Dance is the rhythmic straw that deeply stirs our souls and some people’s straws have a lot more creativity, color and electricity than others.

When we watch some dancers, we’re not sure what outlet they are plugged into but given their mesmerizing performances, they are on one incredible power station.

Koharu (Koko) Sugawara is such an inspirational choreographer and dancer that she continues to light up the world.

Have you heard of her?

Koharu Sugawara is a mesmerizing female dancer in Japan. article, photo via

Koharu is a J-pop singer, actress, television personality, , and model. From 2005 to 2009, she was a member of the Hello! Project group Morning Musume from 2005 to 2009, the only seventh generation member. She also served as the voice of Kirari Tsukishima, the main character of the anime series Kirarin Revolution (2006–2009), and was featured in several musical releases affiliated with the series.

Even among professional dancers, Koharu Sugawara is outstanding, not only because of her body control and dynamic bursts, more importantly, her dance has a soul, providing people with alternative warmth.

Here are the good reads. No, make that great reads.

At the enjoyable site they smile, “Koharu (Koko) Sugawara has been a huge inspiration for me ever since I took her class in Vancouver last year. She has incredible creativity and talent and has an immense following wherever she goes.  Her choreography is unique, clean and delivers immense impact. Her emotion matches effortlessly and her musicality is beyond… Koko will inspire you.”


We couldn’t agree more.

The enthusiasm continues at “Every once in a while, you stumble across a choreographer or dancer on YouTube, and you’re like, Wait, how on EARTH am I just now discovering this person?! Where have they been all my life? Did I just reach dance nirvana?

This week, Japanese hip-hop choreographer Koharu Sugawara is the artist responsible for blowing the DS editors’ minds. While she’s based in Japan, Sugawara frequents Urban Dance Camp, the annual international hip-hop workshop in Germany that floods YouTube with brilliant excerpts from choreographers like DS faves Keone and Mari Madrid. We have UDC to thank for facilitating our recent Sugawara binge. And we would be remiss not to share the experience with you.”

Okay, so our heads are way up in the clouds and Shibuya skyscrapers over this Dance Princess.

Let’s come back down to earth with some basics.

Our rising star summarizes her schedule perfectly at her website and another site “Koharu Sugawara (Sugawara Kawabuchi), who has participated in many competitions and performances in Japan, has worked with artists such as Japan’s famous singer Amuro Namie, Crystal Kay, and American artist Rihanna.

Her unique style has gradually aroused the world’s favorite, the past two years not only in LA (Movement Lifestyle), Canada. And even Europe, Italy, Britain, Germany (Urban Dance Camp), Sweden (TheHipDrop), many international Workshop Tour have been invited.”

Fortunately for us, Koharu will continue to be the vibrant straw that stirs our dance liquids.

It’s time to visit the city of her birth.

The travel site welcomes us to Shibuya. “Shibuya (??) is one of the twenty-three city wards of Tokyo, but often refers to just the popular shopping and entertainment area found around Shibuya Station. In this regard, Shibuya is one of Tokyo‘s most colorful and busy districts, packed with shopping, dining and nightclubs serving swarms of visitors that come to the district every day.

Shibuya is a center for youth fashion and culture, and its streets are the birthplace to many of Japan’s fashion and entertainment trends. Over a dozen major department store branches can be found around the area catering to all types of shoppers. Most of the area’s large department and fashion stores belong to either Tokyu or Seibu, two competing corporations.

A prominent landmark of Shibuya is the large intersection in front of the station’s Hachiko Exit. The intersection is heavily decorated by neon advertisements and giant video screens and gets flooded by pedestrians each time the crossing light turns green, making it a popular photo and movie filming spot.” article, photo By Joshua Doubek – Own work

This mind blowing intersection has indeed appeared in many famous films including Sofia Coppola’s Lost In Translation.

Why don’t we have a look?

As usual the global travel giant adds bursts of fantastic descriptive color. “Rumored to be the busiest intersection in the world (and definitely in Japan), Shibuya Crossing, is like a giant beating heart, sending people in all directions with every pulsing light change. Perhaps nowhere else says ‘Welcome to Tokyo’ better than this. Hundreds of people – and at peak times said to be over 1000 people – cross at a time, coming from all directions at once yet still managing to dodge each other with a practiced, nonchalant agility.”

And now its time to add some Shibuya style from someone who has been there.

It should make Koharu proud.

Fashion and Culture in Tokyo’s Shibuya

By Paul Scottyn    

The Shibuya district of Japan’s capital city, Tokyo, is the epitome of modernity, high fashion and fast-paced living. Travelers heading here for the first time from their Tokyo hostels, however, should be warned that it’s not for the faint-hearted.

But once visitors get used to the business feel of Shibuya which is characterized by the bustling, five-way scramble crossing at Hachiko Square, they will be able to see just why this neighborhood is so popular.


Tokyo’s fashion trends are a rare (and often shocking) departure from the ordinary and for those keen on exploring the current heights of this fast-moving obsession, Shibuya’s Centre-Gai road is the place to start.

This narrow, busy street is located near the giant video screen in Hachiko Square and is difficult to miss. Lined with shops that are stocked with the latest fashion outfits and some bizarre designs, it’s a popular youth hangout and an excellent place to soak up the local atmosphere.


Continuing with the theme of the ‘unusual,’ Shibuya is also home to some quirky exhibitions. Arguably the most prominent on the list of these strange attractions is the Tobacco and Salt Museum, which (as you’d expect) specializes in the collection and study of all things related to these substances.

Bizarre as it may seem, this is actually a quite fascinating examination of the history of two cultural staples across the world. The contrasting development of Latin American smoking and Japanese tobacco habits is of particular interest.

Another museum (although with some marketing overtones) is provided care of the TEPCO Electric Energy Museum – TEPCO standing for the Tokyo Electric Power Company which has some interesting interactive displays.


Amongst the throng of Shibuya’s fast-paced shopping and lifestyle, there are also some unlikely spots of tranquility which provide a peaceful departure from the lively city and packed Tokyo hostels.

Highlights include the forested Meiji Shrine, which is dedicated to the souls of past emperors, and the Shinjuku Gyoen Imperial Gardens. article, By Picturetokyo at the English language Wikipedia,

Before settling down and becoming a copywriter for Twizi. Paul Scottyn did a backpacking tour of Japan, he checked out a variety of the country’s budget accommodation, including a number of most Tokyo hostels

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OPENING PHOTO  photo via Hi-Bit Magazine

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