Thursday 26 December 2013


I can say that Japan, particularly Tokyo, is the place I feel the most connected. I was trying to explain to Mikki what a revelation it was for me when I first came to Japan a decade ago exactly. I may love Paris, but I never felt at home there, always a stranger. New York has this vibrant energy of possibilities, Taipei feels comfortable and almost like home. But Tokyo gives me the perfect combination of edginess, traditions, creativity and beauty. I'm aware that I may just see what I want to see. Nevertheless, it runs deeper than I can imagine. I feel in tune there. In an ideal world, that's where I wish I had grown up.

I had five days to see friends, hunt for books and CDs take pictures, eat a dish of tonkatsu at least once and visit some exhibitions. 
I was also to complete five tasks but failed miserably at it: find a ceramic teacup for James (I wasn't in the right places, obviously), get a copy of a jazz magazine The Walker's for Raymond (he has one of his pictures gracing the cover, but the magazine was available nowhere, which led me to think it is perhaps an online magazine...), go back to the little shop behind the Bunkamura theatre where I bought those beautiful glass tea cups (as things change very quickly, the shop must have closed a long time ago), go to the teashop Cha No Yu in Hiroo and get a pack of this wonderful Celebration tea (the shop moved to another area, and the tea in question, a blend of champagne, violet and chocolate has, alas, been discontinued). 

But... the rest was pure enjoyment at its highest. Tsuyoshi showed me an area in Jinbosho called Book Town, not so far from where I was staying, a paradise for any book lover. I came accross several bookstores specialised in art and photography and had to prevent myself from buying all the books I saw there. Nolico took me to the Tsutaya bookstore in Ebisu. Stylish, trendy, filled with great, rare (and overpriced) items. Pure moment of bliss. Kiko and Shinya joined us and we had a very warm and joyful get together around a late night cup of coffee.
"I feel that with you here, I'm getting my life back", said Nolico. She had been through long years of blur after her divorce with Ken, taking care of her ailing father, handling all the paperwork, finding a new home for him. We stopped at the Manju café in Iidabashi. Its owner, Sanae-san had opened a new space not far away from it and wanted me to go and have a look. But my intuition told me not to. My time was limited and I wanted to make the most of it.
"Sanae thought that you could have your photo exhibition there." Nolico explained. "But I think the organisation is much too messy. Too many people are involved and Sanae doesn't know how to say know and changes her mind every day. I tried to help but it became too impossible for me."
"If I have to have any exhibition there, we should ask to have full control of the place for a given time and do it according to us" I said.
The idea of having a photo exhibition was very alluring to me.
"I may not be able to help you as far as music is concerned, but visual arts is more my field" Nolico added in the end.
I really felt that I had to come back for the Yokohama performances of PLAY 2 PLAY!!! Something's coming....


At the Shibuya Station

Saint Nicolaï Church


Girls at the Meiji Shrine

Yoyogi Station
Shinjuku ni-chome


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