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07/06/2007: "Japanese Hip Hop Scene" mood: Interested

So saturday came rolling around and I have a day packed full of plans. In the evening I am meeting up with friends from school in Shibuya to go to club Asia (hip hop club) to watch one of our friends perform on stage for the first time with her band. The friday night before I had come downstairs to the kitchen to be surprised by three Scottish people cooking. One of my housemates Masa had invited them over to help perpare for a large barbeque they were all having at a famous river hang out spot west of Shibuya. After talking awhile with them they invited me out to join them if I was interested and to bring a friend. I said sure why not, I'm really enjoying this English conversation.

So the next morning I get ready and went to the station where the river was to meet up with Josh as he was going to Shibuya as well with our friends later. I think the river was called Tamagawa? I don't quite remember. What's special about it is it's the farthest southern point in the Tokyo Prefacture. On the opposite side of the river it becomes the Kanagawa prefacture.

Here is the view walking from the station to the bridge crossing into Tamagawa.

After crossing the really long bridge, you walk down this path which takes you to a nature area and under the bridge.

The majority of people do their barbeques under the bridge in the shade to keep cool. This spot is very popular and under the bridge it is just littered with groups doing barbeques.

Here is part of the 30 or 40 people that were participating at our barbeque. Those three people standing in the foreground were the Scottish people from the night before and that Japanese guy with the hat behind them is Masa. They were all a big fan of techno so the whole thing was being DJed by different friends of theirs.

This is directly right from that picture looking at other barbeque people hanging about. Unfortunately, since I got lost and arrived late, we couldn't stay for long and had to head to Shibuya pretty soon.

As we were leaving I snapped this shot of a large group of mostly hot women.

After we met up with the girls from school we had a bit of time to hang out in Shibuya before we had to be at club Asia. While hanging out, I spotted this really really creepy foreigner who was greasy and dirty and having this rapist smile on his face while he stared at women. On top of that, he had this small camera around his neck and he'd frequently try to take these "secret" pictures of girls when they weren't looking. One creepy rapist who shouldn't of been given a visa if you ask me. If you come to Japan, don't be this guy.

As usual I also found it necessary to take a picture of a Skyline. The guy leaning agains the poll next to it was it's owner and he kept giving me dirty stares for taking pictures. He looked pretty skinny and I was fairly confident I could beat him up so I just kept on taking pictures.

Once inside the club, we'd just made it in time to watch Risa and her band go on stage. She is the vocalist in the center.

I was quite surprised how well she sang. I'd talked to her many times at school but never really guessed she was a singer.

I don't know what YMCA thing was going on here.

After she finished her act we stayed for a few more hip hop artists to see how they were. I surprisingly liked it, their songs and performances were less a competition of who was more ghetto and dangerous and more just doing it for the fun of music. I guess since so much of the violence is lost in translation when they see our hip hop that their versions lose it.

Nevertheless I found it to be pretty interesting. Some artists were ok, some were good. Most of them had to mention something about me and Josh being foreigners in the room.

One artist which was especially good had spent a fair amount of time in SoCal and became a hip hop artists during his time there then came back to Japan and got record deal. His beats were really good and I highly recommend him. his name is Ohga and that's him pictured above. He's on myspace music as well if you want to hear some of his stuff.

After we were finished at club Asia we decided to all go meet some more friends at an Izakaya in the area. There were also several people I didn't know from other countries there. The two girls on the left in the back were from Korea and China. Two guys on the right also from China and the closer girl on the left is the manager at the Bape store Yuji works for.

Here Josh and Risa are eating a really unusual appetizer that we all got from the restaurant.

which was this. They brought us full mini-crabs meant to be eaten as a whole. claws, eyes, legs and everything. It didn't taste very great as you could imagine, the shell also made it quite crunchy.

Here is a picture of me, Tomomi and Risa 2.

Then here is a picture of me Yukari and Erika.

Shortly after we started eating, Risa 1 showed up after finishing everything at club Asia.

Josh getting friendly with the China men we met.

Mmmmm Drinks.

And finally a pic of me Yukari, Risa 1, and Risa 2.

Overall it was a good day. I was especially surprised and happy with the Hip Hop scene here. It was also nice going to a club and not being afraid of someone stabbing me. crazy

Replies: 7 Comments

Monday, August 27th
um....anymore up dates??? cause i do enjoy readin ur little advantures.

Mike H. [e-mail] [homepage]
Tuesday, July 31st
I can't wait to check out the Japanese Hip-Hop scene.

I have to find some shing02, Nujabes, Nomak, and Rebel Familia concerts when I get to Temple University.

I love the jazzy hip-hop style that is raging out there right now. Also some of the more distorted sounding stuff that Rebel Famila makes is nice too. If anyone needs any reccomendations, drop me an email and I will introduce you to some cool stuff.

Oh and like you said, it sure is great going to a concert and not worried about getting shot.

I do not have that problem out here in Sacramento and LA though like most do though. As you know, I look pretty hardcore and menacing.




Ok, time to stop being stupid. Good new post. I enjoyed it. Keep it up.


-Mike H.

Keith [e-mail]
Wednesday, July 25th
I found you while searching for Temple University Japan. I will be attending Temple in the fall. It's nice to see that normal, friendly people attend this school.

> Cpl. "G"
Tuesday, July 24th
> That BBQ area seemed pretty chill. Just my kind of hang out place.

Michael Jung [e-mail] [homepage]
Sunday, July 15th
I enjoyed reading your post. really great to have that much pictures. - maybe you can post google maps links to the restaurants or clubs you are going/visited.

thanks in advance for keeping up the regular writing.

oscar [e-mail]
Wednesday, July 11th
damn great blogs i love reading about what ur adventures in japan keep up the good work LOL

Tuesday, July 10th
Haha look at Josh's face above the "crab leg" picture LOL. shocked

Looks like a decent place, think I'll pop down sometime.

Great blogs you guys have, keep them up. Esp. The weird food plain