Once in a while, everyone should take a vacation and travel. And so I did, together with my best friend Shirley. Our destination – Tokyo, Japan.

I’m certainly no travel blogger, but I wanted to share my art journal sketches here.

All my sketching was done post-trip. The days were so full with things to see and do that there was never any time during our 8-day stay to sit down long enough for me to pull out my drawing and painting equipment. And though I thought about sketching at the apartment each evening, by the time we got home, I was just too tired to do anything more than eat and clean myself up for bedtime.

August 18, our first day, was pretty much a blur for me. I don’t have an art journal entry for this day, but here is what happened in words:

August 18 Day 1

Upon our arrival at Narita airport, there was the first encounter with the super-sophisticated Japanese toilet, the money exchange, train ticket purchases, and a friendly-to-the-point-of-being-a-little-bit-creepy police officer who assisted us at the airport then asked for our passports and scribbled our names in his tiny booklet – we don’t know for what reason. On the train ride from Narita Airport to Tokyo, we had a moment to regroup, ate a belated lunch of sandwiches, transferred trains a couple of times and finally made it to Nerima, where we went in search of our AirBnB apartment. On top of being tired, we were now also pretty much lost and unable to make sense of the directions we’d been given. But a friendly Japanese lady seeing us in our lost state, graciously offered to walk with us partway into Nerima until we could get our bearings. With heavy luggage in tow and bag straps digging into our shoulders, we managed the rest of the trek to the apartment by ourselves, arriving at our digs incredibly weary and in rain-dampened clothes at around 3p.m. All we could manage, was a brief inspection of the apartment – clean but definitely much smaller than the pictures would have lead you to believe – and then we crawled into bed and slept.

Recharged after a much needed 3-hour sleep, we awoke around 6p.m. It was growing dark outside, so we decided to head out to find ourselves food for dinner and to do an initial supply run for groceries for our week-long stay. Naturally, we managed to get lost again before discovering a nearby grocery store, bought what we needed, got back to the apartment, prepared ourselves some chow, ate and then prepared to go to bed so we could rest up for our Mt. Fuji tour scheduled for the next day.

August 19 Day 2

On Friday, we headed out of the apartment at 7a.m. to make it to our meet-up with our tour guide at the Love sculpture in Shinjuku.

Art Journal entry for Day 2. Fuji-San (as we would have liked to have seen her) and the flowers around Lake Kawaguchi. Also, Mike the Tour Guide.

August 20 Day 3

Art Journal entry for Day 3. The Stumble-Upon Tour. Shirley looks a bit deathly pale in this sketch, haha, I should really work on skintones more.

August 21 Day 4

Art Journal Entry for Day 4. The bike tour with Hiro our guide was super FUN! And we had our first sighting of Godzilla in Chiyoda, Tokyo.

August 22 Day 5

Art Journal Entry for Day 5. Headlines and weather forecasts for Japan read as follows: “3 tropical storms Lionrock, Kompasu and Mindulle threaten Japan.” But we weren’t gonna miss a day of exploring! After all, what’s another 3 tropical storms to 2 girls from the Philippines?

August 23 Day 6

Art Journaly Entry for Day 6. Bright and sunny Wednesday!

August 24 Day 7

Art Journal Entry for Day 7. An Omikuji poem on the left by Empress Shoken. On the right, Gundam! I should draw more mechs because I really enjoyed doing this one.

August 25 Day 8

Art Journal Entry for Day 8. Still finishing this last page. Kind of sad that it had to end, but happy when we got back home.

On the Narita Express Train to the Airport. Tokyo was awesome! We will definitely come back someday.

Eight days wasn’t nearly enough to experience all that Tokyo had to offer. I feel like we barely scratched the surface, in fact. But we did ok considering that Tokyo is rather expensive and both of us were on a tight budget. We brought home lots of wonderful memories. Hope to be able to visit you again someday, Tokyo!


A post shared by Marose Magpily (@marose.art) on