I have a deep love and appreciation for Japan. In a span of 6 months I had the opportunity to visit twice, and quite honestly I call it my second home. My child hood was watching anime, obsessing over Japanese food and wanting to be consumed by the onsen life. My work desk is covered in Smiski’s, Studio Ghibli art books and bottles of Japanese whiskey. These illustrations are some of the drawings I got up to during my recent trip.
Despite 7/11 and Family Marts having more of an array of options, the novelty of vending machines is my go-to for drinks. It was my personal mission to try as many coffee drinks from them, even if I’m not thirsty. My favorite would be the Boss Cafe Late, it’s both delicious and refreshing.
My friend Ming suggested a place called Pigment in Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo. It has “over 4200 colors of pigments, more than 200 antique ink sticks and 50 kinds of animal glues”, wow. I fell in love with color all over again and the stunning interior by Kengo Kuma is an absolute dream. We had the opportunity to paint there as well with their handmade watercolors. Funny enough only hoped to spend only 20 mins there, and we were there for 2 hours.
Did I think I would love whiskey before Japan? Heck no! I thought whiskey was too strong and honestly, quite disgusting. Both of my friends Ming and Ben convinced me to try, and guess what I fell in love! The whiskey bars in Japan are small and intimate, you get to know the bartender and really try out different types of whiskies which aren’t available back home. Next time I want to go to the distilleries and buy more!