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Daikanyama Days

img_9897as.jpgOne of the unexpected things about Tokyo is that some of it is surprisingly bucolic. A short distance from the neon-lit madness and packed train stations of Shinjuku and central Shibuya are neighborhoods with a more laid-back vibe. Even the teen futureworld of Harajuku is bordered by shrines and parks and there are loads of trees and some pedestrian-only streets. Daikanyama – Tokyo’s home of low-key chic – has been one of my favorite neighborhoods so far this week. Often given minimal coverage (if not left out entirely) in Tokyo guide books, I consider this area a must if you’re planning a fashion-focused trip to the city. The standard line on Daikanyama is that it has a European feel with sidewalk cafes and the occasional patisserie or Italian restaurant. In actuality though it feels more like a woodsy and slightly hilly ski town. Take the very chic yet very low-key atmosphere of neighborhoods like Nolita in New York or London’s Westbourne Grove and move them to the foot of a mountain somewhere and they would probably feel a lot like Daikanyama. It’s hard to believe that you are only one short metro stop from center town Shibuya’s Blade Runner-esque insanity. The mountain village vibe is carried through in both the architecture (lots of unfinished wood planks and rocks and moss) and the style of dress of the people who frequent the area. Even though it wasn’t very cold everyone was rocking lots of chunky knitwear, ski jackets and vests, shearling-lined boots, and bits of fur were everywhere. They were checking out shh-chic shops like A.P.C. Homme, United Bamboo, Sonia Rykiel, and La Labo. Speaking of cool shops in the area, the carefully curated selection of CDs at Bonjour Records seemed hand-picked for runway soundtracks. Here are my favorite streetstyle photos from Daikanyama…xx eddie

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