Day 14 | Karuizawa - Tokio

vieuw at the printtable

Quiet in the house. At 8am I wake up with the ‘urge to print’. You know, the ink is ready on the printing table, the paper is prepared and waiting for you… nothing stands in the way of printing.

But first, a fresh cup of coffee and a piece of bread on the terrace. Vladimir, still in his nightgown, quickly finishes his plates. Aya comes over to say goodbye to us. We embrace each other warmly. It is very special to get such warm embrace, knowing that she is Japanese. It almost makes me emotional. Vladimir misses his hug. First, he didn’t see us do it. For another, he is rather sparingly dressed and a little embarrassed about it.

Soetkin drinking coffee on the terrace

The futons are spread out in the sun. The linen goes into the washer. The sun is out and shining. Lovely day for a cycle ride or a walk. I had a moment’s thought about it yesterday, but my work is calling me.

Soetkin printing
prints on the table

My husband calls me when I have already done a bit of work. It’s still Saturday night for him, a little after two. He is off to the airport to pick up our eldest son. It is nice to hear him. I spoke to the boys yesterday. I’m still happy to be here, but it’s also good to know that the end is getting closer.

Both of us are a little bit tired. Sleeping here is not like sleeping at home and there is so much to see and do that there is little time for rest. I am sure that I will be carrying all of this around with me for a long time to come. It is an intense experience.

I do a lot of printing, almost all of my piles of paper. No great works of art, but there are some interesting ones in there. It’s fun playing with colours, textures, compositions. Little by little I’m getting better at it. But this is just a start. I made four plates with a simple design that can be turned and combined with each other. So there are some possibilities. My kind of thing. I bought quite a lot of paper and I took a lot of paint out of Terry’s box with ink. But I used almost everything. Good, anyway!

Vladimir in the sun, laughing
vieuw vulcano
suitcase on the scale

A soup, a salad and an onegiri in the sun. One more wave to our friend, the volcano.

Weighing our suitcases. State of the suitcase matters: 24.4kg for me. 25 kg for Vladimir. My rucksack weighs almost 5 kg, Vladimir’s 10 kg. He wins. A few more items of clothing are donated by him. I donate the American power socket that I’ve been carrying around with me the whole trip.

I print, Vladimir cuts. Terry drops in now and then. Café latte and a macha-delichoc in between.

We do the dishes, clear the printing table, clean the rooms. We take our fresh prints and plates with us. I donate one of my prints to the studio. Vladimir promises to send a finished print later. We give Terry a print of our Mermaid-print. Vladimir also gives a homemade crown and shrine for printmakers. All of this is gratefully accepted. We had a good time here.

entrance of the mokuhangaschool

A few more photos in front of the door of the school and then hop, off we go! On our way to Tokyo.

Terry accompanies us to the station. First we make an obligatory stop at Gina’s. We enjoy our ice-cream and the three of us sit lined up on the terrace watching the passers-by.

two people eating an ice-cream

At the station, V. reserves the last two “reservable” seats. They are gone by the time he can pay for them. So, unreserved will have to do. Terry gives us the tip to go to the first carriage to board. We are the first in line at carriage 1 just over half an hour before departure.

vieuw train

We find a place to sit down and 45 minutes later we arrive in Tokyo. Such a difference. From peace and quiet to hustle and bustle. Fascinating.

suitcases in front of the airbnb at night

It takes us 15 minutes to drag our suitcases to the Airbnb. It’s a spacious flat. There are two beds, but not two bedrooms as they told us. Vladimir moves his bed into the dining room in no time. He leaves’the Latoflex’ (=it’s just a few loose boards on the floor) in the bedframe on the floor.

A short walk around the neighbourhood, some groceries and then an early night in bed.

Tomorrow, more Tokyo!

buildings seen from down the street
some carboard stuff on the street
buidling with pictures of the hosts and hostesses on it