Tokyo Doings and Upcoming Posts

I thought it might be a good idea to give you a rundown of what I did while in Tokyo, and what posts you can expect in the next few weeks! A few pics here and there will illustrate.

First weekend:

* Golden Gai with La Carmina and Australian TV Travel Show – when it’s screened, I’ll try to YouTube it, although I think I only appeared when we toasted “Campai”.
* Gothic Bar Heaven – post to come
* Saw 13th Moon & the Cracks at Shinokubo Earthdom – already posted
* Decadance Bar and Seileen Night – post to come

* H. Naoto new store and latest fashion – already posted.
* Takuya Angel store and Hanabi – already posted

During the week:

* Lots of shopping, & noticing of trends, at Shinjuku, Harajuku and Shibuya – post/s to come
* Shops in Shimokita – Nude N Rude, and Kita Kore building – post to come

* New rock bar in West Shinjuku – post to come
* Interviewed Kikirara Shoten!! Post to come
* Visiting Dolly Kei shops Tarock, Virgin Mary and Grimoire – post to come
* Ales wigs – already posted
* New food places in Shinjuku – posts to come
* Decadance bar again, hanging out with Sisen, G-sus and more – post to come

Last weekend:

* Back to Hair of the Dogs in the Golden Gai – post to come

* Merry Go Land – Part 1 posted, still to post Part 2 with pics of the fashionistas there 🙂
* Designer Nozomi Ishiguro – post to come
* Last visit to Decadance Bar and Tokyo Dark Castle – post to come

As well as outfit posts, some pics of new goodies bought..and a competition 🙂

Tokyo Decadance White Party. King of Evil 13 – Baal.

It’s about time I wrote about the trip, eh?

I’ll leave the fashion and shopping til another post; this one is all about the partying, baby!

Specifically, last night at Tokyo Decadance and the King of Evil 13 gig.

TD had a white theme, so out came the drag queen wig, the tutu from Harajuku, the Louise Black corset, stripy tights from Banana Fish, boots from Sex Pot Revenge, ruffled/shredded top from Bodyline, lashes from Takuya Angel…and eyeball hair ornament from Hellcat Punks in La Foret. Of course, there had to be a BIT of black 🙂

There were some amazing looking people there, at the Christon Cafe
including the wonderful Yukiro
I love how they go all out on their make-up – even the guys (Kenzo-B here)
This is Ryo, who manages the Sex Pot Revenge store in Harajuku. (SPR is one of my fave punk brands and I review some latest Sex Pot Revenge gear here). He made his mask – that’s an eyeball hanging out of the socket – euww! Can you tell he likes Slipknot?
Fashion designer Kenzo A, who used to design for gothic brand Stigmata, now has his own label Cabal / Rituals, as well as fronting the band Gabriels Stiletto. This photo doesn’t do him justice – the man is gorgeous. I’ll be doing a profile on him and his enterprises soon.

And do you recognise this camp dancer from my Halloween Decadance post?
A green and blue haired person appeared at the side of the stage and it took me a few moments to clock that it was Sisen! It’s a look I haven’t seen him do before. Alas, I didn’t get a good photo, or get the chance to chat with him this time around, athough I got a little wave from the stage.
I had to leave at 2.30 to get to the Baal gig, so I missed Sisen’s set 🙁  Next stop was Shinjuku Motion for King of Evil 13. Baal gave a
powerful performance and I was blown away. If you haven’t heard of them before, see my Baal post here, or head to the official Baal website.
It was great to catch up with Miki and Utarou again, as well as other peeps I met last year. Here is Emery, Utarou and me.
I got to hang out with Akie again too – she showed me around a few cool suburbs like Koenji and Kichijoji last year. She sells alternative fashion like Lip Service over there, sometimes in the clubs themselves. You might recognise her from the Gothic Lolita book, where she sits in her bedroom stuffed with gothic dolls, posters and other dark stuff.
DJing between bands was the inimitable Nao12Xu (of 13th Moon) – read more about him in my earlier post on 13th Moon, or read Nao’s blog, where he details the setlist for the night. 13th Moon are playing at the Drop Dead Festival later this year, and Nao has also been busy producing a compilation for Zorch Factory Records. Plan-X from The Eastern Dark, a Japanese Punk/Post Punk/Deathrock/Psychobilly compilation is available online now. I’ve heard it – you want to!
I have to confess I was feeling seedy today, but I managed to head off to Theatic Alamode in Ikebukuro, albeit a few hours late. More on that night later.
Can I just mention how scared I was during the eathquake today? Yesterday’s tremor was weird enough, and even that had me nervous. But todays effort, at 6.6 on the Richter scale had me sweaty and trembling. I’m on the 5th floor, and felt terribly powerless when the building began shaking a bit from side to side. There was nothing I could do except ride it out, and it went for over a minute. The fear is that the tremor will get more powerful, and your building will topple and collapse and you’ll be crushed in the rubble.
But I survived. Obviously. More blog reports from japan soon…

Tokyo Decadance and Midnight Mess

My final night in Tokyo did not disappoint.

I knew that it was Tokyo Decadance‘s 4th anniversary as well as being Halloween. I duly spent hours getting ready; blending the make-up, putting on the fake lashes both top and bottom, and adding other accents. Then the issue was deciding what to wear out of the numerous options I’d packed. I was interrupted by a short delightful visit from U-tarou and Miki (from the band Baal) who’d come to say goodbye to me – awww!!!

I met up with 3 Aussie girlfriends and we headed to Tokyo Decadance around midnight. There was already a long queue of assorted night creatures, decked out in huge pouffy wigs, short skimpy jumpsuits, lolita gear, scars and blood spattering, huge platform boots, masks, uniforms…even a penguin!

I was gagging for a beer, and the wait seemed interminable. I realised that only so many people can go up in the lift at one time – and the Christon Cafe is on the 8th floor! A spunky chick in barely-there turquoise shorts lessened the pain of the waiting hordes. Later it became apparent that there were more surprises in store, that would also take time.

We finally got into the lift. The doors opened and…. we promptly joined another queue. Man, this was getting to be a drag, but I knew the wait would be worth it. Finally our turn came and a few of us were ushered through the door…to darkness.

“Why did I go first?”, I asked myself, as I saw cobwebs and surgery tables in the darkness. The hairs on the back of my neck began to prickle.

LOOK RIGHT! It’s a Japanese ghost girl with long flowing hair hanging mid-air. Then – LOOK LEFT! A personage with a huge Skull loomed ahead. Screams ensued. Well, mostly mock ones to aid the atmosphere…but it WAS a bit scary, and by now I was having fun.

When I finally made it to the entrance, I found myself at the top of a wide staircase, from which I could survey the opulent grandeur of the room below. High ceilings were topped by an enormous chandelier, crosses hung everywhere, niches in the walls held statues of saints; it was like an Orthodox or Catholic Cathedral. And it was PACKED! See for yourself:

It was truly impressive to see how much effort people had gone to with their appearance. There I was, thinking I’d done OK , feeling like a peacock…I was but a sparrow compared to these veteran Tokyo decadent freaks. They really know how to take their appearance to the nth degree. Some were beautiful, some grotesque, others funny.

My lashes (bottom and on cheeks) were purchased that day from Takuya Angel in Harajuku. The top purple lashes are from Shu Uemura. The mask on my top hat is from In Visible Light in Sydney. The top hat itself is from Village Hat Shop. The Victorian collar/manteau is from no:wear fashion from Camden in the UK. I’m wearing green Rave lenses that glow in blacklight. They’re from Clearly Contacts.

My friend Briony always looks fantastic, with lashes and lenses and fab make-up.

Yukiro and Jim looking alarmed (or is that alarming?)

Yukiro and I both dig the blue-and-green-mixed-together fashion aesthetic, obviously.

My reflective gauntlets are from Melbourne Gothic label Vicious Venus.
My turquoise sparkly corset with reflective trim is from Sydney Gothic label Gallery Serpentine.

Naohiro from 13th Moon with another deathrock friend.

(Is that hawk held up with glue, or are you just happy to see me?)
 Yes. She IS sucking on a penis lolly.

Impressive mask. Either that, or he was burned in a fire.
.Um…Pretty in Pink?

More pictures will come to hand as people who attended the event post them. An online blog friend who I totally failed to meet up with at TD, did a great write-up here. Valerie is a photographer – so naturally, her pictures are WAAAYY better than mine. Another great post is by Samurai Dave aka Roving Ronin here.

I really enjoyed Rolly – give me glam and I’m always happy!! He sang Rocky Horror stuff and looked and sounded Bowie-esque. But lawdy, I had no idea he was 46!! I thought I looked good for my age! I got NOTHIN on him. A bit of research indicates his full name is Rolly Teranishi, and in addition to being in bands and having his own TV show, he played Genesis in Suicide Club (a really intriguing film if you haven’t yet checked it out).

I didn’t mind the DJ but the music wasn’t really hard enough for me. Pity I’d missed Sisen‘s set earlier! The crowd also made it hard to get around, see people, and get to the bar!

By 3.30 I decided I’d better get to Midnight Mess , and was immediately rewarded with warmth and recognition from people I’d met last time. MM didn’t have the glitz and glam of TD, but it sure had heart. It didn’t have amazing robots, but it played cool music (like Joy Division and Siouxsie.) There weren’t that many people there, but those who were, were really friendly. It was a goth club as opposed to a dance club.

I was originally intending just to drop in and then head back to TD, but I got caught up in the fancy dress contest, and then in talking to people, like Aki here:

The pic was kindly taken by photographer Kousuke who remembered me from last time, and told me to look on his website. Lo and behold, there I am in the Goth section.

I also ran into Jim (who’d come from TD), Takuya (who recognised me from the lashes), Maya (of course – she runs the club!), Count De Sang, a few new friends, and last of all, Sisen! He appeared at the very end, having scampered from TD.

When I finally looked at the time it was 6.23am – no point going back to Decadance now, with my hotel only a few minutes walk away. So I bade everyone goodbye, and toddled home in my platform boots. Both clubs had been really engaging and enjoyable in different ways, and I was only sorry that I didn’t have another weekend to meet up with some of these fab people again.

Oh well, next year!

Tokyo Decadance Halloween 09 and Midnight Mess

I’m going back to Tokyo on a whim too.

I knew I had a week free in my work schedule if I swapped a shift around. It was when I heard that Tokyo Decadance was having its Halloween Party on the 24th, in Shinjuku, that I knew I had to go.

I LOVE the goth clubs in Tokyo. On my first visit I went to Alamode Night, on my second I went to Alamode, Midnight Mess and Tokyo Dark Castle. But I’ve never been to Decadance!!

While DJ Sisen is more widely known as the face of Tokyo Decadance, Adrien is actually the creator of the club. And I have to say, I was expecting him to be really effeminate based on the pictures I’ve seen, but in real life, the man is GORGEOUS!! I mean, in the “hunka-hunka-burnin-love” category of man. But I digress.

As Adrien says, “Tokyo Decadance is an unforgettable party where various arts, fashion tribes and music styles are mixed. You can easily meet colourful people, dark performers, gogo dancers, fetish, gothic, cyber, punk, funny people as well as gothic and lolitas, cosplay, visual kei fans, drag queens, gyaru…” And it’s now so successful that it tours throughout Europe.
Midnight Mess is on the same night, but as it’s also in Shinjuku, I can go to both! Wheee!!!

Honestly, just about THE best guide you will ever read in English on the club scene there is by La Carmina, here. Check out her blog with all the different tags, cos there’s a wealth of information there.

Here is my account of my first Alamode night.

What I love about the clubs I’ve been to is the theatricality. Firstly, there’s the numbers of people who make a huge effort to dress up in exquisite costumes, wigs and make-up. Many of the people you see in the pages of the Gothic Lolita book attend or are involved.

Then there are the performances at each club: bands, fashion shows, mime, and even rope suspension at MM! So there’s always something to see. I can heartily recommend a visit to one of these clubs; just wear black or alternatively, mega-bright colours to be assured of entrance (no jeans, t-shirts and trainers, orright?)

I’ll write more on the specific clubs I’ve been to, with pics of the gorgeous performers and attendees, but I just had to gloat a little. And hopefully pique your interest so that you check ’em out too!