Tagged with japan

A Long Trip

A Long Trip

I always take note of August 23rd. It was on that day in 1998 — so long ago now — that I set out alone to travel for the first time. I took the train from Dundee to London, then, although I’d never used an underground before, made it to Heathrow and onto a flight … Continue reading

Just Blend In

Just Blend In

It was early when I set out for the Japanese island of Naoshima. So, when I boarded the morning ferry from the port town of Uno, I did not notice the sun, comparatively tardy, begin its ascent. Tiny Naoshima, located in Japan’s Inland Sea, has, over the past two decades, reinvented itself from a struggling … Continue reading

The Heartbeat Archives

The Heartbeat Archives

Les Archives du Coeur is a collection of recorded heartbeats housed in a small building on the island of Teshima in Japan’s Inland Sea, a ten minute walk from Karato Port. A walk that goes through woods, past crumbling old houses, faded shop signs, moored fishing boats, and past a couple of shrines. The small … Continue reading

The Art Islands of the Inland Sea

The Art Islands of the Inland Sea

Note: Around twenty years ago the small fishing islands of the Japanese Inland Sea, who were faced with an aging population, declining birthrate and disappearing industry, caught the attention of the art-loving billionaire chairman of the Benesse Corporation, Soichiro Fukutake. Fukutake’s donations helped revitalise the economy of the islands (particularly Naoshima, Teshima and Inujima) by … Continue reading

Where Are We Now?

Where Are We Now?

I have been walking through Tokyo to the rhythm of David Bowie’s Where Are We Now. My walks, like the song, are a steady rereading of place names remembered, retreaded; names that are memories and walking through them just to feel their familiarity. Just walking the dead. When he sings, “had to get the train … Continue reading

A Visit to Enoshima

A Visit to Enoshima

Despite all the time I have spent in Tokyo, I have not taken that many day trips out of the city. I have been to Kamakura a couple of times, for example, and Nikko and Fuji Five Lakes, but that’s about it. When I lived here I preferred to go far from the city — … Continue reading

The Streets of Tokyo

The Streets of Tokyo

I could lose myself just wandering through Tokyo’s streets: from the back alleys bursting with tiny bars and restaurants; below the noisy underpasses, and along the wide tree-lined boulevards. When I lived in Tokyo I wandered for hours but I always had someplace to be at 8 p.m. Work. Now, I just wander, unanchored, and … Continue reading