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LAST DAYS IN TOKYO

LAST DAYS IN TOKYO

By David Rasool

Catch up on David’s travels through Tokyo with part 1 here, where he lands in the city with Treated Crew to celebrate the Saint Alfred x Stussy x Treated Crew collaboration. In part 2, David explores Tokyo solo and checks out some streetwear stops, art, and a very special record-laden bar. This is the final addition to his Tokyo series:

On my last full day in Tokyo, I got up and took the trip to Meguro to see Hiroshi [Sawada]’s most recent Streamer location and of course to get another military donut and military latte. Each Streamer location I went to had a really clean, minimal build-out that was very distinct to each area. One of the many things that struck me during my trip was the effortless style of many of the citizens, especially the women. The woman below had these ill oversized cream linen overalls that looked comfortable but also seemed to keep her cool. It’s a simple piece but the way she was wearing it all really struck me. It was hot each day I was there with humidity in the upper 80s to mid-90s.

I also like that the women there aren’t afraid to wear hats. Many of the ones I saw weren’t the typical run of the mil headwear and was really used to show the individual expression of the woman wearing it. Given how hot and sunny it was, it was both for utility and style. After the latte and donut, I decided to make my way to Medicom’s office, which is in Shibuya. Once I got to Shibuya, I decided to walk the rest of the way instead of taking a train or cab that would drop me right there. Taking the time to walk there allowed me to see some of the residential neighborhoods and houses along the way.

 

I later found out that the building below used to be Medicom’s office 10 years ago.

The new building Medicom inhabits now allows them to do everything in-house. On the first floor is the gallery/meeting area that has a couple conference rooms attached to it. The atmosphere is real casual and I had a chance to sit down and catch up with Yone, who is our Medicom rep. Yone gave me a quick tour and spoke about a little bit of Medicom’s history. Many of the figures I saw in the gallery area, I didn’t even know Medicom did or that they were responsible for. It also reminded me of more than a few figures I passed on that I now wish I had grabbed.

The iconic Ultraman in vinyl figure form.

Kaws painting chillin’ in the corner. A donation from Kaws to Medicom after their first collab.

A customer had his Snoopy and Woodstock figure covered in Swarovski crystals.

Kaws/Pushead Companion figure. Pushead signed the box and added drops of green paint.

Classic original Peanuts figures. This was the era of Peanuts before Snoopy started to really develop his own personality and following.

Two of the illest Naruto figures I’ve ever seen. These were the only characters they made and they were released in limited quantities. The details on Sasuke’s gear is crazy. Thank you for the hospitality Yone, Shuehei, and the entire Medicom staff.

After the Medicom office, I decided to make my way to Meiji Jingu Shrine which is right in Harajuku in the middle of a forest. Established in 1920, the Meiji Shrine is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the souls of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. Emperor Meiji took the throne during a time when Japan was opening its borders to the West and he took the initiative to promote friendship with other countries while still preserving Japanese identity. Empress Shoken was known for devoting herself to the promotion of national welfare, literacy, and women’s education. The location of the forest and the shrine is in direct contrast to surrounding Harajuku, and once you step past the grand shrine gate, the feeling in the air changes. It’s a long peaceful path from the grand gate to the shrine. For most of the path, the only sound I heard were birds and my own footsteps through the gravel.

Before entering the shrine I took the time to properly wash my hands and mouth out before I pray.

After taking some time to reflect on my trip and a few other things at the shrine, I met up with Shin at Undefeated Harajuku and he took me to meet his friend Masayuki Nishimoto. Later that night we went to dinner at a spot that’s a favorite of Shin’s.

Masayuki and Shin outside of Masayuki’s gallery.

This small restaurant was family owned and operated with the father, mother, brother, and daughter all on deck. I’ve had a lot of sushi and seafood in my time, but this was the best sushi I’ve had in my life, hands down. Each piece was prepared in front of us one by one and the atmosphere was quite and intimate. I was kinda crushing on the daughter, especially after she complimented my chopstick skills. This was the perfect way to spend my last night in Tokyo.

I can’t say enough good things about my time in Tokyo. I’m very grateful to the people I met and how hospitable and welcoming everyone was. Even though it was my first time there, by day two I felt at home and embraced by the people. Everyone I came across genuinely seemed happy, as well as curious as to why I was there. My time there put a lot of things in perspective and further broadened my view of the world. To think that something that I’ve been interested in and involved in for so many years has allowed me to travel to a different part of the globe and connect with others of similar interest is crazy to me. I’m humbled and honored to have represented Saint Alfred during this journey.

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