After a cool, wild, rockin’ night at Club Doctor, a two-and-half-hour drive to Minami Alps, and a few hours of sleep Kenny and I were back on the road to Yokohama for me to get inked by Betty.
Before we hit the road though, we made a brief stop in Kofu so Kenny could show me his new tattoo studio, which opened last month.
Although Kenny had been tattooing out of his country studio in Minami Alps (about a thirty-minute drive to Kofu) for the past two years (and up until last year at his studio in Shibuya) he decided earlier this year to open a studio in Kofu where he has built up a reputation as one of the better tattoo artists working in Yamanashi Prefecture. While Kofu pales in comparison to the excitement and energy of Shibuya and Yokohama (where Kenny also had a studio in the past) it’s a good move on his part to build on this reputation that he has made for himself here.
It’s also in a pretty cool location between the House of Style (a vintage clothing store) and a club owned by the same owner of the clothing store. Although the majority of tattooing in Japan is done by appointment only the location of his new studio is ideal for people to check it out on their way to House of Style or the club in the evening.
On the other hand, it might be off the beaten path as it were for foreigners who might be looking to get inked while visiting Japan; however, if one is looking for a unique tattoo in the Old School Sailor Jerry or Don Hardy tradition, it is definitely worth the trip to Kofu to get inked by Kenny. It’s really easy to catch a bus from Narita or Shinjuku Station to Kofu Station and once you arrive there is local bus service or taxis to Kenny’s studio.
His studio might not look like much now in terms of décor (he is still in the process of adding many of his photos and other mementos that he had in his country studio) but the studio is open for business and since last month he has been quite busy tattooing customers.
I am really happy for Kenny that he has a new studio and a chance to build on this reputation he has made for himself as a tattoo artist in Japan.