HONG KONG, Jan. 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Japanese word for nature – shizen – has long evoked a deeper meaning about the connection between humankind and the world around us, inspiring Japan’s aesthetics through arts, culture and traditional handicrafts. On the next episode of The Journey Matters, Japanese supermodel Hikari Mori goes off the runway to meet craftspeople, artisans, chefs, and designers as she explores a different side of her hometown, Tokyo. While most may not associate this sprawling metropolis with the concept of shizen, many in the city work to preserve its traditional crafts scene and have a deep respect for the natural world.
Living off the land may not be a concept embodied by many people living in a big city, but there are a handful of artisans and chefs in Tokyo that are finding ways to connect their guests to the land through their food and crafts. First, Hikari meets ceramist Aya Ogawa, who creates traditional Japanese vases called ichirin-sashi to connect her and her students to the earth. Later, Hikari heads to Noeud Tokyo to meet head chef Naoto Nakatsuka who has created a sustainable culinary journey that guests can taste and touch. The concept at this Michelin-starred restaurant is one that he describes as "total sustainability", from the menu to the interior design. Nakatsuka brings CNN to a local organic farm which helped inspire this concept.
Then, CNN meets the craftspeople of Ome, located 90 minutes outside Tokyo’s city center. Hikari visits Tokyo’s oldest sake brewery – Ozawa Shuzo, which was first established in 1702. Surrounded by hiking trails along the Tama River, the brewery is known for the purity of its sake. Hikari also visits Kosoen, a traditional indigo dye studio in Ome. Indigo is a colour deeply woven into the country’s history, with the ancient art of aizome, or indigo dyeing, said to date back to the Edo period.
Finally, Hikari meets the designers preserving woodwork traditions and rethinking it in the design of high-end hotels in Tokyo. First stop is the Mogami Kogei workshop in Tokyo’s Kuramae neighborhood which boasts more than 100 years of Edo sashimono woodworking history. Hikari speaks to third-generation proprietor and craftsman Yukata Mogami who shares more about the craft. CNN then explores the modern side of design at K5 Tokyo. K5 Tokyo was a 1920s bank building with Japanese and Swedish design aesthetics that has been refurbished into a boutique hotel. Hikari talks to one of the Japanese designers behind the hotel to explore this new take on Japanese aesthetic. CNN also visits an inner-city oasis at Cyashitsu Ryokan in Asakusa. The traditional-style ryokan opened in 2019, inviting guests to slow down and connect with nature through its design, outdoor hot tub, and food. The rooms are inspired by traditional ‘tea ceremony’ rooms, with wood and paper doors and straw floors.
Airtimes for 30-minute special:
- Saturday, 13th January 1:30pm HKT
- Sunday, 14th January 10:30am HKT
- Monday, 15th January 2:30am HKT
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