Kumiko wants to know what happened to a hair salon she used to go to near Hiroo Station in Tokyo. It was right by the JR subway station, up a flight of steps.

Has it closed or has it moved? The service was always amazing.

The salon, called Shinya, after owner Shinya Nakayama, has moved.

It’s right behind Daikanyama Station in the Inokashiro line out of Shibuya. You simply cross the bridge out of the station, and the salon is right in front of you, on the plaza.

If the service was amazing before, it is now completely over the top, and you pay for it. But Soma-san, top stylist and manager, is a perfectionist; truly a case of you get what you pay for.

Also, you have a choice of washes: by hand or by helmet.

Yes, I did say helmet. Shinya is unique in offering an automatic hair wash. The helmet is lowered over your head and then shampoo and water is jetted onto the scalp.

Both strange and wonderful — a bit like climbing Mount Fuji: to do so once is an experience never to be forgotten, to repeat the experience is possibly insane.

Personally I prefer the hand wash, which incorporates a brilliant scalp massage. This, together with the range of Aveda products that the salon uses and offers for sale, truly makes it a top-notch Hair Relaxation Salon & Spa.

Just one thing: Be clear about what you want and make sure the receptionist, who speaks English, interprets your needs to the rest of the purely sweet-natured Japanese staff.

17-3-201 Kaiikanyama-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. Phone 03-5428 2723. For map see Web site: www.shinyasalon.com/

Kansai contacts

Jennifer wants to get involved with performance in Kansai: “I’d like to do something such as acting, taiko drumming, or dance.”

She asks if there any organizations in Kansai that offer such activities and adds: “Can you give me their contact information? Both Japanese and foreign organizations are fine. Thank you so much!”

Jennifer, I suspect you may not have been in Kansai long, or that you are in an area remote enough not to know about the English language magazine Kansai Time Out.

KTO is what you need, because apart from great features on what is happening in your region, it lists organizations and groups such as those you are seeking.

If it is hard to buy on a regular basis, consider a subscription.

Regulars take note that after 30 years under the guidance of S.U. Press (David Jack and Matsunaga Sachiko), Kansai Time Out is now published (since late October) by Hit’s Co., operated by Hirooka Kazunori.

The magazine’s offices have moved to a more central location in the Sannomiya area. The new address and contact numbers are: KTO, 402 Shinko Building, Kaigan-dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0024. Phone 078-393-7044; fax 078-393-7039. KTO has an excellent online site: www.japanfile.com; E-mails: for editorial: ktoedit@kto.co.jp; for admin: ktoadmin@kto.co.jp (Jennifer, this is where you need to mail about a sub!)

Hire me!

TL wants info regarding employment in Japan regarding positions in management, teaching and car care in auto racing. He has his resume ready to send and says an appreciative “arigato gozaimasu” in advance of any help.

Well, we’re not an employment agency, but in the holiday spirit of goodwill, here’s some basic info to get you started. Anyone who is currently living abroad can go to this newspaper’s guide to working in Japan: www.japan-zone.com/new/find_job.shtm

You will also find job listings in The Japan Times every Monday.

The Web site www.gaijinpot.com is good for teaching, though you will be competing with a lot of ex-NOVA teachers at the present time after the recent collapse of the major “eikawa” language chain.

For management and specialist positions, try www.daijob.com/en.

But as I pointed out just a few weeks ago, you may find your Japanese skills need to go beyond the basics.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
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