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R A U X E THE JAPAN JOURNAL


A / LETTER In  the  Australian  spring  we  ticked  our  long  awaited   dream  of  travelling  to  Japan.  Here  are  some  curated   snaps  of  both  detail  and  splendor  that  continually   remind  me  of  the  awesome  experience.   It  was  overall  eclectic,  with  traditional  and  ancient   elements  colliding  with  the  modern  urban.  It  did  have   fantastic  people,  food  and  English  signage.     Love,   Esther  


CONTENTS

TOKYO 07 FUJI 27 KYOTO 33


TO KYO


HIDDEN 21.9 In the quest for food – Entered out of all places

Around  10  pm  we  arrive  at  Ebisu,  just  one  station  from   Shibuya.  After  a  trek  we  found  our  little  apartment   situated  in  a  small  street  next  to  other  Japanese   residents.  This  was  home  now.  Dinner  was  yet  to  be   consumed  and  we  had  agreed  to  meet  up  with  some   Aussie  mates  who  have  been  ‘localised’  over  the  years.   Tall  men  with  adequate  Japanese,  we  ventured  to  a  dimly   lit  alleyway  where  it  housed  not  one  but  many  little   restaurants,  rather  a  place  of  endless  taken  seating.  An   aromatic  strip  packed  with  warm  bodies  and  little  plates   of  food  that  appear  seconds  after  ordering.  Lemon  sours   and  beef  slices  dominated  the  table,  and  with  ten  people,   we  tried  to  make  do.  I  was  mostly  mesmerised  by  the   vibe,  the  skill  and  ability  to  accommodate  people  (aka  a   small  village)  (the  ten  of  us  were  not  separated)  and  the   very  fact  that  it  was  our  first  local,  Japanese  meal.    


CO EXI STEN CE 22.9 Tokyo Imperial Palace

Time  builds  something  beautiful.  For  those  in  the  past   do  not  disappear  as  time  progresses,  rather  they  age  in   the  presence  of  the  new.  Time  is  respected  over  here   in  Tokyo  as  the  old  is  preserved  well.  The  city  urbanises   and  develops  around  the  imperial  palace  as  well  as  its   remaining  terrain.  I  love  this  coexistence.  I’m  reminded   of  a  scene  in  Inception  where  Cobbs  and  his  wife  walk   in  limbo,  a  constructed  dream  with  architecture  across   the  decades  –  eclectic  and  surreal.       Despite  its  outmoded  facades  they  are  brought  to  life   by  a  people  who  identify  with  the  authors.  à  


GREENERY


Ueno Park  


S   H I N J U K U 23.9 Shinjuku Gyoen

Situated  in  the  city,  this  massive  plot  of   greenery  includes  several  gardens   including  an  English,  French  and  its     very  own  Japanese.  The  manicured    trees,  still  waters  and  overgrown     greenery  offer  a  comfort  you’d  easily     be  drawn  in.  The  park  closes  at  5  pm,     just  in  time  to  see  the  sun  set  onto  the     plains  and  painting  them  golden.  It  is   one  contemplative  walk!  


EBISU DINNER 23.9 In the neighbourhood


We  found  this  hidden  jewel  by  serendipity     near  by  our  home.  It  was  located  in  a  quiet     alleyway  illuminated  by  restaurants  that  each     exuded  a  dim,  cosy  atmosphere.       I  believe  this  was  the  most  traditional  meal   we  had  on  our  trip  –  individual  dining  rooms,   gravel  and  slate  path,  traditionally  dressed   staff,  a  foot  massage  log  at  the  bottom  of  the     table.  What  pointed  out  to  be  the  most  odd     is  the  Chinese-­‐speaking  chef  who  kindly     conversed  with  us  when  we  couldn’t  fathom     the  all-­‐Japanese  menu.  While  we  may  have     opted  the  100  yen  sushi  vendor  in  town,     traditional  dining  in  this  fine  place  is  an     invaluable  experience.  


The  night  is  happening  and   street  food  is  accessible   absolutely  everywhere.     Dinner  is  sorted  by  walking   around  the  block,  picking  as  you   go,  and  surprising  your  friends   with  a  bizarre  food  that  you   might  have  to  trace  back  to  get   one  for  them  too.     Harajuku  is  the  spot  for  Cosplay   and  people  dressed  decadently,   so  be  sure  not  to  miss  out  on   them.    

Harajuku


Yakidori + Sake

Fast food sushi by a personal service – 1.20 Aussie per plate!


CI TI ZEN 23.9


FUJI


SOLI TUDE 24.9 Mount Fuji Homebody

Away  from  the  noise  and  concrete  jungle   of  Tokyo,  Fuji  takes  upon  a  seclusive   feeling,  being  enveloped  by  mountains  and   mysterious  mist.  The  rural  environment   strips  Japan  of  its  contemporary  era  and  its   quietness  reveals  to  be  quiet  authentic.   Our  residence  for  the  night  was  a  wood   cabin  was  located  on  top  of  the  hill  that   required  a  steep,  10-­‐minute  hike  with   baggage.    

The  home  shouted  warmth  with  serious   floor  to  ceiling  wood  beams  and  fixtures.   It  had  a  perfect  sight  of  Mount  Fuji  (or   what  it  is  supposed  to  be)  as  the  climate   had  made  the  mountain  too  mysterious   and  unidentifiable.  Other  than  that,  with   the  tune  of  mellow  jazz  and  the  sweet   surrounds  of  wet  foliage  and  mystery,  Fuji   posed  a  contemplative  setting  for  getting   away.  Solitude  is  bliss.  


KYOTO


Shinkansen  

Maruyama  Park  

Gion  District  


AN TI Q UI TY 26.9 Moments


KI YO MI ZUD ERA


Gion District

Located  in  the  Higashiyama  District,  Ninen-­‐ zaka  and  Sannen-­‐zaka  are  neighbouring   streets  to  Kiyomizudera.  Along  these   preserved  paths  are  shops  selling   souvenirs,  pickles  and  ready  to  wear   kimonos.  Also  keep  your  eyes  out  for   Geishas.  Our  modern  clothes  and   technology  is  an  odd  juxtaposition  to  the   traditional  environment.    


G I   N K A K U J I


K I N K A K U JI


I MPERI AL PALACE


ARASH I YAMA


CI TI ZEN


URBAN / RURAL


The Japan Journal