Today I went to Nagoya again. (Again?) Yes, again. There was a Jackson Pollock 100th birthday commemorative exhibition going on at the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, so you’re darn right I was going. It was a collection of a lot of his major pieces, even pieces from Iran, which I would never be able to see in the US. So of course I was going.
Jackson Pollock is one of my favorite artists. There’s no way I wasn’t going.
I stopped at the post office on the way out of town, only to have my ATM card declined. Twice. Apparently I hit the limit when I was in Toyohashi, and it’s not US midnight yet. Doh.
I still had plenty of money, but I’m always paranoid about not having enough cash on me here. In a pinch, I can usually use a credit card, but there’s always a chance that my card will be randomly declined. Either it’s security or just incompatible networks, it’s embarrassing and annoying. I wish there was a way to tell them, “Hey, it’s me! Let it go through!” Sadly, not yet.
Also, a lot of stores here will only take cash, so that’s also something to keep in mind.
It’s Not All Paint Splatters!
I got to JR Nagoya around 1, then made my way to Sakae, where the exhibition was.
On the way, a gratuitous shot of Oasis21 with my IXY, which I keep in my pocket now pretty much all the time.
The museum was close by. They had an amazing number of Pollock’s paintings. As I said before, some came from places the US doesn’t have good relations with (like Iran), so I got to see things up close and personal that I probably would never be able to see in the US.
I also got to see a lot of Pollock’s early period work, and his really late work, both of which were surprisingly different from what I’m most familiar with, but were both impressive in different ways.
They even had a mock-up of his studio that you could walk around in, and a photo of his paint-splattered floor you could walk on. It was pretty cool.
They also had paint cans and brushes and other tools he used to create his paintings with.
After a couple of hours of geeking out, I headed to the gift shop and bought some post cards and a clear file. The clear file is awesome. It’s clear, but has a band from one of his paintings on it. Way cool.
Walkin’ In The Sky
I headed back to JR Nagoya, and decided that it was time to check out the Midland Square building, which is pretty darn cool. I had been meaning to go there for a while, but with all of the rain, it was impossible. Why? Because the observation deck is all outside! It’s 47 stories up, and the observation deck is 5 stories high, and all outdoors. According to their website, it’s the tallest outdoor observation deck in Japan.
Well, it’s also cold, because it’s mid-December.
But I was willing to tough it out. I got some really nice shots, and even shot a little video of the walk around the periphery.
So here are some of the nicer shots of the Nagoya Skyline from my little Canon IXY:
The spiky sculpture in front of JR Nagoya, from 47 stories up. Scarier than it looks!
You can see people boarding a Shinkansen!
Nagoya Castle in the lower left corner:
I really like this angle and this shot in general:
The light in general was strong as the sun was setting, so there was a lot of dramatic lighting:
I felt the call of nature, and headed to the restroom there. That is one fancy and technologically advanced restroom. It’s almost as cool as the one at Oasis in Akihabara. Almost. But pretty close. There’s a hand dryer built into the sink, so as soon as you’re done washing, you can dry your hands without getting other peoples’ restroom cooties on your hands. And unlike a lot of air dryers in the US, it only stops when your hands are dry.
Of course I took a picture. It was cool!
I went back out and took some more photos. I only had my IXY with me, and just as I was getting into it, the battery started to die.
I got a few more shots of Nagoya Castle, with more dramatic light as the sun was getting on with setting at a much quicker pace than I expected:
I managed to squeeze out a couple more photos, and then it quit completely.
This shot is one of my favorites:
And after the Christmas tree photo here, the camera called it quits for a while:
Well, I did manage to get this shot of JR Nagoya:
Not bad for a “cheap” little point-and-shoot camera, huh? It’s really not about the gear, it’s where you point it!
Satisfied with my trip to Midland Square, I decided to go look for some office supplies to take back home. I found Shimojima (ã‚·ãƒ¢ã‚¸ãƒž) using Google Maps, and hopped on the Sakura-dori subway line to Marunouchi. I got off there, and started walking. It’s a few blocks away.
Shimojima is 4-5 stories full of office supplies. They had stuff I didn’t even know I needed. So I stocked up!
I bought stuff like A3-sized clear folders, which are 20-page binders with 20 clear plastic pages. I can stick my good calligraphy pieces in there and keep them protected. I learned this from S-buchou.
I also stocked up on Frixion refills. Yeah, they erase in high heat, but for just jotting stuff down, they’re pretty neat pens. And the US version doesn’t take refills.
I also got some erasers, and a couple of cardboard tubes for putting paper, posters, and calendars in for safe transport. (Going back to Tokyo is going to be difficult!)
Then I headed to Sakae and Maruzen, and picked up some calendars. They make great gifts for the folks back home. They’re one-page calendars with traditional Japanese-style prints on them, printed on good quality paper. (And they’re only 1000 yen a piece. Not bad!) It’s a suitably Japanese-enough present, but not tacky. And after a year, they can toss them or whatever.
It’s almost as good as food.
I stopped off at a drug store in the Sakae Underground shopping mall to get some pain relief patches for my increasingly sore muscles. All of this moving around and carrying stuff is making me sore.
Then I headed to Hisayaodori to get some more books.
Then a trip to JR Nagoya, to go to the Tokyo Hands there, to get some Nanoblock puzzles for my neighbor’s kids.
After that, I needed dinner. Badly.
I’ve been at Mokumoku a lot, because it’s a good restaurant, but I needed to try something else. So I went Breizh Cafe Creperie. Crepes are BIG in Japan, but they’re not necessarily cheap. I got a salad, a bacon and tomato crepe, a chocolate crepe (as big as my head), and a ginger ale for 4,000 yen.
But they were some really fine crepes.
I finished up around 9:30 or so, then grabbed a train to Okazaki. I got home around 10:30 or so.
It was a very successful day!