Saturday, November 28, 2009
Tokyo adventure: day two
Day two and we were off to famous fashion area Harajuku, a hustling, bustling collection of winding alleys and main streets, packed with vintage and new clothing shops, and even packed-er with people. Lots of foreigners, actually, so it felt quite touristy, but there was pretty good shopping to be had. We also ate really good crepes here (blue cheese, walnut and potato; and pear, dark chocolate and ice cream).
We didn't go into this place though: condomania. We thought the picture in the window was entertaining enough.
Harajuku is also a famous hangout spot for people who like to dress up... well, as weirdos basically. They go to show off their flashy gears, and other people go to gawk and take photos of them.
These guys were awesome. They just stood in a big circle and lurched around to rockabilly songs, occassionally stepping forward into the circle to do a sweet air guitar solo, or dashing to the sides to reshape their gravity-defying hair.
This group was all about 1950s rock 'n' roll dancing. We thought this was pretty cool, probably because we felt some connection through our swing dancing.
The girl on the right here was amazing. She has kind of a nightmarishly cute harlequin thing going on. Her friends could try a bit harder though.
These guys get full marks for combining bear suits with ninja masks in a kind of goth/furry combo.
Actually, it was a little bit cold on the streets so we thought maybe the full array of costumes might not be on display. We were still well impressed with what we saw though. Then, after Harajuku, it was on to Akihabara, the gadget/geekery capital of Japan, and thus the world.
I felt pretty at home here, and dragged Mirabel around a ridiculous eight-floor otaku (the Japanese word for comics/video game nerd) shop, which had action figures, trading cards, manga and general nicknacks as far as the eye could see.
Then it was off to Club Sega, where I unleashed my Virtua Fighter skills on an unsuspecting Japanese public. Actually, I got served pretty badly at first, but won a few games later on. I got my own sweet ID card though, so I can save my game info and use it next time. Now I just have to find where the VF machines are at in Sendai...
Finally, we moseyed back for dinner with Josephine, Caroline and Ellie at a very busy, friendly, and cheap izakaya (bar that serves loads of different food). And after that, we went for a (quite expensive) cocktail at the actual hotel from Lost in Translation (I had a whisky, naturally). The view was beautiful, but our little camera was unable to do it justice. Here's a shot of the elevator though.
We should have been on the lookout for a good camera in Akihabara...