City Guide: Tokyo With Risa Taniguchi

Risa Taniguchi takes us to the best that Tokyo has to offer.
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How has your week been so far? Good, I hope? Dreaming of a distant land to escape to?  Perhaps we can help you sort your next adventure with our on-going City Guide series. This time, we travel to the future via the vibrant and amazing city of Tokyo. Our guide? Rising techno-talent Risa Tanaguchi. Just before her debut release on Pan Pot's Second State Audio, she takes us on a tour of her city, giving us the inside scoop on the best ramen and shops around.

Words by Risa Tanaguchi  

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We all like a good drink, so where are the top spots to head to before a night out?

I would say Oiran in Shibuya. This is a bar where so many genres of industry people gather and enjoy their favourite drinks before you head out clubbing. It’s also a really good place to network. They also own the Tatami venue on the 2 floor, so you can chill out, have a drink and then enjoy some music as from time to time they have events on, with their booth set up.

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Where can you find the best clubs / late-night venues in town?

In Shibuya. Almost all the good clubs are around there.

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Brunches are a weekend staple, which spots stand out to you?

Well, brunch is very different in Japan, so we all normally head out for Ramen. One called “Orersu Shio Ramen” which is based in Shibuya is open all night long until 2, so on your way home from the club you can drop by where they’ll serve you a mild salt-based Ramen breakfast for you.

Best dirty late-night street food option?

Tokyo has tons of 24/7 convenience stores in town, they offer some hot snack options like fried chicken, corn dogs, ice-cream, etc. Those are all yummy and very cheap, so you’ll definitely find a good food option and they even have a bathroom (sometimes).

Where can we shop for records and music memorabilia in Tokyo?

In Shibuya, there are a lot of record shops, one of those is Technique. In Nakameguro, there is a cassette tape/vinyl shop called Waltz where all of the tapes are selected by the owner and they offer so many kinds of music. You can even buy old cassette players.

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Your Sunday escape plan when you need to get away from it all?

I would go to a rental shop for Manga (comics) and rent so many of them to read back at my home – this is one of my favourite escape plans. Or, playing piano also – very therapeutic!

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Something everyone should do when visiting Tokyo, but probably hasn’t?

Night bar / Izakaya tour in Nakano, where I was raised. There are so many different restaurants and you can experience bar-hop too. During the day you can enjoy touring toy shops there too. While it’s a very traditional city, it’s still relatively close to the center in Tokyo. In April, the city is especially packed with people who want to see the big line of Cherry blossom trees and do Ohanami there too. You can bring your beer in your hand and then walk around the city seeing the beautiful cherry blossom. I love my city ;)

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A track that reminds you of your childhood in the city? (If not originally from this city, a song that reminds you of when you first moved here)

All the tracks by Tetsuya Komuro who brought synth sound/dance music into JPOP. If I should choose one, I’d say “Boy meets girl” by try (produced by him).

What are other great exports that come from Japan?

Karaoke is one of the best exports from my country I believe. Although people tend to be shy in Japan, we feel we can let go and enjoy ourselves once we’re in the Karaoke room and grab a mic.

A gift you can’t leave Tokyo without taking home for friends?

Instant noodles. We have literally a bunch of instant noodles which you can buy anywhere. You can taste the $15 worth of ramen for only $1. You must buy some and find your favorites.

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Oh, I mentioned Ramen a lot…

Risa’s debut on Second State will be her track ‘Ridiculous’ on the labels SUM 6 VA release out on the 19 July. Pre-order here.

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