Thursday, September 13, 2007
After work I rode down to Amemura (short for American Village, アメリカ村), because this is where a lot of hipsters hang out and I figured I could pick up some Vans. For some reason, I had my heart set on Vans, but it turns out I should have bought them back in Vancouver, because they're an exotic import here and fairly expensive.
Amemura is a crazy scene on the weekends but it was tame when I was there this time. There were some people shopping and kids practicing rope dance. Some of the guys were throwing down break moves inside the ropes, but I didn't catch any of those.
There are shoe shops everywhere but they're segregated according to dress or casual, black or white culture (which is odd, considering that there are no black or white people here), by age, by gender, and by a number of other fashion points that were too subtle for me to discern. Since I was looking for Vans, I was only in the casual shops, which were basically unisex - although heavily slanted towards men, since most Japanese women wear high-heels.
Here are some shots from a few of the shops.
I guess they have more or less the same shoes here as they have in North America, the difference is that colors and styles that would be considered outrageous in North America are perfectly standard here.
This goes for other things as well. In the Adidas store, a dude was rocking a bright, shining purple hoodie with baby blue and lime green stripes. I decided on the spot that I wanted one but it was 15,000円 - and this was probably a deal. The other day I saw a zip-up that I wanted with a fly little bird on the zipper pull and criss-crossing dark blue and green stripes. It was 22,300円. My budget for clothes is definitely going to have to be scaled up here.
This shot is taken from a shop that only carries shoes for kids. I know I would have been stoked with some of those when I was that size.
In the end, I wasn't able to find the Vans I wanted in Amemura. Luckily, I found some in a little boutique on one of the side tiny streets up near where I live. That's right, I bought my Vans in a boutique - and I paid boutique prices for them.
Here I am demonstrating questionable taste by wearing them inside.