Monday, August 24, 2009

The Amazing Shibuya-san

Shibuya-san from Cafe Good Life is truly an AMAZING individual. Toby first met him over 10 years ago when he still had his cafe in Higashikawa, only a few kilometers down the road from Maiko & Toby's house project. He has since moved to Sakuraoka which is about 10 minutes NW from Higashikawa on the way to Tohma where Maiko & Toby have been living for over a year now.
When Toby first met him, he didn't know much about Shibuya-san except that he did a lot of the original "Cafe Good Life" buildings himself and he also learned that he handmade canoes in his earlier days and was also an avid telemark skier.

Now, Shibuya-san doesn't do much telemark skiing, but he is still very much using his skills with woodworking and basically any other type of hand making of stuff around the new cafe/house location. Just tonight, Maiko, Stefan-san and Toby went to Cafe Good Life to talk about the cement mixer that Shibuya-san said we could borrow for the earth plaster workshops. While there, we heard more first hand (although Shibuya-san would often talk about himself in the third person) how he did the entire cafe himself and how no scaffolding was used, how he put the huge windows in himself, how he plastered the high places around the cafe and etc. For someone that was around 60 years old when this was all happening, it's truly amazing what he has done. I asked him if he had any injuries and he explained that he didn't have one and that he put all his energy and focus into doing the job that he never even thought about the possibility of getting injured. A very interesting philosophy and Shibuya-san agreed that, "Shibuya-san was very tough" (yes, he said it in the third person and it made me laugh).

And although we had yet another great meal and conversation at Shibuya's cafe, the icing on the cake (they have nice desserts there, too) was Shibuya telling us that he had a mortar mixer and two pulley systems that we could use, too. In other words, he is loaning out some really detrimental materials for our workshop. So, yes, Shibuya-san is very many different ways which include helping our project BIG time with many behind the scene things. Not to mention all the inspiration we attained while visiting his cafe many times over the past few years.....

Cafe Good Life is in Sakuraoka-cho and you can find his place by clicking on the "map" option from his website:


Norman Delaney said...

Hi Toby
Thanks for the link to Cafe Good Life!
The Amazing Shibuya San is putting it mildly.
I just finished reading every page of his website, and I was totally blown away.
Not only is the building itself amazing, but the fact that he has so many artistic events throughout the year, has me thinking that Ikuko and I will become regular customers, in the very near future.
We will be going out to visit the Good Life Cafe for the first time, this Sunday afternoon, August 30.
I only wish that I had known about this place before.
Norman D.

b.m.t. said...

enjoy!! it's a fun/beautiful place that we like to escape to about once/month. we'll probably see you at some of the events, too, when things slow down (after the house build). tell shibuya-san and machiko-san where you found out about them. they'll probably get a kick out of that! and i hope you enjoy shibuya-san talking in the 3rd person as much as we do!!

Norman Delaney said...

Will Do!