Besides his day job as Visvim creative director, Hiroki san spends his time jetting across the globe to soak up the world’s assorted cultures – the fruits of which are clearly written all over his collections. But it’s his native Tokyo that keeps him rooted, hanger gets into Hiroki’s mind for his version of Tokyo – history lesson included.
What’s your idea of Tokyo?
It’s a very convenient city. Also, the culture is really unique. There’s both a traditional and a modern side to Tokyo, and that balance is very special.
Where would you take someone that’s just arrived in Tokyo for the first time?
Well, there are so many places that I’d like to show them, it’s hard to choose. But one of the locations I’d take them to is the old part of Tokyo. And probably introduce my favourite Japanese food like sushi and soba. And also, the parks.
Do you have a favourite place in Tokyo?
The area I love most in Tokyo is Ueno. It’s an area where you get to see the old side of Tokyo, like temples and shops. That area used to be Maeda Han during the Edo period. Maeda was the major of Kanazawa, and he had a big, big house in the Ueno area. He was very academic and really supported artists. And now his whole house has been converted into the Tokyo university area. So if you visit and walk around Ueno, you can discover something really interesting left over from the Edo period.
Where should we go to find an interesting representation of Tokyo’s fashion scene?
I guess it’s still mostly the Omotesando or Harajuku area.
And how about some restaurant recommendations?
I go to many different restaurants, mostly small ones though. There’s a sushi restaurant that I found few months ago. I always try to go there but its always fully booked most of the time. It’s called Sushi Masa and it’s somewhere near Nishi Azabu, but you’ll have to call to make a reservation. A very young chef owns it; he’s trained himself for a long time and now he owns his own sushi restaurant. The food there is really nice.
Do you have some favourite photo haunts?
Well, you can get interesting pictures anywhere in Tokyo. â€¨I would say Ueno or Asakusa area for the more traditional side â€¨of Tokyo. You can walk along the Nezu area to see the Edo â€¨artifacts. And if you go west like Harajuku or Daikanyama, â€¨you can find something more young, hip and creative stuff.
Where are we likely to find you on a Friday night in Tokyo?
What time would that be?
Probably in the office!
What keeps you rooted to Tokyo?
I travel all the time but I go back for my office and headquarters. â€¨But I always miss the food!
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