Friday, 28 June 2013

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Kamakura Museum of Modern Art

Today saw two rare things happen first the weather was actually nice on my day off and second and more miraculously I did something with it. Usually I over plan for fear of getting lost, my lack of language and my need to be organised. But for once I was fairly confident and ready to go forth. And today was really good I went to Kamakura, the old capital of Japan and home of the Samurai. Loads of Shrines, heritage sites and natural scenery but today I was off to its main gallery; The Museum of Modern Art Kamakura.

It’s a nice walk from the station down its main shopping street. I bought way too much paper, paper goods and postcards. When I stop think how much I spent on paper it’s shocking but completely worth it. It was nice to see some of shops and places I visited with Kazuki 3 years ago when I first came to Japan on holiday. It’s terrible that I live so close but now don’t explore much locally, something I shall rectify over the summer. There is so much to see and do! I took the Enoden there even though it’s longer and more expensive but it’s the scenic route going along the coast and down narrow little streets.

The gallery is right next to Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū Shrine the biggest and most famous in Kamakura but I hardly glanced at it. Besides today was really busy and there was loads of tourists and school groups were out in force. The exhibition Matsuda Shohei A Centennial  Retrospective was okay. But really I just interested in seeing the space, it’s small but quite nice I liked and would come back again if it was exhibiting something of personal interest.  However, it’s the first gallery I’ve visited where I didn’t even bother with the gift shop. The work was not inspiring enough to buy the obligatory art postcard and I had already spent too much money en route. The sculpture court overlooks a large pond and is very picturesque and relaxing.

I ended my visit by spending time in the café out on the balcony writing out my vintage postcards with an iced coffee. I don’t know if the gallery will get busier over the summer. As an Art Management graduate I of course think that an effort should be made to attract the tourists who will inevitably visit the shrine. But today it was really quiet in the gallery. I was out on the balcony alone and it seemed as if I was miles away for the busy grounds of the Shrine which was literally a minute away. If it doesn’t then it’s a great little escape from a busy tourist spot if you are happy to pay the 900¥ entrance fee. But hey you get to take in a little more culture at the same time. All in all it was a lovely leisurely day off. Post on my paper purchases to follow! 

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Picture Postcard

This good thing about rainy season is that I can stay home listen to Radio 4 drink tea and write some letters. I'm an old soul really and one who enjoys her own company. But a few weeks ago I found a great antique shop. Such a great unexpected find. I decided to brave the wet and pick up so much vintage postcards of which they have drawers full!
I have been writing a lot recently as in putting pen to paper rather than finger to keyboard (but I prefer it that way). I've been making direct swaps via instagram, some for postcrossing, some friends and family back home. Yeah I bought a lot!

I do like letters are you can pour your heart out and catch up properly with friends on paper. Recounting thoughts and events  in great detail and allowing the recipient can look at any time. But postcards are nice snapshot of the day or a place, or a typical ‘wish you here’ but ‘I am thinking of you’ moment. You can map your comings and goings with a few words and a picture. Much nicer than a post on Facebook wall or a check in.

And I’m glad I started postcrossing again. The  postcards I’ve received since coming to Japan now adorn my walls and make me realise I have so many places I still want to explore. I’m starting to  get a thing for stamps too. Will definitely have to buy some nice ones upon this comes before that to post these postcards off.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

A New Start

“In the dim background of our mind, we know what we ought to be doing but somehow we cannot start.” -William James

Okay so I tried using WordPress but it looks like Blogspot is the place to be. I wrote few posts on WordPress and I didn't really like. Let's hope I have better luck here.