I want to start off by saying ARIGATO GOSAIMAS to all the people I met, skated, and hung out with in Tokyo.
So, here's a little background information for you: I was talking one day with Colin when he brought up the possibility of going to Tokyo for a couple weeks and asked if I wanted to meet him there. I seriously considered it but wasn't sure I could pull it off with work and money but I found some cheap tickets and the next day I got a call from my boss saying I still had vacation time I needed to take. BOOM. I book my ticket and two days later I'm on a Russian Airlines flight from Berlin, through Moscow, to Tokyo.
I could talk a lot about what I did and how felt while I was there but this is a pretty overdone post as it is so I'll try to sum it up with this: Tokyo, in my opinion, has one of the best skate scenes in the world. What I witnessed was an extremely supportive community who are careful about what they craft and how they present it. And it isn't stifling in any way, rather the opposite. It's all about maintaining spontaneity, creativity, and good times, which is exactly why most of us skateboard in the first place. I haven't been this inspired since I first started ollieing off of loading docks in the suburbs of my home town of Melbourne, Florida. The skaters in Tokyo are rad and they're cultivating one of the most genuine subcultural scenes I've ever witnessed. It's inspiring on many levels and extends beyond the act of skateboarding and into life in general. I'm pretty thankful I had the chance to go to Tokyo and meet with new and old friends, skate all day and night, drink lots of beers and release crazy amounts of energy. I had some good laughs.
What's to follow is just a bunch of pictures from the trip, mostly in chronological order. Originally I had some stories accompanying most of them but in the end I felt it kind of distracted from the pictures so I'll just provide you with one really cool story from the trip that kind of sums it up quite nicely:
I had just arrived in Tokyo and we had been skating with a huge crew of dudes. Later that night, the crew splits into two squads after grabbing some beers and we go our separate ways and start pushing through town on a crowded Friday night, hitting spots as we go. At some point in the night, we're pushing through some tunnel and as we exit out onto the street, the other half of the crew we had parted ways with about an hour or two before comes barreling down the hill adjacent to us and we spontaneously merge together in a 20 dude hill bomb. We make it to the bottom of the street and everybody is laughing and freaking out about what had just happened. As we meet some of the other guys again at the top of the street, we see that they have taken 4 white girls hostage. Then the show begins.
Now the 4 girls from Switzerland who were just passing by are apart of the crew and everyone's morale is SUPER HIGH. Someone sees a skinny, deadly drop-in above a doorway behind some building and starts going for it. There were some close calls as 2 guys from the squad make attempts and we all spectate. I thought someone was definitely getting hurt but, out of nowhere, both dudes land it back-to-back. Everyone loses their shit. One of the locals gets a Swiss girl's number and as we part ways he yells back at her from across the street that she's got nice legs and a nice ass. It's my first day in Tokyo and it's blowing my mind.
Special thanks and BIG UPS to Fat Bros Worldwide, Evisen Skateboard Co, The Sleeping Horse, that dude Jeremy whose apartment we were able to crash in, the dudes from that Thai restaurant in Machida for hooking us up big time with amazing food, Nore, Liu Puli a.k.a. the Time Hopper, Yagisan, and Hiroki Muraoka aka the Mzungu or THE BEER MACHINE!