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  • Writer's pictureNigel

Tokyo 東京

2023 年 1 月 20 日

I am acutely aware that I only have a few days left in Japan. 日本にいるのはあと数日しかない. So it's time for some art. Every Autumn the National Art Centre in Roppongi (Tokyo) puts on an exhibition rather like the Royal Academy show in London. It's called the Nitten, 日展, and you can see all the latest paintings, sculpture, craft and sho (calligraphy) . I track it down in the southern part of Tokyo. But before I even enter, I stand and admire the building itself from the outside....外

...and inside..内部

...and try out the Iconic 1960's designer chairs.....デザイナーチェア!

Then it's into the galleries we go.....入力

spacious and uncrowded.....広て静か です

it's a strange mix of places almost photographic....(why isn't she wearing a mask?...I couldn't agree more with the girl in this video. I thought it wiser to err on the side of politeness as a visitor,and kept my mask on..... ) 😐 others more abstract....異なるスタイル

I wander into the next gallery, which is sculpture and applied art. Now this would look good in my workshop entrance......これ買おうかな?

not so sure about's something volcanic.....火山?

but I can only wonder at the craftsmanship of this box ......mother of pearl....真珠

It's evening by the time I leave, and I can admire the night lighting.....

I walk just around the corner to Roppongi Hills, where there is a good view of the Tokyo Tower in the distance.....六本木ヒルズのすぐそばを歩く


Another night I am sitting in the funky cellar of the Star Pine's Café, somewhere near Musashino in west Tokyo. It's mixed rock and contemporary stuff - keyboard, violin, E-guitar and 'cello. Composer - Scott Johnson: Rock Paper Scissors. Aki is on 'cello. whom I first met with pianist Tomoko, playing in Bockenheim, Frankfurt. This is a fun evening.....これは楽しいです

...except that when I went to the bar to get a glass of red wine, they got it out of the fridge! crazy. 冷たい赤ワイン 🤨......

p.s. nobody said wear red....誰かが赤を着ると言いましたか?😂


I mentioned Chrysanthemums. Well what about these....ざんぎく残菊

It's the day when I am in Sankei-en Park 三溪園 in Naka Ward. I was determined to get to it this time around - it's always been a challenge with the bus from Yokohama. It is a traditional Japanese-style garden which opened in 1906. Designed and built by Tomitaro Hara, known by the pseudonym Sankei Hara, who was a silk trader. So now you know. And I seem to have bumped into the Chrysanthemum season. They are all on display like this......quite a sight...

Chrysanthemums aren't just any old flowers. They symbolize royalty, longevity and rejuvenation, and are the symbol of the Imperial family (are you listening , Charles 👑?) 彼らは王族、長寿、若返りを象徴し、皇室の象徴です(聞いていますか、チャールズ?) In one of the tea houses in the garden Michiko Igarashi was creating this.....

She paused to pose for me....why is everybody so obliging?

so if you need a Japanese flower specialist here you are.....

I looked into the tea house, one of the many traditional buildings which have been saved from demolition elsewhere and rebuilt in this peaceful place...伝統的な茶屋

I climbed the hill to the pagoda......phew! it was hot, and I had to carry my jacket...天気は暑かった 🥵.

....and walked in a paradise of golden ginko leaves....パラダイス

I wasn't alone......私は一人ない

Look, Mummy and Daddy are helping with a selfie (at least they were not wearing masks!). Nice memories for that little girl. 楽しい思い出

The kind November sun filters through the trees.....

... and it wasn't just chrysanthemum season. Near my home from home in Hodogaya Ward the parks and gardens were alive with colour.....

let's just let the photos roll......I am no flower expert....


There is always a surprise around the corner though. You wouldn't know this, but my very first car was a Renault 4. I loved it. 最初の車はR4でした。それが 好きだった! That was until smoke started emerging from under the steering wheel just as I was driving past Kings Cross station in London. It then had to be transported ignominiosly back to a garage in Stockwell, where I lived at the time. 私の車はロンドンで故障した 😥. So I stopped in my tracks when I saw this...懐かしさ......a stranded Renault 4 gracing the driveway of a respectable little house up the hill. It was sort of gently rusting away into oblivion - a sort of ashes to ashes. A picture of wabi-sabi, . the aesthetic sense in Japanese art centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection​.....侘び寂び....

The green moss 緑の苔 says it all.

However, if you are wondering what to give me next Christmas, I want one of dinky and practical...クリスマスにこの車が欲しい ..😅. A lot of cars in Japan are actually white. I wonder why. The hot summers maybe?

Before I leave these shores for the gloomy skies of Germany there is somebody I need to meet. Scott is a musician スコットはミュージシャン....who can be relied upon to find a good Izakaya, and find it he does - right in the centre of Ikebukero. We have a great meal, washed down with plenty of Sake....

Leaving is always difficult. さよならはいつも難しい 😥. I have to say goodbye to my host family: here Misako-san and one of her cats.....(cat: "....ok,...I'll do whatever she says..." 😄)

And then it's the 14 plus hour flight back to Frankfurt. It's a long haul, as we have to avoid Russian air space, hence we first have to fly north via the Bering straits, and then over the Arctic ocean.......

later approaching Europe from over Greenland......グリーンランド


Well, I hope you've find the last blog posts interesting. I have concentrated almost exclusively on Japan, 🗾 which as you can see, is one of my great interests. 日本は私の大きな関心事です I will continue writing now about daily life in Germany, and maybe even the UK .....if I can find some fun things to write about.....which I'm sure I will.......🐰 the year of the rabbit.....うさぎの年.


Thank you for reading this 🙏.

Feel free to share it with friends if you like. よろしければ、リンクを友達と共有してください😊

I send out this web log pretty randomly to whoever I think might be interested. Actually I hate the word's such an ugly word 🤮. But we are stuck with it now. If you don't want to receive my notifications, don't hesitate to tell me and I shall take you off the list. No problem.

この投稿を読んでいただきありがとうございます。 新しい投稿のお知らせを受け取りたい場合は、上部の購読フォームに記入してください。 ありがとう!Nigel.😊




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