So a week since I left for Tokyo I think I may be taking some tentative steps towards recovery.
That's kind of a joke, I was already getting sick by the time I went to Tokyo, and staying up all night, racing around like a crazy person, meeting friends, shopping and seeing Radiohead was just a silly idea all around. It did however mean I was walking through Shibuya at 7am to take photos like this, which was strange and fun:
So what can I tell you about Tokyo this time? I feel like every time I go to Tokyo I spend 50% of my time on trains getting from one place to another. And you can never sit down on the trains. Apart from that it's always really awesome to meet my friends in Tokyo, and if you ever go to eat Korean yaki-niku in a neon lit hole in darkest Kabuki-cho where the hot plates don't even sit straight on the tables, all the furniture looks to be made out of garbage bins and you seem to be leaning on a box of cabbages - the food will actually be really good. I guess the clue was in the fact it was wallpapered with celebrity autographs. Also I still hate Shinjuku Station. Fuck that place.
After the lack of sleep, the Radiohead and the kimchee and pork, I managed to get some shopping in too. I tried to go to the Original Fake store near Omotesando once before when it was closed, but this time I succeeded, and stepping inside was like breathing the kind of bottled air that is released in a limited edition, and reserved for the unbearably trendy. I really love Kaws' work and his all-round design and visual style, and the store did look incredible (photos would have felt like sacrelige so I refrained), but his current clothing line under the Original Fake label mostly leaves me cold. It's awesome, but it's not my style. It's filling an increasingly popular space in the street-wear scene for tailored, high-end, high-quality goods, but it's just way too muted for my tastes, especially since his splashy flair was what turned me on to him to begin with (and what he still seems to be doing in his painting and design elsewhere). There was one hoody I loved, but - of course - not in my size. I love seeing the old Kaws collaborations with BAPE because they're just so fucking gharish.
And speaking of BAPE:
The BAPEXCLUSIVE store in Minami-Aoyama (practically Omotesando) is just crazy. Adrienne was just reeling around the place getting lost in mirrors and colours. These two pictures of the BAPE stores are hers because I was too chicken to get my camera out. The downstairs is a super-fancy clothes boutique, but the upstairs is just a crazy shrine to a dazzling rainbow of patent-leather sneakers. They have shoes rotating inside glass cases, floor to ceiling displays of classic BAPESTAs, and a freakin' conveyor belt displaying shoes that haven't even been released yet. All this and still somehow it feels minimal. And the crazy thing is that you're surrounded by sneakers... so many sneakers, and you can only buy the 8 styles in a tiny area on the right. The others are only for show. So goddamn frustrating. That said... they had some good stuff in the back - if you know what I mean. I left there a happy man.
And then about three blocks away is the Harajuku BAPE store, which is also a trip into boutique wonderland. Their shoe floor isn't as spectacular, but they do display their shoes in a glass bar, which the assistants stand behind to serve you.
That's me emailing a picture of some shoes to Olivia to see if she wanted them, a terrifying piece of hi-tech shopping that for better or worse resulted in the following: