Paz Castro

"Cycling is freedom, fun and fitness all in one! You can go and stop wherever you want, and no matter where you go, you always step off the bike feeling better."

Paz Castro is a creative consultant and content creator based in Tokyo. 

Q. Tell us a bit about what you do and what inspires your work?

While in East London, I had my own jewellery line that I used to create in my home studio. At the same time, I started exploring photography and content creation, having my dog Lloyd as my main muse, and I really enjoyed it.

After Covid, I realised I wanted to be more connected to people, be out and about working and exploring new places and gaining new experiences. At the same time, the chance to move to Japan came up, and I thought it was the perfect time to pursue new opportunities.

I feel being in Japan has brought me a new pair of eyes. There is so much to absorb from this beautiful culture, and every corner and every moment is an inspiration not just professionally but also for personal growth. Having Latin American roots and previously living in Madrid, Glasgow and London, I feel extremely privileged to have the opportunity to connect with many cultures - where you can learn and pick from the wonders of each place, interconnecting them all.

In Tokyo, I’ve been doing photography for some European brands, creating content and connecting with other creatives eager to absorb and enjoy the wonders of Eastern and Western culture. All these different projects and connections have led me to my latest work with the artist Kathleen Reilly, where I’ve been directing a special video for her newly launching design Oku and generally consulting on this exciting launch and her upcoming exhibition in London.

Q. Where's home and what are the places and spaces that make you happy?

At the moment, Tokyo is home. I live in a very lively and creative area between Daikanyama and Nakameguro, which is pretty central yet surprisingly quiet. It's a real paradox because 15 minutes away, we have Shibuya and its famous "Scramble Square" crossing, carrying up to 3,000 people at any given time. Cycling around allows me to swap from one atmosphere to another in a heartbeat, depending on how I feel or need… But honestly, I love staying close to our house.

Walking and riding along Nakameguro River makes me very happy, saying hi to local boutiques and coffee owners and friends that adore Lloyd, like Lamie and Phigvel or grabbing a drink at Lloyd’s favourite spot, Mandarine Brothers. I also love walking through the new building designed by Kengo Kuma, ForestGate. The architecture is beautiful, and I enjoy looking at how the building embraces and blends greenery and natural timber, so Japanese!  Last but not least, strolls in Yoyogi Park make me and Lloyd happy and seeing Lloyd play in the dog run too - life-changing as I don’t have to deal with picnic thievery anymore!

Q. What does cycling mean for you and where do you like to ride?

Cycling is freedom, fun and fitness all in one! You can go and stop wherever you want, and no matter where you go, you always step off the bike feeling better. To me, cycling also adapts depending on where you are. When I lived in Glasgow, cycling was very relaxing and connected me with nature, taking me to wonderful places along lochs and beaches. In London, cycling was more like a tool to move fast from place to place within the busy city. Here in Tokyo, cycling has been an ideal alternative to public transport for me and Lloyd, enabling us to be more spontaneous with our routes, discovering the city, and getting away from crowds without restrictions, as here in Tokyo, dogs need to be caged to go on public transport.

Our most popular ride is to Yoyogi Park, passing through Tomigaya, where we usually grab a drink or tamago sando (a very delicious egg sandwich!) at Camelback.

We also enjoy cycling through Meguro River Greenway, which is very soothing all year round but particularly special during Sakura season. Aquatic plants grow on the banks of the babbling brooks, creating a waterside environment that coexists harmoniously with the modern and traditional Japanese houses that line the riverway. In addition to trees, many flowers are planted on the greenway, integrating natural elements with the urban landscape. Again, another wonderful example of how Japan puts such care into detail and celebrates nature and what they have at every turn. 
Cycling through Shibuya crossing also gives me some sort of empowering feeling, lol don’t ask me why, it just does…!

Paz and Lloyd @allaboutlloyd_

Image Credit: 
Kilakila Parnell @kilaparnell and Edvinas Bruzas @edvinabruzas