An Unexpected Farewell

July 25th, 2011 — 1:50am

I’ve just heard that one of my favorite coffee shops in Tokyo is now closed for good and I’m just so heart broken.

 

The first time Chris and I visited Kina we couldn’t believe that a place like this existed in the middle of Roppongi — a town where we usually wouldn’t know what to do. It was a huge old coffee shop filled with lots of art and custom made interiors. Every corner of the floor carried a different charm and gave an insight to the owner’s strong aesthetic. The salon would have certainly been a very popular hang out in the 70’s & 80’s and remained in good taste. It was also very sweet to find a white candle on each table with a little sign reading “Please light the candle if you need any help”. We never had a chance to light our candles because the charming old waiters would always notice our needs.

 

My favorite seat was just underneath this huge bouquet of lights.

One of our fondest times was when we were seated next to a man who we believe was a manager at one of the many nearby gentleman’s clubs. Over a few hours he met with several hostesses in long sparkling silky dresses from his club to investigate their inhouse trouble. Despite his heavy look and 90’s style big shouldered suit we were surprised by his decent gentle manner. It was so fitting and perfect that he too was in Kina.

Mitsuzawa Park

July 18th, 2011 — 9:48am

There is a sports ground called Mitsuzawa Park and it’s where my secondary school would gather once a year for athletic day.

 

Last week I learnt that my driving school is close to the park and it brought back all the bitter memories I had of having to run three kilometers around the park. I was okay with sports but terrible at running long distance so sports day was always half fun and half torture for me.

 

When I saw the park again it totally wiped away my old bad pictures. The park had a great sweet stone monument at the entrance and I could also see roses and little flowers blooming inside. It’s also became my favorite driving practice route as there is a green tunnel at the back of the park and I just love seeing the lacy shadows that the tree leaves create.

 

A few days ago I was finally able to leave driving school early. Not feeling too exhausted I walked to the park and had a walk around some of my favorite places in the park so far. The park is one of the sweetest places in Yokohama and I already can’t wait to go back.

 

My favorite statue at the entrance of Mitsuzawa Park.

Feeling Fruity

June 28th, 2011 — 10:09pm

Last Saturday I did a big walk from Shinjuku to Shibuya. My goal was to finally visit Takashi Homma’s ‘New Documentary’ exhibition, something I’d been wanting to see since March. I also wanted to walk around the area just to get the sweet feeling of being back in Tokyo.

 

My favorite photo from Mr Homma’s show was of a girl in her school uniform playing a golden tuba. The photo was from the ‘Tokyo and My daughter’ series and I was amazed to learn that the little lady who’s had her whole life photographed by Mr Homma is not actually a daughter of his.

 

My walk to Shibuya somehow lead me to Yoyogi Uehara (– a town in the opposite direction of Shibuya), so I decided to visit my favorite wholefoods store. Inside I bought one pinapple popsicle as it looked like the perfect way to stay cool in the steamy hot weather. I was surrounded by a sweet old and new Japanese townscape and the popsicle tasted so fruity (and looked a little bit tilted), and that made me so happy… and when I tried to take some photos of my yummy yellow popsicle before I ate it all, my hands got so sticky that I really felt like a little kid.

 

By the time I got to Shibuya I was running so late for my next appointment that I couldn’t go to any of the places I’d originally planned… but I was happy that I got lost on my walk.

 

My first popsicle of the summer.

Seiji Togo

June 22nd, 2011 — 10:29pm

Yesterday I finally enrolled myself into driving school (– thinking that having a license in Australia would be helpful). The school was a strange place to be and I was sitting alone in the lobby just feeling very nervous. Then I spotted a big framed painting by Seiji Togo hanging on the back wall of the school office! I suddenly felt so lucky and relaxed that I felt like I can do this.

 

It reminded me of one weekend a few years ago when Chris and I caught a bus to Seijo, hoping to somehow bump into our star Mr Yokoo Tadanori (who apparently lives in Seijo). Of course we weren’t that lucky so instead we went to Seijo Alps tea salon to have some cakes. And then, there it was… a huge painting by Seiji Togo covering one entire wall of the shop! It didn’t take much for us to be instantly drawn to his work, and we now extra love viewing his paintings while having a cup of tea or coffee in salons like Montblanc in Jiyugaoka, or Soiree in Kyoto.

 

Please be my guardian angel!

Sweet home

June 21st, 2011 — 11:32pm

As soon as I arrived at Narita Air Port I bought an airport limousine ticket and waited for my coach at the bus terminal. It was only seven o’clock in the morning but there was a sharp looking mid-aged man checking tickets by the bus stop. He had a microphone in his hand and politely made a bus arrival announcement in Japanese and English. Once everybody was seated he quickly came inside the bus to wish everyone a pleasant trip and gave us a deep long bow until the bus had fully departed. I just couldn’t stop smiling about how sweet he was and it just felt like I’m travelling with five star service. This is the Japan I love and it was the perfect way of starting my stay here.

 

Back in Japan!

Flying!

June 16th, 2011 — 12:55am

I think I’m ready to be away from this cold weather for a while…

 

With a long list of things to do...♡

Gould’s

June 14th, 2011 — 10:30pm

One week ago I went to Chris’s favorite falafel shop with our friends David & Stephen and their friend Mr Fergus before doing some book shopping. The boys ordered big falafel wraps and a drink each and I only ordered a cup of tea. When the boys were enjoying their wraps my tea was delivered in a Simpson’s mug. Mr Fergus said my order was the best one and it made my day.

 

Afterwards we went to Gould’s Book Arcade where it was sad to hear about the loss of Mr Gould, the owner. I really hope the shop will go on as there’s other no crazy looking book shop like his.

 

Mountains of old books... it's almost a book shop made from books.

6261

June 12th, 2011 — 11:01pm

My friend had her wedding on June 2nd. Her name is Mutsu and when read in Japanese as ‘Mu’ and ‘tsu’ her name means number six and number two – the date of her wedding! I then discovered that her husband’s name (Junichi) can also be read as ‘Jun’ and ‘ichi’ which means June 1st! The couple’s names are lying next to each other on the calender, it’s a sweet miracle!

 

6(1+2)=sweet miracle.

Wake up

June 7th, 2011 — 1:25pm

Chris and I always watch the sunrise on new year’s day. We do it no matter how tired and cold we feel because we know how rewarding it is. We always say we should do it more often but we never do.

 

A few weeks ago we had to wake up very early in the morning (when it was still dark) to pick up my parents from the airport. I wrapped myself up to stay warm with several layers of clothes, a blanket, and even a hot water bottle. I felt ready to sleep in the car but decided to show some respect to Chris’s father who was driving to meet my parents. Besides, driving in the dark always feels like I’m on Space Mountain at Disneyland and it’s kind of fun. I was surprised to see quite a lot of cars on the highway heading towards the city. I’d never imagined so many people would wake up so early to go to work every day while I’m sleeping.

 

When the sky started to have some colours, my eyes were wide open. The sunrise was so beautiful again.

 

Maybe watching the sunrise is more like a special treat than an ideal morning.

Horsie

June 2nd, 2011 — 6:21pm

On my regular walk yesterday I saw two brown horses having dinner at a green patch just a few blocks from home. I never expected horses to be hanging out in the middle of a residential area so I walked up to the fence to have a good look at them. One of the horses noticed me and walked closer. We gazed at each other for a few minutes before she got back to her meal. I felt we could almost talk to one other. Then, I was thinking about Patches.

 

I visited the horses again today and as soon as the horse saw me she came right close. I said ‘Hello!’ to her. I hope she didn’t find me rude for not patting her when she poked her head out of the fence. I just didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to scare her.

 

Cute raincoat.

Sweet sweet pavlova

May 28th, 2011 — 9:08pm

My parents have been here for the past two weeks. One day Chris’s father asked me if my mum would like any dessert after her dinner, so I requested pavlova. I thought my mum wouldn’t have ever seen it before as pavlova is very hard to come by in Japan unless you make it yourself.

 

The pavlova surprise was successful. It was yummy with lots of berries and cream on top and my mum was very happy. It also brought me back to the good old times in high school as my boarding school house in England always had dessert with lunch and pavlova was one of my very favorites. Then, I was told by Chris and his father that it’s actually an Australian dessert. I was very surprised! In fact I read it’s a dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova(!) in honour of her 1920’s Australian tour. Knowing this, the pavlova tasted even better!

 

What a great lady, Anna Pavlova!

A city with many charms

May 27th, 2011 — 2:11pm

I had a lot of heart melting moments in Melbourne. Seeing possums in Carlton Gardens at night, a few hot air balloons floating in the cold grey morning sky, black swans on a lake and a man playing harp so romantically in the Royal Botanic Gardens, old arcades with mosaic floors, a very active platypus in Melbourne Zoo (the koalas were all asleep… sob), many groups of boys and girls on their school excursions in assorted school uniforms… and of course, I revisited my favorite place in Melbourne too.

 

Seeing a lot of fruit bats flying around during sunset was a bit of a shock though.

 

I did many relaxing things. I really like Melbourne!

A chandelier swing

May 26th, 2011 — 9:39pm

I was in Melbourne with my parents last week. There were a lot of chandeliers in The Hotel Windsor, the very classic hotel where we stayed. For this reason I just kept on thinking about the chandelier swing scene in Sedmikrásky by Věra Chytilová.

 

I dream of this every time I see a chandelier.

Tiny news

May 24th, 2011 — 12:32pm

I made a tiny update to my illustration portfolio last week.

 

Please have a look!

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