Video Game Paradise: Exploring The Odds And Ends Of Taito Station | Clozette


It's Friday night in Shinjuku, and there's a general sense of good cheer in the air. Girls giggle and lean on their friends and people stand in the streets huddled in tight circles to chat. Come late evening, you can find salarymen, who have become very publicly drunk, slouched in the corners of buildings everywhere.


You get the sense that with the arrival of the weekend, the spell of social introversion that is characteristic to Japan is broken. People loosen up, they get to be themselves. There is no greater evidence of this notion than in Shinjuku's Taito Station.


Taito Station in Japan

At the entrance, there is a bright red facade with the logo of the 8-bit alien from Space Invaders. 


The wonders of Taito Station


This eight-floor building opens up into an atrium where you can hear the rapid smack of buttons and laughter as people play Bishi Bashi, a game of manic button presses that seems designed solely to provoke iridescent joy and extroversion. Elsewhere, brightly lit claw machines call loudly with their own little, happy chimes and, occasionally, someone wins and makes off with one of the obnoxiously cute toys that sit within, encased behind glass.


Taito Station arcade

An enclosed capsule that simulates the cockpit of a giant mecha robot


It is a blaring, dazzling novelty of a building — eight floors (two basements!) of arcade games and various other types of electronic entertainment. Just like pretty much everything in Shinjuku, it has the same kind of high tech TV/AV sensorial overload that's characteristic of the district. On every floor, you'll find enough to keep yourself or your kids occupied — if you have any. There are rhythm games, Taiko drums, virtual trains and robots that you can pilot — each one of them calling out with its own overt clarion call of sound.


Taito Station game booth

A man pilots a virtual Shinkansen. Not the most engaging video game, but worth a look.


Not all of it, of course, is just for kids. On the sixth floor of Taito Station, there are rows of booths of photo machines. And more often than not, you’ll find adults, mostly women, coming in from the office, cramming themselves into these booths to take pictures adorned with loud, cartoonish decals. You can do the same, and the photos make great keepsakes. After all, it's reminiscent of Neoprint booths of the late '90s, and stepping into one of these things can fill one with nostalgia.



Taito Station photo booths

Two women in a selfie booth


It is fun, regardless, to just simply watch others come out laughing and having a good time. There are little touches here and there which remind you of the consideration involved in Japanese culture. For example, you can see if these booths are occupied from their transparent edges. It's a simple solution that's quintessentially Japanese; there's no "mum barging in your room" type of awkwardness here — it's been pre-empted and accounted for.

Taito Station certainly has much that is novel to observe and explore, and if you find yourself in Shinjuku, it certainly is worth a visit.

Taito Station has various outlets all across Tokyo. The outlet mentioned here can be found in Shinjuku Station's South Entrance.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew Yuen writes stories on a variety of topics such as theatre, travel and mental health. He has an interest in examining culture, art and society. In addition, he writes short stories and enjoys reading in his free time.
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Today's hottest word in fashion is 'sustainability'. Apart from being a movement towards more eco-friendly choices, it's also grown into a fad that brands often use to up their social standing and sellability. But while other sectors in the industry are still trying to make sustainability a need more than a want, Sweden's fashion scene is already ahead on a different level. 



In order to make a statement on how serious they are on sustainability in fashion, the Swedish Fashion Council decided to completely axe the upcoming Stockholm Fashion Week this August. This is due to the unwavering (yet unspecified) environmental concerns that are yet to be addressed by both participants and organisers alike. The bi-annual event is one of the biggest fashion occurrences in the country, showcasing some of the best in the Scandinavian fashion scene since 2005. 


Changing the narrative for the better


The decision may be shocking to some, but it's worth noting that Sweden is one of the pioneers of sustainable living even before it was considered 'cool'. Some sources suggest that as early as the '60s, Sweden was already taking steps in addressing depletion in natural resources, even headlining a UN conference about the environment in 1972. 



Jennie Rosén, CEO of the Swedish Fashion Council, said in a statement that this move is "to stimulate the development of a platform that is relevant for today’s fashion industry," and a way to "adapt to new demands, reach sustainability goals and be able to set new standards for fashion." This is because, for the longest time, Fashion Weeks all over the world became the breeding ground for making environmental sacrifices in the name of what's trendy and stylish. The promotion of fur and animal skin as luxury status symbols is just one of the few yet most glaring examples. 



Today, renowned brands from the country like Acne Studios, Filippa K, and Cheap Monday, in varying degrees are developing their sustainability units. All are reported to be working with regulatory boards to ensure that these processes are maintained and improved. 


A domino effect


Sweden's bold move to reformat one of their biggest fashion weeks may just be the starting point of something bigger and better for the fashion industry. This is on top of the foundation laid by brands like PradaBurberryStella McCartney and more in pledging to shift from their non-eco-friendly methods to more mindful and ethical productions.




This also solidifies the stance that sustainability isn't just a trend that will pass and be forgotten, but a long-term concept that should take planning, action, and maintenance in order to succeed. Sweden's move serves as an invitation to other Fashion Weeks like New York, Paris, and London to follow suit, reformat, and commit to the call for change. We can only hope that this truly heads to the direction we're picturing it in. 


What can you do? 


Sustainability in this region is still a novelty. After all, we're still majorly reliant on trends from foreign fashion houses and fast fashion retailers. However, local brands are stepping up to make sure that this idea makes it into the mainstream and into the consciousness of many people. So what you can do is offer your support the next time you go on a shopping spree. Not only are you helping these brands grow and develop, but you're also doing your part in participating in a larger and grander scheme that will benefit generations to come. 


(Cover photo from: @josefinelaul via @fashionweekstockholm)


Start now by checking out these sustainable brands in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines


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When it comes to wearing white clothes, we all have our hesitations. There's the constant worry that we might spill food or smudge random dirt and ruin the whole look. If you take public transportation, the chances of getting grime on your white clothes become higher. But despite all this, we're here to convince you that sporting white ensembles is still worth it. Keep scrolling and be inspired by how the Clozette Community pulled off all-white looks. 


Fiercely fab


White Outfits

(Photo from: blackivorystyle)


Playful in polka


White Outfits

(Photo from: MandaOlivia)



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