2017 did me well. it was a rough year, but a much needed time to realize what i am capable of and what is pushing it.
now it’s 2018 and i am ready to take on all the artwork my mind can produce! simply put, my resolution is to J U S T C R E A T E.
what are your goals for the coming year?
whatever they are, follow your heart, your soul, and believe in yourself, trust your instincts. may you all have a fulfilling year for both body and mind.
H A P P Y N E W Y E A R ! !
p.s. the main photo of this post is of my nengajou for this year! all lettering and graphics by me. (still practicing chalkboard lettering in 2nd photo!)
kamari city is where acropole sunrise (my hotel) was located. it is probably most known for the black “sand” (more like pebble) beach. there is walkable access to the ancient thera ruins if you are willing to hike; if not, there is a bus that goes there (the bus stop is near the beach). it is a quaint city, with a bus that leads to fira which is the main bus hub to go to all the tourist spots on thira island. since i went in the very beginning of the season, it was too chilly for the beach and many of the beach side hotels were closed. in peak season i can imagine it must be very lively. many locals live in this town with an elementary school, two supermarkets, a bakery, a souvlaki stand, and some restaurants scattered about, it is a very comfortable city to stay.
in 1957 there was a big earthquake in santorini. petros’ (acropole sunrise’s owner) father’s house included, the original town of kamari was destroyed. it happened at 10:00-11:00 am, so most people were out of their homes and in the fields. unfortunately, many mothers with little babies that had been staying inside had passed away. the current town of kamari is the new one.
there’s something significant about getting to hear first-hand, the stories of a precious island so rich in history (geologically and religiously/archaeologically). this current thira is relatively new, a work in progress, living amongst ruins, constant work to create more and more hotels. however, the truth is that they live in a dormant volcanic area (not due to erupt anytime soon–probably not in this lifetime), but the last eruption wasn’t too long ago and earthquakes happen. it’s a recently modernized island–wifi is still new and electricity comes by way of underwater pipeline. it will be interesting to see how it changes in the near future.
– P I C T U R E S Q U E H O T E L S –
– 絵 に な る ホ テ ル –
– K A M A R I B E A C H –
– カ マ リ ビ ー チ –
– L O C A L L I F E –
– ロ ー カ ル ラ イ フ –
the supermarket (this one was slightly cheaper than the one near the beach). i bought greek olive oil, soap, and honey for souvenirs here!
– M O N A S T E R I E S –
– 修 道 院 –
– H O U S E S –
– 民 家 –
– D O N K E Y S T A B L E S –
– ロ バ 小 屋 –
i saw these on the first day, rows of white long houses across the street from the slovakis/gyros stand. being a fanatic of color, the rainbow colored windows caught my eye. i asked petros and apparently they’re donkey stables. the local donkey parking lot! until just 30-40 years ago, each household owned a donkey. back then, not many people owned cars. now there are many small hatchbacks or mopeds driving around (much smaller in comparison to the massive american SUV’s or even the compact sedans and kei-cars of tokyo).
i’m so curious as to what the white paint is for!
– T H E S O U V L A K I S T A N D –
– ス ブ ラ キ ・ ス タ ン ド –
i was here practically every day! for lunch on the days in and for dinner after all the hiking and touring. the chairs matched the color of the donkey stable windows! i see a lot of these primary colors around santorini, like the flower pots i saw in fira.
on the third day, i decided to go see the fate of the furious (international movies in japan show much later, so i figured why not see it early?) at the cinema in kamari. kamari has a famous drive-inn theater, but it was much too cold for that. unfortunately, since the subtitles were in greek, i had no idea what was being spoken in the foreign language scenes…
here are more photos from my first day at fira. it was so exciting to finally see those white walled buildings in person. against these white walls, are the aegean blue, pops of primary colors, and the vibrant bougainvilleas. touristy or not, santorini really does have its own unique aesthetic. i will let the photos do the talking.
there are multiple forms of transportation on thira island: walk, bus, taxi, rental car, and atv. i chose to walk and use the bus. the bus system might be confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not so difficult. just remember, if you’re not staying in fira, you need to first take a bus to fira, which is the central bus hub of thira island.
i stayed in kamari, which means i needed to take the bus to fira in order to go to perissa, perivolos, akrotiri, the airport, etc. from fira, imerovigli and oia are great walks, so no bus was needed. if you’re up for using your own legs, there were other visitors in my hotel that actually walked all the way to fira.
at the bus station in kamari was this time table:
the first column means, from fira the bus to kamari leaves at __:__. the second column means, from kamari to fira, the bus leaves at __:__. i believe the 12:55 bus never came, and i always had to wait for the next one. so a good point (like possibly any other bus in any country) to remember is, don’t expect the bus to be on time. have a book to read or something to kill time! the other columns were irrelevant to me, but maybe the locals make use of that information.
below are the time tables at fira. lots of tourists are walking around, wondering which bus is theirs. just ask the girls at the window and they’ll tell you which number bus to get on or will be arriving. the bus conductor will yell out the destination and final boarding call, so keep your ears open, or just ask.
*one thing to be careful of is the last bus. especially if you’re watching the sunset in oia. you need to get from oia to fira, then catch the bus to your final destination. in my case, had i seen the sunset in oia, i wouldn’t have made the last bus to kamari in time. that added to my deciding to see the sunset in fira instead.
i’m sure many people in the world have seen the characteristic buildings of santorini somewhere in magazines, instagram, television, or other media. they may not be exclusive to only santorini, but the first time i saw the sort of building was in a travel magazine several years ago. since then i have always remembered that photo from time to time.
a scattering of buildings on the steep cliffs of oia, similar to what i saw in that said magazine.
monasteries in kamari, where my hotel was located
during the tour of the santorini caldera, our tour guide told us why the buildings were mainly white and blue. there aren’t necessarily any rules on what colors they HAVE to be. in the days before electricity, the white walls would reflect the moon at night, providing light for residents to find their way home. the blue paint for the roofs were actually quite expensive–as one of the ingredients of the paint included silver–and are seen on many of the monasteries.
i was intrigued to see some foundations of buildings while riding the bus. thira’s tourism industry is still new and building at a rapid pace. i had visited at the very beginning of the tourist season and some hotels were still closed, preparing for the coming months. i saw many foundations that will become hotels (or homes and/or stores) as well. on the cliffs of fira and oia, there were many constructors working on hotels there, also.
whether it was mid-construction pre-season, some almost look abandoned (see the photos below). unlike the concrete and steel grid foundations of skyscrapers in booming cities, these foundations are so basic, simple, clean, and even aesthetically pleasing–my father is an architect and it seems that i have taken a liking for geometric shapes.
if i hadn’t decided on the creative industry, other occupations i had considered in the past were astronomy, geology, and archaeology. that was even before this trip. after having seen the nature and geology in santorini, though, my interest and appreciation for those sciences have deepened. in this post, i’ve collected all the extra photos of plants and rock that i captured during my stay. click on the titles to see the corresponding post on this location.
the volcanic rock in santorini has a higher silica content than that of for example, hawaii, known for the fluid lava. this means that the rock here is much harder and less malleable.
i love figs. i never realized these trees bear figs, and we have them in tokyo too! now i’m reminded of santorini whenever i see them here.
as a foodie, i don’t consider myself one of those instagram hipsters, but more a remy (of ratatouille). in fact, i’m often compared to the remy with flavors sparkling and twinkling overhead (if you don’t get it, it’s a scene from the movie). one of the highlights (and anticipations) of this trip was the food. i had never had greek cuisine while growing up, and not much of it is available in tokyo. i can’t even be positive when exactly i was introduced to greek salad, but chef kevin of my favorite hamburger joint in tokyo (who are like family now, and the bistro has since closed) made the best greek salad. in fact, it was so true to the greek salads i had in santorini!
lamb gyros from the souvlaki stand in kamari (i was here almost everyday) lamb kebab with tomatoes, tzatziki sauce, fried potatoes wrapped in a pita. it was VERY filling! i had bought some herb/spice mixes in fira, and used the tzatziki and lamb mixes for a homemade lamb gyros. 🙂 カマリ市のスブラキ・スタンドで買ったラム・イロス（ほぼ毎日ここに立ち寄っていました） ラムのケバブ、トマト、ツァツィキ・ソース、ポテトフライをピタパンで包んで。ポテトフライのおかげかボリューム満点でした。（フィラでツァツィキ・ソースのハーブミックスを含むスパイス・セットを買い、お家でイロスを作ったら大好評でした！）
whatever these were, they were good. a mini doughnut with honey glaze.
this was good, too ♡ ／ こちらも美味しかったです！
– T H E L A S T F E A S T –
while watching the sunset from fira on the last day 最終日のディナーは夕陽を見ながら贅沢に
fava (yellow split pea puree)
(i wish i wrote down what this was!)