Brad Spurgeon's Blog

A world of music, auto racing, travel, literature, chess, wining, dining and other crazy thoughts….

Street Culture in Nagoya

October 7, 2011

When we think of urban life and culture in Japan, we think mostly of Tokyo. At least I do. But I know very little about Japan, even though I have been here several times. I am getting to like it more and more on each visit, though, and part of that is related to learning how to read the culture and where to go to find it. Last night just walking through the streets of Nagoya, in the Sakae area, which is the central downtown part of the city, I nevertheless had a bit of unexpected culture thrown in my face.

Nagoya may be Japan’s third most populated city, but it is somewhat understated, with most of the nightlife happening behind closed doors in basements and upper floors of buildings that look otherwise rather discreet. So I was surprised to suddenly have my attention grabbed by a bunch of people dancing in front of an office building at around 10 PM, using the glass front of the building as a mirror. This was very cool stuff, and so I grabbed a bit of it on video for the blog.

Not far from this spot I heard a fabulous sound of rock music coming from the street, and my first thought was it was either an outdoor concert or a music bar with the doors wide open. Turned out it was a young band busking outside the Sakae subway station. They were really cool. I was running out of battery power on my Zoom HD Q3, though, so only got a bit of it. The guitarist was hot!

Meanwhile, I think I found another open mic place to play, on Saturday evening. But I keep my fingers crossed.


  1. Wow! What a couple of unexpected finds, indeed! As you observed, that guitarist was *on fire.* And i LOVED your footage of the kids using the office building’s exterior as an improvised dance studio. Great stuff. As always, thanks for taking me along on your adventures.

    • Thank YOU. And by the way, I really enjoyed your Steve Jobs post. We all obviously have the same philosophy of getting the most from life today. Are you still planning to come to Paris soon?

  2. Hey, Brad! Yup … we share the same life philosophy. And yup, I’m still planning on coming to Pairs in November. I very much look forward to catching up with you during one of your open-mic sessions, and to introducing you to some of my (other) musician friends. I’ll be in touch soon via email. Salut !!

  3. Oh, man! Thanks for the memories, if you will. I lived near Yoyogi Park in Tokyo for a while and would see this kind of energy exhibited in the streets in such colorful ways. One could make a great coffee table book with all the faces in those lively groups. Cheers, for keeping it fresh!

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