Firstly, and irrelevantly to the title: ever felt you've won a competition? I do. And my prize is a two year old. Back in April, I gave a 'test' lesson to a two year old boy whose mother made no secret she was taking him for test lessons to EVERY English language school in Tokyo (or something like that). Well, today I found out that, from Monday, he's going to be my new regular student. I WON! They liked me best. Or something like that. Maybe I was just more or the level of a two year old than the other teachers (should I be worried?).
Anyhoo, Shibuya. Tonight I got very drunk in Shibuya. For anyone that doesn't know one of my favourite Japanese words, a quick lesson: No-me-ho-dai. Got that? A nomihodai is a 'drink-as-much-as-you-can-in-a-set-period-of-time session. (Doesn't really translate quite as well, does it?) Tonight 33 of us tumbled into the Buttu Trick Bar in Shibuya (Buttu is, I imagine, the Japanesified pronunciation of the English 'Buddha', or something like that. Who cares?) Anyway, cool bar, here's some pix from their site. It's along the lines of themed bars such as the wonderful Christon Cafe, except the Buttu Trick bar had a giant Buddha and lots of little Buddhist statues and whatnot, and The Christon Cafe has big stained glass windows, crucifixes, angels and stuff. The pictures on these sites don't quite give over the amount of details or iconography or atmosphere or small extras of these places, but I do like them. A lot.
What was my point? Oh yes, Shibuya. (Oh and I had a conversation with someone tonight that as soon as I told my name said, 'ah, you've got a blog haven't you? WTF? Anyway, another teacher stumbled across this some time ago and asked me one day if it was mine, I said yes, but just why he'd mention this to someone that doesn't know me, I'm not sure. Infamy I guess).
Shibuya, anyway, is an interesting place. It's a place where lots of young orange people hang out. It's packed with shops, department stores, restaurants, bars, etc. But it's particularly well known for two things: Hachiko and orange people.
Hachiko firstly and very briefly: Hachiko was a dog that use to walk it's master to Shibuya train station every day for ages. Master san died one day at work. Hachiko carried on going to the station for years to wait for his dead master. People tried to rehouse him without luck. Bla bla bla. He died and was buried with his master and the people of Shibuya thought it was so kawaiiiiiii that they build a statue in his honour outside the station. It's one of the most famous meeting spots in Tokyo and there's even a 'Hachiko Exit' in the station.
And then there's the orange people. The orange people have gone crazy with the fake tan and sun beds basically, and have long, out of control back combed and laquered to fuckery hair, and white eye liner under their eyes. The girls look pretty similar to this. A brief survey of two Japanese friends concluded 100% that this is not a good look. (Not that I was in any doubt.) Orange people are known as ganguro, although my Japanese friends were confused whether this term could be applied to men as well as women. (More gangaro)
The next step up (!) from a ganguro is an old woman of the mountains (or old hag of the mountains if you prefer), or Yamanba. Like ganguro but with white lipstick.
Anyway, the orange look has been popular for about ten years now, apparantly.
I kind of equate ganguro girls as being the Japanese equivalent of your Shaz n Trace look.
But, it's late and I'm tired, and you can use google as well as I can if you want to know more about the wildlife of Shibuya.
Side note: the above was all written in a VERY drunken state last night. I'm amazed at how little editing I just had to do on it!