Unique Japanese office space after artists take over

Japanese offices generally aren’t the most inspiring of places, with conservatism and practicality the overriding themes. Work is what’s to be done there, so that’s their sole, and thus soulless, role. No startup-like table tennis tables or soft seating — just desks, chairs and drab surroundings.

However, when such spaces are emptied due to a building’s planned demolition, and a bunch of young artists are let loose inside, things can be really quite different.

Japanese office after artists were let in

So much so in fact that it’s almost impossible to imagine the more than likely banal, day-to-day drudgery that once went on there.

Japanese office after artists were let in

Instead there is now brightness.

Japanese office after artists were let in

Colour.

Japanese office after artists were let in

Imagination.

Japanese office after artists were let in

Japanese office after artists were let in

Plus a real feeling of space.

Japanese office after artists were let in

And perhaps more than anything, a genuine sense of escape.

Japanese office after artists were let in

Tokyo’s oldest and weariest shop owner?

The sight of people way past retirement age still working isn’t an uncommon one in Japan. In fact it isn’t even unusual on the pages of Tokyo Times. There’s a shoemaker still plying his trade in a wonderfully archaic workshop. A long since ex-French chef still cooking up a storm. Plus another septuagenarian bar owner in no way ready to put her feet up just yet. But as old as those people are, they act nothing like their years, energetically going about their business in the manner of someone much, much younger.

This woman, however, is a different story altogether. Admittedly she may not be the oldest. Your guess is as good as mine on that one. But it would be difficult to find a shop owner looking any more world-weary.

Tokyo’s oldest shop owner