echigo anew (2)

the enigma of arrival

What incredible pains the fancier of traditional architecture must take when he sets out to build a house in pure Japanese style, striving somehow to make electric wires, gas pipes, and water lines harmonize with the austerity of Japanese rooms. . . . For the solitary eccentric it is another matter, he can ignore the blessings of scientific civilization and retreat to some forsaken corner of the countryside.

—Junichiro Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows / In’ei Raisan, trans. by Thomas J. Harper and Edward G. Seidensticker.


Well, at this time of the year it’s a bit difficult to experience the place as a meditating “solitary eccentric”, for the visitors are way too numerous and the reservations of overnight accommodation are sold out until the end of October. Still, it’s a pleasure to visit what has become one of the highlights of the Echigo-Tsumari.

A house incorporating James Turrell’s…

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