Hi everyone! Now that my job has ended, I’m taking it easy for a bit and catching my breath before I move onto the next thing. I have no idea what that is yet, but I’m going to enjoy the downtime while it lasts.
In the spirit of relaxation, I went to the hot springs in northern Nagano, Japan, over the weekend. Aaaahhhh. It was really nice to get away. The area is pretty mountainous, with cool weather and lots of nature. Most importantly, it feels far from Tokyo! As much as I love the big city, I sometimes have to get away.
So here’s some photos, then I’ll show you some nail art inspired by the local crafts!
Natural hot springs in a big hinoki (Japanese cypress) tub. It smelled wonderful.
Nice little garden and foot bath with natural hot water.
The ryokan (Japanese-style bed and breakfast). Lots of old buildings around, which is a nice change from Tokyo.
And since this is a nail blog, not a travel blog, I’ll move onto the manicure!
There’s a local handicraft called “temari,” which are decorative thread-wrapped balls. They range in size from tiny to giant and they’ve become kind of a symbol of this area.
All that detail is thread wrapped around the ball in a decorative pattern. This one is about the size of an orange and cost around $8. I’m going to use it as a Christmas ornament when I get back home. Not really its intended use but I think it will look nice.
The base is China Glaze Vermillion, a nice creme/slightly jelly red. I then painted a star pattern in the same colors at the temari on the nails using acrylic paint and topped off with a coat of Seche. This is new for me- I usually paint with nail polish rather than paint, but the paint is easier. It’s not as durable, though, so I hesitate to use it until I’ve done a little more experimenting with sealants and how it wears.
I’ll be doing a bunch of nails based on traditional kimono patterns in the upcoming weeks. I’ve been noticing things more here as I’m preparing to leave by year end, so I figure I should appreciate all the local tidbits and “Japan only” things before I leave for good!