Since some time ago, I’ve been conscious about watching things “live.”

I feel that there’s value in watching things in their original state.

Things in everyday life such as theater, music, comedic shows, buildings, scenery…

I’ve always liked traveling. The reasons why I travel are things like “a city’s ambiance,” “buildings,” and “nature.”

Every year, I find the time to go to places that I’ve never been to before.

I’ve started being conscious of watching things “live” because of a conversation that I had with Mr. Miyata (our company president) when I decided to visit Switzerland.

Up until then, I’ve been going to places like Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, and London. My destinations were usually cities, and even when I decided to go to Switzerland, I planned to go to Zurich and Basel.

Of course when I go to cities for travel, I breathe in the air, soak in the ambiance, walk around, go into shops that I discover along the way – all these provide some sort of stimulation. But when I told Mr. Miyata that I’m thinking of going to Switzerland, he said, “If you’re going, don’t take pictures with your digital camera – sketch what you see instead.”

Up until then, I’ve only sketched to pass the time during my down time in planes and trains. I don’t think I’ve ever been that conscious of observing and then sketching.

Because of what Mr. Miyata said, I decided to try and mainly sketch my way through the trip. I also decided not to only visit cities, but to go on long-distance train trips and see mountains that are characteristic of Switzerland with its beautiful nature as well.

The scenery that I saw from the train was splendid, and the landscape didn’t change so quickly and restlessly. I was able to observe and sketch leisurely.

My final destination was a town called Zermatt in southern Switzerland. It’s known for the Matterhorn, so to preserve the clean air, only diesel cars are driven in the area. The nearest town is very far so it’s quite inconvenient, but people live there because of the Matterhorn. The residents sort their garbage thoroughly – I was interested in the way people adjusted their lifestyle to the mountain, so I decided to stay longer than I’ve planned.

But when I was there it was quite cloudy, so the Matterhorn did not reveal itself. But I was able to sketch the mountain by asking the locals when the sky usually clears, and by climbing another mountain where the Matterhorn was clearly visible.

I think that the good thing about sketching is that whatever you’re sketching is firmly implanted in your memory. Your hands memorize the mountain’s ridge lines, and you really “observe.” Since then, sketching has become indispensable in my travels.

Also, I think that when you’re watching “live,” you won’t be able to retain too much information so that you try to narrow down the things that you pick up.

I’ve noticed that when I jot down notes in a notebook, the things that I’m intrigued by reveal themselves; and I’ve also noticed that I get entangled in the feelings that I had at the time when I re-read the scraps of paper that I picked up or the scribbles that I’ve drawn.

I think that I’ve become more conscious of bringing a notebook along, not just in my travels, but when I walk around, so that I can firmly retain things in my memory.



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