Japan 2015 – Part 6

Takeshita-dori, or Takeshita Street, is a pedestrian-only area adjacent to the main exit of Harajuku Station. It is famous with both tourists and locals, especially teenagers and couples, for its small fashion boutiques and crepes.

There were lots and lots of tiny little stores, selling everything from socks…

…delicious crepes…

…party and cosplay outfits…

…and adorable gachapon toys.

A little way from Takeshita-dori, on Meiji-dori (the main road in the area) is a 5-story building called Kiddyland. Kiddyland is basically every nerd/kawaii-aficionado’s dream come to life; the 5 floors offer every kind of character merchandise, from Pokemon to Ghibli, from Sanyo to Star Wars.

After a little shopping spree, we went down Omotesando (also called Tokyo’s Champs-Élysées), which is another shopping area but this time, filled with high-end boutiques and shiny modern architecture. Omotesando Hills is one of those new modern malls, with an interesting sloping floor plan. Apparently the building was a source of controversy when it was first built, since it replaced a historic apartment complex that was built in 1927 after the Great Kanto Earthquake. It raised the question of Japan’s lack of preserving historical architecture. At any rate, everything inside the building was too expensive to even look at so…

There was a cafe called Anniversary on Omotesando that I had read about, and was excited to go to. Unfortunately, they are apparently closed on Mondays, so we had to look somewhere else for our teatime noms. The Blue Brick Lounge, also known as Yoku Moku, was another fancy cake and tea place that caught our eye, so in we went.

The Blue Brick Lounge served a variety of pretty pricey, but fancy-looking cakes and drinks. The menu was exclusively in Japanese, but the waitress was very patient and proficient enough in English that she could explain most of the menu to us. I had an Italian orange soda, and a cake that tasted like brown sugar and flan, sprinkled with gold flakes. Fancy!

We next ventured down Cat Street, a street that ran sort of parallel to Takeshita-dori. It was another sort of center for Harajuku youth culture, but a little more refined and less cheap-y than Takeshita-dori. It was a strange mix of boutiques, thrift stores, and zakka stores lining either sides of the pedestrian-only street, with B-boys and skateboarders doing nifty tricks and such.

For dinner, we decided to try the “salary-man’s dinner”; that is, pre-packaged, take-away dinners in plastic tubs that you can buy at convenience stores all over. Surprisingly, for the price, they were really good! I had a thing of carbonara pasta, and I would have believed it if I was told that they were from a restaurant.

Signing off,
Marie

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