Journal de bord

Nicolas C. Solerieu, Designer

Yanaka

I spent 7 days in Tokyo earlier this year. I loved the food, the people, the city, everything. Wandering the streets of this gigantic concrete jungle was impressive for the country side french person that I am. For some reason I wanted to go there for 25th birthday. With my little camera, my loneliness and nothing else.

I walked around 6 days without really knowing what I was doing, taking pictures and eating too much rice. I took the subway from the Tokyo station in the heart of the city and went in every direction on the main lines. My idea was come back walking, everyday. So I walked, a lot. Tokyo is massive, never sleep and don’t really care if you are lost at 2AM. But I was obsessed with those little alley, back streets, book shop and other tiny cute ramen place. This feeling of being a stranger in a place that I don’t know felt amazing. If you go deep enough, curiosity replaces discomfort.

I woke up early on my last day and went around Ueno park, a famous landmark of Tokyo. I did what every tourist did: visited the park and took a bunch of pictures. It was nice but not great, the weather was bad and there was too many tourists so I decided to walk back to my hotel since it was still early in the day. I totally messed up on the direction, went north and got lost in Yanaka.

You can read everything about this place but I truly found something there. I seated on a bench for a few hours, like Forrest Gump contemplating life.

Find your Yanaka, sit on that bench and let life hit you in the face.