Born and raised in Tokyo, I’ve grown up to be an authentic city girl. I often overhear visitors say things like there are too many people, the people are so cold, or city-raised people are scary and so forth. I’ve lived here my entire life and not once have I ever experienced any of that to be true. Those assumptions are often the result of generalizations implanted in people’s minds – not just about the city, but about the people who live here.
If I were to describe Tokyo in 3 words (from a through-and-through Tokyo city girl’s perspective, that is), I would say it is heart-racing, crowded and GoChA-gOcHa (messy and all over the place). Although crowded places aren’t always fun, it’s a fact of life in any large city.
But even I get tired of the GoChA-gOcHa life sometimes and, inadvertently, I would look up into the Shibuya sky and realize that the neon lights are actually kind of beautiful contrasted against the blue sky. And I remember why I love Tokyo so much.
When I took this picture of Shibuya, I realized I have become a person who has forgotten the beauty of her hometown. What’s amazing about this city is how it steadily moves forward while also vehemently preserving the past.
Here’s a few of the unique things about living in the middle of Tokyo:
• It’s safe even though there are a lot of people.
• The IT technology here is so advanced, yet there is not much free public wifi access.
• There are very few public trashcans.
• There are many parks that we can still be in touch with the greenery.
This mix of wonderful things about the city and the parts that need improvement create an alluring quality of Tokyo (among other nearby cities) that I would like to introduce to you!
When you’ve been in the city your entire life, like me, you sometimes have to go outside of Tokyo to find inspiration. One of my favorite places to visit is the tropical Okinawa, in the most southern part of Japan.
I recently went to 前浜ビーチ(Maehama Beach) in 宮古島 (Miyako Island), known to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Asia and arguably a worthy contender to those in Hawaii (I didn’t edit this photo – yes, the water is that blue!). Just admiring the beautiful view here washes my heart of worries. This place is a treasure chest of inspiration.
After I’ve spent a decent amount of time to relax, clear my mind and get inspired, it’s time to get all dolled up for city life! It’s safe to say that the world of nail artistry is an integral part of Japan’s culture now. I first met my wonderful nail artist about a year ago – my style is not complete without her.
She can create an endless amount of possibilities on such a tiny canvas. I never tell her in detail what I want done. I would instead ask for a “tie-dye summer-y feel” or I’d pull out a magazine textile and say, “make it this feeling, using your style sense.” Seamlessly, my ideas and Isomu's sense fuse together, and every time we get interesting results.
As a fashion blogger in Tokyo, I always get called to a lot of events and fashion exhibitions. It’s important to have everything done up, head-to-toe, to prepare for all of the parties and exhibitions! First stop – Fig & Viper.
Right now, people worldwide are pouring attention on the latest Tokyo it-girl, NeoGal representative Alisa Ueno. She is the producer of the chart-topping brand Fig & Viper, a mix of her own Tokyo fashion style, mixed with inspirations from all around the world.
Rin Rin Doll and I with Tokyo fashion icon Alisa Ueno.
Last year I started DJ’ing and I’m grateful to be able to DJ at many fashion parties and fashion exhibitions (thank you for hiring me)!
Tokyo really is a happy city that parties nonstop every week! I always have a regular group of people I meet with at all the parties I go to.
In case you’re wondering at this point what kind of camera I use to snap all of these photos, it’s the SONY α5000. The camera's flash is strong enough to create a nice contrast, even in dim lighting. It's extremely reliable for someone like me, who often shoots outfit photos at night. The camera is incredibly versatile, with a view panel that flaps over - perfect for selfies! Here are just a few of the outfit photos I have shot using this camera.
I took this when the sun was almost completely gone, although as you can see, the photo is still pretty bright. What I do is edit all my photos on iPhoto before uploading them. My favorite way to edit is:
• Increase contrast
• Increase saturation
• Increase brightness
Also, I love taking my outfit photos at night. I always use a strong flash when taking photos outside in the middle of the night with my absolute favorite photographer, Fabian.
Before the day ends, my favorite café to wind down at is in Shibuya. It’s called モボ・モガ (Mobo Moga) with an extremely difficult-to-find entrance. I always come here with RinRin Doll for lunch or dinner. It is our favorite little hiding spot.
I really love how dope the interior decoration is.
I always order the Avocado Teriyaki Plate. It looks exactly how it is pictured in the menu, with generous portions of salad, chicken, and avocado.
I also love how the drinks come in a beaker! If you ever come to Tokyo, you should visit this place at least once.
What do you think? How did I do in showing you around Tokyo? I have so many more places to introduce to you – maybe I can show you a little more in my future reports, so stay on the look out for them!