Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Awaodori 2008

The Awaodori was held on the 23rd & 24th August 2008.
It rained all weekend, but that didn't put people off and it was still crowded and the groups danced harder than ever.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Snakepit Japan

Right next to my apartment is Snakepit Japan.
Here you can practice thai boxing and/or submission wrestling.
Submission wrestling is just a more modern, generic term really. Catch Wrestling is essentially what pro-wrestling was when it was real.

Long before they had thought about sports entertainment, pro-wrestling or "Catch" was a real art. Catch’s more modern lineages can be traced back to Billy Riley and the Snake Pit in Wigan England. From Billy Riley we have “God of Pro Wrestling” Karl Gotch who trained Antonio Inoki, Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Masakatsu Funaki and so on.

While less known than Gotch but no less amazing is Rileys other star pupil, Billy Robinson. Robinson was an amazing wrestler and had many legendary matches especially with Inoki. Robinson with UWF, UWFI veteran Yuko Miyato and Thai boxing champion Makato Oe run a gym in Koenji, Tokyo called the UWF Snakepit.

Part of the above information was taken from an interview with pro-fighter, Josh Barnett, himself a practitioner of Catch.

At the top are a few pics from outside that I took, and some from Snakepit's website:

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Koenji Streets people as subjects

First two pics are near the station (South side).

Bottom is a mobile phone salesman scouting for business.
Just to add, the phone shop has since closed down. Quite a shame, because being in Koenji, it may have been the only mobile phone shop in the world that had a CD player outside playing death metal.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Star Case - Star Wars Memorabilia

Second floor shop housing the finest collection of Star Wars...erm...everything I've ever seen.
Some of the stuff there I had when I was a kid, some of it I still have, some of it I never had and most of it I'd never seen before.
All modern and vintage stuff.
A full size Stormtrooper/Sandtrooper greets you at the entrance.
They wouldn't let me take any photos in the shop, but it's impressive to say the least.
I bet they've got stuff that even George Lucas ain't got.

Website and blog:

Fixed gear and single speed bicycle specialists

The shop's called BEANS.
Fixed and single speed specialists. They're never short of work, and there's always at least a handful of people in there at any one time. I'm not sure if BEANS was the original fixed bike shop in Koenji, but it seems to be the most popular.
It's located on the street called "Koenji Look" which is easy to find if you keep walking through PAL shopping arcade.
PAL is the shopping street which is roofed, Koenji Look continues on this street, but all the shops are open air.



Beans moved from Koenji in May '09.

Cycling Legend

I spotted this guy near Koenji station. He's something to do with "No-Crime" or "Crime Prevention" in Koenji.
He's got the fold-up chair strapped to his back; shin guards for protection, football socks and a pair of Adidas Nite Jogger, and stocked up with not 1, but 2 umbrellas.
Looks like he's got supplies of food for those long nights on watch.

Let's face it, nobody's gonna fuck.

Great stuff!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Down under the train tracks 1

Random shots from under and next to the train tracks as you turn left out Koenji station South exit.

Down under the train tracks 2

Random shots from under and next to the train tracks as you turn left out Koenji station South exit.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Clothing Time

The picture at the top, you can see Risk darts and billiards. At the top of this street, which is actually a small hill, is POEM coffee house.
Clothing Time is near the bottom of this hill. New and used clothes.

Coffee House POEM

"POEM coffee house" offers 100 different types of coffee...and I bet it's not a cup full of fuckin' froth! Come on Starbucks match that.

Over the road you can see another shop. It's a used trainers/sneakers shop. They also have some deadstock models.
Mostly Converse and Vans with a few Adidas thrown in for good measure.

At the corner and down the slope are a used record shop, darts and billiards hall and "Clothing Time". Pics of these later.

Just a bit about this blog...

Photos and stuff of the mighty Koenji.

If you've spent a few nights here, then it needs no introduction.

Mission's Live Music Bar

Turn right out of North exit of Koenji station and follow the street past the police box and Tokyu supermarket. Keep walking for 1-2 minutes, passing Family Mart on the way, and here is Mission livehouse.
Wash Club is next door, which isn't a club, just a launderette...nice name though.

They happen to have a shit load of bottled liquor.
1 drink is 500 yen, but they do 3 drinks for 1000 yen later in the night.
They serve a generous helping of whiskey, which is nice.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

高円寺20000V (Koenji 20000 volt)

Bands playing pretty much every night.
The photo at the top of this blog came from there.
Website in Japanese, map in English. Take the South exit, turn right from the station and head down PAL arcade.

Quick note that GEAR is located in the same building.

Koenji from above

Fascinating stuff...perhaps...
This is a birds eye view of Koenji and surrounding area.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Iden & Tity - filmed in Koenji

Filmed in Koenji, and part of it close to my apartment.
A Japan-only soundtrack featuring Bob Dylan was also released.

Iden & Tity is the story of one young man's discovery of his own capacity for being 'Bronson'. Nakajima (musician Mineta in an impressive acting debut) is the guitar player for rock band Speedway, a four-piece that seems chronically unable to outgrow the club circuit or expand their core audience of loyal fans. Despite a boom in the interest for homegrown rock bands, the boys find themselves saddled with a record company that boycotts any venture that is not aimed at writing chart-topping pop ditties. At the same time, Nakajima regularly clashes with lead singer Johnny over a variety of artistic differences. While spike-haired, leatherclad Johnny wants the amps turned up to 11 on all occasions, Nakajima, with his moptop and nerdy glasses, aims for a more sensitive approach to composing and performing. Crises lurk not only within the band, but at home too, as Nakajima tries to bury his insecurities by cheating on his girlfriend with a succession of groupies, all of which fall for exactly the cute and cuddly aspects of his appearance that he himself so despises.

An article and review here:

Yoshinoya/No Loan 1

What we've got here is a back street opposite the North Exit of Koenji Station, behind Neo Pachinko Slot.
This picture was one I took in 2007. I pass it every day.
The building on the left has since been knocked down and construction has begun on what I don't know, but I'm planning to take some more pictures as it develops.
I'll post them at somewhat regular intervals.
I named this post after the two big signs on the right of the picture.
This is picture #1.

Koenji Streets - Low Riders

Low Rider appreciation around the streets of Koenji.

Koenji Streets

Quick note that the place on the left has since been knocked down and they have a parking lot there. Down the road from OK Supermarket.