I was in Tokyo this spring and it’s still one of my favorite cities in the world.
The awful news about the earthquake, radiation and all the horrible things that happened in Japan recently coupled with my busy schedule in Europe stopped me from visiting the city. Every year when the spring comes (if spring even exists at all in London) I always miss the beautiful Sakura of Japan and it’s surreal atmosphere…
After my friend and business partner, Knock, left for Japan, I got impatient and had to get over there again. Before I left, I received a booking from ‘Womb’, one of my favourite clubs in the world, so I did not hesitate anymore before taking the trip.
Without a doubt this was one of the happiest and most exciting experiences of my life, not only watching sakura and hanging out with my friends but also being inspired by Tokyo’s scene.
Well if you are ever in Tokyo, one place you can’t miss out on is definitely the Womb, Japan’s answer to London’s Fabric or Berlin’s Berghain. In a few words, if someone asks me where they should go during their one night out in Tokyo – I would definitely recommend Womb. When you cross the busy streets of Shibuya, in the middle of love hotels, you get to this dark and grey wall which looks like there is nothing behind it. Yet, when you open the door, the place inside is truly huge, it is separated by three rooms. Ground one has mid capacity which has very modern decorations, second floor (main room) is huge and dark, third floor is a bar but you can look to the main floor through glass from the top. Finally, 4th floor is very cozy but LED screens on the ceiling reminds me of Watergate, cozy but the sound is very nice. Whether you visit first room or third room you can here a very crisp sound system, and when you walk up and down the stairs, visiting all the rooms and floors you’ll feel like you’re in the maze in Alice in Wonderland as Womb is built like a dark maze. Lose yourself in the Japanese Womb.
To be honest, when I lived in Japan, I didn’t visit this club that often, maybe because I was too young. However when I went to Saloon for the after party at about 6 in the morning, the sounds of Saloon were perfectly balanced and warm – the perfect trippy sound for an after party. The crowd also made the vibe of the party, true party freaks who come from all over the place but always end up in Saloon, staying till the end, listening to music, staying much calmer than Europeans would do but really appreciating and their eyes were truly… off.
What I can say about this club? This is my local club, just 2 stops from Shibuya, you get to Nakameguro, one of the most famous places in Sakura, generaly people come to Nakameguro for “hanami” or shopping, but if you are really interested in the underground music scene, check out Solfa. It is small but everyone who works there is so passionate about music, the ex manager Manabu was one of my favorite producers /live actors in Japan, and now their new manager Masaru Sang (also producer/live actor) is doing his best to manage this small club. Sadly I cannot be objective about this club as I just love this place so much, every staff member is like a family member to me as well as an amazing musician.
Air is one club I used to frequently visit growing up in Tokyo and I still remember the crystal clear, bassy sound system. I noticed that Japanese clubs in gerenral are very particular about the sound quality and Air is an example of that, remaining one of the most respected clubs in Tokyo for big lineups and incredible sound. If you are in town, visit my friends DJ Shintaro D party, they really show off what the system can do.
If you want to visit Ageha, you should be patient as it s not easy to get there, the club is out of town and you need to take a bus from Shibuya for about an hour. However, it’s worth the journey. Ageha is very unique, on the main floor they built their own speakers and shaped them like a beehive. The club has been magnificently designed with the sound to match! Ageha is a super club with 4 floors, with an inside and outside area, drinks and food are both sold in the club. There are even swimming pools, like Ibiza or Greece! However, you soon realize that it’s not just a super club but a unique sonic experience complete with with crazy red colored beehive speakers.
Review by Red Pig Flower.