Sunday, July 6, 2008

Tokyo: Day 3

The sharing of my Japan experience would not be complete without a mention of the heat.

I am sitting in our hotel`s "business center" enjoying the air conditioning and yet knowing it is only drying my sweat to my body, only disguising my need for a shower. Not the most beautiful vision, I know, but there it is. This place is humid and hot this time of year.

We started out the day in Harajuku, an area of Tokyo known for its street fashion. The younger generations congregate here in the most amazing/bizarre clothing and accessories. As we watched girls with thick tights covered in strawberry print or wearing knee high platform boots, all I could think about was how hot they must be in those clothes, and why weren`t they sweating as insanely as me?!

From there three of us split off in search of good shopping, architecture, and air conditioning and went in search of Spiral, a beautifully designed building in the area of Aoyama. We caught the subway back to our hotel, and it felt so good to be able to smoothly navigate ourselves around. I now feel confident with the underground systems of London, Paris, and Tokyo!

If you`re wondering if I`m actually getting an art education in all of this eating, shopping, and walking, well, yesterday was our day of visiting art exhibits (and there will be more to come). We went to Roppongi and visited 21_21 Design Sight as well as a graphic design exhibit in Midtown Tower. Both were beautifully presented and of very high quality.

One thing I really appreciate about many of the areas I`ve seen in Tokyo is their emphasis on appealing aesthetics. Everything semi-recently made is visually enriching inside and out. It is strange, however, to have no contradiction to this. The streets are clean, the people are well dressed...where is the dust and grime we`re so used to in life? It must still be around here. But is it worse to hide it beneath the surface, behind smiles and bows and pleases and thank yous?

That`s as far as I`m going to get today. We are leaving in an hour for dinner and I`m looking forward to a shower before then.

I will let you know what delicious things we eat tonight (and eventually post them on here in illustration or photograph form).


1 comment:

GrantJM said...

Yes, the sweet, sweat of Asia at this time of the year. Unavoidable! I thought of you yesterday as I ate my veg California brown rice sushi from Trader Joes. It's safe, cause I know what I'm getting inside. Nothing raw! Ugh...

Have a great time Lael.