It’s not usually a big deal to check out a new cafe, since there are so many everywhere, but this one is special, because it’s owned by Takashi Murakami!
After my SECOND trip to the Sailor Moon cafe, I headed over to Nakano to meet up with Mark, Andre and Jav. This was while our friend Jav was visiting from London, so taking him to Nakano was a bit of a ‘must’. He’s not into manga or anime, and he’s certainly not an Otaku by any means, but this is one of those ‘Japanese things’ that people should definitely see while they’re here, even if they’re not huge manga/anime fans.
And actually, I wanted to go back and walk around, so it was a good excuse, taking our friend there. Of course, Andre was down to come with us, so it was a good time.
The last time we were at Nakano Broadway, we saw the cafe, looked in quickly, and then continued on. I really, REALLY wanted to go in and sit around, since it IS a cafe that is owned by ‘the man’ himself, but we had other things we needed to do, so we had to put it off. Again, taking our friend to see the place was a GREAT reason to go!
It’s nice to be able to get SO CLOSE to art you love, and it’s great when it’s just casually hanging around, adorning the walls of a cafe where you can get a drink, hang out and generally just waste a little time. How nice. I wish it could be at my *actual* home, rather than at a cafe, but we’re not even technically allowed to hang things on our walls at home, so I’ll save that for later. Maybe.
There were plenty of flavors to choose from. I went with a black honey, red bean and dumpling affair, and Jav played it safe with some Kiwi-flavored shaved ice. Mark and Andre got some drinks, and we got to hang around talking about random stuff. It was great.
It was also really, really hard to not buy everything I could get my hands on. I had to rationalize it by reminding myself that I already have a cell-phone dangle, and I don’t actually need the postcards or pillow that I wanted to buy right off the shelves. I have a feeling that they’ll be there to tempt me the next time I go back anyway, so I can always just try to think about it, or not, then.
One of the other things that Murakami is up to lately is supporting artists. He’s apparently got a lot of space bought out in Nakano Broadway, since we passed a few closed spaces that had Zingaro on the address labels near the doors.
Not that he doesn’t support them generally, since that’s basically what KaiKai Kiki is all about. But this is another layer of all that.
At the time (and I think still, for another week or so), he was hosting Japanese Artist Katsuya Terada at Nakano. There was a space for him to hang and do his work , and we thought that was amazing. This guy is a great artist and makes really interesting, detailed images. And there he was, just working on some art at Nakano. Cool. Japan.
So we got to see much, much more of Terada’s work. It was even for sale, which was awesome. It’s too bad we weren’t buying. I’d actually already bought an awesome poster of another artist’s work just about an hour before. But it was still awesome to, again, get so close to this guy’s work, and even have the option to buy a gallery book.
So we got to hang out at a cafe owned by Murakami, eat shaved ice, look at some excellent art, and try very hard NOT to buy our favorite anime or cartoon character figurines. Just another day at Nakano Broadway, I guess?