The salon began as a concept, an idea for an uncommon and intimate experience I could offer here in the countryside of Japan to connect guests to the landscape in which Japan’s flavors and food culture originate. Once the concept was fully realized, I myself realized that such an experience deserves a dedicated space, a space that feels as intimate and inspiring as the salon sessions themselves.
So I bought a piece of land. An exceptional piece of land. Land with a peek-a-boo glimpse of Karatsu Bay, and the horseshoe strip of sandy beach running between blue waters and an ancient pine forest. Land with a view of the sun and moon rising over the distant mountains. Land backed by chestnut trees, mountain cherry trees, and a stately red pine tree. Land peppered with wild tea trees. Land in Mirukashi that sits just a few paces from our home. Turn right at the end of our driveway, then left at the end of the road and there it is, right in front of you, two tiers, flat, open, sunny, and ready to become the future home of the Mirukashi salon and garden.
Rising above the stretch of road I drive every time I leave or return home. It overlooks a vast pasture where a farmer grows hay for his cows. For years now, I’ve driven by and thought how incredible it is that I moved half way around the world and landed right next to a pasture that twice a year looks like the spitting image of a New England hay field. So how fitting it is that the salon will now overlook it.
Two Mondays ago, just hours before I would meet my first group of salon guests, a call came in from the municipal office confirming the transfer of ownership. Serendipity and stars aligning, it seemed to me a message from the universe that I’m walking the right path. There is much to do still, but I adore my team of architects and we are deep into a design that has me pinching myself to be sure I’m not dreaming. All eyes are on 2024 with the hopes that we can open the doors and to run next year’s salon season in a new, dedicated space.
All drone footage courtesy of my fabulous team at Aki(architects).