The optics and media of Japanese political election campaigns are fascinating for their restraint and orderliness. Campaign posters for the various politicians are put up in designated places in local neighborhoods and often in clusters, like the ones pictured above in Tokyo’s fashionable Naka-Meguro area. The politicians each appear in posters that are basically all the same size and visually tame. In short, as outdoor billboard advertising goes (what ad industry people call “out of home” or OOH advertising), these election posters are a relatively unobtrusive part of the cultural landscape.
The French clothing label A.P.C. is one of our all-time favorite style brands, and we’ve been buying shirts, sweaters and jeans at their shops in Paris, New York, Osaka and Tokyo for many years while on our travels and living abroad. While A.P.C.’s retail presence in the U.S. and even is native France is relatively small, the company has many boutiques big and small throughout Japan’s major cities. This one pictured here is in the chic Tokyo neighborhood of Daikanyama, tucked between Shibuya and Naka-Meguro. It’s a tiny storefront and shop space, but it has this beautiful, minimalist style than manages to fit right into the neighborhood’s quiet ambiance and human-sized architectural scale. It’s also incorporated some leafy greenery into the space. And it’s totally “on brand.”
The spacious Saturdays Surf store (pix below) in the fashionable border strip between Tokyo’s uber-hip Daikanyama and Naka-Meguro neighborhoods is a carbon copy of its New York City original in terms of winning retail branding concept: Espresso bar and a collection of over-priced surfboards at the front of the shop and an inviting wood-decked outdoor patio behind the store. Between the two sections is the merch, that wonderful collection of aspirational surfer-inspired fashion and accessories that punters must walk through when they take their freshly brewed Americanos out back. It’s a kind of exit-through-the-gift-shop tactic but even better ’cause the customer has to walk through the store twice even if they’ve just come to enjoy a cup of espresso on the back patio. The clothes are well made, there’s cool selection of Van’s and tees, and even a curated collection of surfer photography books and videos. And there’s actual surfing gear like board shorts, fins and wax for sale, too.
In terms of style, the interior of SS Tokyo is a stand-alone building with fresh, clean lines and a Malibu contemporary feel, whereas the NYC flagship on SoHo’s Crosby Street is cozy and crammed into a long, narrow, old-school brick-and-mortar tenement (espresso bar at front, outdoor patio in the back, dubbed “The Backyard”), albeit with that SS arty-urban-surfer-dreams-of-Bondi Beach aesthetic indelibly stamped on the interior. Props to Tokyo for getting Kurtis Kulig, the “Love Me” dude, to write that ubiquitous graffiti meme on the wall behind the espresso bar. In any case, if you’ve got the time, the Tokyo SS is worth a visit, if even for a coffee and the relaxing patio deck and its view of laidback Naka-Meguro. The clothes are super dope, too. For more check out SS’s regularly updated blog.
[Traduction française ci-dessous. | Traducción al español está por debajo de | 以下の日本語訳。]
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Voici quelques photos du magasin de surf samedi dans le quartier entre Daikanyama et Naka-Meguro à Tokyo. L’intérieur de la boutique est belle, bien-design. Le concept de magasin est basé sur le concept original qui a débuté dans la ville magasin de surf samedi à New York. Il ya un bar à espresso à l’avant du magasin, et une terrasse extérieure à l’arrière du magasin.
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Aquí están algunas fotos de la tienda Surf sábados en el barrio entre Daikanyama y Naka-Meguro, en Tokio. El interior de la tienda es muy bonito diseño. El concepto de tienda se basa en el concepto original que se inició en la ciudad de sábados tienda Surf Nueva York. Hay una cafetería en la parte delantera de la tienda, y un patio al aire libre en la parte trasera de la tienda.
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Hier sind einige Bilder des Samstags Surf Shop in der Nachbarschaft zwischen Daikanyama und Naka-Meguro, in Tokio. Das Innere des Ladens ist schön, gut-design. Das Store-Konzept basiert auf dem ursprünglichen Konzept, das an der New York City samstags Surf Shop gestartet beruhte. Es ist eine Espresso-Bar an der Front des Ladens, und eine Terrasse auf der Rückseite des Ladens.
A Bathing Ape (or BAPE), the global Japanese clothing and lifestyle brand started by creator and Tokyo music producer Nigo, is twenty years old. To mark this milestone, there’s an anniversary exhibition of Bathing Ape design and classic artifacts at Daikanyama T-Site, the super-architecturally stylish and utopian Tsutaya-Starbucks shopping complex in Tokyo’s Shibuya. Below are some pics we took a few days ago of the exhibition space at T-Site.
The GPS screen in K.’s car in Tokyo is pictured below. We had no idea where we were at the time. Tokyo can feel like a massive labyrinth in a car. K. picked us up at the Haneda airport and she then drove us to Global Graphica’s Tokyo satellite office in the Daikanyama neighborhood, in Shibuya, relying solely on the instructions in Japanese and this screen. Well done, K!
Here’s a much closer view of the ground in Tokyo: A curving street line in the fashionable Naka-Meguro neighborhood. You can see the exact spot where this photo was taken via this Google Maps link.