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A HOUSE IN TOKYO TO LIVE,
create AND SHOW YOUR work

A 100 years old rice shop, converted into a meeting space for international creatives

Creatives coming to Tokyo searching for inspiration and ideas might find the city and the language challenging. We want to create a place where creatives from around the world come and meet, get inspired and create, and also have the chance to show their work and meet Japanese peers. This is Almost Perfect.

築100年の精米店を改装した、インターナショナルなクリエイターたちの集まる場所。
海外クリエイターを受け入れ、国内のクリエイターや地元コミュニティとつなぐ手助けをします。

 

The Building

Almost Perfect Tokyo building illustration by Luis Mendo

An old rice shop and family house

A house from 1924 nicely renovated in a Modern Japanese style, the rice store on the first floor fed the family who lived upstairs for several generations.  

Built right after the 1923 Kanto earthquake, it survived the WWII bombings. We found the house in a pretty good state. The renovation took just 2 months and we officially opened on the 1st of October, 2018. 
The walls have been reinforced and painted, we made a new wall to show art on the gallery and kept the old rice machines in place as a tribute to the owner's past hours of labour. 

1923年の関東大震災直後に建てられ第二次世界大戦中の東京大空襲を奇跡的に免れた建物では、ある家族が何世代にもわたって精米店を営んでいました。

1階に鎮座する大きな精米機はそのままに改装・補強し、ギャラリー用の壁を新設しました。


 The distribution of the three floors. フロアマップ

The distribution of the three floors. フロアマップ


1F THE GALLERY

We have a big wall for exhibitions which change regularly. Guest artists staying in the house show their work there and also we welcome local and international artists to exhibit. On the corner we have the piano and the Permanent Collection, with a changing mix of small prints and originals for sale.

In the gallery we organize regularly events and workshops. Please check our FACEBOOK PAGE to see what’s going on today. If you want to hold an event or show please let us know in our APPLY form below

滞在しているクリエイターや、国内外のアーティストの作品を展示するギャラリー。向かいの壁ではオリジナルやプリントを販売しています。ワークショップやイベントも定期的に開催しています。イベント内容と日時はFACEBOOKからご確認ください。ギャラリー使用を希望する方はこちらのAPPLY formからご連絡ください。


2F RESIDENCE and OFFICE

The Guest Room has been completely renovated, it has a brand new tatami floor and a Muji bed. The beautiful window/balcony faces a street where you can see Tokyo life and the seasons pass by.

Our office is small but can hold 3 people. One is the guest, other is founder Luis Mendo and the other is for creatives willing to rent it. At the moment we are full since Ailsa Johnson is going to be here until March. If you want to rent a desk after March 2019 please fill in the APPLY form below.

2階の畳レジデンスにはダブルベッドと台東区の活気あるストリートを見下ろせる窓スペースがあります。シェアスタジオは滞在アーティスト用とAlmost Perfectクリエイティブディレクターのルイスの机の他、1席が貸し出し用となっています。現在はAilsa Johnsonが2019年3月末まで入居していますので、それ以降入居を希望される場合はAPPLY formからご連絡ください。


 11 stations in walking distance 11駅が徒歩圏内

11 stations in walking distance
11駅が徒歩圏内

The neighbourhood 

Asakusabashi and Kuramae is being called "the Brooklyn of Tokyo". The house is conveniently situated with 10 different train stations in a 13 min walk radius, with many lines (Asakusa line, several JR lines including the Yamanote, Oedo line, Ginza line, Asakusa line, Hibiya line…). Direct connection to Shibuya, Omotesando, Shinjuku etc. Going to the Narita airport is a 57 minutes direct train from Ueno Station.

The ku (city) is Taito-ku, which originally was a makers area where many craftsmen made leather goods, buttons, tin cans… and now is declining because of the move of production to other areas and countries. There are loads of young couples moving here because is quiet but central, it has wide, safe streets, the terrain is flat and easy to walk and bike through. You probably have heard of our area before: otaku and electronics town Akihabara, the Senso-ji temple and foodie paradise Kappabashi are at walking distance and famous amongst visitors.

Many cafes, little shops and galleries are coming to the area recently, like the delicious Dandelion Chocolate, Kakimori (where they make lovely custom made sketchbooks), Inkstand for your best waterproof ink needs, Coffee Wrights for perfect espressos and the gorgeous Readin’ Writin’ bookstore. Please ask for recommendations, we have tons of bookmarks on our neighbourhood map.

Also there’s several nice old sentos where you can bath, a laundry, supermarket and good bars for drinking and dining in the area. 

Here’s a pin of the building in Google Maps.

近年「東京のブルックリン」と言われ注目を集める蔵前・浅草エリア。Almost Perfectは徒歩圏内にJR、地下鉄、都営の10もの駅がある便利な場所に位置しています。渋谷、新宿、表参道へ、また成田・羽田両空港からも直通のアクセスの良さです。

Almost Perfectが位置する東京都台東区は古くからものづくりの街として知られ、革製品、ボタンや副資材、ブリキ缶、帽子、ネクタイなどの職人が工房を構えています

。最近では静かで安全、平坦で徒歩や自転車での移動が楽な街として若いカップルや家族連れも多く移住してきています。

電気街で有名な秋葉原や浅草寺、合羽橋道具街も近く、新たなスポットではダンデライオンコーヒー、カキモリ、インクスタンド、Coffee Wrights、Readin’ Writin’ bookstoreなどがあります。また近辺にはいくつもの銭湯、コインランドリー

スーパーマーケット、居酒屋やバーなども揃っています。

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Sustainability

Our principles

Being sustainable is very close to Almost Perfect’s heart, we are not doing this just because it sounds good, we have been doing it for years before this project. Yuka's INHEELS ethical fashion brand is a good proof of it.

Upcycle/Recycle We love upcycling. We use already existing things as much as possible: in the building, to wrap, hang, lighten and decorate. By mending, painting, repurposing and taking a good care of old things we can save them from going to the landfill. It feels better than buying shiny brand new stuff made of virgin materials and it also adds charm to our place. This is why our bags are from other shops and our cups are stamped instead of printed. There's already enough stuff around us.

Source locally Our area, Asakusa/Kuramae is a jewel box of all sorts of makers. We believe that sourcing locally not only reduces transportation costs but also supports and nourish the beautiful community we are a part of. We found printers, wine and bag makers, coffee roasters, even tin artisans in our neighborhood to name a few.

Source ethically We also buy organic, fair trade and anything that have ethically conscious backgrounds. We get things directly from producers, or from people who know the producers directly rather than mass produced items where it is impossible to know who are actually making them. We believe that if you are friends with the producers, you cannot exploit them nor their lands.

 

Co FounderのYukaはサステナブルファッションブランドINHEELSの代表でもあり、サステナビリティはAlmost Perfectが大切にしていることの一つです。

ーアップサイクル・リサイクル

建物やデコレーションだけではなく、袋や紙製品などは出来る限り既にあるものを活用していきます。修理したり塗り直したり、用途を変えることでなるべくものの寿命を伸ばすことに努めることで、味があり歴史を感じる空間を作り出します。

ーローカルソーシング

Almost Perfectが建つ蔵前・浅草エリアはものづくりの街。必要なものをなるべく近所で調達することは輸送費の削減になるだけではなく、自分の属するコミュニティを活性化させることにつながります。

ーエシカルソーシング

また、エシカルなソーシングも心がけています。オーガニックやフェアトレード商品に限らず作り手やバックグラウンドにこだわりがあり、情報が公開されている商品を調達します。

 

FAQ

Your questions, answered

💃  Is this only for artists?

Definitely NOT. We welcome designers, art directors, photographers, illustrators, artists and anyone who creates, really. We do not think people outside the creative sector will enjoy much our place or our events, but you can always convince us otherwise.

 

🤔  Who is behind Almost Perfect?

We are Luis Mendo (art director, illustrator) and Yuka Martín Mendo (founder and director of ethical fashion brand INHEELS), we funded the place with our own money and are the ones who run it as an independent endavour. Also, our cat Señor is living here. We wanted to create a place that Tokyo and the international creative community deserves. Read more about our career paths in this fantastic State of Tokyo feature

 

🔍  How is the guest curation made?

We have a panel of curators who make the selection for us. They are professional artists, journalists and art directors who have a good eye and understand we need to keep a consequent line in the kind of art we show. This is why it's very important that you pitch yourself and your work well in the APPLICATION form. Tell us if you have a plan, an idea, of what you are going to work on during your stay. Give us links to your portfolio site, we want to see your Tumblr, Dribble, Instagram and whatever you have to show what you (can) do. 

 

🙅 Is this like a hotel or airbnb?

Absolutely NOT. We are not a hotel and you cannot rent the room to just sleep in there. We hope and expect creators willing to interact, learn and teach new things to our community of Tokyo creators. Tokyo is a fantastic city but it can feel as an island at times, we want Japanese and local creators be inspired by and inspire our guests. We provide the experience of spending a productive time in Tokyo. If you come for a relaxing vacation or sightseeing, Almost Perfect shouldn't be your choice. We are looking for engaging creators, not tourists.

 

🎨  Can I just have an exhibition in the gallery?

By all means YES. Please get in touch through our APPLICATION form and let us know who you are and what you would like to do.We will get back to you with more details.

 

🤝  I would like to hold an event in the gallery space, can I?

Also, by all means YES. Please get in touch through our APPLICATION form and let us know who you are and what you would like to do. We will get back to you with more details.

 

💵  What are your prices and what do I get for it?

For ARTIST RESIDENCIES
Prices vary from 9,000 to 13,000 yen a day, depending on how long you stay. They include the stay in the guest room (minimum of 7 nights) + office use + 4 to 7 day exhibition. We will introduce you to our network and help you with any questions/needs as far as we can. Also, 1 free coffee a day, WIFI and free entrance to any events we might have in the house during your time with us. Kitchen, toilet and shower are on the 1st floor and are shared with us but we are clean and neat. The kitchen, toilets and shower are new and we placed new tatami in the guest room. All guest room furniture and linen are also new. Of course, also amenities and linen are provided. Please fill in the APPLICATION and we will get back to you with an estimate.

For EXHIBITIONS and EVENTS
We offer the whole gallery space on 1F for 10,000 yen a day for exhibiting art and selling products under different conditions, depending on what you need the space for: book presentations, private dinners, small concerts, product showroom, photo shooting, pop-up store... talk to us, we are happy to discuss the possibilities. Just fill in the APPLICATION form.

 
 The founders Luis, Yuka and Señor. Photo by Alex Abian.

The founders Luis, Yuka and Señor. Photo by Alex Abian.

 😢  I love the idea, but I am an artist and just cannot afford it.

Governments of most countries have grants to support artists and programs to pay for artist residencies. Please search around, we are already in talks with different governments in Europe to make it easier. If you want to apply for such grants of your own country, we are happy to assist you with the application by writing an official letter if necessary. 

 

🖥  Can I just rent a desk at the shared studio? 

Maybe, we have a very limited amount and like to work with inspiring creatives sitting next to us. Please get in touch through our APPLICATION form and let us know who you are and what you would like to do. We will get back to you with prices and more details.

 

🗼 Will you show me the city

We are sorry we are too busy to show you the city but will be glad to give you instructions on how to move around and find your way. Also, we can do a little walk with you in the area to show you the best spots on the first day.

 

💰 I have some art/prints I would like to sell

We would love that! Luis is in charge of the curation of our stock. Please email him about it.

 

💑  Can I bring my partner to the room? 

The bed is for 2 so you can bring your partner (we ask a 20% extra fee) but we prefer if you leave your children and pets at home.

 

🐈  There's a cat in the house!?

Oh yes. We won't allow him in your room, don't worry. He will stay mainly on 3rd floor in our residential area but if you are allergic to cats maybe you won't be able to stay with us. We are terribly sorry.

 

🏢  Do you do partnerships/sponsorships with companies?

Only with good companies who share the same passions. Please email Yuka for enquiries.

 

🙊  What languages are spoken in the house?

We master Japanese, English, Dutch and Spanish, but English is the common ground we all use on daily life. Señor the cat speaks Neko-go 🐱.

OUR GUESTS & FRIENDS

We have had already these amazing people at the guest room and gallery

 Caroline

Caroline Lavergne (CA)

All the way from Canada, Caroline was our very first guest. She stayed with us for 2 months while she made a beautiful project, visiting the ateliers and workshops of artisans in our area, she got inspired by the busy spaces, filled with tools and craftsmanship.

Hugo

Hugo Tillman (UK)

Hugo stayed with us for a short period where he did research for a future exhibition. His project is very interesting, exploring incense’s qualities to carry information.

He makes films, shoots for magazines, is a great listener and interesting conversation partner.

Charles Berberian

Charles Berberian (FR)

World famous comic author, musician and all-around wonderful person Charles Berberian came from Paris and although he didn’t stay with us, his exhibition was the first we held on our wall. On the opening party he played some music for us, which made it all magical.

Contact

Here we are

2-3-2 Kojima, Taito-ku
Tokyo Japan 111-0056
+81 70 1313 33 28
Google map

東京 都台東区
小島2-3-2
〒111-0056
070 1313 33 28

When we have an exhibition, we are open everyday from 1pm to 7pm. ALL tuesdays we are closed.

Post

You can ask us anything by emailing us.

 
 

Application form

What do you want to make Almost Perfect? 

CHOOSE ONE: *
We need you to choose one of these first
Name *
Name
Give a one sentence reasoning why you chose Almost Perfect
Put any links to portfolio websites, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, Dribble, etc that can help the curators get an idea of your work
Preferred ARRIVAL date *
Preferred ARRIVAL date
Preferred DEPARTURE date *
Preferred DEPARTURE date
Please note the minimum stay is 7 nights.
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