Shinjuku, Harajuku and Shibuya
Trip Start Jul 13, 2006
22Trip End Jul 30, 2006
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We headed out to Tokyo by train (they go practically everywhere) and made it into Shinjiku around 1 PM or so. We had packed our bags for the Mt. Fuji adventure we would be having later on and brought them with us (since we would not be returning home). We rented a locker at the train station and left our belongings there so we would be able to tour/sightsee unhindered.
We went to the bus station to buy our ticket to Mt. Fuji for later. We scored some seats on the 7:50 PM bus. The bus station was right next to Yodobashi...which is this absolutely gigantic electronics establishment
The first thing you notice about Harajuku is the strange clothes people wear. Lots of people dress "goth' in black...but then it's also Victorian goth. Well, not sure what the hell you DO call the style they wear. Girls in corsets and frilly skirts, combat boots and lots of bows. A picture says a thousand words...so you just take a look at THOSE after and you will know what I am talking about. I also saw quite a few "Little Bo Peep" look-alikes walk by. A few people in nurse outfits as well. I went into this one store (I couldn't take any pictures from the inside) that looked like it was selling Halloween costumes. Except, they WEREN'T Halloween costumes. They were outfits that people actually wore when they didn't have to wear work clothes.
We made our way to the Meiji Shrine
We walked around for a bit taking some pictures and seeing the women dressed like shrine maidens (Priestesses) walking about the shrine. The next thing we know there is a commotion of some sort and a procession of people dressed in their best kimonos come out. First there was a main priest, then a second priest. Two priestesses followed. We realized then that we were witnessing a Japanese wedding! What luck! The bride was so beautiful and the groom wasn't bad either. They looked so young though
We walked around the shrine a bit and then took one of the paths leading away from it. Came across a nice park with like...millions of dragonflies darting about. The path led to the museum, which was unfortunately closed. Entering a nearby public bathroom, I discovered yet another kind of waste management system commonly used by the Japanese. There is thing that looks very much like a urinal...except it's horizontal with the ground instead of vertically on the wall like you'd see in a male bathroom. It is used for both sexes...and you pretty much walk up to it, squat and do your business. Weird, huh?
Left the shrine and walked back to the train station. Hopped on a train to Shibuya. Shibuya is famous for the "Shibuya Scramble". Lots of Japanese AND international films have featured this phenomenon...as well as documentaries. There is this major intersection in Shibuya and when the light turns green, some 200+ people fill up the intersection. It's like...this 1-2 minute instense street crossing extravaganza. People walking in high speeds across the street and zigzagging through the human traffic to hopefully make it to the side of the street they wanna get to. It was just mind-numbing to see that many people in one place at one time (that wasn't a major event of some sort). I was actually even a part of the scramble later on. I latched on to Nick for dear life. If we got separated...well, it would be kinda tragic I think
We finished eating and then made our way back to the train station. On the way there we stopped in a department store. I checked out the fans. My grandma asked me to buy one for her. I wanna shop around a bit before getting one. We also walked past a HAAGEN DAZS building. My eyes grew wide and my mouth instantly watered. I am SO gonna be hitting THAT place later! At the time we had to make it back to Shinjuku to catch our bus to Mt. Fuji, so we couldn't dawdle.