Japonica Painting Party

This is Sunday’s done right. Wake up late, cappuccino in bed, read the papers and slowly tear myself away from my super soft sheets that always seem that much softer and comfier on a Sunday morning. This Sunday I was slightly more excited about getting on my garb and heading out the door. Firstly, it was sunny. Secondly, we’d been invited to a painting party. A painting party? That’s what I thought.



The party was at one of my favourite bars in Kyoto, Japonica. It’s a bit hipster, I won’t lie. But good hipster. Full with a young, cool crowd drinking craft beer and Campari sodas (yum) whilst a DJ plays. They’d set up wall space covered in huge blank canvases and there was a group there called ATTACK THA MOON – abstract painters from Kyoto. They were incredible and so much fun! Dancing, painting, conversing with the crowd, it was a great event and really got me in the summer mood. After all, what says summer more than an afternoon of drinking with friends while the sun shines and some guys paint the wall of a bar?!

Before Japonica, Alex and I decided to hunt down somewhere for a spot of lunch. I’d read about a place called Café Indépendants on the Kyoto Wallpaper city guide app (worth the £3.99 if you’ll be spending a few days in Kyoto) and rather coincidentally it’s just a few minutes walk from Japonica. It’s in the basement of a big, old, bright yellow building that appears to just be filled with quaint little cafés on every floor. If you can make out the writing on the picture below it gives a brief history of the building, designed by Goichi Takeda and built in 1928. It really is a beautiful building and definitely worth checking out even if you don’t fancy a bite to eat in one of the cafés it houses, although I’m not sure anyone could resist the pretty little pastries and cakes on display inside.

The place was very cool. Minimal and industrial, exposed brickwork and cement, glass lampshades filled with tiny plants hung over tables and counters and there was a great bar tucked away in the corner of the room.

Set lunches are a big thing in Japan and pretty much everywhere will serve them at a fraction of the cost of dinner menus. Depending where you go you’ll usually get a main, soup, salad and a drink all for around ¥1000 (£5). I had the chicken tikka sandwich set, you don’t often get curry in Japan and I recall not having had it since we moved, so I tucked in and it was delicious!

After Japonica we walked home. It was a balmy night and we walked down the river as we usually do to get home. It was the first night of the Gion Matsuri (festival) which is one of the most important and well-celebrated traditional festivals in Japan. There was music playing and the streets were far busier than normal. The atmosphere was incredible. Then I realised it was 6 months to the day that we moved to Japan. What a perfect way to spend it.

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