As promised here's my favourite photos from Japan, it was everything I had hoped for and more, really exciting and inspiring. The ten days flew by in a whirlwind as I was really busy with my solo exhibition (I hand painted three of the gallery windows as part of the exhibit - see my cheesy grin below!). I also had ten meetings with prospective clients in Tokyo, some with an interpreter and some without, meeting with public art agencies, advertising companies and retail clients.
We were incredibly lucky as our trip was timed exactly right to see the "Hanami" the stunning cherry blossom displays across the city. They are a very important celebratory part of the Japanese calender, as their climate is so much warmer than ours the display only lasts for around ten days, and so there are lots of parties and picnics under the trees.
I found the lettering incredibly inspiring and would love to learn more about sumi (brush painting) and calligraphy.
On our second day the lovely Naoko from Sony Japan (who I had created an album cover for in 2011) took us out to explore Tokyo. I last met with her in London, so it was great to see her in her home town, she took us to lots of great places - particularly the amazing food hall where we bought LOTS of sushi and snacks!
A highlight was going on the bullet train to Kyoto to stay in a ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn) over night. We wore traditional robes, slept on tatami mats, and ate the most incredible meal in a tiny restaurant there, each plate of food arranged on beautiful hand made ceramic, my favourite course was decorated with cherry blossom flowers.
Another highlight was visiting the beautiful permanent mural by Nathalie Lete, in Usagi pour toi (H.P.FRANCE) Harajuk, Tokyo (see the film below to watch her painting it.)
I found so much beauty and tranquility, even right in the centre of Tokyo there were beautiful parks and temples everywhere.
By our last day there was a thick carpet of cherry blossom on the floor, the petals were raining down upon our heads and becoming sparse on the trees above. The only thing I was sad to have missed was visiting Mt Fuji, but we had the most incredible view of it from the plane on the way home, I couldn't believe our luck and it was the most amazing way to say goodbye to Japan x