I met Takuji when Nick took me to his friend Gregorio's show at a bar in Huntington Beach. Greg was in a reggae band called Under A Tree; lead vocals and guitar. Phenomenal guitarist but he would turn around and face his drummer for every radical guitar solo so we couldn't even see the goods! Not cool, Greg. Not cool.
Takuji's band, Cosmodelian (I think that's what it was called) was kind of a funky, bass heavy band with him on vocals, his best friend Hoshki, and their drummer Aaron. I remember when we went to a show at the Prospector in Long Beach and were smoking outside the bar, he or Hoshki pointed out to the Popeyes across the street and said "Why would Americans name a chicken restaurant Pope Yes?!" I mean he's right, why would they capitalize the Y in PoPeYeS?
The girl on the far right is Alex. She's Vietnamese and is from San Fran! Guy on his left I don't remember his name but that's Takuji's DJ partner.
Takuji is now a resident DJ at a club called CIRCUS TOKYO. I've never been to a real club and I have to say it wasn't all that bad. I'm a dirty dive bar kind of girl and I'm afraid I'm starting to grow out of that as well.
I asked Maddie to come with me along with the other girls we went to Japan with and well, Maddie was the only down chick. We drank A LOT -- they had this drink called Oolong Shochu that was pure magic.
Takuji doesn't even remember this kid with the jersey. He was drinking sake from a juice carton when we ran into him -- so cute.
Dakota was rad enough to plan this entire trip. She made a PDF which we loosely (very very loosely) followed. I feel like because of her, we were able to get so many things checked off our list. I really want her to make her own travel book -- she's got such great taste, you know she would never bring you to the fucking Hollywood sign, you know what I mean?
Ken Watanabe is the name of a famous actor in Japan but also the name of this guy. I met him when I was working for Satoshi at Arth -- Ken is a skater so naturally he hung out with only skaters...he and Donny were close. He would always come by the shop and chat until Donny got there -- I think repetition over long periods of time develop friendships, yeah? This is a prime example cause he moved back to Japan about 8 years ago and we were still able to connect.
He invited me out with a couple of his skate buddies to "an authentic Japanese restaurant" in Shimokitazawa which was amazing but for real though, had a lot of foreigners so I don't know. They were all into cameras too so it was cool checking out all their gadgets.
The girls and I went to the Ghibli Museum which wasn't something I was all that into, it's kinda like Disneyland to me BUT I do enjoy the films and there was a section in that museum where they went through all the food in the films. That was by far the best part of the museum. We had a two hour time frame for the museum so afterwards, we rented swan boats for half an hour and rode around. You know, I would never do this in Echo Park but it was alright here. I guess anything goes when I'm on vacation.
I remember ages ago when Chika lived in Costa Mesa and worked at a little Japanese restaurant at The Lab called Zipangu. She would come by the hat shop and we would talk for hours about boy problems or whatever girls talk about in their early 20's.
She moved back to Japan 5 years ago and everything changed for her -- got married, had a baby...the happiest baby I've ever met. I'm really happy for her, she's truly living the American dream she always wanted.
The odd shots here and there I really enjoyed shooting. They're not framed so well but I'm stoked on them either way.