20 January 2017

Tokyo Stroll Report #2 // Ryogoku, I'm back at you

December 24th, 2016

And I did make a comeback three weeks after my first visit. To me, decided to come back in the same month, to a place that takes more than an hour to travel one way from my place, meaning: (1) I'm in a desperate need of buying something local that's only sold there. (2) My crush lives there and I need to do some stalking business. (3) The area had me at hello and my affair with it hasn't finished yet.

Since (1) and (2) are not relevant in this case, then it's obviously (3). I do have a deep affair with Ryogoku and I can't let it unfinished.

Yet another sumo related stuffs 

Ah, speaking about Sumo... just an updated sad story about the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament that I was dying to watch this month. Yea folks, I couldn't make it. The ticket was sold out, and this is not to be surprised at all, since the ticket sale for the January tournament was started way back on December 3rd, 2016. 

Also, I was too late to apply for the free ticket from uni. There were only 5 tickets, 8 applied for it. And I was the 8th person to apply, so there you have it... I was quite upset for a whole day before eventually trying to accept the fact. Now I'm setting a more elaborate planning so that I won't miss the next summer tournament. 

Well, well, I guess it's enough for the Sumo related stuffs. Now, I'm about to take you on my second stroll in this lovely old town. My main destination for this stroll is the newly opened,


Designed by The Pritzker Prize winning lady architect, Kazuyo Sejima :)
The exterior of the museum.

This museum has just begun to open on November 22nd last year. So this is a brand new museum in town. The museum is dedicated to Japan's renowned ukiyo-e wood block painter, Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), who spent most of his life in Sumida City. Therefore, the museum is named Sumida Hokusai Museum.

He's best known for his delicate works in the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series, where he depicted Mt. Fuji from different locations and throughout various seasons.

Oh wait, before I go a little bit more about Hokusai and this museum, I have something to show you. 

Are you feeling familiar with the emoji above? If you are a heavy emoji user, then I bet you are! Haha. Yep,the emoji is called the "water wave emoji"! The one that I put on here, is the iOS 10.2 version. It would appear differently on the other platforms tho. If you're curious to see how it appears on the other platforms, you can check it via emojipedia.org :D

"So, why am I bringing the "water wave emoji" here? "

Some of you might have already understood what I'm trying to say here. But perhaps, some just haven't got it yet. Here's a fun fact, this emoji is inspired by one of Katsushika Hokusai's most notable ukiyo-e masterpiece, entitled "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" (published circa 1830-1833)! How cool is that? Please just say 'wow' cheerfully so that it feels like I just wrote something meaningful.

Yet sadly, I didn't take a picture of this masterpiece to show you how it looks like originally. *how comeee, Shab?* Sorry, but you can google if you feel interested. So actually there was a video, showing the ukiyo-e painting process for "The Great Wave off Kanagawa", just next to the painting, and I was so absorbed to it, and I forgot that I had a camera in my hand to take picture. 

But here, I got a snap of a Bearbrick, painted in "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" print. Showing how Hokusai's work still affects and can blend really well in the modern days artwork. 

"Fujisan Bearbrick" inspired by Hokusai 

After visiting the museum and seeing the real ukiyo-e version of the masterpiece, my mind started to roll back a memory that I have with "The Great Wave off Kanagawa".

Below is me, in a super sunny day in 2014,

yes! in front of "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" inspired mural :D

the mural isn't a part of Sumida Hokusai Museum. This pic wasn't even taken in Tokyo, anyway.

So, it's just a throwback picture when I was still in Jogja, Indonesia. I believed I was suuuper stoked when I randomly found this huge "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" inspired mural when I was passing the neighborhood by chance. The wall on which this mural was painted, was supposed to be a part of a quite hype restaurant called Zango. I don't know if the mural and the restaurant still exist until today. But it was very surprising to me, to find this one in Jogja. On top of it, in a size of mural! But there are something important missing in this mural: the boats! :( uh. There should be three fishermen boats in it.

That's all about the throwback picture. After all, now I feel 'complete' that I eventually got to see the real ukiyo-e masterpiece in the museum. "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" ukiyo-e showcased in the museum was recreated by a modern ukiyo-e artisan though. Hence, it wasn't the one originally painted by Hokusai. But still, I'm so happy! Moreover, now I know the process of how a beautiful and delicate ukiyo-e is made. Anyway, the size of the original one painted by Hokusai is 25 cm x 37 cm. Not more than a size of A3 paper.

The 'it' corner

There were two kinds of exhibitions that day. The permanent one and the special one. I only visited the permanent one. The tickets costed 400 Yen for general, and 300 Yen for students and the elders.

The museum itself is a pretty compact one, consisting of four storeys inside the angular structure. The permanent exhibition room is consisting of seven parts within one room. There are also touch screen panels that allow visitors to freely dig up information related to the works displayed. Other than that, there are also several units of interactive panels that visitor can enjoy, in the form of game. For these game panels, I noticed that the instructions were all still in Japanese. Hopefully they would update them into the multi-language ones so that everyone can enjoy :) 

Well, I didn't take many pictures inside the museum, even though it was allowed. I'm thinking about going back here again for the special exhibition some time in the near future ;)

Done with the Sumida Hokusai Museum visit, I proceed the stroll by freely walking in the hood. But here are some snaps that I got along the way to the museum, and I feel like showing them here ;p

My kind of eyegasm. Every color in this pic is my best friend. 

Spotting some Doraemons dressing up as Santas on the Chrismas Eve ;D So cute!!

Still amazed by the crystal clear blue sky! Feelin' grateful :)

My love for grocery shopping is eternal. And so is to snapping some random groceries pictures.

A cute baby enjoying a day out with papa!

I'm super happy and content with all my findings along the way. But still, they're not enough, yet. I think this place still got a bundle of hidden gems that I can't let them unexposed. 

On the way back to the station, I finally found these murals that I've been looking for this whole time! I've been eyeing these murals through some random instagram posts and I was finally here by chance. What a stroll! ;)

Nostalgic feeling

JR Ryogoku Station

Never a dull day whenever I'm at Ryogoku. Every corner there is just so impressive in a very humble and subtle way. Old town stroll never goes wrong, right? 

I guess it's enough for this post.
I would definitely come back with more stories from the Tokyo Stroll Report series!
Meanwhile, may we all have a striking weekend and don't forget to stroll around! ;)



P.s.: Tokyo has been super overcast since the morning! Feeling so lazy, haha. How's the weather in your neighborhood? :)

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