events, food, friends, japan, nihonbashi, roppongi, shibuya, Tokyo, travel

Tokyo Day 5 – Art Aquarium, Roppongi and a Trendy Hairstylist’s Party?

Rushing from Odaiba, we met up with our new friends Nico and Juan to attend an Art Aquarium exhibit by Kimura Hidetomo in Nihonbashi. We fancy, huh? They introduced us to their friends (whom they also recently met) Kensu and Miwa. Kensu and Miwa are Japanese, but are very interested and involved with Spanish culture so at times the 4 of them would speak Spanish while we had no clue what was going on. We also must have looked like a weird group of people.

Kimura’s work consisted of a total of 5,000 goldfish and 70 aquariums used in his 17 displays.  It was a futuristic meets Edo Japan kind of style through light displays and modern designs combined with cultural kimonos, lanterns and folding screens. There were many different types of goldfish used in the gallery – some that I never even imagined existed!

I think the black and red goldfish, and the goldfish with the puffy cheeks are the cutest.

Kimura’s gallery is definitely much more than just aquariums, it really is an art. Each of his displays are intricately designed and some through the use of mirrors, glass and the sheer shape of the aquarium, were able to create optical illusions.  These are some of my favourite displays.

The intricacy and size of Kimura’s main aquarium display was extremely beautiful, especially in person. I don’t think it is captured well in pictures due to the dim lighting and I really don’t know how to explain it in words other than it was breathtaking and unimaginable.  I really regret not buying a souvenir as a memory of this event – they had the cutest goldfish plush toy on sale.

After the gallery, we headed to Roppongi where Miwa brought us to an izakaya!! I finally got to satisfy my dream of eating at an “authentic” izakaya.  The brag-worthy things that I got to eat at the izakaya was HORSE and WHALE sashimi. We all liked horse more because whale was very fishy tasting..and not to mention bloody.

I think people sometimes get mistakened that Roppongi is a rich area due to Roppongi Hills, but it actually can be quite sketchy at night since it is a nightlife district, has lots of foreigners, and has a high Yakuza presence. One of my other dreams was to see some real Yakuza in Japan. I THINK I got to see one! Well it was an older man in a yukata talking to another gangster looking guy and he looked pretty boss.

After dinner, Adrienne, Nico, Juan, Kensu and I headed to Shibuya to go to Club Air where Nico’s friend Kouichi Hirose, an international DJ champion, was DJ-ing for the night. Nico originally told us it was a trendy hairstylist’s party, and as hairstylists are pretty popular and “in” in Tokyo, I was pretty excited. However, we never found out who the hairstylist was…or if it was even a hairstylist’s party. BUT, the main DJ for the night happened to be Nakata Yasutaka from CAPSULE!!!! Other than being a songwriter, music producer and DJ, he’s also the producer for Perfume and the very popular Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

Although the crowd was pretty young as it was a Monday night, the style of music was purely electronic (no vocals), and the way people danced was very different than  Toronto, it probably is one of the best clubbing experiences I’ve had.  Maybe it’s the fact that we were foreign and didn’t know anyone so that we could do whatever we wanted, but we party rocked (while completely sober) and even got some of the local crowd to join in with us!  One funny thing to mention is that Japanese people (at least this crowd, okay?) really like to clap and jump around as a group as their “dance” – we joined in anyway for the sake of it.  As the night went on and the crowd grew, we eventually got pushed from standing right in front of the DJ booth to the far back of the room.  I think we did a good job hyping the crowd for Nico’s buddy.

The next day, Nico told us that apparently Club Air was also in Lost in Translation. So that means I unintentionally went to two places from the same movie!!  Really got to get to watching that movie.

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