From a boy in a suit to leader of the free world in the blink of an eye.

Being the only university student on the SoraNews24 team, Japanese-language writer Jotaro Takigawa had yet to fully experience the stress of job hunting in Japan. Nevertheless, he believed it prudent to prepare in advance for the day when he walked into an interview room.

First impressions do count in the world of job hunting, and having a presentable business suit, a clean-shaven face, and a tidy haircut goes a long way in ensuring employers take your application seriously.

▼ Takigawa looks all right, but perhaps a nice haircut would up his game.

With so many hair salons scattered around Tokyo, our young reporter wasn’t quite sure where to get a trim, but a signboard in Shinjuku advertising “Japan’s Leading Barber” was too enticing to walk away from.

▼ Which is as good as saying that it’s the best out there.

▼ It turned out that the store’s actual name is Zangiri Barber.

▼ Located a stone’s throw from Shinjuku Station,
homely furnishings beckoned Takigawa into its cozy interior.

Zangiri Barber is a project between a management consultant and a barber, whose establishment was praised in a critically acclaimed business book.

▼ Customers can purchase and get it signed right here.

▼ The store had about seven staff members who all greeted Takigawa warmly
as he was ushered to a seat.

Takigawa was surprised when the staff asked him how often he goes for haircuts and whether he preferred conversation or just silence.

▼ It certainly did not feel like the other barbers he had been to!

▼ Soon, he was presented with a menu showing the available packages.

From massages and styling to even shoe shine services after 4 p.m., there were so many options available that he felt like he was at a restaurant instead of waiting to get his hair cut. After several minutes of poring over choices, Takigawa went with the men’s regular cut package (5,000 yen, US$46), salon-grade shampoo (500 yen) and peeling treatment (500 yen).

▼ Although a little on the costly side,
the package comes with a whole lot of services including business counseling.

▼ The store manager personally attended to Takigawa.

▼ Attentive staff came to ensure everything ran quickly and smoothly.

▼ They also entertained him with an iPad.

▼ Shampooing — the third such since he came in — came after the haircut, along with massages.

▼ Next up was a peeling treatment that left his skin supple and refreshed.

▼ Finally came the styling bit, and our brave reporter
requested a “leading” hairstyle worthy of Zangiri Barber.

▼ The manager quickly worked with experienced hands…

▼ …and transformed him into a new man.

▼ Takigawa instantly turned from a follower to a leader.

▼ Positive and extremely confident,
our bold writer felt like he could run for mayor of Shinjuku.

▼ Forget about mayors,
he was going to be the next prime minister of Japan!

Takigawa walked away a confident and happy man looking sharp as ever, ready to ace interviews and impress bosses.

Granted there are cheaper alternatives out there — 900-yen haircuts, for example — but if you need a smart hairstyle fit for the business world, then a visit to Zangiri Barber ought to do wonders.

Store Information
Zangiri Barber / りよう室ZANGIRI
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Nishi Shinjuku, 1-21-1, Meiho B1F
Open: 10 a.m.-8p.m. (Weekdays)
10 a.m.-7p.m. (Saturdays)
Closed on Sundays

Images: ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]