Let's talk about Harajuku

30.11.13 - 16:00
Takeshita dori in the rain

I did say that I would tell you more about my trip to Japan. So today I thought I'd write about visiting Harajuku.

It was one of the things I really wanted to do in Tokyo. There are several reasons for this.
- Firstly, it's where all the 'kids' who dress up in crazy fashions and costumes are meant to hang out/shop.
- Secondly there is temple there, the largest in the city set in lots of trees.
- And (secretly) it was a also a bit of a pilgrimage for me from when I was really into Lolita/Japanese fashions.

We visited a couple of times. The first time is when I took the main picture here. It was raining when we came out of the station and I saw the sign for Takeshita dori. There was some building work going on to the left, but I still recognised the pedestrianised area heading down the hill into the street.

Noa cafe, that you can see on the right, serves delicious belgian waffles. I had apple and cinnamon with ice cream.

There is a little arcade nearby where they have Puri Kura (photo booth) machines. They seem to have progressed rather since last time I used one! I wanted to have a go whilst we were away so I got everyone in the cubicle and took some pictures.

Wow, it's a complicated business. The one I'd used previously took your picture, then you could add some stars and sparkles and that, then it printed it 16 times on a little sheet of stickers. This machine took full length portraits - so you could show off your outfit I presume. The main feature of all the machines seemed to be 'beautifying', things like, smoothing your skin and giving you bigger eyes. Our pictures were hilarious, but I liked the big eyes. Mine tend to disappear when I smile. The options afterwards when we got to 'edit' them where endless and there was a time limit so I didn't have time to look up what the instructions said. Haha. They printed out as two sheets of craziness and there were even QR codes to download them too. Great fun.

Anyway, back out on the street, it reminded me a lot of Camden Town in London. There are lots of shops selling goth-y clothes and souvenirs. Also, tourists.

Then I saw Closet Child.
(Ignore this part if you aren't interested in Lolita fashion.)
Closet Child is one of the main secondhand shops for Lolita clothing. It was amazing. The clothing is in immaculate condition and so much cheaper than it would be new. I was fawning over a beautiful Baby the Stars Shine Bright winter coat that was about £100. Absolute bargain. Then I remembered I don't dress like that anymore and it wouldn't go with anything. I said a heartfelt goodbye and moved on. Le sigh. I'm kinda glad. I could have spent a fortune in there.
There are three floors, the first (upstairs) was all kinds of Lolita, the middle is goth/punk type brands.

-- As an aside, I saw Moi-même-moitié's Cathedral print in real life. The material is hideous! It was expensive too, even secondhand.--

The top floor is less flamboyant Jane Marple and mori style dresses. In fact there are a few shops selling that kind of fashion at Harajuku. Next up was bodyline. We didn't stay in there very long as it was very crowded. Possibly because they have a lot of costume stuffs and halloween was coming up and seemed to be pretty big.

I also went to La Foret and saw the little boutique areas for Alice and the Pirates, Angelic Pretty and a few others. I don't speak Japanese but I suspect that some of the stunningly dressed assistants might have been pointing out that I was too old/fat to fit in their clothes, but I just enjoyed it for my ex-lolita-self.

After I'd done looking at cute clothes, we stopped in at the Neon Genesis Evangelion shop and picked up a few bits. Evangelion is one of my Husband's favourite animes, so he was happy.

The weirdest thing I saw at Harajuku was Pet Paradise a shop just for dog clothes - as in clothes for real life little dogs. I'm not a big fan of dressing up animals, but it's a massive trend in Tokyo, I saw lots of people pushing their pups around in little carts and most of them had some kind of clothing on.

I didn't get a crepe though, so I'll just have to go back.