This Week in Tokyo – 18 December 2018
The latest edition of This Week in Tokyo – a review of the Maction Planet week that was and a look ahead to what’s coming up in and beyond the city. Check out photos from our tours and read insights into our explorations as we get under the skin of the World’s Greatest Metropolis. This week’s edition is hosted by Mac, Founder and Lead Guide of Maction Planet. This week: Reflections on Inokashira; Things So Faint But Real; Hello Kitty Black Tartan; Nicolas Buffe at Ginza Six and Sakura at Christmas!
Featured image – Reflections on Inokashira: Kichijoji’s Inokashira Park is one of my favourite hanami (Cherry Blossom Party) spots in the World’s Greatest Metropolis, but it is beautiful in any season. I snapped this photo as I was sharing my love of the place with my guests.
Things So Faint But Real: My critique of ‘Things So Faint But Real – Contemporary Japanese Photography Vol. 15’ was published by Tokyo Art Beat this week. The exhibition showcases photographers who “create from their individual perspectives, while conscious of their relationship with society”. I enjoyed meeting the feature photographers at the show’s Press Day. They are (from left to right)
Hello Kitty Black Tartan: You may know that Hello Kitty is British. Her name is Kitty White and she lives just outside London. When I first visited Sanrio Puroland in 2006 I was overjoyed to see family ‘photos’ of her playing cricket with her boyfriend, Dear Daniel. So, given all this, it seems only fitting that Hello Kitty has her own tartan. Not just one, but four tartans all registered with The Scottish Register of Tartans. The first, a checkered-pink design was launched in 2009. The latest, Hello Kitty Black, was registered this year on 1 May 2018. The product range, launched on 24 October 2018 is currently being given a push by Sanrio. Check (pun intended) it out while it’s around!
Nicolas Buffe at Ginza Six: Nicolas Buffe is a French artist who has been based in Tokyo since 2007 – he even completed his doctorate at the Tokyo University of the Arts. His works intertwines the mundane and the magnificent, mixing themes borrowed from the Renaissance, Hollywood movies, and Japanese cartoons. His first solo exhibition at a museum was held at Maction Planet favourite Hara Museum of Contemporary Art. His Paper Lantern Rocket was shown at the 2018 Roppongi Art Night. Until 25 December 2018 you can see his work “Fantastic Gift” ~ The story of “The Kingdom of Winter” and “The Kingdom of Summer” in luxury shopping complex Ginza Six. The elephant work in the image is 3m high and 4m across. Come for Nicolas Buffe’s incredible artworks and stay for the sublime architecture and high-end shopping experience.
And finally – Sakura at Christmas! The famous Somei Yoshino cherry blossom typically blooms at the end of March/beginning of April, but the sakura can be seen year round in Tokyo in art and advertising. Here’s an example from Shinjuku Station: Kitkat are selling… err… KitKats in limited edition Sakura packaging to help you support students who are preparing examinations next spring. Only 5000 sets are available and will be sold at 4 booths in Tokyo: Shinjuku Station (10 Dec 2018 to 20 Jan 2019, 2000 sets); Yurakucho (10 Dec 2018 to 16 Dec 2019, 1000 sets); Iidabashi Station (10 Dec 2018 to 16 Dec 2019, 1000 sets) and Hongō-sanchōme Station (14 Jan 2019 to 20 Jan 2019, 1000 sets). Grab them while you can.
All this talk of sakura reminds me that tickets are now on sale for the Maction Planet x Shochu Pro Hanami 2019. We are collaborating once again with Baird Beer and shochu expert Chris Pellegrini to hold an exclusive cherry blossom party in Yoyogi Park on Sunday 31 March 2019 from 12:00-16:00. You can get yourself in the mood for Hanami 2019 by watching this incredible video of Hanami 2017. More info can be found here and tickets are available for purchase here. Grab yours now before the ticket price jumps at the end of the year! The early bird gets the worm… and shochu… and craft beer…