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STAR CAFE TOKYO: VISUAL KEI & HEAVY METAL JROCK BARS IN KABUKI-CHO, SHINJUKU. CURE MAGAZINE, POKEMON PILLOWS & TOYS.


STAR CAFE TOKYO: VISUAL KEI & HEAVY METAL JROCK BARS IN KABUKI-CHO, SHINJUKU. CURE MAGAZINE, POKEMON PILLOWS & TOYS. Gothic rock bands, anti-feminism, j-rock, cds, downloads, mp3s, theme bars in tokyo, gaijin tonic, weird theme restaurants, small alternative bars, golden gai, gellonimo, hair metal japan, funniest weirdest clubs in the world

Where am I? In a retro toy store with Luke of Chaos Royale? Not even close. We’re in Star Cafe, the Visual Kei bar in Kabuki-cho where spiky-haired groups like Anti-Feminism drink after playing a live. (For the record, they didn’t understand the meaning of the band name when they picked it…)

STAR CAFE TOKYO: VISUAL KEI & HEAVY METAL JROCK BARS IN KABUKI-CHO, SHINJUKU. CURE MAGAZINE, POKEMON PILLOWS & TOYS. Gothic rock bands, anti-feminism, j-rock, cds, downloads, mp3s, theme bars in tokyo, gaijin tonic, weird theme restaurants, small alternative bars, golden gai, gellonimo, hair metal japan, funniest weirdest clubs in the world

How typical of Japan… the cute and the hardcore, blended together seamlessly.

STAR CAFE TOKYO: VISUAL KEI & HEAVY METAL JROCK BARS IN KABUKI-CHO, SHINJUKU. CURE MAGAZINE, POKEMON PILLOWS & TOYS. Gothic rock bands, anti-feminism, j-rock, cds, downloads, mp3s, theme bars in tokyo, gaijin tonic, weird theme restaurants, small alternative bars, golden gai, gellonimo, hair metal japan, funniest weirdest clubs in the world

Naomi and I had a full day of shooting with Norway TV, but we still had energy left for an after-after-party. We decided on the vintage whiskey.

STAR CAFE TOKYO: VISUAL KEI & HEAVY METAL JROCK BARS IN KABUKI-CHO, SHINJUKU. CURE MAGAZINE, POKEMON PILLOWS & TOYS. Gothic rock bands, anti-feminism, j-rock, cds, downloads, mp3s, theme bars in tokyo, gaijin tonic, weird theme restaurants, small alternative bars, golden gai, gellonimo, hair metal japan, funniest weirdest clubs in the world

There’s a rack of Cure Magazines, so you can do shots while flipping through the pages.
Lolita rose headdress: gifted from My Velcroe by Emily Blong. (I wore it on the Norway TV shoot… more photos to come.)
Skull t-shirt: Super Lovers, from Closet Child

STAR CAFE TOKYO: VISUAL KEI & HEAVY METAL JROCK BARS IN KABUKI-CHO, SHINJUKU. CURE MAGAZINE, POKEMON PILLOWS & TOYS. Gothic rock bands, anti-feminism, j-rock, cds, downloads, mp3s, theme bars in tokyo, gaijin tonic, weird theme restaurants, small alternative bars, golden gai, gellonimo, hair metal japan, funniest weirdest clubs in the world

What’s the proper thing to do when a customer falls asleep at the bar? Take photos involving Cookie Monster and V-fingers, of course!

STAR CAFE TOKYO: VISUAL KEI & HEAVY METAL JROCK BARS IN KABUKI-CHO, SHINJUKU. CURE MAGAZINE, POKEMON PILLOWS & TOYS. Gothic rock bands, anti-feminism, j-rock, cds, downloads, mp3s, theme bars in tokyo, gaijin tonic, weird theme restaurants, small alternative bars, golden gai, gellonimo, hair metal japan, funniest weirdest clubs in the world

Star Cafe is well-stocked with alcohol and J-rock DVDs.

STAR CAFE TOKYO: VISUAL KEI & HEAVY METAL JROCK BARS IN KABUKI-CHO, SHINJUKU. CURE MAGAZINE, POKEMON PILLOWS & TOYS. Gothic rock bands, anti-feminism, j-rock, cds, downloads, mp3s, theme bars in tokyo, gaijin tonic, weird theme restaurants, small alternative bars, golden gai, gellonimo, hair metal japan, funniest weirdest clubs in the world

Mistress Maya, “Queen of Kabuki-cho,” comes here frequently.

STAR CAFE TOKYO: VISUAL KEI & HEAVY METAL JROCK BARS IN KABUKI-CHO, SHINJUKU. CURE MAGAZINE, POKEMON PILLOWS & TOYS. Gothic rock bands, anti-feminism, j-rock, cds, downloads, mp3s, theme bars in tokyo, gaijin tonic, weird theme restaurants, small alternative bars, golden gai, gellonimo, hair metal japan, funniest weirdest clubs in the world

Visual Kei band posters cover the walls, like in my bedroom.

STAR CAFE TOKYO: VISUAL KEI & HEAVY METAL JROCK BARS IN KABUKI-CHO, SHINJUKU. CURE MAGAZINE, POKEMON PILLOWS & TOYS. Gothic rock bands, anti-feminism, j-rock, cds, downloads, mp3s, theme bars in tokyo, gaijin tonic, weird theme restaurants, small alternative bars, golden gai, gellonimo, hair metal japan, funniest weirdest clubs in the world

STAR★CAFE is located at 2F 1-11-5 Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku, Tokyo.
How to get there: walk toward Studio ALTA from Shinjuku station (East exit). Cross the main avenue (Yasukuni Doori), walk in a front street (Kabuki-cho Ichibangai), and you will arrive at Shinjuku Koma Theater. Opens 11:00pm.

STAR CAFE TOKYO: VISUAL KEI & HEAVY METAL JROCK BARS IN KABUKI-CHO, SHINJUKU. CURE MAGAZINE, POKEMON PILLOWS & TOYS. Gothic rock bands, anti-feminism, j-rock, cds, downloads, mp3s, theme bars in tokyo, gaijin tonic, weird theme restaurants, small alternative bars, golden gai, gellonimo, hair metal japan, funniest weirdest clubs in the world

Want to see more photos from Tokyo Visual Kei bars? I visited Visual Kei Bar Zin, Fu-ki’s Bar Midian, and Osaka’s Moonwalk and Rock Rock.

What type of bars do you prefer? In addition to headbanger bars, I love retro/absinthe/burlesque establishments…

PS: come read my latest CNNGo article about 10 extremely extreme sports involving yaks, angry bulls and the North Korean border. Also, my CNN picks for best travel destinations in 2011. Sichuan, Himalayas, Bolivia and more.

Japanese Word of the Day: Sonzai = Existence or being
Song of the Day: Anti-Feminism – Tokage

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28 Comments

  1. Posted January 12, 2011 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    Oh noes! The cookies monster’s decapitated head.
    Anti-Feminism, lol . It seems the Japanese like taking English words that sound cool even if doesn’t make sense. Which I first noticed when I read the sentence on a Sex Pot Revenge shirt I was given.

    • Posted January 12, 2011 at 3:38 am | Permalink

      haha the list of twisted English I’ve seen in Japan would go on forever…
      So many funny slogans and mistakes!

  2. Posted January 12, 2011 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    *adding to the list of bars I want to visit*

    I’m almost afraid I won’t remember most of my trip to Japan XD

    • Posted January 12, 2011 at 3:38 am | Permalink

      ahaha at least the drinks are not as strong in Tokyo… ;)

  3. Posted January 12, 2011 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Ok, so this looks like the Japanese version of my favourite drinking establishments, I want to go. I just wish Japan was better about the late night transportation options (subways end just after last call in Toronto=stroke of genius), how bad is late night tokyo traffic? I am a very proficient drunk cyclist.

    • Posted January 12, 2011 at 3:37 am | Permalink

      It’s terrible… the trains stop running around 1am and reopen at 5. So you have to stay out all night, unless you’re lucky to live close enough so you can walk/bike/cab back… At night, there’s not much traffic, thankfully.

  4. Posted January 12, 2011 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    OMG that place is amazing! i want one of that pillows (*^^*) i love your outfit!

    • Posted January 12, 2011 at 3:37 am | Permalink

      Star Cafe is so much fun!

  5. Posted January 12, 2011 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    cute pillows! i have one like the pokemon one.

  6. Posted January 12, 2011 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    OMG look at the Dir en grey posters… *____*

  7. Posted January 12, 2011 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Whaaa!!!! I wanna go >:0 rawr!

    Cure magazine ♥

    There’s a Cure magazine iPhone app !!!! >:D

    ♥♥♥ Thanks la La loving the outfit dear ♥

    • Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

      Oooh a Cure Mag iphone app?? Must get!

  8. Posted January 12, 2011 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    <3LOVE<3

  9. Posted January 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    that bar is like heaven *_* well I’m also like the japanese bars lol I like a lot to mix the cute and the hardcor together xD even my personality is just like that XD
    Thanks for the info

    PS: I want every cure there

    • Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

      That’s totally my aesthetic… cute meets spooky/Visual/Gothic :)

  10. Posted January 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I am glad that it is still hidden in the streets of kabuki-cho. It started as a place for friends (Bandpeople and their fans) My favourite bar i go to since i went to japan for the first time. it´s near and not so expensive then other bars/clubs in that area. The decoration is just awesome, but be aware, i have seen several cockroaches there. If somebody does not speak any japanese it will make no sense to go there, even you find it. And it is very small. They have a ladies day and other specials on season. You can meet several bandguys from visual rock band there by random. On some days there is just 2-4 people. very private, and no windows XD.

    • Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

      Nice! I love Star Cafe. It’s for insiders only, and I like that. Have you been to Bar Zin or Gellonimo too?

  11. Posted January 12, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    ahh! I know Emily. she’s really sweet. so cool that you’re wearing one of her pieces! Colin is a super good family friend of mine too. Have you met Colin? He’s a total trip if you ever do….

    • Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

      Yay yay. I am wearing more of Emily’s pieces in the Norway TV show and upcoming blog posts! I havent’ met Colin… so many people I need to meet ahh!

  12. Posted January 12, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    cool

  13. Posted January 12, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    dude there should be something like that in the U.S.

    • Posted January 12, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

      Only in Japan..

  14. Posted January 13, 2011 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    This is amazing! :)

  15. Posted January 13, 2011 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    I love this place.

  16. Posted January 13, 2011 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    That’s a pretty cool bar too.

  17. Posted January 13, 2011 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    Jeez, is that what I look like after 5 hours of non-stop drinking!? That should be a warning for kids! Looking forward to catching up with you next month.

  18. Posted January 14, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been wondering this for a while now but… around what age were you when you started getting into alternative fashions, and when you started wearing them?
    And did your parents freak at it or are they cool? (You dont have to answer that if its too personal ><") I'm nearly 16 and my mom hates lolita, decora, fairy kei, etc… :(

    • Posted January 15, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      I was around 14 or so… it wasn’t a problem because I was doing fine at school etc…

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