This time a new watercolour painting done in plein-air in the Edo-Tokyo Open-air Architectural Museum near Musashi-Koganei in Tokyo. The weather was perfect this morning so I went with my watercolours and pencils to do some work outside. I chose the museum because of places to sit and of course it’s very nice buildings and atmosphere. (Buildings in this museum inspired Hayao Miyazaki when he was drawing Spirited Away)
The building on this sketch is a Kōban - a police station from 1927 (if I remembered the date right).
This sketch took me two hours to complete. When I finished, the sun was already setting and it was getting chilly so I walked around and did some quick drawings only with the pen.
It was a nice day in perfect autumn weather. I had to wear a hat because the sun was so blinding.
Miyazaki based some of the buildings in the spirit world on the buildings seen in Spirited Away in the real-life Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum in Koganei, Tokyo, Japan. He often visited the museum for inspiration while working on the film. Miyazaki had always been interested in the Pseudo-Western style buildings from the Meiji period that were available there. The museum made Miyazaki feel nostalgic, “especially when I stand here alone in the evening, near closing time, and the sun is setting – tears well up in my eyes.” Another major inspiration was the Notoyaryokan, a traditional Japanese inn located in Yamagata Prefecture, famous for its exquisite architecture and ornamental features. The old gold town of Jiufen in Taiwan also served as an inspirational model for Miyazaki’s film. The Dōgo Onsen is also often said to be a key inspiration for the Spirited Away onsen/bathhouse.