June 03, 2021
If you've ever visited Hong Kong, you've probably been to one or two of Gilbert Yeung's iconic nightlife venues – even if you might not remember... For our inaugural edition of LUXE Insider, the legendary founder of dragon-i, Tazmanian Ballroom and newly revamped Cassio shares his top five go-to spots in Tokyo.
(Photo: Gilbert Yeung)
As my music career started in a record shop, I always love visiting the record shops in Tokyo. One of my favourites is Bonjour Records – it’s been around since the '80s/'90s. It's a very funky place in Daikanyama selling carefully curated music, books and a small selection of clothes with a cafe inside.
The thing I love about Japan is that everything is so meticulously curated. For example, you could go to America and find 200 pairs of vintage 501 jeans in one store, but in Tokyo, you might only find 10 pairs of vintage 501s but they'll be the best you’ll find anywhere in the world. Bonjour records is the same with their offerings.
Tsutaya Bookshop in Daikanyama is a great place to hang out, especially during late nights as they are open until 4am. Apart from having a great selection of books, they also have an amazing selection of vintage and current magazines from all over the world, plus a great selection of music from jazz, classical, rock and so on. They also have extremely knowledgeable staff who can help you find exactly what you're looking for, even when you don’t know what you want! Every time I go there, I find a lot of inspiration, which helps me to create fun concepts and events – and even my DJ sets.
Ever since I started embracing yoga and practicing Buddhism and Daoism, I've tried to eat lighter, sothe Brown Rice Canteen in Omotesando is perfect. Opened by Neal’s Yard Remedies in London, they serve up healthy, organic and vegan traditional Japanese cuisine. They always have delicious seasonal Japanese vegetables and fermented foods, and I highly recommend this place to vegans and vegetarians.
When it comes to food in Tokyo, I like to visit the less obvious restaurants. For dinner, Eat in Azabu-juban is a basement restaurant that locals frequent. It’s got a small menu, funky vibe and mostly counter-style dining, which I really like.
I’ve had some really fun nights in Tokyo and one that was particularly memorable was at Club Yellow. Although it is now closed, it was one of the best house music nightclubs in Asia – their sound system, interiors and music selection was just incredible. I remember when Louie Vega was playing one night – he came on at 1am and even though I stepped out and came back later, he was still playing at 8am in the morning. It's rare to find a club where people are so appreciative of quality music that they stay till the early hours.
Tokyo bound? Don't forget to pack some LUXE...
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