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08.22.2016

San Miguel de AllendeIn the state of Guanajuato, some 270 kilometers away from Mexico City, this beautiful city designated a World Heritage by UNESCO sits at 1,910 meters above sea level along the old ruta de la plata, the Silver Route that used to run from from Zacatecas to Mexico City. San Miguel has a perfectly preserved old town dating back to the 17th and 18th century, with narrow cobbled streets climbing the mountain, boulevards lined with trees, Baroque churches and historic palaces. This quiet town is perfect for a nice walk, and art enthusiasts will love it because of its many artist’s workshops and galleriesPueblaThis crowded city in central Mexico was founded in 1531 by the Spanish in the heart of a fertile valley surrounded by some of the country’s tallest volcanoes, including Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl. It mostly owes its fame to the 1862 Battle of Puebla, when the French army attempted at conquering the city only to be defeated by the Spanish army with the help of the local population in what resulted as one of the most epic military exploit in Mexican history. The center, which surrounds the Zócalo (Mexican for ‘central square’), has plenty of colonial-style buildings. Among the city’s most remarkable sights are the Baroque Catedral de Puebla, the Templo de San Cristobal, the Palacio Municipal, the Templo de San Francisco, and the Salón de protocolos del Gobierno del Estado de Puebla. Yet Puebla is also a great foodie destination: its regional cuisine is deemed one of the best in Mexico, so be sure not to miss the local mole, a tasty and hot chocolate sauce with cinnamon, nuts and chillies. San Cristóbal de Las Casas In a valley surrounded by the mountains of Chiapas, in southern Messico, San Cristóbal is an ancient city where plenty of native ethnic groups of Mayan descent still live, a local language is spoken besides Spanish and people usually wear traditional costumes. San Cristóbal is also one of the best preserved colonial cities in the country, with old districts where various traditional arts and crafts like wood sculpture, carpentry or wrought iron working are still practiced. To get to know the city, adjust to its slow and ancient pace, strolling along the streets lined with colorful houses and noisy markets and savouring the pleasantly bohémian atmosphere that attracts backpackers and foreign tourists from all over the world. OaxacaThis warm and welcoming city is extremely rich in culture and history. A few miles away from it lies the archaeological site of Monte Albán, which used to be the major military and religious settling in the valley of Oaxaca, the ancient city which lived its golden era between the 6th century B.C. and the 9th century A.C. The site is so well preserved that you’ll feel like travelling back in time, and besides the view from atop Monte Albán is absolutely stunning. Modern Oaxaca owes most of its beauty to the colonial heritage; the main square is surrounded by the Cathedral and a bunch of exquisitely restored 16th century buildings turned into hotels, restaurants, galleries and museums. Yet it is in the markets that you’ll experience the most authentic soul of the city, tasting artisan chocolate, mole and chapulines, i.e. grasshoppers, which are possibly the most popular snack around here. Another must-try is the local mezcal, a distilled alcoholic beverage which is pretty similar to tequila, considered one of the best in Mexico. TaxcoThis small town in the northern part of Guerrero clinging to a high hill surrounded by mountains was once rich and famous due to its silver mines, and artisan silver workshop selling fine local jewels are still everywhere along its steep, narrow alleys leading to pictoresque squares. Scattered with historic palaces, a heritage of the New Spain period, Taxco  is surrounded by a beautiful landscape and blessed with amazing natural colors, to the point that it was awarded the title of Pueblo Mágico, reserved by the Mexican Governement to its most tourist-friendly destinations. The city is also famous for its ‘exotic’ cuisine, and particularly for the use of beetles (jumiles) for taco filling or as the main ingredient for dishes accompanied by mole sauce. Photo credits:San Miguel de AllendePhoto by Jiuguang Wang under the CC BY-SA 2.0 licenseCatedral de PueblaPhoto by Diego Delso under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licenseSan Cristobal de Las CasasPhoto by lllillji.koo under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licenseOaxacaPhoto by João Sousa under the GNU Free Documentation licenseTaxcoPhoto by Carlos Adampol Galindo under the CC BY-SA 2.0 license  

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08.18.2016

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08.17.2016

There comes a time when you just want to get away from the strain of everyday life and immerse yourself in nature. Popular destinations are not the best choice if you’re aiming to avoid the crowds. However, from Hokkaidō all through the Japanese Alps, the country is scattered with sweet escapes whose main attractions are the starry skies they stretch against and the lush woods surrounding them. Memu Earth HotelOpened this summer in the midst of the vast pastures of Obihiro, Tokachi, Memu Earth Hotel is composed of tents, with no ceilings or walls, offering luxury bedding in a quasi-campsite setting. You can take a shower in the facilities designed by Kengo Kuma’s studio, one of Japan’s leading architects, enjoy the delicacies Chef Yūji Tani will prepare for you using local products, and relax gazing at the stars while having a drink by the bonfire. Nonokaze ResortThe hotel is located in Tōyako, Hokkaidō and all the rooms overlook Lake Tōya. That means you can enjoy the sunrise and sunset, as well as the starry nights and nature’s ever-changing colors. You can take a swim in the lake, relax at the spa or dip in a bedrock bath. You can also reserve a private openair bath, where you can dip and unwind, enjoying the view of the night sky. When you’re finished, have a seat and savour the French and sheer Japanese treats. Yatsugatake Grace HotelThe hotel is located in Minamimaki, a village in the prefecture of Nagano, elected the third best stargazing spot in Japan, which is no surprise since the screen is the night sky above the Yatsugatake Mountain Range, where the air is clear and all luminous interferences absent. After eating in an exquisitely traditional dining room, you can borrow a telescope and enjoy the amazing view of the stars and meteor showers, with a person guiding you through the vault of the heavens. 

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Omron Sleep MeterThe new Sleep Meter HSL-101 developed by Omron is a stylish device that records the information of your sleep by means of a radio wave detector, when placed on the bedside table. All you have to do is press the “Good Night” button before going to sleep to get the detector started, and then “Show/Wake Up” when you rise. All the information on displayed, how many hours you have slept or how often you have wakened up during the nightASICS Running WatchesThis watch will keep track of the distance and heart rate while you’re running, with a sensor strapped to your chest. If you set your data and gender, you will find the best training for youBody Fat MeterTanita has created a revolutionary device that measures the thickness of the subcutaneous fat in the belly area. Style Leader SR-901 will display five levels of fat: “0.1 cm”, “up to 0.4 cm”, “up to 1.4 cm”, “up to 2.9 cm”, “over 3 cm”. This device will inspire you to lose the extra fat and sculpt your absKETTO, A Glucometer That Needs No PrickingGlucose is commonly measured by taking blood samples, usually pricking your finger. Easy to use and beautifully designed, KETTO will tell you how much sugar you have in your blood within 60 seconds, with no needles and absolutely no pain. The results will be sent to your smartphone or to your cloud. Inner Scan Dual Body MeterTanita has also created a breakthrough device that allows you to check on the condition of your muscle fibers. Working on two frequencies, Tanita Body Meter will give you precise information about the volume and condition of your muscles. It comes in a stylish design and supports Bluetooth.

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08.15.2016

Discovering a country also means learnig about its cuisine, peeping inside the kitchens of its best restaurants and becoming familiar with the taste of its traditional food. This is truer than ever in France, a country whose identity is inestricably linked with the bon vivre philosophy and which boasts one of the world’s most prestigious cuisines. Away from sparkling Paris, where all the best food from France can be easily found, are the rural regions that give birth to such delicacies. Here, food can tell a lot about the climate, the history, and often about he future of these places. Normandy and the Valleée d'AugeIn a landscape of rolling hills, green pastures, farms and orchards, traditional cuisine is obviously based on meats and cheeses - and of course hard cider. The Vallée d'Auge, not far from the city of Caen, is an extraordinary foodie destinations where hospitality is experienced at its best in the small bed and breakfasts like Les Petis Matins Bleus, where you’ll be able to enjoy a weekend-long cooking class focusing on local cuisine. Guilvinec, BretagneClinging to a promontory overlooking the Atlantic ocean, the village of Guilvinec is the largest ancient port of France, where everything revolves around the daily coming and going of the boats to and from the ocean and the restaurants serve amazing and accurately cooked fresh fish. To fully enjoy the atmosphere, take part in a fishing section or learn about fishing techniques from the fishermen at the harborProvence and the Cadière d'AzurA we get closer to the Mediterranean sea, the local cuisine becomes more and more sophisticated and bumping into a starred restaurant is almost unavoidable. If you are looking for an exceptional experience, let starred chef René Bérard be your host at Hostellerie Bérard, in one of the most pictoresque villages of the Provençal hinterland east of Marseilles, La Cadière d'Azur. Sample the chef’s prestigious cuisine or sign in for a one-week intensive cooking workshop including visits to the local markets to learn about ingredients and communal dinners on the hotel’s terrace to savour your own masterpieces.  Saulieu, BourgogneBourgogne is a crucial contributor to French cuisine, because this is where a lot of the milk for its fabulous cheeses comes from – and grazing cows are literally everywhere you look. Local cheese Epoisses, with its pungently meaty, earthy, salty and nutty flavor, is definitely a must-try. As for restaurants and hospitality, the options are endless; our recommendation goes to the luxurious Bernard Loiseau di Saulieu, in the Morvan Regional Natural Park. Mont Ventoux, ProvenceVisiting Provence without trying its wines would be pure madness. Grape Escapes offers wine tours including trips to Mont Ventoux and the vineyard village of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, not far from Avignone. Each day ot the tour is devoted to the the discovery of the vineyards and the local wines through wine tastings, and the nights are spent in Mazan at the former residence of the Marquis de Sade, an ancient castle which has been turned into a gorgeous hotel. Photo credits:Architecture in the Pays D’AugePhoto by Cicero under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licenseEpoisse cheese from BourgognePhoto by Coyau under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licenseCover photo: Noah Baslé via unsplash  

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08.11.2016

Summer is the perfect season for new and pleasant discoveries. This year, we’d like to take you on a journey through the diverse tastes of Italian cuisine, stopping in each and every one of its 20 regions to try local products, unique delicacies and traditional dishes. The radicchio di Treviso is a kind of crispy and bitterish chicory that has been cultivated in the area ever since the 16th century, with deep-red leaves and white streaks. It grows all through the winter mainly in Treviso and Castelfranco, and it comes in two variations: the radicchio precoce (early radicchio), less valuable and more bitter, and radicchio tardivo (late radicchio), deemed superior and distinguished by long, tapering purplish red leaves and a central white rib. Usually a basic ingredient of the delicious risotto al radicchio trevigiano, it is also a great anti-aging remedy rich in antioxidants, vitamin A and B2, it has excellent antinflammatory  properties, and very few calories. The Consorzio Tutela Radicchio Rosso di Treviso IGP e Radicchio Variegato di Castelfranco IGP recommends puchasing radicchio from the following growers:Soc. Agricola Dotto GiovanniStrada Torre D’Orlando, 8, Torre D’Orlando (TV)Biofattoria MurialdoVia Cal di Breda, 67, TrevisoDotto PaoloVia Aereoporto, 7, TrevisoCooperativa Soc. AlternativaVia Cardinal Callegari, 32, Carbonera (TV)Graziotto OrnellaVia Postumia, 8, Ponzano Veneto (TV)Azienda Agricola Nonno AndreaVia Campagnola, 72, Villorba (TV)Soc. Agricola Biodinamica San Michele s.s.Via Bovon, 28, Case Scarabello (TV)Bellia ClaudioVia Tito Speri, 98, Bragato (VE) Photo by Zetagroup under CC BY-SA 3.0 license

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08.10.2016

Creative Director at United Arrows, the leading Japanese group featuring select shops throughout the country, Yasuto Kamoshita is one of the most known buyers of Japan’s fashion industry, and he was even awarded the prestigious Premio Pitti Immagine Uomo in 2013. We had a pleasant chat with Mr. Kamoshita about life, work and his vision of the Slowear brands. SJ: What do you like the most about your job?YK: I like my job for different reasons. I like making things, meeting creative people and finding new inspirations. I like seeing new places all around the globe. And I’m happy when people are happy with my creations. SJ: Among all the people you’ve met so far, who do you think had a great influence on you? Is there any episode you want to share?YK: Without any doubt, my life had a turning point when I started attending the school of Fine Arts, aiming to become a painter. I met a guy who was to become one of my closest friends. Unfortunately, he passed away. But believe me, his drawing skills were just flabbergasting. I strived to do better than him in the design class, but I was hopeless. I wasn’t bad, but talent is talent. Either you have it or you don’t. I couldn’t compete with my friend. Then I understood I had better give up the path of fine arts and pursue other avenues. SK: Besides your work and career, what do you think is important in life?YK: My motto is, everything you do in life, enjoy it to the fullest. SJ: Please tell us about your encounter with Slowear.YK: I’ve had ties with Incotex for 25 years, so I followed the Slowear re-branding every step of the way. I loved the re-naming immediately. A new wind is blowing in Italian fashion – I thought. SJ: When you’re on a business trip, what do you do in your spare time?YK: I have very little time to spare, if I’m on business. But if all the work has been done, I like to sit in my favourite café and relax. I love to listen to the sound of music, people and tableware filling the air. SJ: You’ve travelled quite a lot now. Is there any place you would like to recommend?YK: Kanazawa, on the Sea of Japan. Since we opened a United Arrows shop earlier this year, I’ve had to opportunity to go there time and again. There’s something exquisitely old-fashioned in the air, due to a large number of traditional houses still in existence. The Sea of Japan caters fish with a rich, firm, juicy flesh. No wonder the quality of the food in Kanazawa is unexcelled. Furthermore, there are so many interesting cultural events happening at the 21st Century Museum. And it’s so close to Tokyo! SJ: How do you put the slow living philosophy into practice?YJ: I don’t. My work and private life are just so hectic, day in day out. Could anyone please tell me if there’s a way I can create time? SJ: What are your recommendations for a person visiting Tokyo for the first time?YK: Personally, I like the local areas. In Tokyo, I would recommend a walk around places such as Nakano or Kōenji. Shōin Shrine is an enchanting spot where you can observe people in their everyday life. The Japanese Folk Crafts Museum is also very nice, because you can experience the beauty of Japanese craftsmanship first hand. 

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08.08.2016

Intellectuals, children, families and teachers: the Grimmwelt Museum in Kassel appeals to everyone while reaffirming the crucial role of this city, already home to the Documenta modern and contemporary art exhibition, in defining the core values of German culture. Grimmwelt (literally “Grimm world”) is a celebration of the work and the ideas of the Grimm brothers well beyond their world-famous fairy tales – from Cinderella to Little Red Riding Hood, from Rapunzel to Hänsel and Gretel, to mention a few – which unveils comparatively unknown details about these figures. The Grimm brothers were in fact also successful philologists and linguists, as well as the authors of the 33-volume first German Dictionary, one of the pillars of modern German language along with Martin Luther’s translation of the Holy Bible. The museum has been conceived as an experience that plunges visitors into German culture offering different levels of understanding from linguistics to history and tales, in a lively and uninterrupted exchange between high and popular culture, enriched by interactive games and playing spaces that manage to involve even the youngest visitors. After all, it was by drawing inspiration from different branches of knowledge and by mixing popular culture and sophisticated notions that the Grimm brothers managed to create their legendary tales, collecting traditional stories in their oral form among common people and tuning them into written works. The wide range of topics, arranged as a sequence of words simulating a dictionary, highlights the non-conventional conception of this unique exhibiting space that invites everyone to build their own links among the many ideas presented in the museum, read between the lines and discover the history and the values of a nation betwen an adventure and an happy ending. 

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08.04.2016

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08.01.2016

The excellence of hospitality and the perfect balance between architecture and nature meet in these three amazing hotels offering all guests the unique opportunity to experience a stay in full harmony with the surrounding landscape and to perceive the huge regenerating power of nature. Maya Boutique HotelMaya is the name of a mountain at the entrace of the Val d'Hérens in the south-eastern Swiss Canton of Valais. On its slopes is Maya Boutique Hotel, a gem of sustainable architecture entirely made of straw to minimize its impact on the surrounding environment. Fresh mountain air and beautiful landscapes help guests purify their body and mind without feeling guilty for the carbon footprint of the experience, since the hotel produces all the energy it needs for heating and the kitchen through wood ovens and solar panelsEcork Hotel Évora Suites & SpaÉvora is an ancient city founded by the Romans in the heart of the Portuguese Alentejo region, between Lisbon and Algarve, whose main feature is the abubdance of cork oak forests. This is where one third of the world’s wine bottle corks are made, so it’s no wonder the first eco-friendly hotel entirely covered in cork- which is great for thermal and sound insulation. The suites, the spa, the pools and every other part of this hotel surrounded by greenery are fuelled by geothermal and solar energyPalacio del SalThe Salar de Uyuni is a majestic salt desert extending for over 10,000 square kilometers on the southern Andean plateau of Bolivia at an altitude of 3,650 meters, where there once was a huge prehistoric lake. This is where the world’s first hotel entirely made of salt, Palacio del Salar, was built in 2004. Perfectly melting with the beautiful surroundings, this amazing place invites all guests to enjoy the beauty of nature and the light of the sunset on the salt desert from the comfort of their suites. Addistional treats include a spa and a restaurant where the chef’s special is the not-to-be-missed salt chicken. 

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07.29.2016

 Vienna’s Museum Quartier is one of the largest and most vibrant museum districts in the world, boasting over 90,000 square meters of exhibiting spaces spread across 60 cultural institutions, including a bunch of major museums devoted to modern and contemporay art. To enjoy it fullly, keep in mind that it is organized like a veritable workshop where exhibitions, seminars and events alternate, involving art lovres, children and designers. The offer is so rich and varied that it suits everyone’s interests, and even just walking among the diverse and contrasting architectures of the museums’ buildings or resting on the colorful ‘benches’ looking life pop sculptures can be an extremely pleasant experience. That being said, there are plenty of works by major artists that you definitely should not miss when visiting the Quartier. Here are some of them. Gustav KlimtVienna’s most beloved artist lived in the city during his all life. He witnessed the fall of its Empire between the 19th and the 20th century, he absorbed its decadent nobility and turned it into a fluid and mortal vision of beauty, hiding a hint of melancholia even in the blaze of gold.The Leopold Museum is home to a collection of some of his most remarkable works, including the late painting Life and Death (1910-1915). Egon SchieleKlimt’s young pupil absorbed the European art of the beginning of the 20th century and developed his own unmistakable style, soon turning into one of the earliest exponents of European expressionism. With his drawings and paintings, through his short lifetime Schiele developed an impressive collection of landscapes and human characters that always look on the verge of going somewhere else, hinting at a sense of finitude that was a widespread sentiment in Europe during that time. To get to know his work, a visit to Leopold Museum is a must. Paul KleeSolitary self-taught Swiss-born painter Paul Klee was fascinated by the artists belonging to the Blaue Reiter (‘Blue Rider’) movement, which included Wassily Kandinskij. Today, Klee is deemed one of the major European abstract painters, yet he stands out for his use of colors and a touch of exuberance that was always considered somewhat unusual by his fellow artists. Head to Mumok to see, among others, his beautiful masterpiece called Boat and Cliffs. Andy WarholLet's do Pop Art. Contemporary European art is inextricably linked with its American counterpart. Consumption, seriality and economic welfare go hand in hand and Andy Warhol was the first artist to understand that being able to tell something - maybe through images - is sometimes more important than being able to do something. Housed at Mumok, Orange Crash 1963 is a cool example of seriality, because of what it represents and because it is actually part of a series. Roy LichtensteinAnd speaking of American pop art, Roy Lichtenstein’s works take us on a journey to an imaginary world of comics with a hint of realism, arousing the suspicion that they might be truer than reality. Klee’s Blue Rider becomes red (The Red Horseman, at Mumok as well) replacing romanticism with the competitive spirit of the 1970s. Cover photo by Gryffindor under the CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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07.28.2016

Summer is the perfect season for new and pleasant discoveries. This year, we’d like to take you on a journey through the diverse tastes of Italian cuisine, stopping in each and every one of its 20 regions to try local products, unique delicacies and traditional dishes. Please do not call it focaccia. Although it actually looks like focaccia, pizza bianca is a veritable institution in Rome, and as such it deserves some respect and even a fair amount of worship. The city's favourite snack since forever, this gorgeous and savoury bread makes everyone happy - students and  professionals, the rich and the poor alike. Pleasantly salty - with kitchen salt sprinkled all over it - authentic pizza bianca is usually golden brown, soft in the center and crispy on the edges, and of course oily enough for the small hollows on its surface to gather delicious micro-pools of olive oil. The ideal stuffing is mortazza, as they call it in Rome - a.k.a. mortadella, a.k.a. Bologna – a delicious and definitely substantial coupling. So where is such marvel to be found? While everyone in Rome agrees on the fact that pizza bianca is a God-given gift, you'll probably find it hard to have the Romans agree on which is the best place where to get it. Here's our very own take on this tricky business:Antico Forno RoscioliVia dei Chiavari, 34, RomaForno Campo De’ Fiori Vicolo del Gallo, 14, RomaPanificio Bonci Via Trionfale, 36, RomaAntico Forno del GhettoPiazza Costaguti, 30,RomaPanificio La RenellaVia del Moro, 15, Roma Cover photo: Roscioli’s legendary pizza bianca, © Forno Roscioli di Roscioli Pier Luigi & C. SAS 

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07.26.2016

Known as the ‘museum without walls’, for 1,000 years Gyeongju, a city on the southeast coast of South Korea, served as the capital of the Silla dynasty, which is famous for its extensive historical remains. Today, Gyeongju is dotted with innumerable temples, pagodas, tombs, rock carvings, Buddhist statuary and even some palace ruins spread over an area of 1323 sq km - we suggest planning in advance if you want to visit the less prominent places of interest as it involves a substantial amount of travel to reach each site.     First-time visitors can expect a breathtaking view of this distinctive urban landscape comprised of vast greenery mingled with memorial tombs known as tumuli. You can also expect to see colourful rooftops with intricate traditional architecture set against a mystical backdrop of lush green mountains. Strong restoration and conservation efforts are being made in present day Gyeongju to revive it to its past glory.   Whatever itinerary you choose, do not miss these sights:Bulguksa TempleThe head temple for the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, Bulguksa dates back to the 8th century. Catch a glimpse of the twin stone pagodas, the wooden staircases and the large bronze Buddha. Seokguram GrottoSet 750 meters above sea level, the grotto houses a towering statue of the seated Buddha. This is the best spot to catch a breathtakingly beautiful view of the sun rising over the Sea of Japan. Golgulsa TempleA temple carved by Saint Gwang Yoo out of solid rock. We suggest staying at the temple for a truly rejuvenating experience base on meditative martial arts.   Photo credits:Bulguksa Temple, photo by Junho Jung via flickr under the CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licenseSeokugram Grotto, photo by Junho Jung via flickr under the  the CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licenseSunmudo (Zen martial art) at Golgulsa Temple, photo by Myllissa via flickr under the CC Attribution 2.0 Generic license 

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07.25.2016

A 1.5 kilometre stretch over the Wien River bed has hosted the Naschmarkt, Vienna's most popular market, ever since the 16th century. At the very beginning, the market only sold milk bottles that were made out of wood taken from the ash tree - Asch, the German word for ash, was the source of the original name Aschenmarkt.  Today, one can buy fresh fruit and vegetables flown in from around the world, including exotic herbs, cheeses, baked goods like bread, kaiser rolls, and cakes, meats, and seafood. Most of the current stalls date back to the 1920s. Interestingly, one can find many small restaurants which offer a wide variety of cuisines from sushi to kebabs and seafood to traditional Viennese food like Kaiserschmarrn (Vienna's sweet omelette) or Palatschinken (a Hugarian speciality similar to rolled-up crepes). There is also a wide variety of clothes and accessories to choose from. The market was further extended in 1977 along the Wienzeile to an adjacent area every Saturday, when a flea market takes place there. The lovely vibe of the Naschmarkt is fast growing its popularity and can boast of large numbers of international tourists. Be prepared for what to expect when you visit the Naschmarkt. While at the market you can choose from three main options: firstly shopping for Austrian food and regional produce; secondly, scouting for rare  and exquisite vintage goods; and lastly, trying out bars, patisseries and restaurants. Our suggestions for regional produce for you to pick from includes Uhudler, a local fruity wine from the region, regional honey products like honey liquors and wines, local sweets from Austria and Hungary (you will find the best ones close to the flea market at the non-established stalls that belong to Hungarian and Lower Austrian farmers). Stone chocolates, which are pieces of sugar coated with chocolate resembling pebbles, are yet another must-try. Also available are aromatic oils made from fennel, chili, basil, pumpkin seeds and apricot stones, to name a few. You will also be able to buy a variety of vinegars made from wine, apples, blackberries, elderberries, pomegranates, cucumbers, saffron and sweet peppers, breads made from oats, millets, spelt, rye, wheat, kamut and amaranth, Turkish lamb sausages, spices, baklava and other sweets from the East. As for vintage goods, the market hosts a mix of Viennese and Eastern European traders who sell handbags, gemstones, glassware, silverware, linen and decorative items mainly. With fresh food sources all around you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to picking a place to eat at. Here are our suggestions:Nautilus for the freshest fish in Vienna;Palatschinkenkuchl to try the Austrian version of pancakes;Kurkonditorei Oberlaa for cakes and macarons. 

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07.22.2016

“As long as there is rice in the fields and fish in the rivers, people will be happy”, says an ancient proverb. And this sums up the basic ingredients of Thai cuisine, which is nevertheless incredibly diverse as much as this country is varied in terms of landscapes and cultures. Renowned all over the world, Thai cuisine is rich in tastes, sophsticated, spicy and above all hot, very hot. Chillies, spices, lemon juice, lemongrass and coriander, along with plenty of other local roots and herbs, make the taste of Thai food unique and unmistakable, turning meats and vegetables into savoury treats accomanied by the ubiquitous white long grain rice(khao jao). A fun way to discover these flavors and enjoying Thai food is hitting the street, especially those of the big cities like Bangkok, where food is prepared everywhere, in street food stalls, food carts and trucks, and of course in the markets. Provided that you get rid of your Western suspiciousness, the experience will leave you amazed at how good authentic Thai street food can taste.   Most streets in Bangkok are dotted with stalls offering very affordable food - often 24/7. These veritable micro-restaurants serve an incredible range of colorful, sweet smelling specialities, from various currys accompanied with rice to noodles, from som tam (hot and sour papaya salad), to roast chicken and fresh seafood. At Klong Toei Market, where Bangkok’s restaurateurs get their supplies, there is everything you need for cooking Thai recipes – fresh herbs, fruits, vegetables, fish and even frogs and insects. In Silom, the city’s main financial district, join the locals in tasting some of the most savoury recipes from the local cuisine: Bami Keaw Mu Daeng (egg noodles with roast pork and wanton), Khao Mu Daeng (rice with roast pork), Khao Man Kai (rice with chicken), noodles, grilled fish or meat and sukiyaki. The Chinese district between Yaowarat and Charoen Krung is yet another major foodie destination due to its many stalls selling freshly cooked Thai and Chinese street food specialities. Finally, Khao San, the nightlife district, is a street food heaven with food being cooked on its sidewalks all night long. Having a classic Phad Thai (sautéed noodles with veggies, tofu, meat or fish and a special sauce) or a Khao Kai Jeaw (rice omelette) here is the quintessential Bangkok experience. Just make sure to get there by 8 p.m. or the stalls might get unbelievably crowded. 

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07.20.2016

Summer is the perfect season for new and pleasant discoveries. This year, we’d like to take you on a journey through the diverse tastes of Italian cuisine, stopping in each and every one of its 20 regions to try local products, unique delicacies and traditional dishes. A simple salad, whose international fame is due to the quality of its ingredients and to the amazing flavor and color combination. Legend has it the recipe was created by a patriotic construction worker who liked to fill his sandwich with the colors of the Italian flag: mozzarella for white, basil leaves for green, and tomatoes for red – all three being crucial ingredients of the local cuisine in Capri and in the whole Campania region. Today, the simple and often ‘poor’ ingredients of this amazing food tradition give birth to an extraordinarily creative and innovative cuisine, which is nevertheless rooted into ancient tradition. Yet the true secret behind local delicacies is the sun, which gives them a unique taste and a character that cannot be repicated anywhere else in the world. Here’s a list of great places in Campania where you can buy the best mozzarella (either buffalo mozzarella or fior di latte) for an authentic Caprese salad:Caputo CaseariaVia Roma, 88, Teverola (CE)Caseificio LeuciVia Nazionale Appia, 150, Casagiove (CE)Il casolareVia Olivella, 12, Alvignano (CE)Caseificio Masseria LupataVia Porta Marina, 29, Capaccio (SA)Caseificio La MasseriaVia Cornito, Eboli (SA) Photo credits; photo by Schwäbin under the CC by-sa-3.0-de license 

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07.19.2016

The knowledge of apple cultivation was inherited by the French from both the Celtic Gauls and the Romans who ruled the region for approximately 500 years. We can trace the earliest mentions of cider to the Greek geographer Strabo who speaks of the abundance of apple trees in Gaul and describes a drink very similar to what we know today as cider. Put simply, there are different types of cider like categorised by technique – traditional, farm style, boutique, and pasteurized - each of them with their own, unique flavour. They also come in various hues from colourless or light in color with yellow hues, to dark orange. Some ciders are cloudy with sediment while others are completely clear. Some have a strong taste of apples while others have only a hint. The range of sweetness also has something for every pallet right dry to sweet. The making of this drink is very interesting. Whole apples are ground by the process of crushing the fruit between stone which is the traditional method. The crushed apple pomace is collected in jute/hessian frames and stacked in a cider press. The apple juice is then squeezed out, collected and fermented by use of wild yeast at a temperature of 4–16 °C, commonly in wooden barrels. Like in the case of wines, a second fermentation can also take place, converting the malic acid into a softer tasting lactic acid. A cider may be aged for six months before bottling. The Charmat method is conducted to produce sparkling cider. It is a process of fermenting the apple juice in a sealed tank so as to allow the carbon dioxide that is produced from the fermentation to stay in the cider. To experience first-hand the process of an apple turning into Breton cider, we suggest making a trip to a cider farm. The Cidrerie de la Baie is made up of 7,000 apple trees. The team passionately share the secrets of producing their signature unrivalled organic cider. The lovely tour of the farm ends with a delicious tasting session. If you are interested in buying excellent cider from Brittany, head to the Cornouille region, where most cidreries are located. Here's a list of recommended by IDAC, the Interprofession des Appellations Cidricoles: Cidrerie Manoir du Kinkiz Cidrerie MelenigCidrerie Séhédic Le Brun Dominique  

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Nanan is a French artist born in 1978. Since 2009 he has started assembling disused mechanic spare parts with sculpted and hand-painted components. Adding the light from an old car on top was the stroke of genius that turned these sculptures into anthrophomorphic creatures halfway between a Star Wars droid and Gyro Gearloose’s bulb. The result is Urban Lights, a series of sculptures that seem to come to life and observe the world through their huge, innocent eye.These art toys draw on the uniqueness and on the power of condensing a truly original point of view on contemporaneity that belong to art, whereas from the toy world they inherited the instinctive playfuness and sharp characterization that turned them into odd metropolitan characters. Nanan then took the basic features of these figures and added new characterizations to create new collections. Arms, legs and plastic postures are the main traits of the At Home little robots, tiny superheroes on the verge of launching an attack to an imaginary villain lyig in ambush beyond the kitchen table. The B-Boys collection is an ode to play and nonsense, with a set of colorful Buddhas suspended between their seraphic expression and the impetus of their street gang look. The Girls&Boys characters have a car light for a head, but their human proportions and poses are so accurate that you hardly notice it. If you don’t mind feeling watched, Nana’s art toys are great company; their playful attitude is a memento as well as an ironic glance on the widespread desire of seeing and being seen. 

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07.13.2016

After spending a couple of years on their previous culinary project State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, Stuart Brioza & Nicole Krasinski focused their energies onto creating a new one-of-a-kind dining experience in town. The result is a sincere, organic restaurant with a strong local flavour. The well-crafted premium quality ingredients add the much needed characteristic that highlights their commitment to serving up premium quality gastronomic delights. Guests are offered a menu of around 18 dishes and are asked to collectively choose a six-course meal which is served family style. Along with the interesting food on offer, The Progress also has an interesting wine list and the bartenders really know their job when it comes to whipping up superb cocktails to go along with the meal, or even to simply stop by for a quick drink with a few nibbles. The team strives to consistently provide a unique environment where guests can expect interesting high-quality creative food, alongside meaningful service. Some attractive dishes on offer that are worth a mention are the spring potatoes with porcinis prepared in a wood oven and the squid ink-flat noodle ‘stir fry’ that is made using clams, fried squid, tofu skins  and squash stalks. For dessert, the menu seems equally if not more interesting, with dishes like chocolate-cherry cake served with thyme cream, black butter and the double blueberry ‘pie’ served with cream cheese ice cream, puff pastry, and basil. San Francisco-based Mary Mar Keenan, who specialises in creating handmade tableware, pottery and ceramics, has collaborated with The Progress to create a line of dishes that reflects the style and feel of the restaurant. This adds a natural element to the tables and blends in perfectly into this well designed space.  

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07.13.2016

Summer is the perfect season for new and pleasant discoveries. This year, we’d like to take you on a journey through the diverse tastes of Italian cuisine, stopping in each and every one of its 20 regions to try local products, unique delicacies and traditional dishes. Let us begin with one of the most remarkable foodie destinations in the country, Emilia Romagna, and with its most simple and yet beloved specialities: piadina  The simplest and most ancient form of bread, piadina is the quintessential street food of Romagna - the region that boasts one of Italy's most renowned local food traditions. Recently granted the GPI (Protected Geographic Indication) status by the European Union to safeguard it from poor quality imitations and fakes, this 'primitive' form of bread dates back to Ancient Rome when a simple dough of water and flour was pretty usual, yet it is only in more recent times, around the Middle Ages, that the actual ancestor of modern piadina, a 'poor' round flatbread based on acorn flour, was born. The basic recipe then changed and had different variations through the centuries, until it took the current shape: water, wheatflour, and lard - or, in its less popular vegetarian version, olive oil. The dough is divided and shaped into small balls, flattened with a rolling-pin and briefly baked on a testo, a flat round pan which was once made of terracotta ad can now more often be found in its cast-iron version.At the restaurant, it will often replace other types of bread, but it is only in its street-food version that you will be able to savour its whole potential thanks to amazingly rich stuffings based on cheeses, veggies and local artisan cured meats. So where is this delicious speciality to be found? Basicaly, anywhere you go in Romagna, and certainly wherever you spot a classic piadina kiosk. Here's a list of some of our favourite piadina places in the main cities and seaside resorts of the Riviera Romagnola. Piadina NovellaVia Faentina, 284/a, RavennaDalla LellaViale Rimembranze, 74/A, RiminiLa Piadina RiccioneseViale Castrocaro, 17, RiccioneIl PosticinoVia Cervese, 3723, CesenaChiosco delle Streghe Via 2 Giugno, 10, Milano Marittima Photo credits: photo by Kobako under the CC BY-SA 2.5 license 

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07.12.2016

Traditionally, the Japanese eat grilled eel on white rice on the Day of the Ox, which will be on 30th July this year. Doyō no hi refers to the eighteen days preceding the change of seasons, and the doyō no ushi no hi, “the Day of the Ox”, marks the eighteenth day before summer changes into autumn, according to the ancient lunar calendar. In the Edo period unagi used to be consumed in winter exclusively. As a consequence, summer was a time of poor sales for eel restaurant owners. One of them sought the advice of Hiraga Gennai, a physician, a herbalist and one of the most prominent scholars of Western studies of the time. A popular belief had it that you won’t suffer from the summer heat if you have food whose name starts with a “u”, as in ushi, “ox”. Unagi starts with “u”. Hence, Gennai came up with an advertisement reading, “The Day of the Ushi is the Day of the Unagi”. The scholar was so influential that other restaurant owners followed suit, and the Day of the Ox became the Day of the Eel. Nowadays eel is a synonym for summer. Eel can be prepared in two different fashions: the Kantō style and the Kansai style. In the Kantō style (Tokyo), the eel is cut open on the back, broiled, steamed and then broiled again. The resulting meat is moist and tender. By contrast, in the Kansai style (Osaka), the eel is usually smaller and, after being cut open on the belly, is broiled without any steaming. The Kansai unagi is known for being flavourful and crispy. Here is a list of restaurants where you can have the best eel dishes. NodaiwaFounded over 200 years ago, during the Kansei Era of the 11th Shōgun Tokugawa Ienari, Nodaiwa head shop is located in Iikura, Azabu, Minato-ku, inside a traditional rural house transplanted from the mountain area of Hida Takayama and rebuilt on spot, with a dab of elegance. It provides an open space as well as private rooms. Very well known for being one of Emperor Shōwa’s favourite eel restaurants, in 1996 Nodaiwa opened its first shop in Paris. MyōjinshitaThe shop opened in 1894 in the geisha district of Yanagibashi. It later relocated in the trendier Kanda area. Surrounded by trees, the shop is famous for its relaxed ambience and for the freshness of its eels, fished, delivered and cooked within the same day in the traditional Edomae style, with all the fat dissolving into crunchy deliciousness. ChikuyōteiEstablished at the end of the Edo period, Chikuyōtei is a historic eel restaurant, headquartered in Ginza Hachi-chōme. The staple is unagi served on a bowl of white rice. The meat here is crunchy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside. The menu also offers uzaku, eel and cucumber salad, umakitamago, an omelette roll with an eel filling, and chazuke, rice poured with green tea, and topped with fresh sea-bream from the Tsukiji Market, prepared in a sesame marinade. MiyagawaMiyagawa is an unagi restaurant established in 1893 in Tsukiji, within easy access and offering unajū, broiled eel on rice served in a lacquered box, at a reasonable price. Everyone can pick something they like from the wide array of dishes and enjoy a taste of Meiji. Unagi shira-yaki, grilled au naturel, with wasabi on the side, is highly recommended. ŌedoPrepared in a strictly traditional style, Ōedo’s unagi will bring to you recipes and flavours that have been handed down throughout the decades, ever since the shop was established in Nihonbashi during the Edo period. Unajū never ceases to amaze for the delicious tenderness of the meat, but on the Day of the Ox you must indulge in the limited edition ikada, "raft-style”, with eels lined up and skewered side by side on top of rice. You can also try the Minami Aoyama shop.

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07.11.2016

Jeju Island, in South Korea, is a popular vacation spot and honeymoon destination among Korean and Japanese tourists. The island's mixture of volcanic rock, frequent rains, and temperate climate, makes it very similar to the Hawaiian Islands in the U.S. Jeju offers visitors a wide range of activities: hiking on Hallasan Mountain, a dormant volcano and South Korea's highest peak, watching the pictoresque views of the ocean at sunrise and sunset, visiting majestic waterfalls, making short trips on horseback or just lazing around on the golden sands at the beach. The island is abundantly blessed with natural produce that you must try while visiting, fresh sea food like fish, squid, octopus, sea cucumber, and various other creatures that can be easily bought in markets, restaurants, and even right on the beach. The tropical weather makes it a perfect place for growing tropical fruits like pineapples and tangerines. Shitake mushrooms and cactus plants are also famous from this island. A lovely souvenir of local produce is also the honey made from local flowers has a special taste. From the crystal clear waters to the breath taking views put this island on your travel bucket list. Getting to the island is suggested by plane & boat while cycles & cars can be used on the island. The Jeju International Airport has several flights daily to domestic destinations like Seoul, Busan, Daegu as well as international destinations like Osaka, and Tokyo to name a few.Boats are an option too, the ferry terminals in the City have daily boats to Busan, Yeosu among many other places on the mainland. Smaller ports have boats to the outlying islands of Kapa-do, Mara-do, Piyang-do, and U-do as well. One can peacefully bicycle around Jeju with enough room on the roads to safely go around. While on the island one can also use bus services from the terminal in Jeju City to go around the island. Cover photo by Korean Culture and Information Service via flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license 

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07.08.2016

When we think of a foodie destination, the U.S. are not exactly the first place that comes to our minds, yet cities like San Francisco offer such variety of cuisines and tastes that experiecing amazing food is actually pretty easy. Provided that you know where and what to look for.  San FranciscoSan Francisco is the American capital of creative and healthy food. It is no surprise, then, that some of the country’s most renowned emerging chefs  - including Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski of State Bird Provisions - have opened their restaurants here. Everything revolves around the quality of the ingredients and plenty of places have their own farm or trusted local suppliers. Just walk along the streets of the Mission District and you’ll see for yourself the lively restaurant scene, offering mostly recommendable food. The food trucks are yet anothet local favourite, and the quality of their offer has reached truly impressive levels over the last few years. Also, do not miss the Clement Street ethnic food mecca and hit the Ferry Building Marketplace for your gourmet fod shopping. Las VegasDid you know that Las Vegas is one of the five most remarkable foodie destinations in the US? Strange as it might sound to a European, the desert city is a feast of flavors dotted with Michelin-starred establishments, and this is not something entirely new: back in 1992, Wolfgang Puck of Spago opened a branch of his legendary Beverly Hills restaurant in Vegas. His latest address in town is CUT, a luxury steakhouse inside The Palazzo. Even  France’s most famous chef, Alain Ducasse, opened his own restaurant in Las Vegas - Rivea, offering clasic French haute cuisine with Itaian influences and international inspurations inside the Delano resort. Last but not least, British TV chef Gordon Ramsay owns three Vegas restaurants focusing on burgers and grilled meat. Louisville Once mostly known for its local bourbon, Louisville, Kentucky, now produces some of the best craft beers in America. In Louisville, traditional southern cuisine is a must-try: go for a classic Kentucky Hot Brown (owing its name to the Louisville hotel which first served it, the Brown Hotel), an open sandwich filled with turkey, bacon and Mournay sauce. The robust Louisville-style chili is a meat and been stew served wit spaghetti, and rolled oysters, that can only be found here, are giant oysters dipped in the special pastenga batter and dep-fried. New OrleansThis amazing city is a veritable melting pot, not just in terms of races but even literally. Creole cuisine is a unique mix of traditions, flavors and smells with influences from all over the world – France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Native America and Africa – and it is still a favourite among locals. Among the classics is gumbo soup, with shrimps, oysters, shellfish or meat. Po'boy sandwiches are another pillar of the Lousiana cuisine; they are made with baguette-like bread and filled with vegetables and fried seafood and shellfish or meat. Jambalaya is a delicious spicy rice-based dish that somewhat reminds of Spanish paella, enriched with seafood, shellfish and crabs in tomato sauce. Cover photo: pork belly salad at State Bird Provision, San Francisco. Photo by Ed Anderson 

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07.07.2016

This July will witness the grand opening of the new citizenM hotel, right opposite the Tower of London. This 8-storey property boasts of a dramatic double height space with floor to ceiling windows and a terrace that offers a stunning 360° view of London. Airy glass and limestone facade blend into the surroundings and mirror the buildings around the hotel.   On entering the hotel one can instantly feel the group’s philosophy of redefined luxury for modern travellers. On the ground floor guests can rest, work, sit together by the fire place, watch TV or indulge in great food & interesting conversation. The concept of this area sees five different yet connected spaces that cater to the needs of both modern business travellers and tourists. Some interesting features worth a mention apart from their thoughtfully designed bedrooms are:CoffeeM - Situated close to the exit of one on the cities’ busiest metro stations both guests and locals will be able to avail of freshly brewed coffee and pastries.CanteenM – An open kitchen format with its signature style bar is open round the clock, serving everything from sushi to salads & curries to cakes. They not only offer hot take away but also a fine selection of chic cocktails in the evenings.CollectionM - As a response to guests requests to purchase products on display at their properties. The collection showcases travel accessories, art, books, design objects etc. That can be delivered to each traveler’s home, or handed over at the hotel.SocietyM - the hotel’s popular business meeting rooms that are both creative, styled to evoke a 1950s design ethos.CloudM – This bar offers the most dramatic views of London's skyline with the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and its iconic skyscrapers including the Gherkin and the Shard.    While on your next visit to London, we recommend this Dutch hotel brand that believes in offering an outstanding experience, contemporary design & technology that enables a streamlined experience and friendly, efficient service at a very smart price. 

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07.05.2016

Fireworks colouring the night sky has always been a common theme in Japanese poetry about summertime. The tradition seems to have started when the eighth shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune (1684–1751) held the first Sumida River Fireworks Festival, to comfort the many souls reaped by the plague pandemic, as well as to scare the evil spirits away and honour the Water God. However, popular belief has it the first fireworks were displayed in front of Ieyasu (1543–1616), the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Summer isn’t summer with no firework displays throughout the country. When it comes to Japan, these summer festivals provide a great opportunity to showcase new highs in technology, recipients of a number of awards all over the world. Here is a selection of the hotspots where you can make yourself comfortable and enjoy the show. The 38th Adachi Fireworks FestivalWith a history of over one hundred years, the Adachi Festival opens the season, offering the spectacle of 13,500 fireworks to as many as 550,000 people, with a captivating soundtrack and the grand finale of the Pomp and Circumstance. It is very easy to find on a map. You can sit by the river and enjoy the show.Date: July 23, SaturdayTime: 19:30 – 20:30Venue: Arakawa Nishiaraibashi Park The 50th Katsushika Nōryō Fireworks FestivalThe Katsushika Nōryō Festival will mark the 50th edition this year, with up to 15,000 fireworks and a longer running time. If you get there earlier, you can take a stroll in and around the grounds of Shibamata Taishakuten Temple nearby and lose yourself in an Edoesque atmosphere.Date: July 26, TuesdayTime: 19:20 – 20:30Venue: Katsushika Shibamata Baseball Field (next to Edogawa River) The 39th Ryōgoku Fireworks FestivalThe Ryōgoku Fireworks Festival is a derivation of the ancient Ryōgoku Kawa-biraki Firework Festival, which first took place in 1733, mid Edo Period. Held in two locations on the Sumida River, it is the grandest festival in Japan, with over 20,000 fireworks, including a competition of 200 fire “balls”. The yakatabune houseboats make a wonderful viewing spot of the fireworks soaring higher than Tokyo Sky Tree and the surrounding buildings. But you should book at least one month in advance.Date: July 30, SaturdayTime: 19:05 – 20:30Venues: between Sakurabashi Bridge and Kototoibashi Bridge; between Komagatabashi Bridge and Umayabashi Bridge The Jingū Gaien Firework Display sponsored by Nikkan SportsThe magnitude of 12,000 firework star mines will illuminate the night skies of Downtown Tokyo. Meiji Jingū Gaien will be the venue of concerts and live performances, including Diamond Yukai and Tomoka Fujioka from the Miss Saigon Company. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, the Jingū Gaien Firework Festival has organized a special charity section to support the Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery Charity. This year a portion of the profits will be donated to the victims of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes.Date: August 20, SaturdayTime: 19:30 – 20:30Venues: Jingū Stadium; Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium; Rubber-ball Baseball Ground; Area in front of Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium

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07.04.2016

SJ: Who is Soyeon? How would you describe yourself?SP: I’m ‘Made in Korea’ but have lived and experienced life around the world- Japan, UK, Switzerland and Singapore. I accept other country’s culture, languages & people. People sometimes say that I am a mysterious & curious person. Maybe this is the same as Carlo Moretti products. SJ: If we were to draw a parallel between you & brand Carlo Moretti, mention one quality from the brand DNA that you share as a personal quality?SP: Keeping originality is the one quality. Time marches on, weather changes, fashion & trends change very fast but we keep the most important thing, the ‘originality’, above all, we create.  SJ: Who or what is the inspiration that helps you strike a balance between your personal and professional life? How do you slow down?SP: Running. There is a beautiful running course at the palace area in Ootemachi. Taking in some fresh air among the trees & watching swans in the lake gives me a sense of calm. It is very peaceful & makes me forget my busy professional life while I am there.  SJ: When did you first hear of brand Slowear and what was your first impression?SP: I saw the brand when I visited La Rinascente in Milano last year. While I purchased a pair of Incotex trousers I remember the sales assistant mentioned to me that Slowear is also distributed in Seoul & Japan. The design drove me to buy, I mean reasonable price and good quality.  SJ: For a person’s first visit to Tokyo and Singapore list a few suggestions on spending 24 hours in both cities. 'Slow' places to eat, shop, visit and sleep. SP: Well, spending 24 hours in Tokyo might be too short. For hotels, I would recommend the Hotel Palace or the Hotel Okura. They are Japanese fine hotels. ‘Omotenashi’, which means hospitality service, is something you will experience everywhere you stay, things will be well organised and you will be well looked after. If you visit Tokyo, you should visit the Ginza area to shop. I suggest exploring this district on foot.I would recommend the best Japanese Shabu-shabu & sukiyaki restaurant called ‘ZAKURO’ and ‘Ginza Sushi Kou’. You most definitely have to try sushi when you visit Japan. The Ebisu area is an attractive option for dining options like French, Italian and wine bars. Occasionally I visit the wine store at Ebisu Garden Place called ‘Wine Market Party’, it boasts more than 1,000 kinds of wines from across the world. You may spend more than an hour to find your favourite wines and it is a fun experience to select vintage wines for your collection.  Roppongi is the most popular nightlife area with many trendy fashion stores and fancy cafés. Another must-visit is the Minami Aoyama area. If you are looking for something to take back from the city head to Asakusa which has a Japanese historic charm to it. You can explore Japanese culture and pick up Japanese gifts. About Singapore, the people bring and accept other country’s culture, brands and food very fast. It is a very small city but you will find everything that you need like hotels, pools, restaurants, shopping malls and casino. You must have heard of Singapore’s symbolic building, the Marina Bay Sands, it is a must- see. If you want to find somewhere to slow down, I would recommend visiting the Botanic Garden or the Sentosa area.  SJ: In conclusion, since this is The Slowear Journal, could you describe in a few words your idea of a 'slow lifestyle'?SP: To me the ‘slow’ lifestyle is practiced through cooking, reading books, running in the middle of nature and indulging in good conversation. This sows the seeds of creation that new ideas sprout from. 

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In Japan, June is synonym for tsuyu, the rainy season. Let’s face it with some useful and, at the same time, stylish items. Evereon’s Eco-Friendly Plastic UmbrellaIt is very unlikely for this brolly to be turned upside down or torn apart, even by the strongest gusts of wind. Its frame is made of durable resin and its replaceable plastic canopy makes it environmentally friendly, too. Rain PopSuppose it’s raining and you want to have dinner in your favourite restaurant. If you take your umbrella with you, it will be in the way or it will slip off the table. So annoying. If you leave it at the entrance, the odds are you won’t find it again. Rain Pop can save the day. Just put this rubber knob on the end of the grip and you will be able to hang your umbrella everywhere. An Umbrella Blossoming On Rainy DaysA colourful design can turn a rainy day into fun. This Kids Umbrella is coated with a special dye, which will react with water creating colourful patterns such as blossoming flowers and rainbows. It makes the perfect gift. As Flat As A SmartphoneWaterfront has launched Pokeflat, an umbrella that folds into the shape of a thin smartphone. As the name suggests, it will even fit in your pocket. It doesn’t take up much space and it’s stylish. Use Your Computer To Dry Your ShoesIt feels so uncomfortable to be wearing wet shoes. However, you can now get your shoes dry if you have a computer or any other kind of USB outlet at your disposal. Connect the Thanko Shoe Dryer to a USB port and put it in your shoes. They will get dry in no time. The Thanko USB Shoe Dryer comes in the shape of a dog or a frog.

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06.28.2016

A short drive from Munich is a beautiful castle that looks like it appeared right out of a fairy-tale. It is the Neuschwanstein Castle, a nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace that served as the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle. Commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria, the cousin of Duchess Elizabeth 'Sisi' (who later went on to become the Empress of Austria),  it is part of a series of elaborate castles on which the king spent all his personal funds. Also known as der Märchenkönig ("the Fairy Tale King"), Ludwig had the castle built as a retreat erected to pay homage to the famous German composer Richard Wagner, of whom he was a patron. Set on a rugged hill overlooking the village of Hohenschwangau in southwest Bavaria, this fabulous structure has been prominently showcased in many famous movies like The Great Escape and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Today, the palace is very popular, receiving approximately 6,000 visitors per day in summer. Our next choice is the Hohenschwangau Castle. Built by King Maximilian II of Bavaria who is the father of King Ludwig II, this is a 19th century palace that served as the childhood residence for King Ludwig II himself. As its name suggests, it is located in the German village of Hohenschwangau, near the town of Füssen, which is part of the county of Ostallgäu in southwestern Bavaria, Germany, very close to the border with Austria. Lastly we suggest the gorgeous Linderhof Palace. It is a Schloss which is the German term for a building similar to a château, palace, or manor house, more like a stately home or country house in the British Isles. This picturesque edifice is the smallest of the three palaces built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and it happens to be the only one which he lived to see completed. Also situated in the southwest of Bavaria, near the Ettal Abbey,  this relatively small architectural marvel is also known for its huge landscape garden scattered with buidings inspired by Wagner's operas and the Oriental world.