Christopher Pellegrini and Mac, Founder and Lead Guide of Maction Planet Bespoke Japan Travel, drink shochu at Jingu Stadium

This Week in Tokyo – 25 August 2020

Welcome to the another edition of ‘This Week in Tokyo’! ‘This Week in Tokyo’ is a review of the Maction Planet week that was and a look ahead to what’s coming up in the city. Check out photos from our adventures and read insights into our explorations as we get under the skin of the World’s Greatest Metropolis, and beyond. This week’s edition is hosted by Mac, our Founder and Lead Guide. This week: Summer Night Shochu at Jingu Stadium; Timeless Conversations 2020; The Chain by Bottega Veneta; New Era Daruma and Okonomiyaki Overdrive! 

Featured image – Summer Night Shochu at Jingu Stadium: Ingredients for a perfect Tokyo summer night: Beautiful sunset at Meiji Jingu Baseball Stadium CHECK. The Shochu Whisperer Christopher Pellegrini CHECK. Yamatozakura Beni Shochu CHECK. Soda water CHECK. Handmade ceramic shochu cups by master artisan Takuma Murakoshi CHECK. Tokyo Yakult Swallows win 4-2 against the Hanshin Tigers CHECK.

Mixed with soda water, this 25 % ABV imo shochu starts tasting a little like grape soda. Very refreshing. We even paired it with artisanal grapes harvested by an 89-year-old farmer from Yamanashi Prefecture. Yes, it was a night of high society. And why not? We all need to pamper ourselves once in a while.

Header image and below – Timeless Conversations 2020: The exhibition ‘Timeless Conversations 2020: Voices from Japanese Art of the Past and Present’ ended yesterday at the NACT. This exhibition positioned works by contemporary artists with masterpieces of classic Japanese art. Alongside pieces by legendary Edo Period figures such as Enku, Kenzan, Shohaku, Sengai, Hokusai, and outstanding examples of flower-and-bird paintings, swords and Buddhist statuary, the exhibition presented works by eight important contemporary Japanese artists, photographers, designers and architects: Kawauchi Rinko, Konoike Tomoko, Shiriagari Kotobuki, Suga Kishio, Tanada Koji, Tane Tsuyoshi, Minagawa Akira, and Yokoo Tadanori. This contrasting approach enabled thematic affinities and spiritual similarities concealed within the works to come to the fore.

Timeless Conversations 2020: Voices from Japanese Art of the Past and Present: 'Swords × KONOIKE Tomoko.'

One of my favourite rooms was ‘Swords × KONOIKE Tomoko.’ Iron swords, first produced in Japan in the ancient Kofun era, were characterized by their straight blades. But roughly 1,000 years curved swords began to be produced. In addition to being excellent weapons, the curvaceous beauty of the swords’ appearance, intricate patterns in the tough ferrite, and the elaborately wrought hamon (blade patterns) were linked to a profound spirituality and unique aesthetic, attracting admirers with a brilliance that transcends the ages.

Konoike Tomoko devised a magnificent installation for the exhibition, which combined Drop Curtain of Cowhide (2015), a huge sewn-together quilt of leather, with swords from the Heian Period (794-1185) onward. This juxtaposition brings to life the primordial power of cutting, connecting art and life, and reminds us that everything is connected. Timeless Conversations indeed.

Bottega Veneta‘s The Chain comes to Ginza Sony Park

The Chain by Bottega Veneta: Following a stopover in Shanghai, Bottega Veneta‘s The Chain comes to Ginza Sony Park, on display until August 30. The sculpture represents a key element of Bottega Veneta‘s The Chain Pouch. The installation of the piece coincides with the 2nd anniversary of Ginza Sony Park. Consumerism culturists can also read into it a (branded) message of unity and connection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Era Daruma

New Era Daruma: Cap company New Era are celebrating their 100th anniversary. Plus, they have just opened a new store in Shibuya’s Miyashita Park Complex. The fusion of these two events means you can get a New Era Daruma with qualifying purchase. I own far too many caps to need any more, but it is tempting just for the Daruma. The Japanese on either side of the face reads 新時代 and 百周年, which mean ‘New Era’ and ‘Centenary’.

Okonomiyaki online interactive cooking class

Okonomiyaki Overdrive: Thank you to everyone who joining our online, interactive Okonomiyaki cooking class on 22 August. It was a sell-out success. We were joined by budding chefs and Japan cultural enthusiasts from around the world. As you can see, everyone’s finished product looked delicious. We have received some incredible feedback which made all the effort to promote and coordinate this event worthwhile!

Our next online interactive cooking class will be held on 6 September. We’ll be making Chirashi Sushi with a focus on the transferrable skill of making sushi rice! To sign up, email

Maction Planet runs bespoke Private Tours and Experiences in Tokyo, and beyond. To book yours, or to purchase a gift card, contact us at

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