10.15.2002 (Tuesday), 10:11 PM

Countless Obsessions

Are you sure you don't want to save some money for later?

(Day #4 from my October 12-20th trip to Tokyo with my friend Les ...)

Les has completely gone off the deep end. Our hotel room looks like cross between a branch of the Giant Robot store and a twisted plushies den. There are countless numbers of dolls and comics and figurines everywhere. And I know that if I close my eyes long enough they will attack me.

Really...we spent part of the afternoon looking for the elusive A Bathing Ape shop in Harajuku. If you didn't already know, Harajuku is a pretty hip and happening place especially if you're a young person in Japan. And it seems that there are quite a number of school kids w/ lots of time on their hands as well...I guess there are perks to going to school for most of the year...anyway, all of the little, super-limited edition trendy clothes boutiques are there (A Bathing Ape included) and for two guys in their 40's it is the perfect place to snag of a bit of trendsetting gear and some intense people peepage.

A Bathing Ape is an interesting basement floor shop where the clothing is made in limited editions (around 100 per design) and is very fashionable. For me, shit like this just doesn't wash because I cannot justify paying $120 for a T-shirt. Even if it has an ape motif (and I think apes rule by the way...). $500 for a short, somewhat padded but light jacket? Um...no.

After Les collected his BAPE sweater (I won't mention the price...ahem), I got more of a kick watching him go slightly ape-shit (pun intended) every time he saw a different BAPE shirt on about 5% of Harajuku's young shopper's population. "Look at *that* one! I didn't see that there...damn, everyone has a different one...". I laughed until I stopped.

Not that I was totally absolved from the frenzy...I found a shop that had more Doc Martens and creepers than I had even seen in my entire life and nearly bought all of the size 11's (size 28?) that they had--even the women's shoes...I have no shame. But the best thing was a shop called Ryoh Rounds which had the coolest jackets. They're kind of hip-hop-ish, gangster-style (very in in Japan) but thoroughly rooted in Japanese fashion standards. The best thing of all: the jacket actually fit me. I was hooked and opened the wallet wide for a quick and painless yen-ectomy. Kurihara-san, the very cool woman who runs the shop, engaged me in conversation that was a little bit English and a lot Japanese that I easily kept up with and would have had me easily buying more stuff. I could have spent all afternoon there but opted to avoid bankruptcy. This is a place I will definitely return to.

Posted by wjc