Raiding Harajuku and Shibuya – home of the Japanese youth fashion

Yesterday one of my friends had to take the night bus to go back to Osaka, so we decided to spend the day raiding Harajuku and eventually walked to Shibuya. Harajuku and Shibuya are both home to the youth of Tokyo due to the abundance of fashion stores and clothes on offer. Upon arriving in Harajuku I already felt a strange sentimental feeling – the place is pretty much the Camden Town of Tokyo!! Various stores are lined up next to eachother offering a variety of clothes such as punk fashion, goth lolita, lingerie and cosplay fashion. Of course, there were also the crepe stalls providing the heart-attack-inducing-but-oh-so-bloody-tasty snacks! I found the Converse I want again, but even though they’re now cheap I’ll have to wait, I’m running low on money! But at least I did buy a rather fashionable (in my opinion) pair of glasses! But the glasses do make me look like an otaku or salaryman…. hmm… Anyway from Harajuku we walked down Omotesando, which is a famous street also renowned for fashion, but the stores here are not for a poor git like me (think Gucci, Armani and Dolce Gobanna…. yeah, that fecking expensive). After a quick pit stop at a cafe we continued to head on to Shibuya.

Shibuya is famous for Hachiko – the statue of a dog which used to wait in the area for it’s master each day. Film buffs will probably already know that the area was used in Lost in Translation too – the Starbucks here is one of the busiest in the world and a scene from the film was filmed through the window from there. Anyway, Shibuya has a slightly different feel to Harajuku, it’s definitely more of a modern, chic and ‘cool’ atmosphere. Soon after arriving we were given many freebies by various people and were also attacked by an army of tissue distributors (Side note: to promote their services in Japan, it is very popular for businesses to hire people to hand out free tissues, they’re all over Tokyo, mainly outside the train stations). We spent some time checking out new music in Tsutaya, which is a big rental chain offering music and DVD, and also went to a Sega arcade for some insanely fun drumming madness (I don’t know the name of the game but there’s a version of it out on the PS2 also, I was really surprised to see the arcade version has anime music, we were happily drumming along to the Evangelion and Dragon Ball Z theme music!!!) We decided to eat in an Izakaya (Japanese style bar and restaurant) however if that’s not your cup of tea, Shibuya is home to a million other places to eat, specialising in anything from Italian to Chinese cuisine. Before we knew it the fun was over, yesterday really was one of the most enjoyable days I’ve had in Japan. Shibuya is absolutely necessary on a visit to Tokyo, and if you enjoy alternative fashion then be sure to check out Harajuku too, it’s a blast!!! The picture below is of Hachiko Crossing in Shibuya, one of the busiest crossings in Tokyo.

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