Where are all the crazies?

Where are all your friends?

In some respects today was a little disappointing.

Given it was a Sunday, and the typical Tokyo population is not at work or at school, I decided to go to the home of the weirdly dressed and not too shy… Harajuku. This area is known for not only a fantastic park and a couple of unique shopping strips, but more so the strange folk that come out to play (i.e. like my lead picture).

I was all geared up to see some crazy-ass people preening and posing for the cameras. But alas, it didn’t really happen. Granted it was a 30+ degree day, but there was a distinct lack of crazies. Let me backtrack.

I now pronounce you Husband and Wife (or whatever the Buddhist equivalent is)

I arrived just before lunchtime and decided to wander through part of Yoyogi Park, stumbling upon Meiji Shrine. I guess Sundays are popular for wedding ceremonies, as there was a few taking place, right in the middle of the gawking visitors. Of course I was going to take a photo too.

Bathing Ape? Meh.

I then wandered down Takeshita-Dori, the street primarily responsible for the high (or is that low?) fashion of the area. A fairly narrow strip, it is full of stores with all kinds of weird fashion. Nothing took my fancy unfortunately. I did come across the famous Bathing Ape store, but it was a bit lame to be honest. I think the hundreds of knock off Bathing Ape shirts are a bit more exciting (and a hell of a lot cheaper).

Blythe has the look in Harajuku

That led me to the other shopping street, Omote-Sando. My Lonely Planet guide likens it to the Champs Elysee, and I kinda see why. It is a lovely tree lined street full of your Louis Vuitton etc etc, and is a change from the neon lit streets of Shibuya and Shinjuku. A bit of a breath of fresh air in a way. But alas, again nothing really took my fancy. I did find a Blythe exhibition in one of the high brow shopping centres which was actually kinda cool… about a hundred Blythe dolls dressed in the height of Tokyo fashion. More interesting than the actual fashions I was seeing.

One of the few weirdos unfortunately

So I got back to the park and Jingu-Bashi bridge expecting to be inundated with lots of strange folk in interesting get up. But it really wasn’t happening. There were a handful trying their hardest, but it wasn’t all that interesting. Even the cameras were kept in their bags for the most part. A bit disappointing. Oh well. You don’t win ’em all.

Are you ready to rock?!

So I wandered back into Yoyogi park. At least there was some action there. Not quite as many young hipsters as I thought there would be, but there were a couple of bands battling it out with the park folk. Even though I didn’t understand the lyrics, I knew the main band I was watching were just a little bit emo. It seems to translate pretty easy.

1-2-3 o'clock, 4 o'clock rock.

The one thing that I struggle to understand is not the hipster kids or the “look at me I’m so weird” folk. It is the rockabilly older folk. Don’t get me wrong, I love it! It is just such a strange one. I wonder if they have normal jobs? Anyway, it was fun watching them bust some moves for a while.

Since I was on my way toward Shibuya, I decided to wander down there by foot. Conveniently some park food vendors were there, so with some Tokyo-style okonomyaki under my belt (different again… less cabbage, more egg) I legged it down. I sniffed out another record store (to the surprise of no one I am sure). Boy. Why can’t I buy LP’s like this back home? When I am filling some of my collection for 600 – 700 yen a pop (not even 10 bucks), I  know I am in the right place. Maybe today didn’t turn out so bad after all.


  1. James-o
    July 5, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Hi boss!
    Well done on the climb.

    I loved that park, when I went there was an amazing array of subcultures on display.
    There was the skater kids, the Frisbee kids, the tap dances the jugglers, the rockabillies … etc. It was really cool.

  2. Meags
    July 5, 2010 at 10:36 am

    A slightly “disappointing” day it may have been, but yet it still sounds awesome to us folk back home! Enjoy your last few days there, see you soon. Ella and Jake send hugs.xx

  3. Bolden
    July 5, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    That’s it Meags, hit right on it…. Still sounds pretty awesome! 😉

  4. GlenAyako
    July 5, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    It must have been too hot for the crazies!!!


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