March 2013

We’ve come upon two works we’ve particularly dug lately on the theme of traveling through landscapes that are an amalgamation of urban and natural. One stars Tilda Swinton as herself, biking through Berlin and its environs, exploring the longer-term effects of the Berlin wall on the urban and natural landscape of the metropolitan area. The other is an essay by writer Marcel Theroux that recounts his four-day walk from Mount Takao to the center of Tokyo. The essay is wonderfully descriptive of how the landscape evolves as Theroux walks from a more natural, mountainous environment, to an in-between, neither-here-nor-there landscape, to, finally, one of the most urban landscapes on the planet, central Tokyo. As a bonus, neither gets bogged down in the tired, recurring theme of lifestyle profiles and using their medium as a vehicle for talking about what their favorite brand of soba noodles, or fig spread, or high-end cookware is.

Tokyo as seen from Mount Takao. Photograph: Alamy

You can read his essay here.

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