Hayden recently went to Japan, one of his favourite places to visit. Rich with culture, architecture, tech, colour, enthusiastic attitudes and on this particular trip, typhoon enduced waves. Like usual, the place popped.
During the 5 day trip, Hayden travelled through Osaka, Kyoto, Shizuoka, Shonan and Tokyo. City high-rises, neon lights, traditional ancient temples, country side rice fields, surf and people... millions of them. This trip was diverse and very well rounded with a lot to see, capture and like.
Hayden's top #5 Japan highlights...
1. Traditional Japan
"Japan is a very cool place and I particularly like the detail and colours in the ancient architecture. While in Kyoto, I took a few hours to be a tourist and check out some temple sites. I love photography and the variety of different beautiful imagery and moments you can capture at these places in pretty endless."
Images from Kiyomizu-Dera, Eastern Kyoto.
Kinkaku-Ji (Golden Temple), Kyoto.
2. Hidden Laneways
"You can find the best food in Japan by exploring some of the Laneways. What I love most when I travel there, is that I often meet and eat with a local that pushes my food palette a little outside my comfort zone. It's a good thing to experience this side of the Japanese culture when you are there. This trip it was Pony Sashimi - chewy, but bearable. The Nakagyo-Ku laneway in Kyoto is a good one to check out, as most of the restaurants are converted authentic old Samurai houses right on the river. Very cool to wonder around these at night."
Images from Nakagyo-Ku Laneway, Kyoto
3. Surf Culture
"When it comes to surfboards and surf culture, Japan intrigues me more than anywhere else in the world. Shonan was really interesting as there was so much diversity of equipment - more than anything I have seen personally. In places like Australia, the shortboard dominates but in Japan it is really different and its a pretty even mix of everything - shortboards, fishes, hybrids, single fins, longboards or just plain weird shapes. I find it to also be really respectful in the line up. There is a unique level of etiquette. A Typhoon recently hit and I got to surf in both Shizuoka and Shonan during the trip."
Hayden Cox with Haydenshapes Japan team, Shizuoka
Hayden Cox with the team at Japan Surfing Life Magazine, Shonan.
4. Retail Design
"I often visit Japan in times in need of different ideas and inspiration. The craftsmanship and execution of retail design in particular really appeals to me, not to mention accessibility of new technology and product. To kick off the trip, I was invited to help launch the new Ron Herman store in Kyoto, shaping and laminating from an exclusive pop up bay in store. Ron Herman is definitely a place I love to visit whenever I come to Japan, so being a part of this and having them stock our highend Marble Collection is exciting. I also got to meet Ron himself and talk about his business and strong presence in the Japan market - super interesting guy. Some other retail design highlights were Saturdays NYC (Osaka) and Rick Owens (Tokyo)."
Hayden Cox at Ron Herman, Kyoto
Ron Herman, Kyoto
Hayden Cox with Ron Herman and guests.
Saturdays NYC, Osaka. A special thanks to Audi Japan.
Saturdays NYC, Osaka
Hayden signing a crew members board, Saturdays NYC, Osaka
5. Harajuku, Tokyo
"Everything is wild about this place. Being there and experiencing it really does it the most justice."
Photos by Hayden and Danielle Cox.