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1Xtra in Japn
1Xtra in Japan
Benji's off
Benji B:
The Tokyo entries
Saturday 11th September 2004
Previous day

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So I there I was thinking that I was going to be getting an early night, and somehow it's 6am again! Went to say wassup to ?uestlove and the Roots Crew around 9pm - checked out the show, the last of their three nights here in Tokyo. The show was heavyweight and went on for over 2 hours.

Left at 11pm, jumped in a taxi and headed to a hotel about 15 minutes drive from Shibuya where Toshio Matsuura had invited me to a crazy party. Toshio was there in a tuxedo DJing to fashion designers, strippers, drag queens and super models, drinking champagne cocktails and dancing on the tables, the bars, the chairs and generally being "fabulous". Upstairs I felt like I was in a 80s New York photo shoot for Vogue magazine while downstairs I felt like I was in a Jay-Z video. After a few Vodka tonics and some good music I was loving it.

One look at the watch and I had to say my goodbyes as it was fast approaching time for Seani B to be hitting the Decks at his dancehall session back in Shibuya. We made it back in perfect time - the whole place was buzzing and when Seani stepped up to represent 1Xtra. He smashed it! It was amazing to see the Japanese girls down the front doing all the dance moves. When the dancehall session was over I was happy to see the sight of a Jerk Chicken stall. After a midnight snack and some drinks at the Room it was 5.30am and I realised that tomorrow (or today actually) is my last day in Tokyo!

Sunday: Part 2

Woke up at 10ish today and was met at my hotel by Hariko, who already had a toasted sandwich waiting for me for breakfast and a long list of shops that were on the agenda! It was very hot and humid and a real hardcore day for shopping. We checked out Supreme, Haze, Silas, Undercover, Porter…every label has its own boutique store in Tokyo!

The Sunday shopping experience in the fashionable side streets of Harajuku was absolutely crazy. In some of the shops it was overcrowded to the point of public hazard! It's like walking along a huge catwalk or fashion show, with almost tribal in attention to detail and style.

By 9.30 it was time to hook up with Shuya Okino who organised a final meal for me at a restaurant. It's the kind of place you could never find by accident - behind an alley, up a flight of stairs, next to a train track, through an unmarked door. Once inside it's very special.

Back at the Hotel now, I have to get up in 4 hours to catch a ride to the airport. It's been a fantastic week in the City of Orderly Chaos. I can feel already that this is the first of many trips here. This is the most buzzing city I've ever visited ­ with a population of 30 million and the sprawling mess of skyscrapers and neon signs, alleys and streets with no name it¹s hardly surprising.

It's incredible that with such a chaotic layout, there is still a feeling of unwritten order, efficiency and code. I think the reason for this is the unique culture of the people that live here. So I want to say thanks to Tokyo on behalf of myself, and all of the 1Xtra family, for such a great time and an unforgettable trip. Arigato!

1Xtra in Japan

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