Category: Japan

The Green Leaf Niseko

Hong Kongers have endured the coldest January since 1977, and a pretty darn chilly February too! I can’t complain too much though, I know there are much colder places in the world. So I’m thinking if you can’t escape the cold and get to somewhere exotic like Waikiki, then embrace it and go to the snow!

Niseko village is a few hours out of Sapporo in the Northern most island of Japan, Hokkaido. A place famous for beer, crab and skiing, and a favorite haunt for some of my friends. I never did make it to Hokkaido when I lived in Japan, but I might just need to organise a trip soon….and The Green Leaf resort may just be the place to say.

Newly designed by Alexandra Champalimaud and her team, The Green Leaf in Niseko, a 200-room ski-in, ski-out resort has unobstructed views of nearby Mt Yotei. The resort has been designed in a style which incorporate traditional elements of European mountain lodges with touches of Japanese style and local art.

One of the great things about Niseko is that its just as beautiful all year round, with plenty to do when its not of ski season. Even during ski season at The Green Leaf there is plenty to do for non-skiers (such as myself), the natural onsen and spa look like a great place to stay warm and still enjoy the views.

What am I waiting for..?


Exterior – beautiful both at night and during the day

Looks like a nice place to sit around with some warm Sake I think…


The traditional onsen. trust me, there is nothing better on a cold day, and such an authentic Japanese experience

Above 3 images are the “Tomioka” Lounge


Above two images of the “Goshiki” Bar (check out the stunning views!)


Suite Bedroom
Suite Living Room

King Room

Twin Room

All photographs taken by Aaron Jamieson,
care of Champalimaud Design

I’m back!

I had such a great time in Tokyo with friends, but it sure is nice to be home. Thanks to everyone for your comments and suggestions about what to do, but I actually lived in Tokyo for 3 years before I moved to Hong Kong, so was hardly a tourist. However, it had been 6 years since we left and this was my first time back since then. I’d forgotten much of the Japanese I knew, but that’s what Sake is good for 😉 While we did get a sneak peek of the cherry blossoms (see the photo below I took at Shinjuku Gyoen Park) the weather was much colder than normal for spring. The weather was warming up as we left so I have a feeling there will be lots of Hanami parties all over Tokyo this weekend. Apart from attending our lovely friend’s wedding we made it to the Tsukiji fish market and managed to eat and drink way to much for the entire trip.

And somehow I found time for a little bit of shopping too….

Remember this post I did a few months ago about the lovely sculptural bottle openers by Oji Design? I had a few comments about where to purchase them. Well, I just couldn’t resist, and picked up this little treasure. I got mine from Saya in Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi, however you can also order them online from the All About Style Store. I’m happy to report that it’s as functional as it is beautiful.

Speaking of which, I don’t remember if Japan has always had a great range of stylish desk accessories, but I saw so much great stationery and desk top items and wanted to buy them all! One particular brand I have posted about before, Craft Design Technology, has this super chic brass desk set which I couldn’t find in store while I was there, but I did stock up on some of their pens and notebooks. Their new website has a list of stockists in Japan and elsewhere as well as a list of online stores.

Another brand whose desk accessories I fell in love with was Romeo which I saw at Ito-ya, also at Midtown. Their designs were super chic and looked really sturdy, especially this desk top pencil sharpener. Perfect for a designer or anyone else who draws a lot.

I will definitely be stocking up next time I go back, which hopefully will not be another 6 years away!