Tokyo in Fragments II

Ok here are some more pictures.

I’m actually writing this on a bus, I’m heading to the Shibazakura Festival at the Mt. Fuji area. The bus is so full, they made me seat on an extra seat, also, the ride was supposed to take around 30 minutes, but it’s been almost an hour now. 9 minutes till we’re there I guess (this dude across me kept on checking the maps on his phone, that’s why I know). So in short, I figured I should just be writing.

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This was taken from the Chureito Pagoda in Yamanashi Prefecture. I queued around 20 minutes just to get this shot, each person was only given 5 minutes to take photos there. I was happy with the result though, seems like this is straight from a travel brochure.

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This shot was probably one of my fave shots so far. This was still at Yamanashi Prefecture. Probably the only cafe there. The cafe’s name is Zakka Cherry Cafe, the cafe is owned by a group of very nice and cute moms. Per usual, when customers came in they greet us “いらっしゃいませ“ which is like, “welcome”, you don’t need to answer it. I had a brain fart and answered “いらっしゃいませ” as well. The moms were laughing, then I realized my mistake. Then I apologized, then we laughed again. Ha. It was very cute. The cafe also played Monkey Majik, a band I haven’t listened to since 6th grade I guess. They also played an entire Carly Rae Jepsen’s album…?

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Ok this trip to Chureito Pagoda was such a great day trip. Weather wise, mood wise etc. Photo wise it was one of the best days too. This is at the Shimoyoshida Station, my friend and me were waiting for our train to Fuji-Q Highland, which only ran every 30 minutes. This train was out of order, but it was so blue, so pretty, the sky was great, and the sakura tree was such a plus.

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I took this on the foot of the Chureito Pagoda area. I really do recommend going there, probably one of the best views of Mount Fuji. To be honest, I was quite shocked cause the Pagoda looks somewhat fake?? Cause it was built pretty new, around the 1960s. I was so used to seeing aged Pagodas, it felt unnatural because the paintwork of the Pagoda was still so nice and smooth! But thanks to that, it glows in photos, make the photos prettier.

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I randomly came across the Nakagin Capsule Tower and I got so excited. I had breakfast at Tsukiji and decided to walk to Shimbashi, and there it was. The iconic Nakagin Capsule Tower. It is a residential-slash-office building designed by Kisho Kurokawa. It’s pretty much almost dead now. It was famed because it was the symbol of the 新陳代謝 (Shinchintaisha) architecture movement. Pod hotels are probably inspired by this.

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This was at a store in Omotesando called a Sense of Place. My brother was visiting me last March. It’s a cute photo standee and it’s still up until now, I just love how colorful it is.

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Ok my mom took this. But it looks nice. We were walking from Naka-Meguro to Hiroo and came across this playground, not far from Ebisu Station. This is called the Tako (Octopus) Park, because the giant slide is shaped like an octopus! I got so happy cause I just read about it on a TimeOut article a few days before this photo was taken.

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This was taken at National Art Center Tokyo. Probably one of the most beautiful art museums here in Tokyo. I’m obsessed with the architecture, it’s also designed by Kisho Kurokawa. I took this photo on a random day actually. I visited the Tadao Ando (another amazing Japanese architect) there before class, on a weekday. It was sunny, and I felt good.

More pictures coming soon most likely.

Thanks for reading,

Alika

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Destinartion #1: VIENNA – MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Arts

Vienna was something new to me. I didn’t have a clue of what the city is all about. Except for the fact that it was the city where Madeline (the French cartoon character) was kidnapped to in her first movie. My family and I planned to go to another city, but at the last minute, my mother suggested “Let’s just go to Vienna, we’ve never been there.”

January 15th, we finally arrived in Vienna. The city is beautiful, and it houses many museums and galleries, perfect for me. Among some of the galleries and museums I visited, MAK would be the first museum I review.

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#1 MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Arts

First and foremost, this museum’s architecture is splendid. It was such a view for the eyes, I couldn’t help but just gawk at everything. This museum dates back to the 1800s, which explains the beautiful architecture.

When I was there MAK was holding 2 major exhibitions. World’s brightest, happiest graphic designer (according to me, who else.) Stefan Sagmeister’s “the Happy Show” and Star Wars Identities, the Star Wars exhibition had a separate ticket though. It had some more exhibitions going on too, such as the 100 Best Posters 14 – Germany Austria Switzerland which features some of the most colorful and fun poster designs compiled from a graphic design competition. Other than that, there were also the Helmut Lang Archive and the Josef Frank “Against Design” Exhibition.

Here’s a quick review of the two major exhibitions:

+ Stefan Sagmeister’s The Happy Show

Runs from 28 October 2015 until 28 March 2016

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Stefan Sagmeister’s graphic design work had always been mostly fun, bright, and colorful. He speaks a lot on happiness too. Which explains the ultra bright exhibition, dominated by the color yellow.

The biggest piece was at the main hall of MAK, it was right there when you get inside. Two huge monkeys holding signs saying “Everybody Always Thinks They Are Right.”

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The Exhibition then started on the basement floor and continued to the second floor. The works displayed were mostly his past typography work, which was inspired by his notes.

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The exhibition was extremely enjoyable. There were some interactive features, such as riding a bike to get an artwork to light up, moving in front of an artwork so that it would move, and a lot more. It was pure joy and happiness. Even my 8-year-old brother enjoyed it!

+ Star Wars Identities

Runs from 18 December 2015 until 16 April 2016

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Star Wars Identities is an exhibition dedicated to everything Star Wars. Costumes, concept arts, vehicles, and anything you can think of about Star Wars. The exhibition itself started back in 2012 in Canada. The exhibition is touring the world, and its first stop in Europe happens to be Vienna.

This exhibition is more on the expensive side (my father even complained, though in the end he was happy.), but it’s worth every penny, especially if you are into this legendary franchise.

I’ve only been into Star Wars not too long ago (I apologize, I am so sorry). Some people I know sometimes just assumed that I’m into Star Wars. Since I watch a lot of Marvel movies, I read comic books and watch cartoons, I visit Comic Cons, and I happen to have a few Uniqlo Star Wars t-shirts too… so yeah. However, I haven’t even watched any Star Wars movies until last year! I don’t even know why I skipped Star Wars, probably because I was introduced to Spider-Man instead when I was little, not Star Wars. Fast forward to late 2015, I finished the previous 6 movies in 2 days, and watched them again in the next 2 days. In short I was hooked. Please forget my embarrassment and let’s just move on.

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Star Wars Identities boasts about having 200 original props, costumes, etc. They were not lying. I was completely stunned, apart from the complete collection of costumes from the previous 6 movies, there were also Anakin’s podracer, droids (BB-8 as their latest addition), and most importantly, the amazing Ralph McQuirrie concept arts, which I had been looking forward to.

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A highlight to me was the concept arts. The previous sketches for each character were displayed. Each had an explanation as well. For example, how they got Yoda’s eyes from Albert Einstein, and some other versions such as a female Luke Skywalker. These were not all by Ralph McQuirrie though.

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Another fun part was the interactive features. We were able to create our own Star Wars heroes. Throughout the exhibition there were checkpoints in which we could scan our wristbands, filled in data, gave a nickname to our Star Wars Hero, and we would be asked to choose which side were we on, the dark or the light. By the end, our characters would be displayed on a screen, and its characteristics and personal info would be e-mailed to us.

It was a delightful experience, everyone was happy! Including my parents, which was great.

More Info: MAK WEBSITE

Access: 10 minute walk from Stephansplatz, or ride the U-bahn (U3-Stubbentor), the stop is across MAK, near the famous Plachutta restaurant.

Vienna Tip: Download the Qando Wien App it’s an official app by Vienna’s public transport network, gives you tram routes, subway routes, etc. Just download this one, I downloaded a few other crappy ones and got lost…

+ Check out my TripAdvisor profile to see some of the things I’ve reviewed as well!