IKIMASHO!

Show me the money…

I get my first paycheck in 68 hours and 26 minutes, not that I’m counting. However, having no money in the world’s most expensive city isn’t actually as much of a problem as you’d think. Walking about costs nothing, and with so much cool stuff to see the only real cash I’ve spent over the last few days has been on train fares across Tokyo. I managed to pack so much in this weekend. No drinking. You see, that’s the key…

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EXIT Records is one of my favourite electronica/dnb labels. Its logo is the kanji for exit in Japanese, so every time I see an exit sign over here I automatically think of the label. I’ve been relistening to the whole Autonomic Podcast series lately so it was cool to hear this kinda sound being played out on Friday night at 2.5D – a tiny basement studio just beside Ikejiri Station.

After finishing school at 4pm (where one of my students pissed himself in class) I went down to meet Rob Submerse who was playing with Dorian Concept at a free SonarSound Party. The visuals were pretty insane and it was good to hear such good music in a tiny venue. The studio itself streams most of its events live – so it’s well is well worth checking out online if you like obscure sounds. http://2-5-d.jp/

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After the show I walked down to Shibuya to get some food, mainly just so I could pretend I was in Blade Runner. I wanted ramen from one of those open-air sellers like in the film, and I’m a dick that I didn’t put Vangelis on my iPod while I was eating. Next time, eh?

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On Saturday I took the train a few stops to Shinjuku with the sole intention of getting lost. I wandered down side streets not having a clue where I was going, one of my favourite pastimes over here. Before long I had stumbled into an area that seemed more Korean than Japanese: Shin-??kubo. This was a nice change from the neon highrises of Shinjuku, definitely more grimey and packed full of people shopping for pointless crap like posters of Korean boybands. There were coin lockers everywhere, and it was a while before I made the connection that there were a load of love hotels nearby: hotels where you pay by the hour, to, you know… People must dump their shopping in the lockers, go do their business and come back again. Only in Japan.

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A lonely bird flies high over Shinjuku < like all these pics, click to enlarge >

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Cute wee festival in Shin-??kubo, almost like a village fête

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Use
After a few hours exploring the shady alleyways of Shin-??kubo I hopped on the Yamanote line and sped right across town to Akihabara, the Electric Town of Tokyo. I love this place, not because of the huge electronic stores but because of the game arcades, the anime museum and the vast amount of weirdos that seem to be walking about.

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Lost in the clouds

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Couldn’t resist an old-school game of Golden Axe

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A Maid Cafe where guys with weird schoolgirl fantasies can get massages and cups of tea poured to them by girls in maid outfits. Check out the girls in the top left who were trying to entice customers.

Finally, today, I headed down to Harajuku to people-watch and check out some places to BMX. I ate conveyor-belt sushi and walked about Omotesando Hills, an upscale shopping complex for people who actually have money. One chocolatier was selling chocolates for £2.50 each, I couldn’t believe it. Next time I’m going to buy one – I need to know what the hell a £2.50 chocolate tastes like. Great weekend this one, no doubt many more to come…

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Sushi! ^_^

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 Omotesando Hills…

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… where chocolate shops look more like jewellers.

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