night

Waiting at JR Nakano Station

Last week I was waiting for a friend at the Nakano JR station. He was late, but it didn’t matter. That station is one of my favorite people watching spots. At any time of day or night, there are always people waiting at the North Exit for friends to show up. Nakano has none of the desperate fashion extremes of Shibuya or Harajuku (fueled largely by suburban visitors, no doubt), but always a fun mix of mod, retro, regular and unique styles. I like this young guy’s studied indifference to being watched and photographed. Not sure about the 70s shark skin jacket, but I love the over-sized man-bag and boots. Plus the photo includes a bonus salaryman’s back side.

Smappa: Mega host club with Lohas twist

Smappa: Mega host club with Lohas twist

Kabukicho is now full of ads for this new (?) host club called Smappa!, which seems a blatant rip-off of SMAP, the boy band now entering middle-age. The Smappa ad for Shun-kun above hilariously promises 夜のロハス, night-time lohas.

Lohas means Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, and applies to a 30 something female demographic. What has made hairspray and men’s make-up sustainable? I think actually, like the club name, it is a blatant attempt to connect with larger pop culture themes (like a bad porn title that mimics a Hollywood blockbuster).

From their incredibly complete Smappa! website, I have borrowed these staff images. Scroll to the bottom to see their onsen/ryoukan holiday. These boys are well-documented. Check their Smappa website for more!

Smappa staff Smappa staff Smappa staff smappa_staff4 Smappa staff

Two towers at night

Roppongi Hills at night

During the day, Roppongi Hills looks over-sized, the product of Mr Mori of Mori Building putting the largest floor plates his influence could buy with city planners. At night, viewed from it’s base, it can be inspiring. Perhaps off-theme of this blog, though also incredibly phallic.

Even more iconic is Tokyo Tower. I think the photo is too blurry, but the husband likes it.

Tokyo Tower

Night-time omatsuri

Night-time omatsuri

This weekend there are a lot of omatsuri festivals in Tokyo. We visited one of the largest last night, which the husband and his siblings attended as children. Last year, we saw portable shrine carrying, and one super hot policeman. This year was quieter, with fun street food and lots of yankiis.

In addition to savory pancakes, yakisoba, shwarma, beer, a strange sweet on an ice block, one omatsuri tradition is chocolate covered bananas with sprinkles. Somehow this image confirms every foreigners’ image of Tokyo, combining kawaii, moe and moe.

Hello Kitty with chocolate bananas

Puppies in Shibuya

Puppies in Shibuya at nite

Shibuya is an area that I avoid, especially on weekend nites. My husband describes this busy neighborhood as full of “horny hetero teens” mostly from outside Tokyo and aspiring to big city life. A recent dinner with work colleagues found me there until close to last train time.

Poking around, we saw this incongrous juxtaposition: back-lit photos of sleazy girls next to “Baby Doll” puppies. Were these innocent puppies a metaphor, a bait-and-switch, a euphemism of some sort?

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