Koenji Yanaka Green Space

Tranquil and minimalist, this is a park for quiet contemplation and absorbing a sense of space within the claustrophobic press of Tokyo’s narrow suburban streets. The water fountain refreshes on hot summer days, while the sparse traffic navigating the corner intersection on which the park sits provides no more than a serene distraction. At the centre sits a lonely tree, which comes to represent something more than nature: it becomes the life-tree Yggdrasil, guiding the spirit of the watcher, seated on one of the three corner viewing stations, through the multilayered realities of the City and towards the perhaps unattainable destination of the true (sub)urban self. To help the meditating shaman on their psychic journey, the nearby Komachi liquor store sells a variety of wines, shochu, nihonshu and other beverages (including red, blue and white varieties of Chimay beer).

Ian (F) Martin (Call and Response Records)

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