Words : Ayumu Nakajima
     Edit : Shoko Matsumoto
Styling : Michio Hayashi
     Photography : Yuichi Akagi (eight peace)
Hair : Hori (bNm)



  • I started to go to Shinjuku when I got a part-time job at Pitou, a bar in Golden Gai. It was because of my strange preconceived idea that actors should have an experience to work in Golden Gai (laughs). I probably had an impression that the district is where intellectuals gather. Unlike today, Golden Gai was not so popular as a visiting spot. There were very old bars and restaurants that looked like about to go out of business. Pitou was a relatively new bar, but it still attracted journalists and those who worked at ad and entertainment agencies because of the likable owner. I normally worked there by myself, so people paid no attention to me, saying they would come again when the owner was at the bar. There were fewer customers on the days I worked. So, I invited my friends to drink together with my favorite music. I loved to walk home on the degenerated streets in Shinjuku, while listening to Lou Reed songs. I worked at the bar once a week for about two years, and performed at some small theaters at the same time. After getting a role in NHK’s morning drama series, Hanako to Anne, in 2014, I still worked there sometimes. I remember a comedian who was brought to Pitou by one of my co-stars told me; “Have you got to do a part-time job even though you appear in the serial morning drama? That is such a disappointment” (laughs). But I’m thankful that I could meet and talk with so many different people there. I still go to Pitou for a drink.
  • I also frequent Musashino-kan because I love movies. They often screen movies in which my friends or I participate, so the place feels very familiar to me. It was also Musashino-kan where I had the opening day greeting of my first starring movie Good Stripes. Seeing my posters hung on the entrance on the day made me really happy. And a town with movie theaters always has record shops, too, isn’t it? There are some disc union branches in Shinjuku and I used to visit all of them whenever I went to the town. I checked every single rack regardless of genre. Nobody would spend so much time on it, I guess. I actually knew what was where in the shops. It sounds so weird (laughs).
  • I also went to Suehirotei often because I was in Rakugo club during college. With not enough acting jobs and plenty of spare time, I, in my 20s, tried to get rid of my anxiety by watching movies, looking in at record shops and having drinks at bars as my routine. It was a hard time, but I’d like to pass my days like that again.
  • Because I’m a movie and music lover, my fashion role models are movie actors and rock stars. I copied the looks of movie director Leos Carax and Woody Allen for a period of time. When I was at college, I tried to find the same vintage clothes as the ones worn by the members of The Strokes. I got the fashion information more from rockin’on and other music magazines than fashion magazines. I think whether you could feel ‘music’ from the clothes I wore was more important for me than the latest trends. I’ve still got the idea a little bit, and Yukio Mishima’s words something like, “We should follow trends at least for what we wear”, made me realize that I should take a so-what attitude about it. I watched a movie by Andrei Tarkovsky yesterday and thought that the costume is amazingly stylish. It looks even better in the black-and-white format. The movie made me eager to wear a tweed coat.
  • I’ve read books and watched movies about the countercultures and underground cultures in Shinjuku, people gathered at Fugetsudo café and theatrical plays by Shuji Terayama. And the atmosphere of the 1960s and 1970s fascinated me so much. I love the mysterious aspect most. Shinjuku is the place that looks different according to the time of the day, but it does have dangerous, corrupt vibes at all times. I think people nowadays google about everything beforehand, but Shinjuku has lots of things that you cannot actually feel until visiting there physically. You cannot get a right vinyl until digging in boxes, and you cannot find out what kind of bars are located in Golden Gai and what kind of people gather there until going there. Movies showcased at Musashino-kan are not much advertised, too. Oh, by the way, Enter the Void is a French film that attractively depicts Shinjuku. It’s definitely a must-watch.

/ Musashino-kan
東京都新宿区新宿3-27-10 武蔵野ビル3F
3F Musashino Bldg., 3-27-10 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

A long-established movie theater built in 1920. It reopened in 2016 after relocating and reconstruction before celebrating the 100th anniversary in June, 2020. The maximum capacity of the venue is 299 in total of three screens. It is one of Shinjuku’s most known indie movie theaters and screen works in various genres.
Ayumu Nakajima : Born in 1988 and raised in Miyagi Prefecture. After working as a model, he made his movie debut in 2015 in Good Stripes. He currently appears as Yasumori in TBS’s serial drama Futekisetsu Nimo Hodo Ga Aru aired on Fridays. He will also be in the dramatized edition of Yodaka No Kataomoi movie released on May 12.