palace)
  • Town House Kensington (afternoon tea)
  • Home slice (pizza)
  • Hovarda (Greek restaurant)
  • Milk train (Cotton candy ice cream)
  • Blue Canteen

OTHER IDEAS

  • Electric Cinema of Notting Hill
  • Brixton Market
  • Le musée du design
  • Victoria & Albert museum
  • Brick Lane
  • Kew gardens
  • Sky Garden and its view (to book in advance : I’m going there on June !)
  • Camden Town
  •  Highgate Cimetery
  • Coal’s Drop yard (shopping and restaurants)
  • Liberty (shop)
  • The Queen’s gallery (Queen’s shop at  Buckingham Palace)
  • Portobello Market on saturday morning
  • Japan center at Chinatown
  • Old Spitafield Market
  • Islington quarter
  • Natural history museum
  • Primrose Hill
  • Hammersmith Bridge
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Once again, a new look with already seen pieces: I compose and compose again and again ! Knowing that we’ve been jumping from summer to winter and it’s been changing every day, this outfit highlights this bipolar moment.

So here are my usual “quality” and “durability” reflexions for the different pieces of my outfit:

  • ce blazer Zara (( I don’t want to repeat myself, you can read my opinion here)
  • my La Redoute cashmere pullover: I have a collection that I’ve been talking about for years. Light, warm and easy to wash (wool program in the laundry machine) these are safe bet in my wardrobe.
  • mon pantalon rose Samsøe & Samsøe (2017) I wore it on the blog in summer and winter time. Its color offers a fresh touch without being too candy pink. It can be matched with a lot of other colors: camel, white, grey, jeans jacket… and gives a warm feeling when it rains (example on these pictures!)
  • my Dr Martens patent leather shoes: I had already listed them in my safe bet list: this being said, after 4 years they’ve strayed to crackle on the top part, I had to replace them. I bought exactly the same size last September but weirdly they are not as comfy as the previous ones… they brand might have changed the size (=bigger before)? Or maybe my feet got bigger? Anyway, I had to buy a bigger size (so I sell the pair of 38FR almost new): but I still love them.
  • this vintage bag found on Etsy : I keep it for occasions such as movie night or restaurant, when I don’t have much to carry (wallet, key and lipstick). Nothing to say about the quality but at the same time I’m not using it much!

Even though I like this “chilly moment” outfit version, I am looking forward to the spring season to come to wear these pants much more in a  “spring-ly!” way! Patience… (English translation by Quiterie)

(This post includes some affiliate links)

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I know that this article might not be very interesting but at the time of taste standardisation (Instagram, Pinterest, etc…), it will aim to show that people can still have different passions from their relatives (and/or virtual community) and be happy about it! There is something for everyone’s taste!

As for me, I love a lot of things called « popular » but I also have passions that always surprise people around me when I tell them.

There is that feeling that people with different tastes want to show off and act like they are « cool and off the track »: in my case, let’s admit that I should have chosen other interests to be « cool », haha! However, I totally assume these passions and will try to explain you more in details and why it’s frustrating sometimes to not be able to share with others these interests.

My love for Take That

I think 90% of people I told about this passion looked at me with their eyes full of stupefaction and sometimes even mocking me. I understand the reaction because Take That is known in France as a boys band from the 90’s, dancing half naked and doing perfectly known choreography.

Robbie Williams, Mark Owen, Gary Barlow, Jason Orange and Howard Donald : Take That from the 90s

I discovered this band when I was a teenager with the song « Back for good » but I wasn’t such a fan at that time (I don’t remember them being really famous in France. Only Robbie Williams got famous with his solo career). I liked the song when I listened it on the radio but that was it.

Take That in 2006 without Robbie !

The band then split up, and went back together without Robbie Williams, and became completely invisible here during the years 2000 and in 2010 I heard that they got back all together with Robbie.

Sceptique but curious, I watched the movie clip of their reunion « The flood » and found the British ambiance fun and pleasant, the state of mind of this band interesting and the song spellbinding.

I surprised myself listening the full album « Progress » and the revelation happened when I found out that the majority of their live tours was huge and spectacular. A giant elephant moving towards the stadium for The Circus Live, a giant carpet rolling and an « interactive » screen for Beautiful World Tour, a huge metal articulated character moving in the crowd for Progress Live.

Then, I heard that the whole band was invested into music composition (Gary Barlow and Mark Owen are good musicians) and shows creation: they are not only controlled puppets and I liked this idea.

Back to the full “team” in 2010 <3…

After that, I learnt more about each one’s personality trait, having all in common, sincerity, simplicity, respect for their fans and humour I can’t get bored of… so here is why I’ve started becoming a huge fan! I follow them on all social networks: Garry, Robbie, Mark, Howard… but not Jason who left the band, after having some difficulties to handle the celebrity during all these years (= their popularity on the other side of The Channel is much more impressive than the one here!).

Now, they are only 3 without Robbie and even in small group, I love them! They are able to create harmony with 5, 4 or 3 members, which keeps the interest after all the time. It’s actually an argument I’ve had a hard time to make people understand, this especially if they only know Take That via Robbie Williams.

… to 3 members since 2015 !

To sum up, I’ve become fan quite late in my life whereas being a nostalgic of the 90’s, seduced by the humans they really are (the book « A better me » written by Gary Barlow is very inspiring and encouraging), full of charm and their British side obviously… I am so looking forward to the London show in May and then in Paris in June! (Actually my SO, who is not particularly a fan, is happy to come with me in London as he knows the show will worth it).

If you want to start a smooth initiation of Take That, I would recommend to watch their shows (the newest ones such as Progress Live, the Circus Live, III live…). The oldest ones might not be very « modern » in term of scenery and looks, which might be a bit demotivating ! Their videoclips from the 90’s too, sometimes are close to ridiculous….!

Same for the albums: you’d better start listening the most recent ones because the orchestration of the songs from the 90’s is getting pretty old and sometimes close to kitsch (full of synth and rhythm box) but might seduce the nostalgic ones. Their last album Greatest hits « Odyssey » seems to be a good option to get a good overview of the discography.

Anyway, you must like English pop… so let me know if you could be ready to become a fan too! (and if not, don’t worry I won’t blame you!)

My Carebears collection

At the down of my fourties, saying that I own a collection of Care Bears doesn’t add up any credibility or may cause teasing but I totally assume.

Why having kids interests couldn’t match with adult life? I actually like the Japanese state of mind, they know how to have fun and like wearing costumes in the Disney parks (or even in the streets!) when 70 years old and without being put in a pigeonhole. As for me, I think I can be «responsible » when needed: loving kids stuff is not a handicap to be seen as someone serious.

This love for the Care Bears came when I was 5, when I received my first teddy bear «Tenderheart bear» for Christmas. My older brother has contributed a lot to this passion because we played together, made him talk and live great adventures. It might sound cheesy but it was really a playdate comrade.

After the years, I’ve kept this ritual and it added some imagination to my childhood and my teenage years. After the years passing by, my Tenderheart bear fell into disrepair… by being too much loved! I then discovered the new care bears in the 2000 and the collection fever started at this point.

I don’t look for the rare editions but every time I see one that I don’t already own (small size only!) when I travel or in a shop, I may purchase it.

I keep them in a box under a bench (as you might have seen in my Instastories a few months ago with the famous #GarbageBagGate !) and my favourite now is « Good luck bear » (his nickname: Pépé) that I sometimes show on Instagram. I know there is a strong « nostalgic » value in this passion but how can we not melt with these rainbows colours?

Going out or doing parties without drinking alcohol

It isn’t really a passion but more by necessity considering my very low tolerance with alcohol I’ve already told you about in the past.

During my years at the university, with a lot of parties and alcohol, I was probably the only one to never drink.

It was not a problem especially as I know how to have fun, dance and be enthusiastic without lawful (or not!) substance. I’ve had a few times some comments (and even today!) when I declined a glass to rather drink a juice or coca-cola: «Ohhh let it go! Have fun! Have a drink! »

I actually think it’s pretty sad because sometimes people were almost forcing me even though I didn’t want to drink alcohol. So I’ve remained faithful to my soft drink or my glass of fresh water, nevermind the spiteful remarks. Indeed, I am not a huge fan of the taste of the alcohol and I am not really strong (one glass of cider is enough to limit my eye sight): I can only drink if it’s paired with a meal and not all the time ! So I don’t see the point to force myself.

At the end, people stop trying, I let them talk and I keep having fun with all my clear mind but I find it a bit annoying to always associate parties and conviviality with alcohol…

What about you? Do you have misunderstood passions/tastes to declare? (English translation by Quiterie)

Take That Photos credits: Tim Roney, Metro.co.uk, Surrey live, Andy Parsons

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Tokyobanhbao | Fashion by Tokyobanhbao - 3M ago

I am really pleased about the very warm comments I got regarding my Paris Hanami map, even though since last week the trees most probably suffered a bit due to the wind and the rain in the capital.

However, it was such a pleasure last weekend with the sun and because it isn’t really the case anymore, let me post a few pictures of a « true » spring day. This outfit is the symbol of my basic spring outfit and I hope to wear it again soon!

Once again, nothing new but here’s a new look made of things I’ve already got and -you’ve already know how I work- my feedbacks about these pieces that have survived to the last dressing sorting :

  • My H&M trench : From 2014, it was quite successful when it was on sale and you might also still have it with you. Even though I haven’t gone to H&M or Zara for a while, I haven’t regretted this purchase, which has remained the same along the years: machine-washable but requires a bit of patience to iron due to the numerous folds.
  • My Boden Tshirt : (2016) you can’t fully see it but it’s a white basic shirt made in cotton with 3/4 sleeves. The cut is not perfect but I wear it anyway as I haven’t found the perfect long sleeves white shirt. If you have any advices…
  • My Cyrillus pants : I’ve got them since last September. I love the cut and it’s very comfy but I actually wouldn’t recommend them in terms of quality of the fabric because it bubbles with the friction. Thankfully you can’t really see it as it’s black but I am not fully satisfied. Too bad.
  • My Mango flats : I’ve got them since 2017. Unequalled confort and minimalist look that I love. This being said, the leather has started cracking even though I’ve done a good maintenance. It will depend on how long I can keep them but I can’t imagine the day I will have to throw them away. So, must be taken care of. I am actually hesitating to buy an extra pair because Mango sale them again this year = you can imagine how much I love them).
  • My Zac Posen bag : Since 2016, it isn’t 100% convenient due to its small size but the unusual shape is a plus. I don’t wear it often and mostly keep it for special occasions such as « parties », when it only contains my lipstick and two tissues. We can also insert a wallet but you’ll need a tote bag for the rest.

So here is the kind of simple outfit I like wearing. My lazy method is all about adding spicy touches with accessories (here, earrings and bag), so that I don’t get bored of my minimalist outfit. All is about the accessories ! (English translation by Quiterie)

(This post includes some affiliate links)

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Once again here is a look made of things I already have in my closet. I am really pleased to see that you like these “recycled” fashion related articles.

While writing this word “recycle” I am aware that it shows a serious issue of consumption as it’s supposed to be used in a normal way. Wearing a few times our clothes is not recycling, it’s just the basis for a balanced consumption… but anyway, you understand me!

Since I’ve limited my wardrobe and fashion consumption, I am still happy to use these pieces of clothes with a new association and even more with the nicer days approaching.

As the last time, I will give you a few feedbacks about my outfit items you’ve already seen on this blog:

  • My Sézane “Will” denim jacket : From the 2016 collection, enough time has passed to say that it worth the investment. I washed it a few times in the laundry, it didn’t move and I can wear it with everything. Casual and chic at the same time, a basic we can count on.
  • My La Redoute lace blouse : also from 2016, I’ve receive compliments every time I wear it and it always saves me when I don’t know what to wear for a night out. But on a daily basis, it knows how to look good… knowing that I’ve washed it in my laundry (not event delicate program!)… What a pleasure!
  • My Uniqlo wide denim jeans : I am in love with these jeans that I’ve been wearing during both winter and summer times. You’ve seen it a few times already on this blog. You can’t buy it anymore (they have another one on sale now but a bit too short): what a shame because they are easy to keep and the stretch fabric makes them super comfy.
  • My Boden leopard flats : 2016 seems to be a very good year! I’m still very happy with the comfort and the quality of these leopard ballerinas, which add a savage touch to all kind of outfit. I can walk for hours with them even thought they are a bit (too?) flat. All the ballerinas should get inspired by these ones: nothing hurts !
  • My Sézane “Dean” bag : As I told you last time, I’m quite satisfied with my Sézane bags. Little drawback for this one that I haven’t worn often unlike the others (…which explains why I hadn’t noticed this drawback!): the flat camel leather gets easily some marks so if you don’t take care of it, you’d better choose the croco style leather from the brand, thicker and not as sensible for the impacts.

I told you I was only wearing old stuffs… but actually there is one exception with these accessories: flake imitation earring for the final touch. Worth the €13!

Even with this price I hope they will last as long as possible. I reinforced the rod with a bit of glue in-between the plastic and the rod.

If you would like to « invest » as well, you should know that they are very light and we quickly forget them, which is quite a positive point. Let’s see how long they will be ok… but with my little DIY improvement, I think all the chances are on my side! (English translation by Quiterie)

(This post includes some affiliate links)

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Tokyobanhbao | Fashion by Tokyobanhbao - 4M ago

Let’s go for a new episode of « Five senses » to discover what shook my 5 senses lately !

Taste

Mug Anthropologie (gifted by my “Babe” Candice)
Curcuma Chaï by Yogi Tea

I gave you the Golden milk recipe in a previous episode : this ayurvedic drink full of nutritional qualities. I prepare it once in a while but not as much as I would, even though it’s pretty easy to prepare (worried about the unwanted curcuma stain on my clothes maybe!)

So here is why I was really delighted to discover a Curcuma Chaï tea from Yogi Tea. After checking the ingredients, I found out it was quite similar to the ones needed for a Golden milk (curcuma, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom…).

Ceiling lights La Redoute intérieurs
Wooden table Ikea

We can choose to drink it as herbal tea with boiled water but also to infuse it in simmering milk for a few minutes to get this Holy Golden milk. And the result is pretty much the same as the one I get when prepared myself! Convenient and good, it’s a good idea for the lazy days… approved!

Smell

Plum melting balm Les Inspyrées
Olive wood board AM.PM

As I told you earlier, I’ve been trying to be more careful with the cosmetic I choose even though my skin isn’t very receptive to virtuous products.

I still have the same cleaning routine with the products Les Inspyrées but for the face skincare I keep using a mix between traditional cosmetics as my skin can’t balanced itself with natural oils: I still have the issue with a mixed dehydrated skin and glowy areas…

But as I am a pretty rare case, my friend Mathieu from Les Inspyrées promised me to find with Nicolas, his associate, the ingredients that would fit me as their products seem to be fine for most of their users. Fingers crossed!

Anyway, for the body I was able to fight the dryness with this balm that was given by Les Inspyrées. Actually Mathieu made himself this body balm in his workshop in the Pyrenees: the production circuit to my bathroom couldn’t be more direct and transparent!

The texture of the balm is different from a cream but the nourishing action is durable and the light smell of plum is very nice. I will keep you updated about the various tests anyways.

Sight

Mont Fuji by @_h1roya

Even though it’s regularly criticised, Instagram remains for me an interface to find inspiration and to dream. Especially to discover destinations to travel as I was not aware of. I’ve been following for a while the account @travelandleisure that gathers instagram pictures from users all around the world.

Peru, Iceland and Sri Lanka by @iuriebelegurschi, @thismattexists and @cbezerraphotos

Here are a few examples. Well, obviously, Photoshop is not very far but I’m still amazed in front of such a beauty, touristic diversity and I dream to be able to visit these places to see if they are as beautiful as the pictures.

Austria et and the Dolomites, Italy by @mblockk and @wonguy974

Hearing

News about Marina and the diamonds… well, just Marina because she left her diamonds on the way to release her new album “Love + Fear” in April.

I am so excited to discover all the songs of this new album as I’ve loved what she’s done in the past few years (she even inspired me here).

Pictures from the “Handmade heaven” videoclip by Marina

The two songs (“Superstar” and “Handmade heaven”) she’s unveiled so far are still in the airy and melodious style that we know, for my pleasure. My preference would go to « Handmade heaven », which I found pure, dreamlike and melancholic at the same time. A beauty for me. The video clip shot in the snowy nature isn’t really in phase with the season but I can totally picture myself listening this piece of gold during my winter trip to Hokkaido.

Fingers crossed she will be coming to France for a concert… without hoping too much, as I feel like the French popularity remains confidential unfortunately.

Touch

This year 2019 has started under the sign of yoga! Indeed, since January, every morning (almost), I’ve been doing about 20 minutes of yoga following the class of Adriene, a young girl from Texas on Youtube.

I started by the “Dedicate 30-day yoga journey” in January and then I got addicted to this morning routine. I am not an expert but I think my body likes every minute of stretching and sun salutation.

So I’ve been following the session she prepares every month (I did February and March in a very religious way). The session are in English but it’s easy to understand if you want to try, it won’t be difficult to follow the classes.

As for now, I’ve been doing the Yogi beginner exercises with a fitness mat but I’ve been considering to buy a nice, sober and convenient yogi mat: any advices, maybe? (English translation by Quiterie)

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Tokyobanhbao | Fashion by Tokyobanhbao - 4M ago

The weather of the past few days has been quite confusing, and I’ve found it hard to choose my outfit: always the same mid-season issue (we have to admit, it’s a bit early).

Having a smaller wardrobe is actually also convenient as I can keep the 4 seasons clothes ready-to-wear, which is perfect to mix mid-season clothes without looking up too far in my apartment (or my cellar). So here is un example of outfit that I was able to wear the past few days (before the rain).

The idea is to mix a warm piece of cloth with a lighter one and we are all good. Once again, you’ll be able to find a few elements you’ve already seen in my wardrobe:

  • This Zara blazer : nothing to say quality wise… with this peacoat it’s the only two pieces of gold from this temple of Fast Fashion that I kept from my big clothes sorting.
  • This Close jumper : likewise, the quality has remained the same after a lot of laundry (wool program obviously) and I am sorry the website MSR closed down (even though I think the brand Close is available at Monoprix)
  • These Topshop mom jeans : durability and quality since 2014 (it has this laid back touch and can match with everything)
  • This Sézane bag : not on sale anymore but I still love the vintage style and it’s super convenient. From my experience from Sézane, I can assure that the quality of the bags is great (at least the ones I have!). I am more hesitant about the shoes that always end up being not that confortable on my feet.
My winter investment

And the “newbies” for my feet, these Mary janes from Carel I had an eye on since I saw my dear Alexa Chung wearing them in every situation. I thought that if she wears them all the time, it means that they must be confortable: indeed the size of the heel, the patent leather and this Italian manufacture were already quite promising.

So I jump on the opportunity of this discounted price during the sales. A nice pair of red shoes, with a pretty red, with heels AND confortable, we can’t find that easily… and I don’t regret this investment.

I was able to walk a whole afternoon without any problem but I will keep you updated to know if they really worth the investment. As for now, I am convinced by their softness and design.

I hope you will enjoy this kind of article, in which I tell you in details about the clothes I have and pieces in which I am considering to invest. Always keeping in mind that my wardrobe must remain small, durable and optimal. It takes time to only have on hand quality pieces but I like the idea of being on the good path. (English translation by Quiterie)

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Tokyobanhbao | Fashion by Tokyobanhbao - 5M ago

It’s been a while since my last outfit article on this blog as I’ve been buying less and less clothes and I haven’t followed the trends much… so there is less newbies (but I actually don’t really mind). It doesn’t mean that I don’t like choosing my clothes anymore, not at all!

I love all the pieces I have in my closet and even though I have less pieces than before, I keep mixing them… I am just not that courageous anymore to brave the cold weather outside to photoshoot them!

So why today is different? Because it was less cold and I wanted to show you the association of colors/print I particularly like this winter.

My winter chromatic palette is made of beige, camel, navy blue, burgundy and forest green. Leopard always remains a safe bet for me. I juggle with each colors/print of my closet and match them to easily compose an outfit.

The oldest ones of my audience might recognize a few elements: this Zara peacoat from 2013 (surprisingly qualitative as it still has a good shape, which is not the case with the other pieces have bought from Zara: I actually haven’t been for quite a while) and this pair of « Dr Martens x Comme des Garçons » brought back from Japan in 2014.

Let’s add up one of my favorite cachemire pullovers, a leopard touch and we have a winter outfit!

What a pleasure to be able to trust all the basic pieces in terms of long lasting quality! Quality rather than quantity, I am more than ever convinced. ( English translation by Quiterie)

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Tokyobanhbao | Fashion by Tokyobanhbao - 6M ago

It’s been almost a year since I came back from Japan and I still haven’t finished my story about this trip: what a shame, I know!… but at least now we are plunging back to the winter season: let’s say that I almost did it in purpose!

Let’s continue our journey where we stopped, in Sapporo. After these few days of ice and snowy shows, we are heading to the Northeast of the Hokkaido island toward Abashiri (located on the map here).

How to go to Abashiri

We took the early morning train from Sapporo to Abashiri: note that only two trains per day head to this destination. You wouldn’t miss your train!

The trip takes 5:30 hours to get to Abashiri station: then we took another train and a shuttle bus to our hotel.

In the second train we actually missed our stop because, good to know, small Japanese trains only open the front doors at the station.

So you need to get ready in advance to walk toward the first cars of the train to be ready at the next station. We looked so smart waiting behind a door that can’t be opened! Hoping our mistake will be useful and you will avoid waiting in a snowy ghost station.

An icebreaker ship on the Okhotsk sea

The main attraction of Abashiri in winter is the icebreaker tour (open from 9:00 to 3:30pm in average). You should easily find a bus that will take you to the “Aurora terminal”.

From January 20th to April 3rd approximately, the ices from Siberia heads down to the Okhotsk sea along the sea currents, creating a kind of sea ice floes moving toward the north of Japan.

This phenomenon can be seen in Abashiri but the weather can be capricious, so make sure to check the forecast before the tour: blocks can come as multiples (as seen on the pictures) or can be more discreet.

We got extremely lucky that day to be able to admire huge pieces of floating ice on this intense blue water with on top of it beautiful sky and sun. Looking at the pictures it’s clear that we couldn’t have expected any better.

The experience totally convinced us, I wouldn’t have never imagined to see this while being in Japan! You can still check out the icebreaker tour on my highlighted Instagram Story called “Abashiri”.

The Abashiri prison museum

The boat tour takes about one hour, so we had still quite some time left and had the crazy idea to visit the Abashiri prison museum.

You won’t bring back from this place the happiest pictures from your trip but this visit was actually very interesting so it was not a waste of time at all.

The prison was built about 100 years ago. It was moved to another place and it now only remains a museum, which is enough to get a feeling of the rough life conditions the prisoners have had.

The visit follows a map starting from the tribunal to the working areas (the jail was producing its own miso and soy sauce) as well as the imprisonments areas more or less extremes that send shivers down your spine.

The museum is decorated with dummies looking quite realistic, which is impressive (and creepy but Japanese seem to like it) and it’s possible to try a meal the prisoner ate at the restaurant of the museum (grilled fish and miso soup, almost a dream).

The souvenir shop is not forgotten neither (who want handcuffs key-holders?). For those who might be interested: some might find this a bit disturbing: it is… but as for me, I didn’t regret it at all.

Abashiri Tsuruga resort

Our opinion about this hotel is quite mixed: we chose it for its location close from the places we wanted to visit. First we were pretty impressed by the Japanese cottage style but at the end we were disappointed by the food (rare enough to be pointed at in Japan) served on a buffet, quantitative but not really qualitative.

It’s also the kind of hotel where tourists (like us too!) go in mass: looking at the size of the hotel, we could have expected this but it’s good to know if you want to book it. It’s more like a huge resort rather than a calm tiny ryokan.

This being said, the advantage is the organization, with a lot of staff, one spa with onsen bathes (very relaxing anyway). We even spent a few very nice evenings in an empty living-room with a fireplace and marshmallows (to roast!).

We also experienced a hot foot-bath in a small cabin outside in the snow in front of the hotel: we only stayed 2-min but we did it!!

On this pictures I was wearing a traditional yukata from the area (unlike my socks!). And good thing for our luggage, we had a spacious room.

The view from our room

Miso ramen in Abashiri

The restaurant I found is located right next to the Aurora terminal. It’s hard to give you a precise address but try to show this name  麺屋 海嵐 to someone and they might be able to find the place (if it still exists, we never know).

We enjoyed very delicious miso ramen with and without stock, perfectly seasoned and so comforting after this sea trip.

Miso ramen with or without stock at  麺屋 海嵐 restaurant

I hope you liked the visit in Abashiri and it will help you to plan your winter trip in Japan. Coming soon, another destination even more snowy and wild, Shiretoko! (English translation by Quiterie)

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