A day of art and culture

So today was pretty fan-freaking-tastick if I do say so myself. I’d like to start also by mentioning the fact that I’ve already overcome jet-lag pretty much entirely – so kudos to me for that. I woke up this morning at the nice reasonable time of 8am, and was greeted by rain as I opened up my curtains. I was certainly not about to let this stop me from getting my iPod however, so I began making plans for the day.

And what better way to spend a rainy day than by visiting an art gallery. Thanks to my lovely mother, I found out that there was a cool looking exhibition at the National Art Centre, Tokyo, featuring a Japanese fashion designer named Issey Miyake. Upon further investigation, I discovered that there was another apple store only one subway stop away from the Art Centre, so that helped make up my mind pretty quickly. I was out the door by 10, and over to the centre in about half an hour. On my way I purchased an IC transit card which allows me to skip buying a transit ticket every time, and just keep adding to money to it when it gets low.

Anyways, I arrived at the gallery, the entrance of which had a long rack for people to lock up their umbrellas while they are indoors (a fairly common thing at most galleries and museums, I am learning).

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The Centre had a wonderful big open-space design with a lovely cafeteria-style eating area on the main floor. (The colourful piece hanging from the ceiling is actually one of Miyake’s designs).

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Unfortunately, photos were not allowed inside the actual exhibition area, so I don’t have too much to show for that, but I will include the link that my mom sent me which has quite a few images, as well as the exhibition page and also Miyake’s own website, (just in case there are any curious readers out there).

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I was simply blown away by the show, which is honestly a little hard to describe. Every outfit was displayed on a mannequin, many of which were placed in strange and amusing positions. One of my favourite displays showed how certain articles of Miyake’s clothing could be folded down flat into origami-like structures, and then expanded to fit onto the human figurine. After spending about 2 hours wandering amidst mannequins draped in all  colours and shapes of clothing imaginable, I decided it was about time to head out.

I took the subway back one station and emerged to find the apple store directly in front of me (which, I must say, was quite a relief considering yesterday’s adventure).

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I’ve always loved going into apple stores, due to their cheery, helpful staff, and sleek displays. I was offered help almost instantly from a lovely employee, and had an iPod in hand within 15 minutes. (I would also like to briefly  mention that the iPod I bought was in association with the (RED) organization which works to help fund AIDS programs in Africa).

After making that sizeable purchase, I decide to spend some time wandering around the streets and exploring my surroundings. I ended up waling down an incredibly interesting shopping street which was small, but absolutely packed with all sorts of high-end fashion stores, and creative architecture.

 

I even noticed a Issey Miyake store on this street (bottom right), selling all the actual designs that were in the show, as well as some more particle pieces. At the end of the street I came to a sign for the Nezu Museum entrance. I had absolutely no idea what sort of museum it was, but a smaller sign advertised “Buddhist Teachings, for All Eternity; Masterpieces of Sacred Paintings,” so I figured I’d take a look.

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It was a fairly small museum, housing an array of exquisite artifacts and ancient art from as early as the 17th century BC. (Sorry, but once again, no photos allowed). After touring the two floors I made my way out to a back garden area which, to my surprise, stretched on for several kilometres, and had numerous twisting paths and shrines hidden away in the trees.

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I’ll admit I probably got a little too excited and trigger-happy with my camera, but I regret nothing.

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I’m sure I could have spent even more time in that garden than I did, but by that point it was about 3pm and I was getting tired and hungry so I decided to head home. On my way back to the subway station, I passed by a sweet little flower shop and made an impulse purchase to pretty up my dorm room a little.

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Then after a quick snack and costume change, I went back out for a quick jog around the neighbourhood, and found a lovely park nearby. It’s not ideal for running since it mostly consists of small, twisty, dirt pathways that don’t really seem to lead anywhere, but it was fun to explore. Then shower and food. I made some noodles with tofu and broccoli which I had with a glass of wine. Word to the wise: the thing about a $4 bottle of wine from 7Eleven, is that it tastes exactly like a $4 bottle of fine from 7Eleven.

I think I’ll call it quits at this point, but I’ve already got some ideas in store for tomorrow so we’ll see where the day takes me.

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One thought on “A day of art and culture

  1. Hi Lily,
    I’ve met you once years ago in the LR shop and am enjoying your adventures!
    I especially loved the garden you visited and hope you’ll share many more!
    I used to run the Study Abroad Programs at a university in the States so I’m especially enjoying your adventure blog. You seem to be both adaptable and intrepid! Looking forward to more!
    Thanks! Pam

    Like

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