This time last year I was counting down the days until I could finish uni, pack up and take the 23-hour journey to Narita Airport, Tokyo.
Naturally, as soon as the sun came out this year, and the humidity levels began to rise, Martin and I found it impossible not to think about last summer's humid expedition to a late-spring Tokyo. Just walking to town in the sunshine, carrying my Kanken backpack gave me that holiday feeling and made me long for the 30-degree weather, the musical sound of the english announcements on the subway, the gum-free pavement and the stares of Japanese teenagers.
sidenote - I'm scribbling away at this post into a notebook that sports a 'great wave of Kanagawa' ukiyo-e inspired cover. appropriate.
Visiting Japan has always been a bucket list item for me, and for Martin, and it completely lived up to all my expectations. We whinge every couple of months about not being there, so when I was brainstorming places to do an illustrated 'guide-to', it was easy to settle on Tokyo, if only to ease some of the wanderlust and re-live it a little.
My idea was to create something that was useful, but beautiful, in my own style. I aimed to make the inside segments the most useful part - a guide to my Tokyo that I had cherry picked to incude what I had found to be the most beautiful and fascinating things about Japan. I included phrases, foods to try and other little special things that weren't just places because my experience was so much more than just the buildings - it was stopping into a Sukiya at 12am to slurp up fried beef between businessmen and students, and learning to bob a little bow and a 'arigato gozaimas' at the cashier at Seven Eleven. And, most importantly, it was digging my teeth into the perplexingly (but delightfully) chewy exterior of a Mister Donut donut.
I imagined the front, map-side to be the more decorative element - something special to hang on your wall and make you think of Tokyo. As you might imagine, it's not wildly accurate, but that's not the point.
It was so nice to just look through all my blog posts, photos, instagrams and memories of Japan and pour them into this piece. I am so proud of it.
This was a project for uni, but I'd love to put it up in the shop if there was much interest. Let me know what you think.
You can see more pictures over in my portfolio.