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Published: June 14th 2008
So where do I start…? Because everyone including MTV Japan knows how excited I am to finally be here in one of the most expensive, creative, animated, electronically driven and one of the craziest and passionate music scenes I have experienced in the last 6 months, city in the world. This is one of the countries on this trip I have been long waiting for and finally Kareem hits Japan.
After checking into our apartment John and I decided to hit one of his favourite spots in Japan - Shabuya. However, we got off the subway a stop early at Omote-sannao to walk through the streets that lead up to Shabuya. For someone coming from Canada with six months of travelling experience under his belt I was not prepared for what was coming my way. As we got closer and closer to Shabuya I constantly noticed everyone and everything around me, it kind of felt like when I went to New York for the first time and my head was stuck in the air looking around while I was going in a 360 rotation wanting to see every inch around me, that was me. The people in Tokyo have an extremely unique style - it’s a pretty much an anything goes system, you can mix hyper green with yellow and blue and somehow it works and looks cool. I absolutely love the style in Tokyo, it amazed me how people can put so many different things together style and colour. Oh! And how can we forget the thousands of strap jewellery? I got myself a little ninja to put on my portable playstation as a memory.
After walking around for a while John and I decided to go into this restaurant bar called Locked Up. I guess curiosity got to us and the advertisements looked really appealing. We walked down a dark set of stairs until we got to this massive dungeon door. Waiting inside was a woman in costume and handcuffs who escorted us to our dungeon cell and closed the cell door behind us, hence the name of the place. It was quite the experience for me because I haven’t really been to theme restaurants before, so to be put into a jail cell while having dinner and drinks that looked like something out of Dracula’s lair was original.
The next day Ben, Luiza and I decided to hit the clubs, we took the tube to Shabuya and walked to the clubbing district a couple blocks up the street. There must have been about 10 clubs all in a row. We headed to a Smirnoff sponsored party at Club Asia. Club Asia is a really diverse club - I met some Canadians there and a couple of guys from Europe at the bar. We shared a little chat and I made my way inside to the dance floor. When we got in everyone was focused on the stage where there was a live reggae performance by local Japanese artists. Now this was cool; Japanese guys spitting reggae lyrics toned with old school beats. It reminded me a little of China when I saw live performances bye local Chinese guys spitting drum and bass beats. I’m really intrigued by live music, especially when it’s not something I am particularly use to. The crowd was swiftly moving from left to right and the song “Put your lighters up” came on the floor looked like one massive flame.
One thing I love about the Japanese DJs is that they take their jobs extremely seriously, I mean it feels to me like they go to school and get degrees in music and deejaying just because when they DJ it’s like pure passion. Not only that, but the crowd can feel it and they feed off of it. I know Ben and I did! It’s nice to see real music by real DJs playing with real passion. One thing about Japan that I really enjoyed was the hours that clubs ran until, instead of closing at 3 am like Montréal, in Japan they usually run until the first train starts at around 5 am. I guess that’s why I found over 30 people waiting for the train to start again, then again I don’t blame them - a taxi rid
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