Update: Get a load of Muji’s Yurakucho store’s red roof!
Even though I’ve lived in Tokyo for years now, I was in Takadanobaba (two stations away from where I live) for the very first time tonight. Met up with Craig, who brought me to a great little Okinawa restaurant (loved the taco rice), and then we sort of wandered around, ending up sitting under Waseda University’s famous clock tower, avoiding the light rain, combini beer in hand. Nice.
So I did my week of Gridskipper (3rd time), and had a pretty good time doing it. Sure, it’s a hell of a lot of work, but as I go along I seem to be getting a better handle on it. Here are the Tokyo-related posts I did (I really tried not to rely on Tokyo this time, which is the reason there were so few):
For an all-around round-up, my outro post is a good place to look.
I also have a few other writing projects on the go, not online, which I’ll get into in due time. One of them is writing a couple of pieces for ARTHUR FROMMER’S BUDGET TRAVEL (a thing on Aoyama cafes, and a review of the Anne Ma Soeur Anne hotel in Montreal, where I’ll be staying in August — here’s a link to the Gridskipper post I wrote about it). And then there’s a book thing…
Yes, things have been a bit quiet here, but I hope that some of you are still following me over at Gridskipper, and enjoying some of it (as much as I am enjoying writing it). Here’s a list of the Tokyo-related posts I’ve written over the past 3 days:
Two more days to go!
Quick rule of thumb: don’t make any gallery outing plans towards the end of the month. During my walk through Harajuku, Aoyama, and Shibuya yesterday, I checked out the following, only to find that they were between exhibitions: Lapnet Ship, Nadiff, Spiral, and the Logos Gallery.
Oh, and I’m sort of disappointed with the KDDI Designing Studio now. I’ve stopped by a few times, and they don’t seem to change much of anything. It was exciting to visit the center the first time around, but with nothing new, I can’t see how they’re going to keep getting people to visit — already, the place is next to empty every time I go. With the amount of money you gotta figure that KDDI spent on the whole thing, I think they need to rethink things a bit.
I was going to just stay in Ikebukuro yesterday, run a few errands, taking it easy, but then Yuko had to go to Shibuya (more precisely, to the Todai Komaba campus) and so I went with her. I started out by going to Tower Records to check out the magazines, and it’s when I was leafing through the latest issue of STUDIO VOICE that I noticed an article on the new DS game ELECTROPLANKTON with Kahimi Karie, which reminded me of the launch event that is currently being held (until tomorrow) at the Laforet Museum.
I walked to Harajuku, straight to Laforet. The event was quite enjoyable, as is the game — I’m not really sure if you can call it a game actually, since it’s more of a musical interactive simulator that looks trippy and sounds great. It was created by media artist Toshio Iwai, and the space had an exhibition of some of his work, including earlier games and installations. If you get a chance, do try to catch this before it closes.
KDDI’s Designing Studio didn’t have anything new, so I started back towards Shibuya, using Cat Street, as I wanted to have a look at the new Tadao Ando designed hhstyle.com/casa shop. The layout inside is quite nice, but the ridiculously expensive interior designs weren’t really to my liking.
Getting back to Shibuya, I had a look at the new Blister store. They used to have a tiny shop on Meiji in Harajuku, and this recently opened store counts three floors. The top 2 floors are all American-style figures and toys, while the comic section is hidden in the basement. If you’re looking to buy some American comics in Tokyo, it’s a good place to go, if you don’t mind the mainstream selection. Prices are of course almost double the US cover price, but that’s still better than at a lot of other places I’ve seen (like Manga no Mori).
I then met up again with Yuko, and we went to Conceal Cafe for a bit. I had the caramel and banana pie, which was to die for — it was on a “today’s sweets” menu, so no idea if it’s often available. An hour or so later we were on our way back to Ikebukuro. As we were walking home in the cold and rain, Komen’s jukusei ramen kept calling out, and we heeded the call. Believe it or not, it was my first bowl of ramen in at least 2 months.
You can’t very well claim to have a Tokyo blog and not include at least one pic of the sakura in full bloom, so here’s my entry. On Saturday — runny nose and itchy eyes in full effect — we went to Koma, just outside the city on the Seibu-Ikebukuro line. And since I almost never put pics of myself up on the site, I thought I’d include some (including one with Yuko), to prove that there’s an actual human being behind all these entries.