Yi Lian creates bright and happy floral bouquets through her business, Yi Lian Ng Floral Atelier. Before making art with flowers, she spent her career in fashion, with Harper's BAZAAR. She loves getting lost in travel, and here, she tells us about one of her favourite experiences yet.
If you are looking for a short respite from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, I highly recommend Kairuzawa. It is only an hour by the Shinkasen from Tokyo, but I recommend staying at least one night.
How was your experience there?
I went there alone, during the height of winter, for two nights, and stayed at the loveliest hot spring resort Hoshinoya. The resort was elegant, quiet and luxurious. My room was situated right in front of the river - I would sit by the window and sip my hot matcha, while watching the snow come down softly.
The meals at Hoshinoya were healthy, but so extremely tasty, that I over ate at every meal during my stay.
I also loved the tranquil experience that the resort worked very hard to maintain for its guests, and the attention paid to every small detail - the same soothing music was played in the hotel shuttle that picked me from the train station, at the resort's reception area, and finally in my room.
I also had the loveliest tour guide on my personal two-hour snow trek. She could only speak Japanese, so we had a translator to help, but she was so adorable, and I just loved listening to her speak and telling us which trails belonged to which animal.
Pictured above: Hoshinoya Karuizawa (photo credit: Sophie Middleton, Ryan Glancy), Yi Lian's tour guide for her snow trek
Karuizawa also has good shopping outlets right by its train station. I was told that some tourists travel out of Tokyo just to go to these stores in Kairuzawa. If the tranquility and calm don't draw you to this place, at least maybe the outlet stores will!
Pictured above: Prince Shopping Plaza at Karuizawa (photo credit: Itoshin87)
Not enough? Read more about places that inspire Yi Lian.
Stylish places to stay in Nagano Prefecture
Hotel Shirakabaso, located in the valley of Kamikochi, is filled with scenic views of mountains.
Going to Nagano Prefecture? Check out more places to stay on Roomorama.