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Tokyo day 6 - Harajuku

Written on: Sunday January 24th, 2010

A journal entry from: Japan 2010

I insisted that we had to visit Harajuku on a Sunday, so that we had a chance at seeing all the freaky goth teenagers dressed up at Jingu bridge.

First, we visited Meiji shrine, which is in the middle of a forested park. As we were walking up the dusty path to the shrine, we were offered a free guided tour by "Keiko" as part of Japan's tourism campaign. Meiji shrine was one of my favourite sights in Tokyo, it looks more "authentic" or more like old Japan because it's surrounded by trees and a park, not blocky buildings. It was really busy because it was a weekend, and due to the weekend, we got to see a Shinto wedding procession and 2 other bridal parties. Unfortunately, each wedding procession seemed to get mobbed by visitors taking photos (both Japanese and foreigners). Keiko told us that most Japanese women like the idea of a "Christian" wedding more these days, because of the big white dress/looking like a princess thing, which I think sucks. The shinto brides looked way more beautiful and regal than some bridezilla skank in an off-the-rack white dress!

After leaving the park, we ventured down Takeshita-dori. This pedestrian street is wall-to-wall teen shops & fast food huts. I bought a churro! We found the Chicago Thrift Store a few blocks away, which sells second-hand clothes, including Kimonos in gaijin sizes. I got a kimono and obi (the sash) for about $30.

In the arvo, we also checked out a little museum showing the old woodblock prints Japan used to be known for, which were very cool. Then, it was time for the freaks. However, there were only a handful of goths etc. at the bridge :( The rockabillies in Yoyogi Park were much cooler! Mostly because they all seemed to be guys in their 30s/40s (i.e. it wasn't just some teen phase for them) who liked to dance on the weekends!

After watching the rockabillies, we headed towards a station to ride home via Shibuya (cool teen central). The Shibuya crossing was also in Lost in Translation.