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A Day in the Mori Digital Art Museum

The Mori Building Digital Art Museum was easily the most-anticipated museum opening of 2018 in Tokyo. We have literally been hearing about it for months and taunted with breathtaking promotional videos and the glowing testimony (and endless Instagram photos) of those lucky few who got to preview the 10,000-square-meter facility in Odaiba, one of Tokyo's man-made floating islands.

The Digital Art Museum is the brainchild of teamLab Borderless, and the massive complex is powered by 520 computers and 470 projectors, and when I try to imagine the sheer amount of coding, not to mention artistic planning, that must have gone and will go into these installations it boggles my mind.

Tickets have to be bought in advance and, unsurprisingly, sell out quickly. But I managed to get in during the first month's "early bird" special.  Before I get to the meat of this post--some hopefully drool-worthy photos--here are some essential things I learned:


Absolutely buy your tickets in ad…
Recent posts

Nikko Round 2 and an AFS Reunion

Every time I look over at my desktop calendar at work, I have to do a little double-take: what do you mean it's already July? And yet the mind-melting midday temperatures and humidity consistently remind me that, yes, it is in fact the height of summer in Japan. That means it's time to take daily frigid showers and do whatever it takes to not miss garbage disposal day or risk your apartment smelling like a decomposing trash heap.

I know, that's the image everyone definitely wanted when they opened to this post. So I'll move on (but, in case anyone is interested, you can put food scraps and stuff you don't want to smell into your freezer until you're ready to throw it out!)

Moving on for real this time.

A few weekends ago, I got a shot at redeeming the fun yet somewhat haphazard Golden Week Nikko adventure.

Having learned from the previous trip, we bought train tickets in advance and confirmed exactly where and when transfers would occur and this time the trip …

Book Review: David Peace's 'Tokyo Year Zero'

Talking about purges. Talking about trials. Talking about all our trials: to work, to eat. Talking about food. Talking about food. Talking about food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food -
In whispers. In screams. In whispers. In screams -
If you’ve never been defeated, never lost -
If you’ve never been beaten before -
Then you don’t know the pain -
The pain of surrender -
Of occupation …
In whispers, in screams, this is how the Losers talk -
Their chests constricted and their fists balled -
Their knees bleeding and backs broken -
By the fall …
This is how the Losers talk -
To whisper, to scream -
‘We are the survivors. We are the lucky ones.’


“Tokyo Year Zero” is a sensationalized telling of the investigation surrounding real-life serial killer Yoshio Kodaira, who is believed to have raped and killed 10 women between 1945 and 1946. Detective Minami, of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, is one of the men assigned to solve the murder of several unidentified female bodies,…

ABCs of Tokyo: Art, Blossoms and Condensation

I've come full circle to my life in Tokyo: when I moved here last June the ajisai (hydrangeas) were already blooming, and here they are again...reminding me that Japanese rainy season is about to metaphorically punch us in the kidneys with endless rain and humidity. At least they look pretty. 
Hakusan Shrine is known in Tokyo for having lovely hydrangeas. It's even one of the stops for the Bunkyo Ward Hydrangea Festival. The official festival, timed to coincide with peak blooming, isn't for another week or so but I was wisely advised to go as early in the season as I could, in order to avoid the worst of the crowds and camera-wielding middle-aged men. 
Japan has so man varieties of hydrangea; many more than the typical pale blue spherical flowers I tend to associate the name with. Hydrangea fun fact: the pH of the soil affects the color of the flowers! So you could have two plants right next to each other with drastically different shades of pink, purple, or blue: 






There w…