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Friday, January 20, 2006

Drunk in Gifu

Omikuji at Inaba shrine, Gifu

Went up to Gifu at the weekend to see my artist friend Yoshiki Nakahara, who I met on a bus going up to Tokyo. I haven't been able to write about Sunday's events until now as I'm still recovering from the hangover. It was part of his farewell celebrations as he leaves for his Copenhagen home this week.

We started the day at an excellent restaurant located in an old sake brewery, just a few hundred yards from Inaba Shrine, where we went to take in the fresh air and watch the snow melting in a hurry from the shrine roofs.

Inaba Shrine, Gifu

We then paid a visit to Jyoguji Temple, where the abbot is also a painter and an aficionado of top of the range tube amplifiers and Leica cameras. He had had made some incredible wooden cases for his speakers – I think I counted about ten as we lounged in Recaro seats, listened to jazz from the amazing sound system and took in the garden view from the windows. Er…very Zen except the temple is Jodoshinshu.

Then it was a trudge through some never-ending tunnel back to Yoshiki's studio and a start on a bottle of Glenfiddich, followed up by a bottle of red wine brought by one of his former Junior High School mates, who he had met for the first time in 30 years.

The trip back to Nagoya was something of a blur of taxi rides, trains, subway rides and more taxis.

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