Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
July 2, 2003
I would recommend Harajuku for shopping on Sundays during the summer. There is a great variety of shops, including accessories, all kinds of alternative styles, and an abundance of cafes and small restaurants. If you want to experience the eccentricities of Japanese youth culture, it is the place to be.
The reason I mention Sundays is that next to Meiji-Jingumae Subway station, at the entrance to the park, you will find hoardes of young people dressed in constume, often big black dresses, lots of make-up and shoes with gigantic heels. They love to pose and be photographed, so don''t be shy!
Of course, there is also the fabulous Meiji-Jingu shrine inside Yoyogi park, very much worth a visit on a sunny day. There is a cafe and souvenir shop with plenty of touristy stuff if you like that kind of thing.
From journal Tokyo in the winter
Mexico City, Mexico
February 15, 2002
Shibuya is the place to go to see Tokyo’s youth culture, office ladies
spending recklessly as well as some of the chicest neighborhoods. An invisible
barrier separates the areas but you’ll know it when you’ve changed from one
to the other.
Shibuya station area is famous as a shopper’s paradise for younger office
ladies. Office ladies, or OLs in Japanese-speak, are famous for staying for free
with their parents, earning a salary and spending it all on themselves. Many
Western magazines have written about them of late, as they are the only
consumers in Japan who are spending money at the moment and doing their bit to
keep the economy going. Here you can see the latest fashions - fashions that
often change by the week. CD recordings last only three days on the top hit
parade in this part of town then it is passé. It is a fun area to walk in and
some of the mainly clothing shops may be surprisingly reasonably priced, as many
shoppers are students who can’t afford the more glitzy OL haunts.
It is a short walk from Shibuya to Harajuku (or one stop on the JR Yamanote
line). Walk on the left of the railway if you want to see some of the 1964 Tokyo
Olympic Stadiums. Just before reaching Harajuku is the entrance to Meiji Jingu
Shrine - a must see. If you want to see more shops, walk to the right of the
railway up Meiji Dori.
In Harajuku, and especially Takeshite Dori, the age of shoppers drops to high
and junior high school level. It is crowded, it is noisy, it is busy and the
quality and prices are a lot lower than in Shibuya. The area between Harajuku
station and the entrance to the shrine is famous on Sundays for schoolgirls
dressing and making up in the most ridiculous outfits imaginable. Most love to
be photographed and are happy to pose.
If you stroll down the wide tree lined Omotesando Dori, often called the
Champs Elysee of Tokyo, the atmosphere changes. The shops and coffee shops
become more up-market as you enter the area known as Aoyama. On the left of the
avenue are several three and four story older buildings - these were part of the
Olympic village and were due for demolition to make place for more boutiques
until some conservationists intervened. There seem to be some dispute over
whether the buildings must be preserved and who are going to finance the upkeep
as Japanese buildings are commonly designed to last less than 40 years and these
ones are literally crumbling and not of much architectural value.
Other buildings in this avenue include TAG Heuer, Gucci, Calvin Klein, Issey
Miyake, Pleats please, Comme de garcon, Shu Uemura and Emporio Armani. Louis
Vuitton and Christian Dior are currently erecting new buildings here. A nice place to stop for coffee and totally in harmony with the area is the faux French Café
From journal Tokyo Highlights - the essential must sees