SNOW DANCE- a brief walking tour of Daikanyama

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SNOW DANCE- a brief walking tour of Daikanyama

Post by nogizaka » Sun Jul 24, 2005 10:48 pm

Hello all:

As per Tachikaze's recommendation, during our trip to Japan a few weeks ago, my wife and I visited Daikanyama to retrace, if possible, Miwa's footsteps in the video. If you have the video, you should be able to follow along by going to:

The pictures:

005: The video begins near a clothing store called 'NIMES', as Tachikaze mentioned. Miwa comes in from around a corner, now marked as a parking area (you can see a lot more building going on than was in the video, and some of the landmarks are no longer there).

006: A long shot from the corner where Miwa makes her first turn. 'NIMES' still seems to be doing well, and the wall, railing, and bulletin board on the left are still there, but the residential-looking facade with picture windows on the right is gone. My long shot does not look nearly as long as in the video, where the camerawork and pacing turn a sidestreet into a panorama. Miwa essentially stays in the same block (as you can tell by her turns) with an alley thrown in.

007: A large street named Kyu-Yamate-dori. The clothing store (I know, it's a fashion district) A.P.C. is still present. I skipped the building on the corner because again, it appears to be under construction or renovation.

008: Having passed the wall of a residence, Miwa now comes to a store that I can read the name on much more easily now that I have actually seen it...

009: The 'Hollywood Ranch Market', a clothing (duh!) and southwestern goods store. Need a birdhouse?

010: Masa comes out of this clothing store (which I did not bother to check the name on- guess I was getting sick of clothing by this point) and passes behind her as she makes her next turn...

011: The view here is identical except a lot has gone on across the street in the past six years.

012: Miwa turns into an alley here, and you can see things have changed quite a bit, even before Niehya slips past her. On the left in the video, the building we see now must have been under construction, and the right side looks completely different as well. We'll talk about the schoolgirls in a minute.

013: Them changes. 'Boburi', with the dancers, has become 'Le Cordon Bleu' cooking school, although the pavement in front looks the same. On the right is all construction barriers, but the parking space is still there!

015: Miwa makes her last turn, onto Hachiman-dori, near Daikanyama Station. Again, I have neglected the buildings on the right because they aren't there anymore. The bank, which my wife picked out immediately in the video, is having something else built in its' place. The 'Hoochie Coochie' bar and the tonkatsu restaurant are still there, as you can see (we decided on ramen for lunch).

016: A long shot. The buildings on the left are pretty much the same.

017: I decided that it was not a good idea to chase the schoolgirls around with my camera (these fellows are waiting to take pictures of the bride and groom coming out from the reception at the restaurant across the street). The girls in the video may be extras, but they are wearing the winter version of the uniform you see the ladies up the street wearing. My wife believes they are students at Shibuya Joshikoko. We saw a number of students in the area, all wearing the same uniform.

I would recommend a trip to Daikanyama if you are visiting Tokyo- it is a nice way to spend a morning. There are literally hundreds of shops, and speaking of shops, we were unable to find 'Cor Blimey' that day, although when we got back we found its' website (with map) easily. My wife says we were walking in the opposite direction- it is on the other side of Daikanyama Station. Maybe next time...

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Post by newrynyuk » Tue Jul 26, 2005 3:24 am

Thanks nogizaka for the interesting tour! Must admit it did occur to me to do that walk one day around Daikanyama. I wonder if the local council/tourist office make use of the fact it was the location of the Snow Dance video? There must be many DCT fans who have retraced Miwa's steps?

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Post by tachikaze » Thu Jul 28, 2005 6:06 am

Some general comments...

Daikanyama is a pretty nice area of Tokyo, almost equivalent to Beverly Hills or a fashionable area of Orange County (but I guess Omotesando is ritzier). It is an up-market Harajuku, catering to an older, ritzier clientele, or at least that is my impression. I think Miwa said on the video commentary that she chose Daikanyama because she likes it (but I could be misremembering here).

Yamate Dori is one of the major "ring roads" that circle central Tokyo, (the ones I'm familiar with are Yamate (which is #6), Kan-Nana (which means Ring #7), and Kan-Pachi (I'll let you guess this one). Yamate-dori is the first ring road outside the Yamanote ('bout a quarter-mile to the 'outside' IIRC), and Kyu-Yamate is an older, separate part that can be found around Shibuya (kyu is the same kanji as 'mukashi' and means 'older'/'olden').

Miwa said all the people in the video are indeed extras.

Seems a lot less crowded that day compared to the video!

Tokyo is indeed an interesting place; some areas are built up more, some are built up less, but most of the city inside Kan-Pachi dori is that density or greater... I'd bicycled about 80% of the city inside Kan-Nana dori over 3 years and I never got tired of seeing all the buildings and stuff. I greatly preferred that density to the way of life in LA or SF -- the scenery sure moves by a lot quicker without massive parking lots everywhere, and most intersections in Tokyo are small enough to easily blast thru on a bike...

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Post by Jei » Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:31 pm

Thanks nogi for the nifty real-life walkthrough :)

Anyone want to do 'Hajimari no la'? ;)
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Post by nogizaka » Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:08 pm

When my wife and I are arriving in/leaving Tokyo, my Mother-in-law uses Kan-Pachi-dori to take us to/from Ogikubo Station. She uses Kan-Nana-dori when we need her to take us to church in Koenji (and if she can drive in Tokyo, she could probably take us anywhere!).

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