Let us take you on a journey to Okinawa, Japan where we shot our Resort 23 Collection. The new collection embodies the vibrant yet serene spirit of Okinawa's coastline.While the idea of comfort might be universal, it is interpreted differently by individuals and cultures across the world. In this portrait series, Hommey looks at the nuances that make up diverse dreams of comfort, from the resort seekers to the ones who find their peace in the beautiful, everyday.
Torii Beach トリイビーチ
Our first story takes us to Okinawa, the Japanese archipelago known for its tropical climate, coral reefs and a relaxed, surf-infused atmosphere. We meet Kyla and Tatsuya, Okinawa locals who live their lives by the tide, searching tirelessly for the next wave.
Spending a day with the lovely couple, we get a real glimpse of the Okinawa lifestyle, and learn that comfort lies as much in the moments in between as in the surf itself.
Kyla & Tatsuya driving us around in a surf-proof car, showing us their gems on the island.
As we meet the following morning, Kyla and Tatsuya are standing next to a massive car. One of those perfect road trip vehicles imported from the US. Tatsuya is a carpenter so he needs a spacious car for work, he explains. But it conveniently fits the surfboards too.
Kyla is driving. She starts very carefully as her own car is much smaller. We all laugh about it, but you can tell that Tatsuya is worried about his car.
It’s a beautiful drive. The warm morning sun creates shadows on Kyla’s face as she guides us through the landscapes and reveals little anecdotes from their daily life. High grass hugs the car like a comfortable towel on the narrow road to our first destination.
Driving through high grass in the sugar farms to arrive at Torii beach.
We arrive a short walk from the beach in order to park the car. With surfboards and towels under their arms, Kyla and Tatsuya show us a hidden path to the ocean.
The arrival is breathtaking. Vast. Clean and long stretches of sand meet us and the weather is perfect. It’s a very quiet day with a calm ocean, they explain. Not the best surfer conditions but they still can resist the urge to get in the water.
Just paddling through the clear water, listening to the soft sound of the ocean is so comforting, Kyla explains. We must agree.
Having lunch on tatami matts at a beach side restaurant.
We take a break at a restaurant that sits beautiful at the back of the beach with framed views of interesting rock formations. Kyla’s favorite seat is by the outdoor space that is open but still with a simple roofing to protect from the rain. She comes here anytime of the day to relax. Alone with the views or a book.
It starts raining just as we arrive. Heavy rain. It’s as if the whole scene changes within minutes creating a cozy atmosphere with the sound of rain on the roof and the breeze in the trees.
We told you about the weather in Okinawa last night, they both say with a smile. Lunch is delicious and fresh. We enjoy the moment and plan the road ahead.
Driving to another part of the island, looking for waves.
Kyla and Tatsuya want to show us a spot on the other side of the island. This is better for surfing, they explain, as the waves tend to get bigger and wilder.
They go to Yonashiromiyagi often. Akuna beach is sitting at the bottom of a beautiful hill, so it feels secluded and private. Not touristy. And the landscape is unique, with rocks you only find here.
As we walk down the hill, the ocean reveals itself and the sound of the waves come closer. 20-30 surfers are in the ocean, scouting and waiting for the perfect break. As we walk down it is clear to us that our friends really feel connected to this place. They tell us stories about their visits, the ups and downs.
The waiting and the thrills; their element.
Final stop: a beachside neighbourhood.
While we could have stayed at the beach forever, it was time to head closer to “home” before all the sun would be gone. They suggest we go to a beach side neighborhood to wrap the day with dinner and drinks.
The small city feels very local, with shops, bars and restaurants along narrow streets. The architecture is charming with low-rise buildings and doors in a myriad of pastel colors. It reminds us of Venice in California, but with a distinct Japanese charm.
They show us the fisherman’s quarter and a local ice factory. We decide to catch the last bit of sunset before dinner at another small beach on the outskirts of the city. They are drawn to the ocean, no matter where we are.
We all get in for a last dip right at the peak of golden hour.