Day out in Nakano & Koenji

OK so it’s been a while since I posted about my Tokyo adventures…and there’s still heaps to share, so here is one favourite day I spent with friends Akie and U-Tarou (from Baal), who you see below.

I was still getting used to my extensions, and finding that they got incredibly knotty incredibly quickly, took to putting my hair back in ponytails. I wouldn’t normally, feeling I’m perhaps a tad old now for the look, but hey! It’s Tokyo; I can look kawaii if I want. I wore violet circle lenses, and some co-ordinating eyeshadow.  Naturally, there was leopard print involved in my outfit.

First stop was Nakano, which is to the west of Shinjuku, otherwise known as the other Akihabara. There were toy and figure shops and maid cafes there before anywhere else in Tokyo, and otaku used to head here before Akihabara developed and blossomed to the geek paradise it is today. (See this blog: Tokyobling, for a really good rundown on the area).

Destination: Nakano Broadway. Just opposite the train station, there is a covered street you can stroll down, with lovely sunshine streaming in through the glass ceiling, making it very bright.

When you get to the end of this walkway, you come to a mall or arcade, which is a rabbit warren of curio. Take the escalators up and you’ll see lots of interesting little shops filled with toys, figurines, cosplay gear, doll accessories, clothes etc.

These look like just a cute assortment of shoes and boots, right? Until you see the scale – put a finger next to them and you see they are tiny dolls’ shoes and boots. Aww…

Again I’ll quote from Tokyobling, as it’ s a good read and very descriptive:

One of the most famous Manga and anime chain stores in Japan, Mandarake, are established in force at Nakano Broadway, with numerous speciality store covering everything from plastic model kits, cell phone straps, anime cells to cosplay uniforms and antique books and magazines. It is also the place to pick up cheap second hand computers, anime figures, second hand manga and some extremely rare pop culture antiques (shop signs, old posters, enamel novely good from the pre-war era). In short, Nakano Broadway is everything that Akihabara used to be.

Not being otaku myself, I was more interested in fashion than figurines, so no pics from me on that score. After some shopping there, we headed back to the train station to check ut Koenji – a very cool suburb with a lot of secondhand stores and punk flavour. Meeting up with Emery, we checked out a variety store…whereupon he promptly choked a chicken!

There was one place or person I visited last year that I had to revisit – my old punk dummy mate. As usual, I had to pull a similar face:
They’d changed his outfit and hat since last year, as had I :

We headed to the fantastic store Nude n’ Rude, which I’ve written about previously. Then it was time to explore Koenji more and beer up at an izakaya….but that can wait for another post…

Nude n’ Rude! Gothic & Punk store in Koenji, Tokyo

I love going to new places and discovering cool stores. It’s not every day you see a gasmasked, purple-wigged mannequin clad in hot pink PVC, clutching a fetish magazine and a whip, is it? No, me neither. But here it is, in the heart of Koenji – the store Nude n’ Rude.

 A cursory look at the shop windows reveals a place that is definitely out of the norm.
(Click on the pics to see them bigger and in more detail)
The teal-haired, large bosomed mannequin in the window beckons you in…
Stepping inside, we see racks of brightly coloured dresses, shirts, boots and skirts, as well as studded collars and other jewellery.
My, how I wanted that Horrorpops t-shirt (as I’m a big fan) but I resisted.
Nude & Rude stocks a lot of western fetish & gothic magazines, along with fetish paraphernalia – collars, cuffs, boots, ballgags…
Your eyes are drawn inexorably to the graffitti’d wall..and to the chandelier above
before flitting from one colourful object to another: plates, furry claws (a la Sisen), rubber ducks, fancy dress items, to leopard dresses, bags and shoes once again.
It’s colourful chaos, and I love it.
The name brands are all here: Lip Service (the US gothic one, not the Shibuya gal label), Iron Fist, Demonia/Pleaser, Kreepsville 666, Sourpuss clothing, Leg Avenue, Rockin’ Bones…you name it!
If you are after the same brands we have in Australia/US/UK, and the same style of goth and punk gear, then this shop, Hellcatpunks and Sexpot Revenge are the stores for you. Funnily enough, they are my friends Akie and Utarou’s fave stores too.
There is, however, far more colour here than in their western counterparts. Eye-popping pinks and vivid greens sear your retinas as your synapses fire wildly and your brainmeats explode.
We chatted to the store manager Lilian and learned that Plastikhaar/Ukiyo 5 is now being stocked there! Furthermore, Sara Hochuli was coming to town in a few days and they were throwing her a party, hosted by Akie.
Some fuzzy pics from the party follow; the usual goth suspects attended. Below is Lilian in the pink & green hair, Akie and Sisen.
Sarah with the shopgirls, Sisen eating cake
John (Comte de Sang), Michael and G-sus
But back to the store and my first visit there. I can tell you I was pretty darned impressed. But we had to leave sometime, and as we do and I take a last look back from outside, I spy the Siouxsie t-shirt – damned cool.
Meanwhile Akie rebels against the fascists trying to keep her down, by smoking in a no smoking zone, hehe… My friends are awesome 🙂
(Not that I approve of smoking, mind. “It’s not big and it’s not clever”, as someone’s mum used to say. Not mine, as she was a chain-smoker from way back and put me off the things for life!…but I digress)
For even more pics, see the entry on Nude n’ Rude in Tokyo Shop Style, on the Style Arena website.

Nude n’ Rude
1F 4-9-8 koenji-minami, suginami-ku, Tokyo
Map here
Business Hours:12:00 – 21:00

Plastikhaar/Ukiyo5 blog