This week, Kenta Koie, vocalist of CROSSFAITH (one of AP’s 100 Bands You Need To Know In 2013), shares some of his favorite things about his home country of Japan.

1. Akihabara

Akihabara - Crossfaith Five Faves | Alternative Press

Akihabara is known as the “Center of Japanese Otaku culture.” Akihabara is the craziest part of Tokyo; there are so many strange things such as maid cafés, which are not proper cafés. The waitresses dress in maid costumes, and they behave so politely with a sweet, cute voice. You will feel like a king. Akihabara, also known as“Huge Electronic City,” is where you can get any electrical appliance for a cheap price.

2. Ramen

Ramen - Crossfaith Five Faves | Alternative Press

Japanese people are crazy about the Chinese noodle called ramen—especially young people. There’s a variety of types of ramen, and it's super-easy to find a ramen restaurant anywhere in Japan.

Tower Records Japan - Crossfaith Five Faves | Alternative Press3. Record stores

In Japan, we have great record stores, such as Tower Records, and they usually have a big floor with a ton of CDs. Most Japanese people love physical CDs and choose not to illegally download, myself included. Tower Records’ Shibuya store has eight floors, including a place on the basement floor for band's to play in-store performances.

Izakaya - Crossfaith Five Faves | Alternative Press4. Izakaya

Izakaya is a Japanese-style bar. They have so many types of meals, and almost all izakayas have an amazing drink system. It's called “nomihoudai” which means “all you can drink”—and it's fucking cheap, less than 10 bucks. If you drink one beer at a proper bar or nightclub, it's gonna be five dollars or more. When bands come to Japan, I always bring them to an izakaya.

5. Statue of Buddha

Buddha Statue Japan - Crossfaith Five Faves | Alternative Press

We have two fucking huge Buddha statues. The first is in Nara and was built in 752 A.D. Almost all Japanese students have been there for a school trip, and they can walk through his nose. The second is in Ibaraki. It's the biggest bronze statue in the world and is almost three times bigger than the Statue of Liberty.

After you check out Crossfaith’s latest EP, Zion, check out our feature on the music scene in Japan.