Sunday, June 9, 2013

Narita/Tokyo/Ginza galleries and artworks

Yes, Toto - we are at Narita!!! and about to take the fast train in to Tokyo, thanks to our fabulous friend Cathy who met us at the airport and guided us to our ryokan on the outskirts of Tokyo - a 3 hour, several train trip. We got wise this time and bought our Suica cards [train travel cards] straight up. Pity about the sim card and the Wifi coverage - Japanese telcos seem to have the market sewn up for Japan only. International travellers- too bad, unless you want to pay big bucks to hire a phone.
On the bright side, the dollar was at parity with the yen, so the whole trip was comparitively inexpensive. Pity about my birthday present mini ipad, and my useless mobile phone and charger which I carried everywhere - I guess the ipad was useful for downloading photos!
Cathy, Merv and I, looking good after a 9 hour flight...
 Christine, Cathy and bento box to share,
Our beautiful traditional ryokan for 2 nights, futons on the tatami mats,
 Mama san saying goodbye,
breakfast on the run - delicious fruit, $1 and $2 a stick

amazing what you find in Ginza,

and we DID manage to find a few very small contemporary galleries - up a couple of flights of stairs and in tiny but impressive spaces. From what I gathered, the deal is the same as in OZ - artist hires the space [but for only a week or so], and if the exhibition is a success, the gallery keeps some work 'in stock'. The prices of works were reasonable - comparable to here. It seems that the artists have 'other jobs' to keep food on the table, just like here.
3 levels of small Masako Izaki paintings,

View of/from the gallery rooftop,
another gallery exhibiting wonderful glass sculpture by Hikari Ibuki Ihari,
 [a serious follower and collector of this artist was in there making his choice]...

alongside the exquisite composite mixed metal sculptures of Yusuke Maruyama,

[I was VERY tempted by the cloud brooches],
...then we stumbled across another lovely small gallery, all dimmed out and mysterious, showing wonderful suspended, painted and mixed media and very quirky, working clock sculptural thingies... some had no hands, others went backwards, others had cookoo type workings.
The artist was a shy and gorgeous young man, Kimio Muraoka.

Next time we will know where to go and we will plan a full day in Ginza to see the contemporary galleries.


  1. Next time you go, can I join you? (big sigh...) If only...

  2. Wonderful stuff!!! the mixed metal sculptures (and the yellow shoes).

  3. superbe exposition.. les grands cubes sont formidables ...aussi les petits ne ferais pas un voyage avec ces chaussures jaunes :))

    1. Hi elfi ...yes, I loved the little houses ,,,they were wall vases for special flowers of the season

  4. Absolutely wonderful Noela - trust you are traveling safe and thanks for blogging - very inspiring!!

  5. Wow! so very inspiring, looks like it was a grand time Noela. What wonderful memories :-)

    1. Yes, as you know Japan is my favourite country, kim