October 26, 2021

Welcome to the Urban EDC Showcase! Each week, we feature a member of the EDC community and the gear they rely on every day. Want to be featured? Submit your gear photo.

From London, Junya (@the.owl.edc) is the classic multi-hyphenate of our generation. A freelance photographer by trade, Junya has also worked in retail, studied and graduated in music, dabbles in cooking and coffee, and is also learning leatherworking and knifemaking. Read on for a full rig rundown and find out how Junya’s EDC reflects his many interests and talents.

Featured Tools:

  • Watch: Reguno
    Starting from the bottom right is my grandfather's Reguno (Citizen watch company’s affordable brand I believe) watch. When he passed away last year, my grandmother gave me it because it was still fairly new at that point and someone may as well use it.

    After a few months, I swapped out the metal bracelet for the leather one I took off of a different watch because it felt too cheap and I prefer leather watch straps in general. It’s not fancy, the lume might as well not be there and it’s a little bit small for my liking but I still wear it (most of the time) because I think it’s a nice way of remembering him.

  • Chapstick: Burt's Bees
    I almost always have a stick of Burt’s Bees with me because well, dry and chapped lips suck. I like the cucumber and mint flavor because it’s not sickly sweet like some of the other flavors you can get with lip balms.

  • Lighter: Zippo
    This one is a bit of a weird one since I don’t smoke but I still carry it because it’s useful when I need it... The original Zippo lighter.

    I found it in my house when I was about 15 and found out that it used to belong to one of my dad’s close friends. He was staying with us while I was very young and I guess he left it here when he went back home to Japan. I should probably give it back to him really... I like having candles and sandalwood incense lit most days so it’s easier than looking around for a box of matches!

  • Keys: Lego Key Ring
    Top middle is my keys. I like to keep my keys fairly clutter-free. You’ll see there’s a Lego key ring on it that should probably be retired since most of the paint has come off and a monkeys’ fist knot that I made from paracord.

    The monkey’s fist allows me to find my keys easily and pull them out. It prevents the hassle of digging into my pocket to find them or untangle them from a pocket that’s managed to twist itself. This is mostly temporary until I decide to carry a key organizer but I was pleasantly surprised at how effective it is and may even make it onto the key organizer!

  • Hank: Evergreen
    In the background is a hank from Evergreen Hanks. This is my newest addition to my carry. I usually have a bandana or handkerchief for sweat (London tube/subway/metro is a literal oven even in winter) or to wipe away any coffee rings from my desk.

    I was skeptical about carrying a bandana/hank to start with but the more I carry it, the more I’m glad I have it! This one is really special to me because this hank is the result after I asked Evergreen hanks if it’s possible to get lens cloth as the backing material.

    I’m sure most photographers can relate but it’s a hassle to have to stop shooting, dig out the lens cloth from a certain pocket of a bag, and then wipe it clean. Having this means that I don’t have to waste as much time to clean a smudge or get the dust off of my lens.

  • Wallet: Fjallraven
    My Fjallraven Ovik leather card wallet practically lives in my pocket. Even if I’m at home and have no plans on going out, I have it there because I’ve gotten so used to carrying it there, it just feels weird to not have it.

    I used to carry a thick bifold wallet that just kept filling up with receipts and I carried that in my back pocket. Eventually, that led to back pain and decided I needed a thinner wallet. For about three years now, I’ve been working on the patina of this wallet and every day, I love it more. If anyone reading this hasn’t carried a thin wallet, I can’t recommend it enough! Also saves a ton of receipt paper.

  • Pen: Pilot G2
    The pen is a Pilot G2 ballpoint pen. I really like the Pilot G2 insert and I’d love to get a brass or titanium pen someday. I had recently lost my favorite black pen (I tend to never lose my stuff) but I needed a pen so I started carrying this one and I’ve been enjoying how it writes.

  • SAK: Victorinox Camper
    Finally, my Victorinox Camper Swiss Army knife. I think I have had this for about 18 years. When my family and I went to Switzerland to visit our friends who used to be our neighbors, my dad bought me this after letting me choose it. He told me about the responsibility that came with carrying a knife and how it should only ever be used as a tool.

    This SAK has come with me on all sorts of adventures from camping to skiing and numerous other occasions. It has proven its worth time and time again. I wanted to retire it because the large blade is now a different shape from all the sharpening and (as you can see) the scales are broken. They’re held on with super glue! It’s just so useful that I missed it when I didn’t carry it. I mainly use the blade for cutting thread, cord, or peeling fruit. I also found the bottle opener/pry tool works well for scraping off burnt bits on an oven tray!

What's your story:

I live in London in the United Kingdom and I’m a freelance photographer. I used to work in retail but I had to get away from that life of waking up early to commute across the city for a job I didn’t like – usually on the weekends. I still wake up early and commute across the city or sometimes even further but the difference is it’s for something I’m passionate about. 

My girlfriend and I both hated our jobs at the time, it was winter and were maybe being affected by seasonal depression but we talked about quitting our jobs and going traveling. So we did. We went to L.A. 

For two weeks and then Japan for a month and a half. When we came back, she started doing some freelance work which led to a full-time job and I’ve been freelancing for just about a year now. I went into it without very many contacts and I’m still building up my network so work is few and far between for now but the hope is to get recruited by a company to take lifestyle product shots. I’m actually applying for internships or entry-level jobs in photography to have regular work but more importantly, to gain more experience. 

Before my life in retail, I studied and graduated in music. My course involved learning everything you need to work as a professional musician. From techniques to the music business, psychology to actual performance workshops, it was a great learning experience. The only thing is, I started to lose my passion for it. 

The course kind of emphasized that you need to work as a session artist or a teacher or a cover band. But the more I navigated the course, the more I realized, I just wanted to write music. I still graduated with good grades and still write music when I have the chance in my schedule.

I think you could say I had an EDC from my secondary school (middle-high in the states I think) days. I would always carry my phone, wallet, keys and earphones/headphones. Listening to music on the walk to and from school was a must for me. 

It was only until I started assisting photographers back from about 2013 where I started to regularly carry my SAK with me. I learned of the term EDC early this year after randomly stumbling across a video by Taylor (Best Damn EDC) on YouTube. However, only about a month and a half ago since starting my Instagram account dedicated to it, I’ve found this incredible community of amazing people!

Hobbies... Well, I wouldn’t call it a hobby but I seem to spend a lot of time torturing myself by looking at all the EDC gear I can’t afford! Creating content for my Instagram is definitely a hobby. I like to play the guitar whether it’s just jamming or writing music. 

I like to play games with my friends. I went to university with one of them but now he lives farther away so this is our way of hanging out together. The other is his brother whom I’ve become really good friends with. 

I love spending time with my girlfriend, going out for long walks in the park and the forests or even just talking together while I cook. I enjoy cooking a lot and just today I spent about four hours in the kitchen preparing some sauerkraut, deboning a chicken and making stock from the bones! 

I can’t call it a hobby yet because I’ve never done either but, I would really like to make a few things with leather and also want to try my hand at knife making. I drew out a design at Christmas and I’ve just been researching how to go about it since then. I also haven’t been able to afford any of the materials or tools yet which is another reason why I haven’t started. 

Last but not least, I love coffee and the process of brewing pour-over coffee. Call me a hipster but It’s my favorite part of my morning ritual and one that I rarely skip.

Favorite EDC Tool:

My SAK is probably, although most likely on its last legs, my favorite piece of gear for its sheer versatility! I probably don’t use the saw as much these days so I could do with downsizing I guess.

What's On Your Gear Radar:

In terms of what’s next on my radar is probably a dedicated knife! I have a few ideas of what would work while still abiding by the relatively limiting UK knife laws. I also have plans to do something with 3D printing to make my carry a little better!

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