Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Centrair (Central Japan International Airport)

Two sketches as we kill some time at Centrair, an hour away from Nagoya. Within the long-span airport structure is a series of restaurants and shops that take on an old Japanese street-like character; the contrast is rather entertaining. Incidentally, there is an onsen in this airport.

Monday, September 19, 2011

at Konan Station

A little temple altar building amid the rather haphazard urban fabric in front of Konan Station on the Meitetsu Line, a half hour outside of Nagoya...while waiting for our ride.

riding the subway in Nagoya

Some quick doodles as I ride the Higashiyama and Meijo lines on the Nagoya subway system... 

Among other things, I am impressed by the amount of information (click on a station...) the Nagoya Transportation Bureau shows about their system.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Suburban Nagoya: Meito Ward

I`ve gotten into the habit of taking a walk early in the morning to explore the area around the apartment and take my daughter to different playgrounds.

This sketch is from one such park, with the typical residential fabric on both sides of a curving street. The area that includes Meito Ward, located on the eastern fringe of Nagoya, developed primarily as a suburban town around the 1960s, and it really shows.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rokkoyo coffee shop

I`ve found at least 4 different cafes within a 5 minute walk from the apartment, each a one-of-a-kind place offering an intimate space within a somewhat haphazard and dense urban environment.

This sketch is from a little coffee shop I went to with my daughter, called Rokkoyo (六古窯), and has a cozy and restrained "Mingei"-ish interior with built-in shelving that displays some wonderfully hand-crafted earthenware coffee and tea cups that are for sale. The "Wiener Kaffee" I ordered came in a wide handle-less Japanese tea cup somewhat like those used in traditional tea ceremonies, (with two tiny slices of Chiffon cake), making the act of drinking an altogether new and memorable experience and ritual. 

... the rather nondescript residential neighbourhood that comprises the context....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

overgrown vines

A view from my aunt`s place, across the narrow street towards a house overgrown with vines that covers a good portion of the front end of the house...

The last time I visited this neighbourhood was decades ago, when most of the properties were single detached houses. Today, the area is a mishmash of older houses and newer apartments and offices due to a relaxation in density and allowed floor area. My aunt now has a 5 storey wall of the adjacent apartment building only 6 feet away from her living room.

Monday, September 5, 2011

after the storm

The sky is a pattern of beautiful purple and orange the evening after the typhoon has passed through Honshu, in this view from the apartment in the residential outskirts west of Nagoya. Far off in the distance is Nagoya Peace Park (Heiwa-Kouen) and Higashiyama Park... I vaguely remember visiting the zoo there as a three-year old, and I will take my daughter there today.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Fortunately, the in flight entertainment system was engaging enough for my daughter on the 10 hour flight...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

in transit

Narita Airport from the Rest House
For the first time, a flight I was scheduled to take had been cancelled... this one due to Typhoon 12, which has brought record rainfall all over Japan. Rather than take a chance with the next day`s flight, I decided to stay over a night at a familiar hotel and take the train for the first time...
Inside the Narita Express