There’s a performance element to this First Saturday. You duck under the electrical workers along the river and to Chie Nakagawa’s store in-kyo. Amid her earthy-and-elegant selection of ceramics, husband and wife team the Yamazakis dish up samples of their new season’s rice, grown without chemicals in their paddies in Ibaragi. Try some, says Mrs Yamazaki in her crisp whites. Her husband in his suspenders passes you a miniature o-musubi rice ball. Warm, moist, a little al dente, salty, naturally sweet, you could eat a bowl as a meal.
At loft-space Kawauso, photographer and chef Yasufumi Manda combines his interests in fish and food. Today only: mackerel spaghetti. Manda recently finished shooting the whole of Italy in food, one province at a time. On the wall is an unusual exhibition by his share-mate Shoji Onuma of glassware. Semi-abstract monochrome, it reminds you a little of Man Ray. She shows you the accompanying booklet made of translucent waxed paper, see-through, like the glass.
Up the street at Newold Stock you learn the fifth floor of the building is being gutted to make another multi-purpose creative space. That’s good news. Climb the stairs for a look. Bright room overlooking the Sumida. It’s got a nice example of a boat-hull ceiling. A group of craftspeople will exhibit here during the three days of Monomachi, starting October 17.
Pause for a coffee outside at Nui, as a little local colour drifts past. Thus inflated, virtually puffing along, you keep walking, west along Kasuga Dori toward Designer’s Village and that cute accessories and gift shop Carmine, then past a streetside shrine to the goddess of mercy (popular with kids)…until you end up near a park before turning for home. And that’s your Saturday afternoon! It’s been inspirational. You wonder if something has gone missing from the Louvre.