Thirty-million people, one city. From the moment we arrived we became part of Tokyo’s constant flow of human traffic. And even though the majority of Japanese cars come equipped with satellite navigation systems that could plot a course around every little traffic jam, we knew the standard “get in the van” style skate mission wasn’t going to work in this city.
Luckily for us, the Hurley crew went all out and rented an amazing house in the Shibuya district with a train station only a 30-second skate away. The trains are so good here that they will get you anywhere you want to go faster and cheaper than a car. And while it took some time to adapt our standard “van habits” by hauling lights, generators, tripods, and backpacks of gear all over town, it was definitely worth it in the end. Special thanks to all the Tokyo locals who showed us these spots that were just a train ride away.
James is straight out of Utah and rips, so we wanted to try and sneak him on this trip. After some calls, R.P. at Duffs agreed to pay for his plane ticket, and we asked if James could stay at the Hurley house. Originally we were told “no” beacuse there wasn’t enough room, so we brought James anyway, because we knew they really meant to say was “yes.” After a week, James had a bunch of footage, photos, a new sponsor, and absolutely no money. Luckily for James, Tokyo had an abundant supply of ramen noodles he could survive on for the next week. FRONTSIDE FLIP. MINATO-KU DISTRICT.
The Nuge rules! Don has serious pop and was constantly attacking some big rail or flipping his board over these huge gaps. And when he wasn’t skating, he was always ready to go out on the town and bang his head against something. One of the best things about getting kicked out of spots was watching the Japanese security guards assume Don spoke Japanese and start yelling at him. Eventually Don got sick of this and would just scream, “I’m Korean, damn it!” BIGOLLIE INTO THE BANK. SHIBUYA DISTRICT.
In case you didn’t know, Kris skates really f–king fast. I made the mistake of shooting some photos of him with the shutter speed set at five-hundredths of a second. When I got the photos back there was a ton of motion blur–that’s fast. One of the highlights of the trip was watching Kris completely destroy a mini ramp, doing every grab possible way over our heads. Basically, he can do so many different grabs he would ask questions like, “Do you want me to bone out a stalefish or do it tuck-knee style?” TUCK-KNEE STALEFISH. SUIDOBASHI DISTRICT.
One of the best things about Rodrigo was watching him just skate down the street on the way to spots. This would involve an effortless display of tricks like nollie heelflipping up curbs and kickflipping over guardrails. Aside from that, Rodrigo also did this trick where he would come out of nightclubs and pull a bottle of Bacardi out of his jacket–proof that he’s a man of many talents. NOLLIE NOSEBLUNT-SLIDE. ROPPONGI DISTRICT.
Bob flew into Tokyo three days after having knee surgery, and his doctor told him to take it easy. So we were all a little scared when he started skating this rail with a knob in the middle. But you just can’t stop the Bob, and within a couple tries he was rolling away unscathed. GAP TO NOSELSLIDE. SHINEGAWA DISTRICT.