Tuesday, Sept 22
- arrive LHR
- HRX to Paddington, check in to Bedford Hotel
- Lunch at Great Queen Street
- Courtauld Institute:
- Bridget Riley: Learning from Seurat
- Collection galleries
- Thomas Heneage book store
- Dinner at Keu (Vietnamese)
- Liberty of London (a bust)
- a pint at The Swan
Wednesday, Sept. 23
- British Museum Hokusai workshop: presentations, brainstorming, lunch at BM staff canteen, Japanese galleries.
- British Library: Treasures exhibit
- Group dinner at Busaba Eathai (Thai)
- Arsenal/Tottenham in hotel lobby bar
Thursday, Sept. 24
- Ellis’s new acquisitions viewing after breakfast
- British Museum Hokusai workshop: Dominic’s ResearchSpace presentation, more discussion, lunch at BM canteen, Hokusai paintings viewing, Hokusai prints viewing, group cream tea, conclusions
- Evening with Ellis, Julie, Sarah, Tazawa-san
- Long walk
- Drink at The National
- Dinner at Harbour City restaurant (Chinese)
- Drink at The Lamb (pub) with Ellis and Julie
Friday, Sept. 25
- Breakfast with Tazawa-san, hotel restaurant
- Tower of London
- Lunch at TRADE
- Check in to Georgia’s airbnb
- British Museum:
- Manga now: three generations
- From the figurative to the abstract: modern art from the Arab World
- Rosetta Stone
- National Gallery
- Tate Modern
Saturday, Sept. 26
- Portobello Road markets, walk through Notting Hill
- Whitechapel Art Gallery
- Barjeel Art Foundation Collection: Imperfect Chronology – Debating Modernism I
- A Utopian Stage: Festival of Arts Shiraz-Persepolis
- Children’s Commission 2015: Rivane Neuenschwander, The Name of Fear
- West Ham United vs. Norwich, 2-2
- Dinner at Villiers, fish & chips
- Farinelli & the King with Mark Rylance, Duke of York’s Theater
Sunday, Sept. 27
- Breakfast at Granger & Co.
- bus to Paddington, HRX to LHR
Breakfast in room
Morning train to Tokyo Eki
Metro to Ueno
Tokyo National Museum (Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan)–main building
Metro to Okachimachi
Meet Taku & Maki & Tsumugi and go to sushi bar (Okachimachi North exit, cross street, go left, second alley on right–two places across from each other, same restaurant)
Metro to Jinbocho
Train home to Higashi Zushi (Green car)
Dinner at Taku & Maki’s
Train back to Yokosuka/hotel
Pictures: Best sink on earth (soap & water at top, dryer at bottom, Tokyo National Museum); Deer and maple (from “Narrative Picture Scroll of the Priest-poet Saigyo, Vol. 2,” by Tawaraya Sotasu, 17th century); sushi bar; Records-ya/Fuji records
Train to Higashi Zushi, pickup by T&M/car
Zushi City beach
森戸大明神 (Moritodaimyojin) Temple visit (where Tsumugi was blessed), Hayama
Drive to coast
Delicious lunch at 鴨鶴 Kamo Tsuru (“Duck Crane”)
Small beach across from the restaurant
Yokosuka museum: Yokai exhibition, library, gift shop
Dinner at Taku & Maki’s
Train back to Yokosuka/hotel
Pictures: Little beers; T&M’s house; Kamo Tsuru (“Duck Crane”) restaurant
We took the train Saturday from Hiroshima to Kurashiki by way of Okayama quite early. We had heard that Kurashiki was a beautiful, quiet and traditional town with a day’s worth of activities to enjoy. We arrived too early to check into the hotel (APA Hotel BTW is right at the JR Kurashiki station and very convenient) but we checked our big bags.
This town was a really nice change after all the crowds in Hiroshima and Miyajima. The historical district is beautifully preserved around the canal. We started with the Piggy Bank Museum which is just a really small room of glass cases on the top floor of an antiques shop. It was incredible how many they had and of all different varieties. This town was also an antique collector’s dream. (Mom, you would have loved the 101 Dalmations wallpaper!)
For lunch we got the special lunch sets at Mamakaritei. We were disappointed only because the guide book had led us to believe we would be getting a special “sardine” focus which was not entirely accurate and it was a rather expensive Kaiseki for lunch time on our budget.
After lunch we went to the old toy museum which was a wonderfully crowded crazy hodge podge of dolls, masks, daruma, kites and games from Japan for hundreds of years.
I was done museum hopping at that point and I had my eye on the shops in town. So Dan went off to the Ohara museum and I went shopping. Kurashiki is a great town to shop in both because of the antiques and also because many of the shops have traditional products hand crafted in the area so you get away from the proliferation of junk for sale. I bought a great waist belt pouch made of canvas from a Kurashiki design company and educated myself about all the differences in Bizen Pottery (a specialty of that region) so that we could get something nice when Dan was finished at the museum.
Along the way I stumbled into a small shop where an older lady was sitting quietly manning the store. She was really sweet and we tried our best to communicate. When Dan popped his head in she invited us to stay for iced tea and chat. She was 88 and in great health. Taking away… We did our best to participate!
After shopping we checked into the hotel and got settled researching dinner options. We heard that the regional Katsu (fried pork usually) had a great sauce so we headed out to Misokatsu Menoki. Dan got the seasonal set menu: pork and crab Katsu, rice, steamed chicken and vegetables, raw octopus in a mustard vinigrette, chicken sashimi with salad, miso soup with raw egg, tuna sashimi and a lemon jelly yogurt dessert. All that for 1800¥! I got just the pork katsu set which was delicious but Dan’s meal was delicious and one of the best values thus far.
Off to Zushi City tomorrow to finally see our friends!
Photos: steaming veggies at Misokatsu Menoki, pork Katsu set, piggy bank museum wallpaper, bird and fish toys at the Kurashiki toy museum
Ferry to Megijima
Bus to caves
Caves: kitschy “ogres;” Snail Trail animations; Oninoko tile project–nice and cool inside
Short hike to observation platform, great views over the Inland Sea.
Bus back to town
Equipiose mirrored storehouse; Leandro Erlich’s “The presence of absence”
Lunch at IARA: seafood (pasta for me, paella for Elaine)
MECON in school building
Return ferry to Takamatsu
Ferry to Shodoshima Tonosho
Ferry to Teshima Karasho
Walk to Teshima Art museum, but didn’t go in
Janet Cardiff, Storm House
Shima Kitchen: Taste the Buddhism (sandalwood ice cream in lotus flower shape), coffee, nice terrace
Bus to port
No one wins multibasket; Fukushima quick architecture exhibit, walk to Boltanski Archives du Cœur (closed)
Return ferry to Tonosho and Takamatsu
Izakaya (“Okagesamade”?)–great tamago agedashi, shishamo, age dori, tsukemono
Pictures: descent from Megijima observation deck; MECON courtyard overhang; Taste the Buddhism; Fukushima quick architecture demonstration
We got going a little late, 8:00am today. Walked to the port for the 9:10 ferry to Megijima. I think Dan has been skeptical about this island – it is hard to now with each if all the travel will be worth it – but the breathtaking vista at the top of the Megijima caves alone would have been worth the trip… 360 degree view of the area (oh yeah, and the caves felt like a refrigerator which was awesome). We sweat all morning… The heat and humidity are off the charts. The caves would have been really great had they not been full of totally bizarre demon statues (see also island legend).
Several of the art works here were fantastic, especially Erlich’s zen garden. But the highlight might be lunch which was a seafood island joint called IARA where Dan got linguini with red sauce and seafood and I had seafood paella. The mussels were delicious! Back on the boat we are bound now for the islands of Shodoshima and Teshima for more art.
We caught the high speed Takamatsue-Shodoshima without issue. The boat was really high end and smelled like a hospital… I think maybe Shodoshima is a place older people go to retire/rest.
Shodoshima port has nothing to offer. A shame since we had an hour to kill.
The 15 min ferry to Karato on Teshima was gorgeous – a sea of blue.
Karato port was the first and only time we experienced a breakdown in the near perfect Japanese timing systems. The ferry pulled in 6 minutes AFTER the hourly bus running to the art left the port ( and the ferry was on time ). So, faced with the option of waiting an hour for the bus and walking 2.6km uphill we decided to walk. This was a trying experience but we had “Taste the Buddhism” waiting for us at the top so… The good news is that the art at the top of the island was good… Especially “Storm” and the Setouchi gelato was fantastic (note to Setouchi attendees -skip the stamp for 165, the gelato is way better than the sandalwood ice cream and half the price!) We were sorry that the restaurant at Shima Kitchen closed at 4:30 and would not serve us food at 4:10… we had heard it was awesome and the outdoor terrace was lovely, plus, on our new meal schedule that felt like dinner time.
By some miracle we caught the bus back down to the port but with the hour wasted walking up the hill we missed both the Teshima Museum and the Boltanski. We theorized that the other Teshima port -Ieura- had bikes and Nissan electric bikes for rent since we saw them everywhere. If we did it all over again we would likely have followed the masses and done the same.
A big day with beautiful sites nonetheless. Now, we need to find some dinner.
Photos: Iara paella, the view from Megijima, Dan with demons