Kansai Scene Magazine


Curl up and dye

Restore your crowning glory, and make sure the mullet remains a fish

Being a hairstylist recently returning to Japan, I couldn’t help notice: where have all the great haircuts gone? What’s with the shaved heads and the three-day old bedraggled ponytails that much of the foreign population sports? Not to mention some of the Japanese kids! Harsh, I know. But Japan is considered one of the most fashion-forward places in the world, so why not take advantage of what’s on offer? Check out these salons for some choice cuts…

Billy’s salon
If you’re in Kobe, head to Billy’s, centrally located between Sannomiya and Motomachi. With a laidback attitude and rock n’ roll edge, their aim is an at-home vibe, and after a visit, I’d say they’ve accomplished that. As I slid onto a sofa and set my drink on the coffee table, I felt instantly de-stressed. A guy from Chicago and his bride-to-be left the shop chatting away, praising owner Yasu Tokuno’s work. There are two stylists at Billy’s: Yasu and Rie, who are always at ease. (Billy is a dog–the salon’s icon and only member with an attitude! He greets people, acts as owner, and sleeps happily on your lap.)

Yasu and Rie have been credited in many fashion shows and magazines. Yasu spent a couple of years in London, working and studying in schools like Vidal Sassoon and Toni&Guy. When asked about his clients needs, he commented that “it depends,” because each client is different. Rie’s specialty, meanwhile, is up-dos and hi-lights. They are both capable of a variety of hairstyles, including extensions and cornrows. The overall atmosphere will leave you feeling right at home, and 50% of their clientele are foreigners.

2-5-6 NK Bldg 4F, Sanomiyama-chi, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-002. Tel: 078-391-514. http://hairstudiobilly.web.fc2.com/

K Studio New York
N earer Osaka? Then check out K Studio New York. I was greeted with a warm “hello.” What, no “Irrashaii!?” I was immersed in the salon’s stylish sophistication, its hip music, and the staffs’ friendliness. One of their goals is to “demonstrate their ability and professionalism while you enjoy nothing but relaxation.” The salon owners are Hiroshi and Keiko Fukumoto. Both have years of experience and trained in places like Paris, London and California, and after 20 years in New York, are a powerhouse in the hair industry. Hiroshi’s passion and deep understanding of all types of hair oozed from his being. He believes “hair is the sexiest part of your body,” and that you should “never have a bad hair day.” Imagine!

He has worked for countless celebs including Sarah Jessica Parker and Madonna. Ask to see his impressive portfolio–you’ll be blown away.

If it’s hair color you want, Keiko is your gal. She’s an expert on all kinds of coloring, especially foils. She is also an incredible makeup artist. All the models featured on their website look cutting-edge, and reflect the pairs expertise.

5-2-22 Toyosaki 2F, Kita-ku, Osaka 531-0072. Tel: 06-6371-9033. www.ksny.jp

Text by Cheryl Weeks
Photos by Courtesy of K Studio NY; Billy’s Salon

:: Online Articles


The joy of winter
Rejoce the winter months

:: style

Curl up and dye
Restore your crowning glory

:: news

Trial by media

:: travel

City with energy and smelly tofu

:: environment

Attack of the 4-legged structures

:: tech know

The weird & the wonderful from japan's gadget gurus

:: Kansai Listings

:: Film

Current cinema listings so you always know what's on, where and when!

:: ART

Best exhibitions & listings


Best events & listings


Best gigs & listings


All the hot picks


Best festivals & listings

:: Also in this month's mag

:: dRink



Ski suki desuka?

:: Food


:: Music

A Hundred Birds Orchestra
Orchestral unit meets house for one funky christmas eve

:: culture

Seafood Central
Something fishy going on in Osaka

:: Getaway

Castle Quest
Where is Fushimi castle, anyway?