Sunday, 30 October 2011

Back To The Future

Before I'd ever been to Tokyo, I had the idea that it'd look like the most futuristic city, like something out of a Sci-fi movie, or Astroboy. My first impression was a huge letdown.

What I saw were drab, ugly apartment blocks that lacked any creative imagination whatsoever. And looking out from the train window it looked like it was repeated over and over as far as the eye could see.

One of the most interesting architectural ideas to come out of Japan was called Metabolism.

It has the idea of a building being a living thing that could grow and adapt like organisms. The most well-known example of this in Tokyo is the Nakagin Capsule Tower and Shizuoka Newspaper building in Shinbashi.

Today I went to see Metabolism : The City of the Future exhibition at the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi.

It was really fascinating. There were examples of works that still exist today, as well as ideas that sadly never reached fruition. It's definitely the largest exhibition that I've seen since I've been here.

They showed lots of videos, as well as many scale models. What blew my mind was that these ideas were thought of in the 70's and yet, still today they would still be ahead of our time now.

If you go there I recommend to check out the Tokyo City View observation floor. As an additional charge to your ticket, you can see a great view of Tokyo. While there we had an overpriced "slime" nikuman, but it looked so cute, it had to be done. We just made sure to eat the face last. Unfortunately because of rain, the outdoor Sky Deck on the roof was closed.

The exhibition is on till the 15th of January so if you're in Tokyo, it's one not to miss. On Roppongi-dori there is one of the Nakagin capsules on display outside, so if you're passing through keep a look out for that.

Not many chances to see what the "future" looks like.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Adachi Fireworks

After another long day's work in Kita Senju, I noticed a whole lot more people around than usual, and many places were setting up shop outside selling a lot of festival food.

My original idea was to do my usual drinking in Shibuya. My friends had other plans, so before I'd jump on the subway, I thought I'd satisfy my curiosity by following the crowd towards the river.

Along the way I saw a poster with some fireworks and then it hit me. Hanabi!

This year the only fireworks I'd seen were the Meiji Jingu fireworks viewed from far away close to where I live. I totally forgot the date of the Yokohama fireworks and missed Sumidagawa as well. Like the other fireworks, the Adachi fireworks had been delayed out of respect for the tsunami victims.

I bought some strong plum chu-hi and inarizushi and asked her to join me. The place was packed full of people. We set up camp on the slope and I got stuck into my chu-his.

Of all the fireworks I have seen in Tokyo since I've been here. These were the best. No obstruction of buildings like Sumidagawa, and much, much closer than all of the others.

There were hearts and smiley faces. I was a like a kid again, a drunk kid! lol

The chuhi was so strong that by the time I got home I was tired and fell asleep almost instantly.