It’s been a couple of days since we’ve had any Keanu Reeves sightings in Tokyo, so we’re going to assume the Hollywood actor has left Japan (and sadly without taking us up on our offer for a free bowl of ramen). That doesn’t mean the country is suddenly devoid of famous visitors, though, as the movie star’s presence has been swiftly replaced by that of recording star Sam Smith.
The 22-year-old English singing sensation recently arrived in Japan, where he got fans of J-pop talking by posing for a photo with Japanese songstress Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.
Smith is fresh off his impressive showing at the 57th Grammy Awards, where the London native came away with four of the six honors he was nominated for, including Best New Artist and Song of the Year for “Stay with Me.” Instead of returning home to the U.K. after the February 8 awards ceremony in Los Angeles, Smith swiftly began his first overseas promotional tour, with one of the stops on his itinerary being Japan.
Arriving in Japan on February 14, Smith was met at the airport by a 150-strong group of fans and members of the press. Despite being worn out from the flight from Los Angeles, Smith signed autographs and posed for pictures before heading to his hotel, saying he was happy to be in Japan.
The primary purpose of the artist’s visit is to drum up publicity for his debut album In the Lonely Hour, although it’s debatable how much extra attention it really needs after already selling more than a million copies in both the U.K. and U.S. on its way to worldwide sales of over six million. Among his media appearances in Japan, the vocalist was interviewed on broadcaster Fuji TV’s popular morning talk show Mezamashi TV.
Smith has also been able to squeeze in a bit of sightseeing, as evidenced by this picture of him standing in the vendor-lined walkway that serves as the approach to the main building of Tokyo’s Sensojj Temple in the Asakusa neighborhood.
▼ He also seems to have found the most garish, least traditional kimono in all of Japan.
海外ドラマ＆セレブ情報TVグルーヴ (@TVGroove) February 16, 2015
Speaking of outlandish clothing, Smith also was introduced to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, the J-pop recording artist who’s as well-known for her uninhibited fashion sense as her catchy songs.
The two even snapped a photo together to commemorate their meeting, which Miss Pamyu Pamyu shared on her personal Instagram account.
Internet commenters had the following to say:
“I love both of them!”
“I’m so jealous of Kyary!!”
“Kyary’s lucky!! I wish I could meet him too!”
“Out of the way, Kyaru. I wanna take a picture with him next.”
“Now that I think about it, they’re the same age, aren’t they?”
Being the new face in town, Smith seems to have gotten the lion’s share of the attention. For his part, though, the visiting Englishman seems to have thoroughly enjoyed the experience, saying:
“So lovely to meet this lady. I’ve never met someone so beautiful in my life”
The unabashed praise caused one fan to remark “Wow, Sam’s really buttering up Kyary.” Seeing as how she’s currently in a happy relationship with Japanese rock band Sekai no Owari’s vocalist Satoshi Fukase, though, not to mention Smith’s open homosexuality, it’s highly unlikely the flattery will lead to romance. As for a future duet, though? That might be worth keeping your fingers crossed for.