Tokyo, Japan March 2017

My new favorite place in the world…

Japan has been on the list for a long, long time, and it was well worth the wait. From the art, to the music, to the fashion, to the culture and food, Japan is the most amazing place I’ve been to so far. Everything is vibrant and beaming with creativity and passion.

The music…

I was lucky enough to meet a local DJ one night who gave me great advice of what clubs to check out where locals go rather than going to the more touristy spots. She told me of two parties for the weekend, and I check them both out.

The first club was a new spot called VENT. The music was on point, all House and Techno. There is a small bar upstairs with a DJ and the main room downstairs that has a larger dance floor. The main room set the vibes right with minimal lighting, so you can get into that dark techno feel.

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The second club I checked out was Contact in Shibuya for the MNML party. This club had something quite refreshing that I loved. It’s underground in every sense of the word, the music and atmosphere, and the fact that it is two floors below ground level. There’s plenty of space to grab a seat or a drink, and there is one DJ playing by the bar. However, the main room is separated. You have to walk through a door to get inside it, and outside the door there’s a sign and a bouncer that says…

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I think every festival and club should have a space like this. Every single person in that room was focused on the music, just dancing and enjoying it. Nowadays, we get so caught up in sharing everything we’re doing on social media and get stuck in our phone rather than in the moment. It was so refreshing to let go of the phone, and just be there, and to see a crowd that was so immersed in the music. This was one of my favorite experiences.

The art…

I was lucky to be there while the Yayoi Kusama My Eternal Soul exhibit was at the National Art Center Tokyo. The exhibit just finished traveling through Europe and is now touring the US. If you have the chance to see it, I highly recommend it. Yayoi began making art when she was a child in order to cope with hallucinations and depression. It’s so interesting to me to learn about her life, and how she has used art to cope with mental illness. It shows how something beautiful can come out of something so difficult and painful. She currently lives in a mental health hospital in Japan, where she has her studio and continues making art.

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The fashion…

Japanese fashion is my absolute favorite in the world. It is constantly pushing boundaries, and is the most creative I’ve ever seen. One of the most well-known pieces of Japanese fashion is Harajuku fashion, and the most infamous street of shops in Harajuku is Takeshita Street.  This street is packed full of people and shops and food. It’s buzzing with creativity and excitement.

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Nearby, I recommend checking out the Kawaii Monster Cafe. It’s a dreamland inside with psychedelic looking trees, a giant cake, and color all around. The monster girls perform while you eat, and the music was pretty good, too. I heard them mixing in “Ooey” by Vitalic – approved!

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Quiet moments…

To balance the buzzing nightlife, you can relax, surrounded by beauty at shrines and temples. There are plenty to choose from in Tokyo and elsewhere. Some of the most beautiful are in Kyoto, just a couple hours by train.

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Overall…

Japan is a must see, so add it to the bucket list. Tokyo was my favorite part, but there is so  much beauty throughout the whole country. If you’re looking for the local, underground music spots, go to VENT or Contact. Besides that, just get out in the town. The people are nice, so you’ll make friends and have a great time everywhere you go. There is so much going on at all times, so just walk down the street and see what you find.