Harajuku, Japan

Harajuku, Japan Todd Hanlon & Brian Asby

Sometime around the beginning of June when the weather is nice in Japan, we took a stroll around the streets of Tokyo, Japan style watching. Brian Asby and Todd Hanlon were in Japan for about three weeks in 2009 living in Shinjuku. The Harajuku section of Japan is where the alternative style shops are. Kids dress differently there, often shunned from their elders for their radical dress code. The girls of this neighborhood congregate outside for hours at a time so people can see them. Some of the girls attempt to mimic the style of Marie Antoinette or radical women from history. The only difference is they incorporate Hello Kitty purses, red and pink lipstick, and white powdered faces along with their many bracelets and dangles. The boutiques along the way in Harajuku carry the styles worn by them and their admirers.

The weather was great in the spring around the neighborhood of Harajuku. One of the things that I love about this area is the proximity to Yoyogi Park and the meditative Meiji Jingu Shrine. The park is often a safe-haven from the busy streets of Tokyo. There is a pay to enter Zen garden with a small path that leads to a brook. Listen to the stream in the video below.


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Crepes are the most popular fast food item in Harajuku. I would say Marion Crepes is where most people stop to grab one of these lovely delights. There are three or four different crêperies along Takeshita-dōri. People stand around eating them near the patisserie or even while sitting on the curb along the street like we did. There are over 50 varieties from sweet crepes to lunch or dinner crepes. I liked the smoked salmon version that was served with cream cheese. It was delicious.

harajuku crepes

There are many different shops in Harajuku that I recommend visiting. The walk along the Takeshita area is great for finding bargains. There are hundreds of small stores that all carry great stuff. If you plan on going, you should research the bigger names before taking the walk because it is often really crowded. This makes it hard to find a lot of the stores.
Here is my list:

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