Continued from 2013 Tokyo Trip Day 5: Ikebukuro
Saturdays are best spent in bed, so I didn’t leave my flat until well into the afternoon. My first and only stop of the day was shopping epicenter of Tokyo, Shibuya — which in my opinion is best experienced after sunset anyway.
Shibuya is all over the internet, TV, and print media mainly for one thing: Scramble Crossing. This massive heaving mass of humanity can be viewed roughly every three minutes from the vantage point of Starbuck Tsutaya Q Front.
As much as I love hanging out at Starbucks Tsutaya Q Front to get a good view of Scramble Crossing, that’s also the reason why lately it’s become such a massive pain to get a cup of coffee there. There are so many tourists milling about that you spend up to thirty minutes standing around looking for a seat.
What’s even worse, some of them are just there taking up space and taking pictures without purchasing anything from the store. Okay, I understand that some of them may be backpackers on a budget but would it kill them to pay JPY 400 for an iced latte — I think not 😐 Meanwhile, tourists like myself and locals who purchased drinks can barely find seats 😐 A little sensitivity please!
Anyway, bad juju was dispelled by a bit of shopping. I went by my usual stops such as Tokyu Hands, Mandarake, and Book Off. Book Off was deliberately my final stop as I had tickets to see friends play near Club Quattro. Near, not in — I don’t think they were big enough to play in one of Tokyo’s most well-known gig venues.
For those who used to attend events by Ongaku Society, the gig was similar in size and vibe. I think the main difference was in the set-up — the gig venue had fan-freaking-tastic equipment that would put a lot of Manila clubs to shame. Also, it was a standing gig, with people milling around in a “pit” trading drinks and stories. This club was no-smoking, as apparently most clubs in Tokyo are, but not in clubs outside the city.
The crowd can get into it pretty hard — as if it were their favorite bands playing and not their friends in cover bands. They clap and cheer at the same places where they would at arena gigs. The biggest difference though would be all the heckling and jeering going on as members of the audience poke fun at their friends playing onstage. It’s a fantastic atmosphere, and I honestly definitely would like to attend another gig soon ❤