"Merci urayama" outing in Yangmingshan

"Merci urayama" outing in Yangmingshan

Some beauty, achieved only when there are few people around.

Following our ten-day event at Songyan Market, we drove to Yangmingshan on a sunny afternoon for a team outing to visit our good friend 'Merci Urayama'.

While at a market, we found vintage Japanese items and plants, hosted by someone of Japanese heritage with Taiwanese roots. After the market, we visited our Matsumichi neighbor in Yangmingshan, sparking exploration of potential links between Japanese plant aesthetics and HMM product design.

Meeting Ah Ren, I followed GPS for 45 minutes, leaving Taipei, passing through Shilin, and eventually reaching Lishan's tranquil green surroundings with our versatile 12-year-old car.

Exiting the car, we stepped into a different era with single-story houses, bamboo groves, and a Japanese tea room. The space, with tatami seating, antique board games, and a beautiful garden, was being readied for weekend events, adorned with calligraphy by the young artist Wang Yichun.

A colleague exclaimed, "Absolutely exquisite!" upon entering the space. The Japanese tea room was filled with captivating scenes, and the designer appreciated the meticulous details. Sunlight painted intricate layers with light and shadow, from the entrance to sunset, giving the impression of stillness while time flowed gently.

Following Ah Ren through winding paths, he acted as our ecological guide. We interacted with fragrant Chrysanthemums and admired a glass block symbolizing life's end. The most captivating were the countless contorted pine trees. We could spend hours in silent contemplation. Additionally, there were "bagged" pines, uprooted in Japan and shipped to Taiwan. After adapting to the local environment in the mountains, they'd become integral to corporate landscape designs.

Designer Randy, with a love for plants, noted the backyard's serene plant life. The rich and natural landscape invited butterflies to flutter about, even landing on colleagues' faces, displaying their fearlessness. The backyard's unforced, natural ambiance hinted at seasonal variations. Plants, antiques, and people coexisted at their own rhythms.

The small warehouse for antique items is an extension of "Delivering Trees". It allows large antiques to accompany plant shipments to Taiwan. Japanese antique enthusiasts find treasures, from beckoning cats to old medicine cabinets, Showa-era furniture, and an antique coffee bean storage machine, reminiscent of their Fukuoka trip.

Some beauty, achieved only when there are few people around.

HMM's struggle between market and brand values finds solace in the backyard. It's a must-visit spot to explore Taiwan's Japanese aesthetics, with the only drawback being the owner's persuasive sales tactics. You'll leave both enchanted and wary.


Photo credits by Randy & Ting



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