Digging up unique outdoor items in Mitaka / Kichijoji. [Kai Sanpo-Visit Tokyo famous stores-]

3 years ago

A famous pair from Nakameguro stroll around Mitaka and Kichijoji.

GO OUT “Kai Sanpo” is a series of shop tours by Mr. Kai, who is familiar with this magazine, in which he visits famous stores in Tokyo with guests from various fashion industries.

For the 4th time, Mr. Yasuyuki Maeda of Common Education, who is also a member of the Nakameguro scene, will appear as a guest. Kai says, “I’m a little older, but we are both strong allies and friends.” With the combo for this tour decided, we decided to visit the famous GO OUT stores in the Mitaka / Kichijoji area.

Right / Kazuhiko Kai (Director of BAMBOO SHOOTS). Currently working as a director of Bamboo Shoot. Left / Yasuyuki Maeda (Director of COMMON EDUCATION) Director of Common Education, a brand with roots in street culture and the outdoors. He used to work with Kai at the same company.

The two of them gathered at JR Mitaka Station on a hot day of over 36 ℃. They get along well in there private life, and often drink in Nakameguro, but due to the influence of the Corona virus, they haven’t been able to meet recently.

Maeda “You haven’t been out drinking with me lately. How are you?”

Kai “I’m fine. But it’s a little too hot today. I want to be careful about heat stroke and walk slowly. There is a shop I want to go to in this area, is that okay?”

Maeda “Of course. I’m looking forward to all the shops I’ve heard of but haven’t visited yet!”

Kai “Let’s go then. The first one is about a 10-minute walk from here.”

This Kai Sanpo, which started from JR Mitaka Station, will visit three stores within walking distance from Mitaka Station and Kichijoji Station, respectively. Due to the hot weather, they decided to take a taxi part of the way.


【SHOP 1】Hiker’s Depot

“Hiker’s Depot”, the original UL outdoor shop that has supported the UL scene in Japan since its dawn. Since it is located in Mitaka, hikers heading from Tokyo to Okutama often stop by, but recently more and more people are coming to see rare UL items.

Mr. Maeda, who visited the store for the first time, is curious about the large number of UL gears lined up. Among them, it seems that he is interested in rare bags and accessories that are not seen in other outdoor shops.

He compares the alcohol stoves by hand to feel the compact size and ultra-light weight.

Maeda “This garage brand alcohol stove is amazing !! This is at the level of” The World Unknown To Matsuko “(TV program) (laughs).”

Kai visited the store for the first time in half a year. He has known the owner Tsuchiya for 15 years, and although they have different stances involved in the outdoor scene, they seem to respect each other.

Tsuchiya “Kai-kun has always been a valuable person who can talk about outdoor wear honestly while also focusing on the fashion field. It’s an industry that tends to narrow the field of vision, so talking and studying can be a learning experience. ”

Kai “Tsuchiya-san is my senior who I’ve been indebted to for a long time. Today is the first time I came here in half a year, but this shop is always interesting. It’s a place where I can discover new things.”

ULA Epic ¥50600

Mr. Maeda was interested in a bag like a backpack carrier that was used with a dry sack in between. In fact, this model comes as a Sea to Summit sack set.

Maeda “The functionality is interesting, but it’s an item that you’ll want to incorporate into fashion. The black and yellow Utan color even makes it suitable for B-boy style (laughs).”

Meanwhile, Kai enthusiastically checks the shoes corner. It seems that he bought Altra shoes here at the end of last year, and he is interested in new shoes this time as well.

ALTRA King MT2  ¥18700

And the pair he got was Altra’s trail running shoes. Although the sole is thin, it is easy to walk because it contains a reinforcing plate, and it also has a velcro strap that improves the hold feeling on unstable footings such as rocky areas.

Kai “I got an Altra Grafton before, and it’s really good. I’ve been wearing it for a long time, so I’m about to want a to upgrade to a new model.”

The two of them enjoyed checking out UL items at “Hiker’s Depot” and decided to move to the next station, Kichijoji. They’re going to use a taxi this time, but it’s only one station away by train, so you can come and go relatively smoothly.

The next destination is “The Apartment”, a unique select shop that both of them will visit for the first time.


【SHOP 2】the Apartment

“The Apartment” carefully selects American clothing and miscellaneous goods from the perspective of a B-boy in the 90’s. In fact, this shop has a great influence on the movement that led to the reprint of various masterpiece items as classic pieces from The North Face attracted attention again.

The two guys who grew up through hip-hop culture when they were young, checked the interior and exterior happily as soon as they arrived at the shop, and looked around the store with excitement as if they were back in their kids’ days.

Kai “I’ve always wanted to come to this shop, so I’m happy to be able to visit as part of this project. The stickers that are casually placed and the objects that are displayed are also cool!!”

Maeda “Because it’s the style of my seniors who I always looked up to when I was younger, I was always checking it at that time. Even if I look at it nowadays, I think it still resonates.”

Mr. Maeda is attracted to the display of Sony Sports, a brand that was reimported in the 90’s. Some items are now at a premium, but unfortunately they are all not for sale.

Kai checks all over the miscellaneous goods corner. And he decided to buy American stationery as a souvenir from his childhood.

Kai “I remember buying a lot of these miscellaneous goods when I went to NY when I was young. That’s why I’m going to buy felt-tip pens that I haven’t seen sold in Japan yet, for my son.”

Maeda also pays attention to the 2000s NY brand, Anything, which was revived this summer.

Maeda “I was crazy about this at the time. I love the designer Aaron. No way it was resurrected !!”

Left/STABRIDGE T¥5500、Right/THE NORTH FACE jacket(古着)¥77000

Here are the items selected by the two who both seem very excited. Kai’s is the original brand at “The Apartment”, the T-shirt of Starbridge. Maeda’s is a helicopter jacket made in 1994 by The North Face.

Kai “The back print is a parody of a certain outdoor brand, but this kind of playful sense is the best. The atmosphere and size of the body are nice.”

Maeda: First of all, I was attracted to the two tones of black and yellow. The details that are typical of the 90’s are also interesting, and I think it has an appeal that I can’t quite put into words. I want to use it with the bag I chose at Hiker’s Depot. ”


A little detour to Maeda’s favorite skate shop.

The two enjoyed shopping at “The Apartment” and now walk to their final destination, “Big Two”. Walk toward Inokashira Park and you will arrive in about 10 minutes.

However, along the way, there is a place that Mr. Maeda really wants to stop by. There is a shop about 2 minutes walk from “The Apartment”.

Maeda “Instant is a store specializing in skateboarding. I’ve always loved skateboarding and its culture, and if you’re in Kichijoji then this is this shop.”

Kai “Oh, good. Then let’s take a look!!”

That’s why “Instant” is a long-established pro shop with skate decks lined up all over the wall. Still, it’s kind to beginners, so many people come here and get hooked on skateboarding.

The store manager, Mr. Yoshida and Mr. Maeda, also met through skating. It seems that they have a long relationship, and even while we take a break on the bench in front of the shop, they can’t stop talking about skateboarding!



The last shop they visited was “Big Two,” a popular outdoor shop that represents Kichijoji’s outdoor scene. It has functionally beautiful gear and clothing that can be used in everyday life, and is frequented by individual campers and bicycle lovers.

Mr. Maeda visited the store for the first time, but Mr. Kai seems to have visited the store for the first time in about two years, so he explored the store with a relatively fresh pair of eyes.

Kai “There is a lot of interesting outdoor gear. There are a lot of items that you can use while camping.”

The two guys both pay particular attention to the multifunctional bag from the original brand, Works. I asked Mr. Katsumata, the “Big Two” manager who was in charge of the project, about the gimmicks of each department in detail.

BEDWIN & THE TECHNIQUES “HEAD FS”    5/L mesh pocket shorts ¥22000

Maeda selected shorts made of Solotex material while saying “I’m really interested in this piece …”. I want to incorporate it as an immediate force in this summer style.

Maeda “The hot days will continue for a while yet but these shorts are made of elastic quick-drying material, so they are comfortable to move about in. Moreover, they look stylish even though they have such large pockets.”

VARGO titanium straw  ¥3300

Kai seems to have taken an interest in some gear, so he bought a Vargo titanium straw. The titanium material, which has no odor, is also lightweight, so you can easily carry it in a special case.

Kai “I recently bought coffee at a convenience store, but it didn’t come with a straw, so I wanted a straw like this. I think I can use it for a long time.”


Is this cityscape with a mixture of bars, clothes stores, and tool stores close to Nakameguro?

So, the two guys really enjoyed the Mitaka / Kichijoji area. They liked the shopping experience at each store with the desire and inquisitiveness to survive the heat wave.

Kai “Mae-chan, it’s been a while since you last visited Mitaka and Kichijoji, so how was it?”

Maeda “No, it was a lot of fun!! I get the impression that there are many tool stores. Every store values culture properly, and I feel that fashion is at the forefront.”

Kai “The cityscape feels like an expanded Nakameguru. There are bars, clothes stores, and tool stores.”

Maeda “It’s true that the atmosphere is similar, so maybe it’s easy to feel at home.”

Kai “That’s right. If that’s the case, I want to drink in Kichijoji after this …”

Maeda “That’s right (laughs). I hope we can go out drinking again soon.”