Needing a current photo of Hachiko (Japan’s famous faithful dog) for an upcoming project, I zipped down to Shibuya with my camera to snap the landmark statue. After I got the shot of the beloved pup, and with a little time to kill before an engagement at Mac Jacob’s “Bookmarc” where one of Tokyo’s most enigmatic street photographers and my dear photohomie, John Sypal (also of TokyoCameraStyle fame, read: this project’s inspiration) would be signing his sublime new book, Nebraska, I decided to stake out the intersection of… “Inokashira Street and Organ Slope.”

Now, if the intersection of “Inokashira Street and Organ Slope” doesn’t sound familiar, here’s a few Tokyo tidbits for you. First, know Inokashira Dori is the 20km street that starts near Inokashira Park in Kichijoji, runs parallel the length of the Inokashira Line (on which I live) and terminates near Shibuya station. Organ Zaka, or Slope, is in Shubuya’s Udagawacho backstreets, named so for the many music-related stores such as record shops, musical instrumental equipment stores, live houses, and nightclubs. The two streets intersect near Tokyu Hand’s B1 entrance, past the Police Box, en route to NHK. You know the one, right in front of the entrance of HMV, and closest traffic light to Manhattan Records, Face Records, Next Records, Nerds Records, RnR Music Garden, 2Tight Music, Ecostore Records, not to mention 3 giant Disk Unions: Rock in Tokyo, Jazz Rare Groove, and Shibuya Club Music, nor to mention about 4 or 5 other record stores that are literally a stone throw away from them, and then another 4 or 5 that are within a 5 or 10-minute walk. That little intersection, which I believe is officially called “Jinnan Shogako Kosaten” could prove to be a bottomless honey pot for Tokyo Record Store sitings. It only took standing on that corner for about 3 minutes before I spotted Erika coming dong the street caring a 12” vinyl bag from Manhattan Records.

Erika was cheerful and accommodating and had actually scored this record (Japanese singer-songwriter, SIRUP’s 2021 release “Cure”) as a birthday present for a friend. Nice job, Erika! Hot wax is the nicest gift to receive! Your friend is gonna be stoked!

Friends!! Take note from Erika! You can never ever go wrong giving your record-loving homies vinyl! Am I right, record-loving homies? Best gift ever! Thanks, Erika! More Tokyo Record Style on the way!!!

BONUS FACT!! This intersection is also a stone-throw away from the former residence of Hidesaburo Uneo, the master to whom beloved Hachiko was so famously loyal.

Sirup – Cure
Label: Lexal – LEXAL046
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP, Limited Edition
Country: Japan
Released: Aug 18, 2021
Genre: Funk / Soul, Pop
Style: Contemporary R&B, J-pop, Soul

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