Its been a long time since I did my last post but I got fresh sketches from our recent Japan adventure. Our time spent there was split between the two major busy cities Tokyo and Osaka with a break on the calmness of the islands on the inland sea. During our stay we our lucky enough to attend a urban sketcher meeting with our friends from Tokyo in Ginza neighbourhood, so we meet the "locals" they were very friendly and we all had something in common to share. Tokyo is huge, there is all types of neighbourhoods, building scales and streets, but even the most anonymous street corner is interesting enough for a sketch, full of signs, restaurants and urban paraphernalia. Our major goals for visiting Tokyo according to our daughter was to visit Pokemon centre, studio Ghibli, all the 300 game centres and spin all the gachapon machines that we could find on street. Most of them became reality...
|Tokyo street view|
|Tokyo street view|
The main reason to flight down south to the port of Takamatsu, where we stayed for 5 days, was the Setouchi Art Triennal that is happening during the springtime. Takamatsu is a special port city with interesting covered streets and a lot of bicycles. To complement the beauty of the landscape, this year there were art pieces and installations spread over some islands. Firstly Naoshima, which is already very art focused because of the famous Benesse house and Chichu museum designed by Tadao Ando which can be visited any time of the year. The following day we went to Teshima that has a museum designed by the japanese architect Sejima, a bubble of white concrete. The last day was Ogijima, a small fisherman's village that has a timeless sense of place. Some of the art installations were done inside old houses which gave us opportunity to see traditional architecture from the inside. In these small places time slows down compared to big cities so it end up being our favourite moment of the whole travel.
|Takamatsu restaurant while waiting for the ramen|
|Ferry boat and daily tickets|
|Ogijima view to the inland sea|
|Naoshima fishermen's boats|
|Teshima art installation with scaffoldings|
Osaka seemed to be a bit more laid back compared to the busy and working focused Tokyo city but, our stay was during the golden week when japanese go on holidays, this year they had an additional 3 leave days due to the new emperor transition. The food in general is delicious, I think its difficult to find a bad restaurant, a good ramen its almost a guarantee for a decent meal. Interesting how the electric cables are part of the streetscapes of all japan cities, but when you find very narrow streets like some in Kyoto, the complexity of the cabling becomes the main focal point and maybe the sketching subject.
|Electric cables and the crows are a constant presence in Kyoto|
|Shichirin restaurant in Tokyo|
|Osaka street view close to a nice art store.|
The Kishi train station is the end of the line of a rural monorail in the Wakayama prefecture. The station was near closure in 2004 because of financial problems on the rail line, in 2007 was decide to adopt Tama as a station master, her primary duty is to greet passengers, so she spend most of the day being photographed and sleeping, its a pretty hard life. The publicity from Tama's appointment led to an increase in passengers, the trains keep running and Tama became the motif for the station, the cafe, the decoration and even the roof. Tama is a cat. In Japan everything is made to look cute.
|Train station, the electric strawberry train and the stamps from the temples|