Visiting friends and family always means you’ll have to bring a small gift from the country that you’re now living in. What is Taiwan famous for? If you live there then I’d say bubble tea, inexpensive snacks, night markets, and for me: convenience stores. Somehow a special sweet dreams to represent Taiwan better than anything else: pineapple cake. Most of the time it’s dry, filled with sweetened bits of pineapple. Rarely seen anywhere else than big department stores or airports they’re not really part of daily life and apart from being a popular souvenir they don’t seam to be relevant to Taiwanese in any way. Getting a bit off topic here. So we bought pineapple cake, baby clothes, Taiwanese sausage amongst other small snacks for our Japanese friends. In return we’re probably going to bring lots of Matcha sweets (at least for ourselves, simply in love with Matcha Kit Kat).
What can you almost always find where a lot of foreigners work? An international supermarket with imported goods from all over the world. Of course we fell into the same trap, bought German honey and two coffees. Of we go onto the Tokyo metro once more.
After the visa trouble we’re going to meet one of Narumi’s business contacts in Roppongi. It’s a very cool area, I’ve just been there last month and posted some pictures here. I’m looking forward to a good meal; Roppongi houses some of the best restaurants, for example the one that has been made famous through Kill Bill. Apart from the food I’m also interested in a book store/gallery that I read about on japancamerahunter: IMA concept store. It exclusively sells photo books, sometimes even signed editions and displays local artists. I’m not sure if I’m going to buy anything, the visa just cost me another 120$, but it’s definitely worth a look and they offer coffee and comfortable seats too.
Turns out that japanesecamerahunter made it sound a lot better then it is. The gallery takes up most of the space; one big room with five to six different artists on display. Some of the concepts were really nice and stuck with me, maybe I’m going to imitate them myself and post the results in a couple of weeks. The books were mostly in Japanese, sometimes with an English translation. The quality of the prints varied with each book, some of them were part of a limited edition. Anyone interested in buying book 143 of 500 with a tiny signature by the author? Yeah, I thought so. Next time in Tokyo I’ll try to find the other bookstores mentioned in the post and hopefully I’ll be able to see the hidden treasures they wrote about for myself. Main disappointment: no coffee, no seats. If your invite people to a gallery and if you want them to get interested into your photographs, either as book or large print, offer some place to rest and take in the beauty of the art! At least the business meeting went very well and my passport is ready to be picked up at 4:30 pm.