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

A 100 years old rice shop, converted into a retreat space for creative individuals.

Creatives coming to Tokyo searching for inspiration and ideas might find the city and the language challenging. We wanted to open a place where creatives from around the world come get inspired and make, but 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、Almost Perfect。
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。

 

OUR VIDEO

Made by Ryan Gasparini while his 2 week residency with us. Music by Starboy (Anton Mendo).

 

The Building

Almost Perfect Tokyo building illustration by Luis Mendo

An old rice shop and family house

A house from 1924 nicely renovated in 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 of 2018. The walls have been reinforced and painted, we created a new wall to show art in 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・ギャラリー用の壁を新設し、2018年10月1日にAlmost Perfectはクリエイティブレジデンスおよびギャラリーとしてオープンしました。


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. Creatives staying in the house show their work here but we rent the space to local and international artists for exhibits as well. We have a piano and what we call The Permanent Collection, an ever changing mix of prints and originals for sale.

In the gallery we regularly organize events and workshops. Please check our Facebook page, our Instagram feed or at the very bottom of this page to see what’s going on today.

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FACEBOOKInstagram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 TATAMI ROOM

We have two guest rooms:
The Tatami Room is located in the 2nd floor. It has been completely renovated, it has a tatami floor and a comfortable Muji double sized bed. The beautiful window/balcony faces a street where you can see Tokyo life and the seasons pass by.

Almost Perfectには滞在用の部屋が2つあります。
新しい畳とダブルベッドでリノベーションした2階のTATAMI ROOMには、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。
応募の際は2階TATAMI ROOMまたは3階TERRACE ROOMの希望を記載して下さい。(日程によりご希望に添えない可能性もありますのでご了承ください)

and STUDIO

The Studio is small but cosy. It can hold 2 people at a time. You can make use of the scanner, Wacom tablet (22 inch Cintiq) and printer. We have a small library of books we love and inspired us, of course you can let them inspire you too. If you need more natural light, as a resident we welcome you to use the Gallery to work.

作業用スタジオは2名まで使用可能。スキャナー、ワコム(22インチ Cintiq)、プリンター等は無料で貸出しています。大きなスペース、自然光を希望する場合は1階のギャラリーでも作業が可能です。


3F TERRACE ROOM

Located on the 3rd floor, The Terrace Room is a cosy, more modern room. Inside there’s a block with your own Japanese washlet toilet and sink. Also it has direct access to the terrace. The terrace has a beautiful view of the Tokyo surroundings and all it has a outdoor shower you can use, weather permitting (up to you!). Some guests used the terrace for a plain-air painting and as a yoga room. The room has the same comfy Muji double bed as in the Tatami Room. In the room you will also have your own A/C which is necessary, in the summer it gets hot in the room.

3階のTERRACE ROOMはモダンな作りです。部屋内にプライベートのトイレと洗面台があり、テラスに繋がっています。東京の街を見渡せるテラスには屋外シャワーも付いています(春〜夏のみ)。テラスは制作をしたり、ヨガをするスペースとしても使用可能です。ダブルベッド設置、エアコン付き。


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 

We are located in the Asakusabashi - Kuramae area, which has been called the Brooklyn of Tokyo. Situated with 10 different train stations in a 13 min walk radius, you have many lines to choose from: Asakusa line, several JR lines (including the Yamanote), Oedo line, Ginza line, Asakusa line, Hibiya line… connecting directly to Shibuya, Omotesando, Shinjuku etc.
Narita airport is a 57 minutes direct train from Ueno Station.

Our ku (city ward) 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 from SF, 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. Also there are several nice old sentos where you can enjoy traditional Japanese bath, a laundry, supermarket and good bars for drinking and dining in the area. 

Please ask for recommendations, we have tons of bookmarks and we will give you a copy of our neighbourhood map.

Here’s the building on 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。周辺のおすすめスポットをまとめたマップも作成しましたので、イベントの際などに是非入手して下さい。

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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, light and decorate. By mending, painting, repurposing and taking a good care of old things we can save them from ending in the landfills. 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 one table is made from old wood that our friend found in an old kimono shop.

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.

Source ethically We also buy organic, fair trade and anything that have ethically conscious backgrounds. We try to 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.

Also, we operate on 100% Renewable Energy from April 2019.

 

Co-FounderのYukaはサステナブルファッションブランドINHEELSの元代表でもあり、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。

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。例えば紙袋は他店のものを再利用し、テーブルは閉店した呉服屋さんで見つけた掛板をアップサイクルしたりしています。

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。

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。

再生可能エネルギー
2019年4月より、Almost Perfect施設内電源は再生可能エネルギーを100%使用しています。

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 try 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 endeavour. 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 are 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 to 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.

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

Prices vary from 9,000 to 11,000 yen a day, depending on how long you stay. They include the stay in the guest room (minimum of 14 nights), office use and a 4 to 6 day exhibition. We will introduce you to our network and help you with any questions/needs as far as we can. Shared kitchen, toilet and shower are on the 1st floor. If you stay on the TERRACE ROOM, you have your own toilet and outdoor shower.
Of course WIFI in the house, amenities and linen are provided. Please fill in the APPLICATION and we will get back to you with an estimate.

Please note that we can only book any dates for you on full payment and we do not accept deposits (partial payment) to save the dates.

 😢  I love the idea, but I 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 official organisms in different countries to make it easier for artists with limited resources.

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

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

📅 I am applying for a grant, can you block the dates until I receive the funding?

Please understand we can’t lock your dates until we receive payments in full. Keeping everyone’s dates until they get grants would put an enormous pressure on our calendar and be unfair for others.

 

🗼 Will you show me the city

We are sorry we cannot 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. 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?

If 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 🐱.

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 choose to come here.
Give us any links to portfolio websites, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, Dribble, etc that can help the curators get an idea of your work.
Apologies but we cannot guarantee your preferred room will be available on your travel dates.
DATES
Please check availability under this form 👇 (or next to this if you are visiting on your desktop device).
Preferred ARRIVAL date *
Preferred ARRIVAL date
Preferred DEPARTURE date *
Preferred DEPARTURE date
Please note the minimum stay is 14 nights.

Residence Availability

Here is an overview of the availability of both rooms, check and find the empty days that could suit your schedule

Availability TATAMI ROOM


Availability TERRACE ROOM

Terrace Room is located on the 3F Tatami Room is located on the 2F

Terrace Room is located on the 3F
Tatami Room is located on the 2F

Contact

We are here

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

〒111-0056
東京都 台東区 小島2-3-2

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

Post

You can ask us anything by emailing us.

Instagram

You can follow our adventures here.