I got back from Indonesia a few weeks ago, but despite my feet being firmly in Japan, my mind is still wandering around somewhere in SE Asia. I went out for a walk with my camera today to remind myself where I live.
Today is Coming of Age Day in Japan – a day that marks your transition into adulthood if you’re over 20. All around Tokyo girls were dressed in traditional kimonos, visiting shrines and giggling to themselves.
The National holiday meant Shibuya was its usual tangled mess of humans.
I swapped one maze for another. There are 179 metro stations in Tokyo. I was going to Kiyosumi-Shirakawa station on the Hanzomon line to visit the MoT (Museum of Contemporary Art).
The thing I like about the Tokyo Metro is that it is clean and doesn’t smell of shit unlike the London Underground which isn’t clean and smells of shit.
This part of Tokyo is Fukagawa in Koto Ward. Most shops here are independent, the majority of them run down but still in existence. Things are falling apart and old but it has a nice charm to it.
A few derelict shops line the streets, covered in political posters and flanked by booze vending machines which are becoming rarer and rarer in Tokyo. You only really find them now out in the sticks.
If cameras had a smell function you would be able to smell the freshly cooked rice coming from this house. Was nearly tempted to call at the door and ask for some.
The shops out here are amazing and can provide you with all the things you never want. If you fancy some luminous crocs or discounted cup noodles though you are in luck.
I told you we were in Koto-ku
A bicycle in a photo = ten times more Japanese
I met this guy on the street…
And when I turned around this guy was standing there. Some likeness. I was going to buy some clams off him to make Fukagawa-Don (clam rice bowl) but then I thought I’d have to walk around the art museum with a bag of clams. So I remain clamless.
I finally reached the MoT to catch Tokujin Yoshioka’s ‘Crystallize’ exhibition. This show has been running since October, and actually ends next week. I’d seen two of his previous exhibitions and this one once again shows why he is one of the world’s most influential artists. It’s hard to explain, but he literally grows his paintings and sculptures as one would grow plants in a greenhouse through the use of a special liquid which allows natural crystals to grow freely. These crystals become the artworks, and it’s a great unification between manmade structures and nature. If you go to this exhibition, you should watch the 50-minute showreel of his work, and also bask in the light of the Rainbow Church (above) – a glass window made of 500 crystal prisms.
Yes, I’m definitely back in Tokyo.