Sunday, May 10, 2015

Tokyo 01

First ramen in tokyo, Tee led us to this underground ramen shop, dark and tiny, only an u-shaped bar counter of stainless steel finishes (give a kind of canteen feeling) in the middle, a big guy manned the shop behind the counter, it is not well-ventilated, the shop filled with the ramen smell. Few choices they have, either miso or tonkotsu.

It is likely to be the best ramen i had in the trip. And it cost only s$5-7.

Begun our aki tour at the apple store at omotesando. when japanese designing a glass box, it is in every sense a glass box, glass pieces are at full height, the jointing metals are their tiniest. A lot of works go into making something simple/the pure form, it is the apple principle manifested in architecture. 
it blurs the inside and outside

next stop is the prada shop. the site is rather secluded and the scale is smaller than i expected. the prada shop sitting at the site like a inflatable toy. the small scale of the store with the large piece of diamond shaped glass panels defies the notion of a building, it just seems like sth piece together easily. god knows how much engineering goes inside to make it work. no one going to miss the building out. just that it is not at a prominent location as i expecting.
with the neighbourhood

next stop at the nezu museum. the cafe sitting in the garden looks marvelous, but it seems so exclusive, the widely used reflective glass reflects the greenery and almost camouflage the box in the garden
at one glance you know this is not your usual space. it is kengo kuma, every corner is taken care of. yin said it must have gone through countless times of draw and change, draw and change. people see them as beautiful space. we see them as countless man hours on cadding and stacks of the drawings.
It was a gloomy day at the hakone the scenery was not marvelous. As it started drizzling just about the time we finished our lunch and headed to a boat tour, something magical happened. The snow flakes started to fall from the sky. The snow excites the bunch of us very much. We started to take a lot of photos. However there is actually a bigger snow awaiting for us!

One of the stops at the boat tour
When we arrived at the top of the hill by cable car it started to snow heavily. It is freaking cold but we are even more excited hahaha

Until we had fully experienced, I was flushing red and had to get warmed up again by the heater
WC managed to take this picture of me despite complaining his hands are freezing when holding the camera hahaha

after we returned to tokyo, initially i didnt want to come out as i was exhausted after the whole day. but half by luck half with research done on the phone, we went in to this XX水产at shinjuku. the food is good and the price is cheap. no wonder the restaurant//bar is so full of crowds. the crowds are chatting, drinking and eating the finger food goes with the alcohol. at one point of time, the crew came on stage to host a small game (winner prob can get a discount on their bill). the restaurant immediately turned into a classroom-like atmosphere. they responded to the host and laughed together as if they knew each other. so much of community spirit at once.

Crispy and flavorful. I must get it right next time.

this is the most missed meal in tokyo. it is the free breakfast at the shinjuku hyatt. I ate it three days straight during our stay, even though we have another option for western buffet breakfast. i can still vividly remember the taste of the fish. the rice come in a small pot cooked on its own on a small stove the grain is 粒粒分明. alas i love every bit of the set, the egg, the salad, the sashimi.

On our way to meiji shrine. One of the cute architecture i admired.

yin at his favourite building tokyo international forum. it's amazing but i'm not great fan of giant architecture. He said he has been admiring this building when he was still in school, that should be ages agoooo.. Haha

what is amazing to me is when i look out of the glass structure, the extent of the antique flea market spreaded on the plaza. I could find so much treasure if i have the time to take a close look at every stall, lug them back to singapore. such a pity i went with another two guys:(
After that i took my leave and rushed to aoyama again, there are just so much to see in that area. i like all the unique shop design and the goods they sell, it does not matter whether i can afford them or not. Above is the Found muji and their window display.

like this shop design of paul smith. A little bit of vintage.

the front yard of the shop

After went a round in shibuya and found the area is really not my thing, I turned to daikanyama. it is at the top of my to-do list. it is a precinct of 'atas'/expat community. there is alot of people, but people mingling with low voice, it is a peaceful atmosphere suitable for the  book store, cafe, shops, art gallery..strolling in the afternoon is an enjoyment.

little garden, little cafe, little bicycle shop..evrything is kawai

i would love to enjoy a whole day at the book shop. alas, i dont have the time.
alot of effort for the bar counter detail

the shop in that area.i marvel at every shops here are designed to be so tiny, developer doesn't seem to care about the plot ratio, useable/saleable floor area. they care about how well the space integrate with the surrounding, how much people will enjoy the space. I wonder how long later our client will be more educated than merely looking at the figure and efficiency.
a little mall quite adventurous in the design. albeit a bit run down in my opinion.

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