Harajuku: Home of Snoopy Town!
Trip Start Jun 09, 2009
17Trip End Jul 05, 2009
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So, later in the day we headed to Harajuku. This area is pretty close to Shibuya (see last entry) and also has a similar culture regarding youth, and fashion and such. I'm really getting the hang of riding the train/subway systems here which helps me be a little less afraid of losing Kat in the city and not knowing how to get back
The big thing I wanted to do while in Harajuku was visit the store called "Kiddy Land" which is a huge expansive toy store, at least five floors high each one with a distinctive theme. I would say we spent over an hour in the toy store, and I think we really got a huge kick out of the whole experience. I found all the little gadgets and sometimes bizarre toys to be extremely amusing, while Kat really enjoyed all the "cute" different toys, comprising mostly of tiny versions of food products. We both thoroughly enjoyed one floor in paticular, which was devoted entirely to Snoopy from "Peanuts". The floor was accompanied by very charlie brown sounding piano "music" and nearly every single thing you could think of regarding the Snoopy character, one plushy had all the different versions of Snoopy there have been in the years since his inception. Half of a floor was souly devoted to "Hello Kitty" items, and the top floor was in honor of all things anime. I got a kick out of the whacky anime videos playing, and very creepy plushy dolls
With our trip to the toy store over we set off to try and find an alley of shops that Kat knew about (called Takeshita Street) but was on no paticular map or in our guide book, resulting in blindly wandering around the district in hopes of finding said street. In our travels we found a house of a paticular artistic nature that seemed to have lots of different work in paintings on the walls, and a corner shop near it that Kat enjoyed. The love affair with Obama continued, as there was some bizarre candles in that shop shaped as his head. We couldn't figure out why anybody would want a candle of the American president, but were amused none the less.
After taking a great trip a mile or two away from the station, Kat got a little depressed in our inablity to find the street, and we started heading back. After heading back, the street could be seen within eyesight of the station, but not a lot of time had been wasted and we still had the opportunity to travel the streets.
One thing that's fun about Japan is that the small business owner is anything but dead. There is lots and lots of small businesses, each one attempting to keep up with the latest fashion trends of the youth of Tokyo. The little stores are such that you have to be careful not to run into the cashier while walking around it
In Japan stores often yell "Irrashaimase" which basically means "come in" or "welcome" but, for whatever reason they hang onto their syllables for what feels like an eternity. Resulting in hundreds of girls standing in front of stores yelling "irraaashaiiimaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee." They seem to also unintentionally sound off of one another, when one hears the phrase they say it too, creating a constant ripple effect of that phrase being elongated to the point of comical.
Kat and I ate "Lotteria" which is a Korean McDonalds of sorts, and while we were inside we heard Maseeeee phrase being repeated over, and over, AND OVER again. I wanted to get a video of these girls repeating this phrase, and was certain this could be accomplished upon exiting the restaurant. But, they seemed to know I wanted to do it, and the second we left the store they stopped entirely
We eventually got tired and head back to the hotel. It was a good thing to, because as soon as we entered the room we heard the first clap of lightning. The storm went on most of the night, and we tried a time lapse vid in my poor attempt at capturing lightning, but still resulting in a cool looking video. The storm was apparentely news worthy the next morning and resulted in some flooding.
Sorry this Entry was late, but we got up and left early the next day which made it impossible to do the nessecary writing and uploading in time.