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I usually judge my “amazement” temperature by the number of photos I’m inspired to take.  A trip to Japan usually means hundreds and hundreds of snapshots.  Thank God for digital.

 The wonders of this remarkable city began appearing soon after we left our hotel.  In looking over my stash of photos from the day, I thought it might be best to do a chronological rerun of our day in Tokyo, beginning at the reasonable hour of 10:30 AM when the National Art Center opened its doors.  No pictures taken of my 4:30 AM awakening.

A Day in the Life of a Tokyo Visitor

10:45 Yayoi  Kusama retrospective, My Eternal Soul, at the National ArtCenter.  Just a short walk from our hotel to arrive at this display of fabulousness in this large architectural gallery displaying the investment in the arts that Japan understands as essential!  Weather: sunny but windy.  Spirits:  high.

The approach to the building features trees whose trunks are wrapped for the show, setting the mood perfectly.

The amount of Kusama’s artwork on display is almost overwhelming, but indicative of her prodigious, tortuous, riotous output. This first room is a veritable free for all,  photos allowed!

11:30, lunchtime in the building.  Was it too early to eat?  We quickly decide, no.  Good move because we sailed into the restaurant, perched high on a concrete cone in the building, congratulating ourselves on the smart move.

1PM.  Getting a haircut in a salon recommended by a blog I found online.  English speaking stylist trims me up.  I’m fascinated by his apron that held the tools of his trade and grateful to have a slick haircut.  I look like I’m about to join a church choir.

2:30.  searching out a few new galleries in Roppongi.  Liked the glasswork done by a Japanese woman working in Murano.

5:30.  Head to the seductive bright lights of Ginza for a stroll before dinner.  Mitsukoshi department(depato) store is always worth a visit even if time is short. I happily greet bonsais and fluffy pink handkerchiefs, and the ubiquitous welcome cat, all dolled up with really no place to go!

6:45 Time to head for dinner.  Danny gets walking directions.

6:50  Pass by Nissan car dealership.  Behold the concept car of the future.

7-9.  When in Tokyo. Sushi at a restaurant we like to visit.   Seamon. if you want to check it out.

By the time we finish our multi course dinner and three carafes of sake, the day is  complete.

Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.


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