Curvy, spacy community centre, Onishi, Japan

The architecture of the spacey Onishi community centre seems to mimic the winding river of the valley that cradles the small town. It was a delight to find this large and modern complex in the centre of the small and friendly town about two hours north of Tokyo. Can you imagine hosting an event or exhibition here, or filming some scenes, or performing music or theater?Many large and small rooms are now seeking programming proposals. … >> read more

Selection of Japanese snacks.

First meal in Japan, featuring grilled chicken cartilage skewers

Selection of Japanese snacks.
Japanese tapas, grilled skewers, and Cobb salad, a “very famous American salad” for our first meal in Japan, eaten on the bullet train from Tokyo to Sendai.

For our first meal in Japan we picked up a selection of snacks in the bewildering selection of food stalls under the Tokyo train station just before getting on the bullet train to Sendai. A tic-tac-toe tray of tapas, a Cobb salad (the only fresh vegetable type thing in site), and a selection of grilled meat skewers. Breading and mayonaise were well present, as well as seafood. Also cured meats.

Click through for the grilled chicken cartilage skewer closeup (not recommended for vegetarians.) This is the first installment of our Noteworthy Japan Snacks series.

>> read moreFirst meal in Japan, featuring grilled chicken cartilage skewers

Taxis parked outside the train station.

Planes, trains, and automobiles: 24 hours of travel to Japan

Screens on the backs of seats in a dark airplane cabin.
Air Canada Flight 1, Toronto to Tokyo direct. They did a good job simulating an overnight flight. This is what it looked like for most of the 13 hours.

We left home at 11:30 am on Monday, 19 August 2013, about a half hour later than ideal. We rolled our bags to the Christie metro station, a short 10 minute walk. From Kiplling Station we took the airport express bus to Pearson International Airport – total cost of $3 each and travel time of 40 minutes. Pretty much how long a cab would take, and about $40 cheaper. Exactly what public transit should be. The rest of the trip had much more epic proportions.

>> read morePlanes, trains, and automobiles: 24 hours of travel to Japan

A little Onagawa girl holds a puppet she made in Marc's workshop.

Onagawa children assemble Yuuki Flower textile sculpture, Japan

Children living at the temporary housing complex in Okinawa, Japan, assemble the Yuuki Flower sculpture from its components for display in the community market and exhibition space. Daisuke Takeya (blond hair) and Chie Kajiwara (white t-shirt), the curators of the Field Trip Project, assist. It feels fantastic to see so much enthusiasm and interaction with our sculpture. It’s exactly the kind of experience that the art was designed to hopefully generate.