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Tokyo’s Jamaica Festival, Design Festa, drink & dine Izakaya

Tokyo’s Jamaica Festival, Design Festa, drink & dine Izakaya

May 19th, 2013. Diary Format.

Since we didn’t make it to Jamaica during our trip to Cuba (friends had the idea to leave Cuba for a two day excursion to the island but then just thought it too crazy), we decided to make up at the One Love Jamaica Festival 2013 in Tokyo’s Yoyogi park near Harajuku.

Tokyo has got a lot of free events going on every week and most festivals are free.

On our way to the festival, we met waving Hello Kitty driving through in fashion crazy Harajuku. Just a normal day in Tokyo.

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Having arrived at the One Love Jamaica Festival 2013, we got ourselves a brochure with all events listed.

Festival location: 2-1 Yoyogi Kamizounocho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. Admission: free.

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Apart from a lot of food, one could attend the World Reggae Dance Competition and listen to Jamaican singers on stage. And a lot of Bob Marley interpreters.

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Bob Marley everywhere. Most of the stuff was sold with an iconic image of the most famous Jamaican.

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I took a picture of the Ethiopia stand as it sort of struck me on its modest use of available space. I wonder what Ethiopia must be like.

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Japanese people did their costume thing.

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Sun glasses complete the outfit.

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And pose!

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Guys drumming and painting. Military outfits were popular which (to me) portrayed an ominous war image.

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The pictures.

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Of course Japanese girls picked up the curly hair trend.

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I like rasta look. Thinking about getting dreadlock heads (Tomek first) a very long time ago in Bangkok, I had read that maintenance is strenuous to keep them hairdos good lookin’, that it takes ages for dread locks to dry  and since we never use hair-dryers nor styling products, we reconsidered.

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Yo Yo Yo – check out the gangsta glasses.

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Wack dun’t see nuthin.

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Japanese do festivals looking very presentable and theme their looks. Details like face paint and accessories make all the difference.

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These mobile robot ladies drive a lot around the city lately. They are advertising the new Robot Restaurant where you get served by robotic waitresses.  I am not sure if I want to visit. It maybe like in the movie Enter the Void where you think that the presented neon bright night club world of Tokyo is somewhat fascinating but you don’t really want to participate.  Robot restaurant clearly isn’t about the food. See for yourself, if ya like http://www.robot-restaurant.com/

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This Tokyo street scene is truly fascinating, though. Three uniformed men navigate cars out of a regular car park. Safety first in Japan.

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The Disney store has build itself a little fortress.

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Tokyo. Endless shopping and eating opportunities await. This is Tokyo’s  Shibuya.

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Tokyo is fashion. You can find newest styles mixed with the traditional.

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Before we moved on to get to the Design Festa at Odaiba we got a drink from Tokyo’s vending machine convenience.

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And off we are to Odaiba – the completely artificially build island with futuristic urban architecture. It is a popular entertainment but also business and residential district. Attractions are numerous but most prominent is a huge robot called Gundam and the miniature Statue of Liberty.

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Riding the Yurikamome Waterfront Line to access Odaiba is a sight in itself. You can see the Rainbow Bridge and spectacular views of the harbour and the Tokyo waterfront, not to mention the impressive building developments.

After a cool ride with the train going all around and above Odaiba, we arrived at Big Sight – a huge exhibition and convention centre which also hosted the sadly split Anime Fair 2013.

Obviously there is a huge saw in the ground.

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Our goal for the day: the Design Festa. Location: Big Sight, 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto, Tokyo. Admission: 1,000 yen per person.

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A world of paintings, aspiring fashion designers, hand made crafts, accessories and avant-garde live performances on two levels.

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Ball antenna on headband. Great idea on how not to get lost at big events.

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For a delightful change in professions of one sided gender dominance: man makes cutsey teddies.

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This stand had some clashing heavy metal-fantasy apparel and brought my current addiction to mind: Game of Thrones. I cannot believe I actually got caught on a TV series. And I totally blame my friend Monika for it.

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All figures at this stand were undergoing serious bondage. Cute figures but not for kids.

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Rows and rows of exhilarating design.

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I am still absolutely fascinated by Japanese Lolita girls.

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And princesses?

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Watching artists draw was the most fun.

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Kawaii.

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This artist created visionary machine-castles.

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From all the variety, I really liked the drawings most. They were unique in that they often mirrored anime inspirations. As if that part of Japanese culture was somehow deeply rooted in the artists.

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Live performances.

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Performance art.

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Artists had whole walls to show their creativity.

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Creepy dolls were a hit.

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Victorian Goth dollies.

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A very relaxed atmosphere to meet artists and buy their creations.

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This macabre beauty would make a great robot friend. Let Sony get together with the artist. Screw Tamagochis – this is the future.

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Some musicians were promoting their songs.

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Pink birdie. Spot on.

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Overdimensional face drawn on huge wall. I can’t help but stare back at her.

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Artists in action.

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Can I adopt? Why not?

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Some artists had fun interactive ideas. Throw the dice for 100 yen and win a tiny doodle on a scrap of paper.

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From this artist who was drawing wearing a mask.

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I am not sure what these two gorgeous were promoting but most likely themselves.

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Massive drawing.

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One woman was showing off her tiny models of French streets. I wonder if she has trained in Lyon/France where Tomek and I have marvelled at fascinating miniature sets for films at the Musée Miniature et Cinéma. http://www.museeminiatureetcinema.fr/accueil_eng.html

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The outside veranda of Tokyo Big Sight. Futuristic city. More like a cutting edge space station.

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Feeling very small in Tokyo.

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Just wait with the pic – my hair is in the way!

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The hare was always in the way.

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Time to say goodbye to the Big Sight Centre, which so is an alien spaceship.

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Shadow of aliens.

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Real alien with satellite receivers on head camouflaged as hair.

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Lucky for you, you cannot feel how windy it was.

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Tomek checking various connections to get to a Japanese izakaya (Japanese restaurant-pub joint venture) for dinner.

Did I ever mention that Tomek is carrying internet in his bag? We have this portable router, the WiMAX – that way we can get directions using Google Maps which awesomely also displays routes using any means of public transport (train, metro, bus, you choose), prices and metro-train-bus timetables.

A picture of 21 century independent travel.

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To food. A very recommendable and fun place is Kin no Kura – a Japanese izakaya chain that’s kind to your wallet. The dishes to accompany your drinks start at 270 yen and the more expensive ones are about 400 yen. They also have worthy nomihodai (all you can drink) deals. We enjoyed two hours of nomihodai for 2,000 yen per person including five dishes at the Shinjuku branch with friends a few weeks back.
Location: Nishi Ikebukuro 1-23-2, Toshima-ku, but you can find Kin no Kura all over Tokyo. Check out their site for the Shinjuku branch http://www.sankofoods.com/shop/kinjr/kinjr_shop03.html (I always translate pages using Chrome).

See if you can find the 270 yen sign in the picture.

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At Kin no Kura you are ordering through a detachable touchscreen tablet.

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Edamame is compulsory for starters. And delicious.

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Something that just never really happens: our tablet was somehow self-ordering and had to be reset. But before, we got all those meat based dishes served.

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Finally pescaterian friendly. Tuna carpaccio with avocado salad and fried cheese gyoza with sour cream. For four dishes and six drinks we paid 4,200 yen.

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We use this one app very often – Google Translate – especially with food. It recognizes many languages, including Japanese signs when taking a picture of the writing and sometimes gives a more or less reliable translation.

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View from Ikebukuro station to get back home.

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Because stations are featuring many exits, we sometimes like to check out what’s on the other side. Here goes the view from the opposite exit of the train station. It was raining and I enjoyed many typically Japanese, transparent umbrellas.

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Good night from Tokyo!

 

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