This summer, Pulse Radio and Space Ibiza Magazine have joined forces to create City Spot, a spotlight on some of the world's best cities through the eyes of seasoned travellers who also happen to be extremely talented musicians and DJs. This month, DJs, producers, and founders of the labels Supernature and Maison D'etre - Audiofly – share what’s nestled in the streets of Tokyo.
It's simply an amazing culture shock! Imagine everything you thought things should be like when you were a child - but for real! Oriental/ancient/tradition fused with Bladerunner-style backdrops. The best of old and new, electronic toilets that, shall we say, do more than flush, ramen, sushi (like nowhere you ever ate), all this different body language, values and ways to be, so different, but underneath, the warmest people you ever met. It's a melting pot of new experiences. A must in this life.
At first glance, it’s chaotic and frenetic, but when you've been there more than five minutes, you realise it's hyper-organised and simply moving at a decent pace! The youth are very image conscious but highly experimental. They are always trying something new, with haircuts straight out of Manga! As people they are inviting, interested, humble and enthusiastic.
Let Loose & Party
The Shibuya District is the heart of the party for this city. Several of the best clubs including Womb and Air, are nestled inside its borders as well as some of the best restaurants and bars. You never saw such dedicated, excited clubbers. They go off! They are so enthusiastic and focused. It's delightful to see from such (normally) reserved and shy folk! It's very possible to start you night here and wake up here, somewhere!
Well, everywhere! Not only is it a vast and sprawling city, but everything is so interesting. As a first timer, just walking out of your accommodation and choosing a direction worked for us. Everything is so different; it feels like everything is a new experience. Remember to bring the address though, to give to the super helpful taxi drivers :)
Jump on a train to Hakone and immerse yourself in one of its hot springs. It's actually one hour away from Tokyo, but it’s a straight train ride from the centre. Buy yourself a Odakyu Hakone Free Pass and the whole journey is covered, with a discount at the hot springs.
Harajuku Street and the surrounding area is the place to shop. This area became very famous in recent years for its young designers and their original clothing concepts. It now represents every major cool brand you can think of, as well as a thousand you never heard of but should know about. Go get lost there and find those items in your wardrobe that everyone always asks you about.
Gonpachi. There are several restaurants around Tokyo of which one is the famous restaurant where they filmed the sword fight scene between Uma and the yakuza gang in Kill Bill (or was it 2?). They serve izakaya-style (kind of modern country style) cuisine at its very best and it seems to be one of those places that everyone ends up bumping into everyone else in. Delicious and entertaining.
Amrta in Roppongi. Best cocktails and atmosphere in town. Say no more!
The restaurant bar and lounge upstairs from Air (The club Air, briefly appears in Lost in Translation). A super cool spot, busy but kinda intimate, with excellent food, cocktails and friendly staff, who seem to speak some English.
Take off Sunday and go to the Meiji Shinto Shrine. It's a really beautiful walk, which allows you to view, take in and be part of the principle spiritual practices and traditions of the Shinto way. From there it's a short walk to the Yoyogi Park, where you'll find fully dressed Japanese rock n rollers doing dance-offs, Marylin Manson-level goths just standing around, martial artists training, double-dutch skipping, busking, eating, drinking. They keep going until it's totally dark then pack up and go home to bed ... amazing!
The Shinjuku Gyoen National Gardens and Tokyo Bay. Those are some really beautiful spots. But to really appreciate the beauty of Japanese landscape, flora and fauna, get out of Tokyo!
Considering how you are just inspired from the moment you get off the plane, till the moment you leave. I think that for westerners, the whole trip is like being a child "locked" in a giant candy store for the weekend. Tokyo IS inspiring.
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