In January I went to see one of Japan’s legendary rock bands, the 5, 6, 7, 8′s who became famous in the west after appearing in the movie Kill Bill back in 2003. The director, Quentin Tarantino found them after hearing their songs being played in a Tokyo fashion store, and you can see him talk about it and the bands performance in the movie here. They performed as guest of one of the best Tokyo rock clubs, the Boogie Shack Rhythm & Soul Club, every first Saturday of the month at the fabulous A971 upstairs lounge in Tokyo’s Roppongi district, Tokyo Midtown. So if you are free tonight you know where to go!
Going for photo walks this time of the year is good because there is usually nothing much else going on and the cold weather keeps most people indoors. It’s a chance to rediscover places you thought you knew well or explore new places altogether. When I first came to Tokyo a long time ago one of my favorite pastimes was to take my old orientering compass, set a direction and just walk out. I would get lost time and time again but it was a great place to get to know the city on foot. Still to this day I rediscover some of the old places where I got really lost many years ago, it’s like seeing an old friend almost. This was before the days of GPS and smart phones, these days you can do the same thing with the phone in your pocket. The other day I was walking around Roppongi, only the main streets, but I took these photos to make most of the light and crisp weather! Enjoy!
It is late February and the first flower to blossom in Tokyo has finally awoken from the long winter sleep – the wonderfully dark pink plum blossom! I found this little tree in Minami Aoyama near Roppongi here in Tokyo, and not far from this I found a tiny cherry tree also in bloom, about a month early! It seems the spring is finally on its way, hurry up dear spring!
It is the end of February again and the single most interesting Japanese art event is taking place – the graduation exhibition of the top 5 art universities in Tokyo. Like every year there is a huge range of works in all manners of genre, and just like every year there are a few young artists that really stand out. The first work that caught my eye as I entered was Parabola by Kouta Omoto (大本幸大) of Musashino Art University (武蔵野美術大学). A huge oil painting of something we see every day here in Tokyo, the tangled masses of electric wiring over our heads, although usually not as sinister as this.
Entrance is free and the show is taking place a couple of days into March, at the National Art Center in Roppongi. If you are in any way into art then this is a must see.