Yuki/Kissui Through the Years


I think it’s always interesting to take a look back at the things that contributed to your current output (I really should think about putting back a lot of my old stuff online again, like the GEISHA ezine and stuff), and with that in mind, I thought it was great to see Yuki ( take the time to run through the evolution of her graphic works.

Tokyo Walking

An Afternoon in Roppongi

Yesterday I managed to get out of my futon (something that’s been extremely difficult with the recent cold spell) and made it out to Roppongi, or more specifically Roppongi Hills, to meet up with Jim Frederick, TIME magazine’s Tokyo bureau chief and co-author of the recent Charles Jenkins autobiography (which is still only available in a Japanese edition, but they are looking for an American publisher). After a quick tour of the TIME offices, and receiving an autographed copy of said book by Jenkins (which Yuko read in one-sitting last night), we headed out for, yes, some ramen! I can’t remember the name of the place, but it’s just a 3-minute walk from Roppongi Hills heading towards the main strip. I’m not usual into the spicy variety, but the bowl of dandanmen I had was delicious, and it made for a nice first taste of 2006!

Following this, I wanted to spend a bit of time in and around Roppongi Hills, a place I hadn’t visited in probably a year (OK, maybe one or two visits to the Mori Art Museum), and admittedly, because I just don’t have much love for the place. It comes down to the fact that there aren’t really any stores I particularly like (and the only store I really did like, Village Vanguard, isn’t even there anymore). I walked a bit in the noticeably uncrowded complex — a far cry from the huge crowds of a year ago — and then made my way to the TV Asahi building to have a look at the gift shop. I grabbed a can of cookies (I wanted the can) for one of my favorite shows, and unfortunately cancelled last fall (but I did enjoy the New Year special), UCHIMURA PRODUCE. The fun thing is that every cookie had the face of an UCHI-P member on it — Yuko started with Ryo Fukawa, me with Uchimura.

With all the talk of James Bond on Patrick Macias’ blog recently, it had to come to a point where we’ve decided to go out for vodka martinis when he gets back to Tokyo, and so I wanted to see if the 007-themed bar I once spotted in Roppongi a few years ago was still there. It wasn’t. Oh well, I’m sure there are other places in town where we’ll be able to get a decent martini.

I pretty much never make it out to Roppongi, and one thing I absolutely wanted to do while I was there was of course to pay the AXIS building a visit (for new readers, AXIS is one of my favorite magazines). Unfortunately for me, both of the galleries (AXIS Gallery and AXIS Gallery Annex) were between shows, but I still enjoyed spending some time at the Living Motif store, browsing through the various design books, and the many attractive interior items that I simply can’t afford.

Since it’s not an area I usually visit, there wasn’t much on my agenda, mostly for lack of familiarity. Does anyone have some Roppongi spots (but not bars) to recommend that I should check out the next time I’m there?

Cafes Canadian Style Events Meta

Canadian Style


If you’re reading this post in a browser and not a feed reader (well, unless you’re doing it through Bloglines, which happens to be my reader of choice) you’ll notice an updated theme, and it’s of course in support of the next event I’m producing at Cafe Pause (which is now pictured in the site’s banner): Canadian Style. What you’re seeing above (and in the sidebar) is the logo I created for the event (thanks go out to Jesper for giving help to the Illustrator-challenged — I’m a born and raised Photoshop boy), and you can expect to see it on a lot of CS-related things, including, of course, a t-shirt (of which there will be two versions: white and red). As I mentioned before, it will take place February 1-12, and the plan is to have an opening party February 4 (a Saturday). As for what exactly will take place, expect various installations (visual/graphic/audio), as well as a special food/drink menu. I’ll keep you all posted on things as they develop throughout the month.

Architecture Gridskipper Tokyo Walking

This Week at Gridskipper

You can read all of my Gridskipper contributions here.

Magazines Society

The Love of Sleep


One thing I always appreciate when Momus spends time in Japan is that his blog, Click Opera, suddenly gets a very heavy Japan focus. Today, the topic is sleep, and he also connects it to the magazine KU:NEL.

In a related note, when I was talking with the staff at Cafe Pause this week about what they did during the New Year holidays, the most common answer pretty much revolved around one thing: sleep.




At the AXIS building for the first time in ages. And just enjoyed my first bowl of ramen of 2006!

Update: Just my luck, both the galleries (AXIS Gallery and AXIS Gallery Annex) were between shows, so there wasn’t anything to see there. But the Living Motif shop is always nice to visit, so I ended up spending some time there, leafing through the design books, and drooling at some watches that I can’t afford (I’m really in need of a watch — I haven’t had one for over a year now).

Books Design

Update on Design Tide

I’d say that the inaugural edition of Design Tide during last year’s Tokyo Design Week was a good show — ICON magazine agrees, and is set to cover the event and its results in their next issue — and I’m glad to hear that there are still things happening on their end. In the TDW preview article I wrote for THE JAPAN TIMES, I mentioned they would be producing some sort of catalogue in the spring. Well, looks like they’ll releasing the book, DESIGN TIDE IN TOKYO 2005, in March, and it’ll cover most of the exhibitions and designers that participated in that year’s showing. Something to look forward to in the coming year!

Pictured above is an image from the “Fresh Touch” exhibition, winner of “Best Installation,” and definitely my favorite event during the whole of design week.

Update (16/09/10): The image is no longer available.

Events Music

YMCK Mini-Live

YMCK play fun bossonova-induced 8-bit melodies, and according to Patrick’s Agenda, they’re holding a free mini-live this coming Sunday (January 8) at Tower Records Shinjuku at 16:00. His post has a few more details.


Flirting on the Keitai

I absolutely loved playing Sega’s FEEL THE MAGIC on the DS, and even though I haven’t played the sequel yet (WHERE DO BABIES COME FROM?), being able to play it on your mobile phone — even if for now you’re limited to one mini-game — sounds great, and the simple graphics of the game should make for a rather smooth transition (but of course, you lose the effect of playing with the stylus, which is one of the main selling points of the game). Unfortunately for me, it looks like the game is only available for Docomo and Vodafone phones (I’m with AU). Found via Kotaku (where you’ll find a link to the original FAMITSU article in Japanese).


Not Worth Commenting

I’ve noticed that 2005 saw a big drop — or so it seems — in the amount of comments the site gets (although the number of readers hasn’t gone down). Sure, there are the odd threads that never seem to die (Bape continues to reign supreme, both in comments and Google searches). I’m the first to admit that I think my blogging in the past few months has become more about just pointing out stuff instead of real “writing,” and I suppose that has a lot to do with it. Thoughts?