Downtown West Shinjuku. The company workers have all gone home, leaving the streets quiet except for the sound of traffic.

But as you near the Yasuda Fire & Marine Insurance Building, a monolithic, mirrored skyscraper, the boom-boom bass of hip-hop can be heard in the distance. Being the only building in Shinjuku where street dancers are allowed to practice on the property, it is a magnet for B-boys and B-girls.

Hip-hop has become an integral part of Japan's urban landscape. The sight of kids practicing on the streets no longer draws curious onlookers. Shops in the Shibuya-Harajuku area, like Triple Five Soul, Sean John and Enyce, sell the latest fashions imported from the United States. For the dopest sights, sounds and moves, there are plenty of magazines such as Woofin' and Dance Style and videotapes of famous dance competitions.