First Visit to Harajuku
mood: wow there's alot of rich people here
So as I neared the end of the semester I began to be swamped everyday with term papers and studying for finals. With a total of 30-40 pages of papers, 4 finals, and a mess of other homework assignments and quizes, I found little time to come online and make posts. Rest assured, I did take photos with the intention to do it later. What I'm trying to say is sorry for being so lazy as to not make a post for a whole month.
With that out of the way, time to catch up. Two weekends before finals I really had to get out of the daily scenary of Saitama to help clear my mind to better tackle the mountain of essays I had to write. To do this, me and Josh thought it'd be fun to wander through Harajuku for a bit on a saturday afternoon.
Harajuku is the fashion center of Asia with hundreds upon hundreds of very stylish clothing shops, specialist jewlery shops, brand name shops (lous vitton, diesel, etc.), and a mess of restaurants and other attractions to keep the loose pocketed youth in the area happy. Filling the famous streets of Harajuku were thousands of people each sporting a very definitive style likely costing more the my car back in the states wandering and shopping showing off their fashion sense. This area has been made famous by movies, music (that gwen stefani whoever I think is one), and countless news articles. I plan to visit quite frequently due to it's close proximity to Shibuya and this was the first time to walk through with friends.
Here's the look out my window everyday. So enticing I know. This is the reason I had to leave for town to help the creative juices start to flow to help with my essay on Japanese literature.
But first things first, have to eat some lunch. I frequent a combini (term for 7/11 or equivalent) to pickup lunch practically everyday and today was no exception. The difference between the convenience stores here and at home is most of the foods are excessively healthy by comparison. For example the drink section is 90% different tea styles then a small section of juices and then one soda, coke.
After my appetizing meal I caught a swift 2 hour train ride to Shibuya to meet Josh. The walk from Shibuya to Harajuku is about 5 or 10 minutes.
On the way this caught my eye. I had mentioned before the Japanese copying foreign car style being fooled thinking it was cool. This one takes the cake. What the hell was this guy thinking?
IS that what I think it is in the window? Is he serious? He can't be serious. He's a Japanese guy in Japan with an American 80's hunk of junk modified to look like a pimp mobile flying a gold tasseled Mexican flag. What the hell is wrong with this guy's brain? Wahtever empire he claims to be supporting must be full of mentally challanged mechanics. That's the only explanation for such a travesty.
There is one large street that cuts through the main part of harajuku ending with the train station where the majority of the highest end shops are. All the biggest names you hear about sport multi-million dollar storefronts on this street. On top of that, this is a common cruise spot for the Japanese elite and way too rich. As you can see, this guy is sporting his convertible brand new Ferrari F430.
Watch those sexy lines as he cruises at a whopping 2 or 3mph in bumper to bumper traffic.
Harajuku is also a popular place for filming for TV programs which you can see happening right here. That's not nearly as interesting as..
Another F430 Ferrari, this time a coupe. You can see Josh and his very hetero-sexual pink shirt scoping out the interior. Walking up and down this street practically every car is a Ferrari, Bentley, S-class Mercedes, etc. If you really want to see the true heart of Harajuku though, you have to go into the side streets to see all the small boutiques that made Harajuku famous.
I didn't really do that today though, I was specifically searching for some Bape stores to check out. Bape, or Bathing Apes, is one of the most famous Japanese clothing brands ever created. Centering on bright color designs and extreme exclusivity, the creator Nigo has built himself an empire allowing himself to furnish his toilet with rolls of 100's to wipe his ass his. I'd heard of it non-stop since I got here and wanted to check out one of the shops.
Here is one of them. This isn't the original shop which Nigo made his clothing brand famous, but instead a shop specializing in second-hand Bape. It's common to buy Bape and not use it to keep it in mint condition since it's seen as such a collectors item type of product. This store does alot of trading of the Bapesta shoe line which you can see in their 2nd floor window there.
Walking into the front door you see displays with all of 3 or 4 shirts only. Bape is also increasing in popularity state-side and have a store in New York and L.A.
I'm not that rich so I ended up going to another second-hand Bape store our friend Yuji works at and got a discount on a t-shirt I'd been looking at for awhile. After that though nothing really happend and I had to head home early cause of my amusingly long commute home.
And here's what my t-shirt looks like, the product of my day in Harajuku. If you ever get a chance to visit Tokyo, Shibuya and Harajuku should definately be on your list of places to see.
Mason on 04.20.07 @ 07:53 AM PST [link]