Good friend, shop homie, and "free-lance" model for the block here - Justin Calcagni just got back from his trip abroad to Japan. Still on the roster for majority of the team to visit Japan, so we made him give us the go-to's for all of us. The plug...
If you’re not taking advantage of the convenient stores or street markets out there you’d might as well stay in SD and go to convoy. While the Izakaya’s and bigger restaurants were good, Japan goes hard when it comes to their convenient stores. To be honest the hand rolls and packaged food at 7-eleven out ran most of the restaurants we went too. Safe to say we learned quickly and steered away from restaurants. If you’re into seafood, and you must be, otherwise why are you even reading this, the street markets in Kyoto are your go to. We had oysters literally the size of my girlfriends forearm. If the food were any more fresh we would have to be spear fishing in the big blue. And don’t think I’m being cheap here. It’s a fact that these are your go to spots. There’s a reason why you don’t see locals heading into restaurants.
If you do however decide to go against my advice and eat at a restaraunt, don’t be surprised when they hit you with a service fee. In japan there is no such thing as tipping, instead they charge a service fee on top of the food. Think of it as an extra tax. They don’t tell you about it but it is there.
Also last rule about food, NEVER eat while walking.
I delt the cards. Your draw
There’s only one place you should ever go to for drinks, the vending machines. Just google vending machines in Japan and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a one stop shop with everything from hot/ iced coffee to ice cold beer and sake, even ramen. Yes you heard that right. Beer plus ramen out of a vending machine. The only reason to go to a bar is if you need your pretty girl drink with a flower on top otherwise vending machines and 7-eleven will have all you need. They even got pre packaged shots of sake for you. Nuff said. You can find vending machines and 7-elevens on basically every street. They’re all over the place and you’d have to be Keng blind to miss one.
Japan thrive’s on everything made in LA and NYC. Basically if it has English on it, you best believe they are rocking it. And no matter how hot it is there they will still show up decked out while holding a small personal fan to keep them cool. Tokyo in general is the shopping central but the absolute best shops are over in Harajuku. Their you’ll find all the street wear brands you can dream of, think of it as a mix of fairfax and the fashion district all in one block. You’ll find shops such as Palace Skateboards, Neighborhood, Kapital and for the high school hype beast you even got Supreme. Some of my favorites were Ships, Beams and United Arrows. If that’s not your calling though, go one block further and you’ll find the holy grails of denim and thrifting. I’m not sure who these guys’ connects are but the pieces are insane. They even have old US Vietnam military gear up for grabs. Most of the thrift shops were unmarked so I have no idea what they were called but if you’re ever in Japan, save your taco change or bring moms credit card to Harajuku. You’ll thank me later.
All in all, do me a favor and go to Japan. We could all learn a thing or two from them. No spoilers here, you’ll know what I mean once you visit
Seen here wearing: