Although I felt a little ill, I took a short walk today. My “walk” led me to Harajuku, a part of Shibuya governed by Gwen Stefanie a Japanese politician I’ve never heard of. First I went to the Peace Festival which was already ending, with only a few food stands remaining.
Then I walked down Takeshita street, a pedestrian-only street with young, sometimes bizarre clothing stores. Like almost everywhere in Japan, stores can be found on the second and third floor as well. So only looking at the first floor will give you just a tiny glimpse of what Harajuku has to offer.
With christmas approaching, some stores already switched to matching accessories. Pet Paradise sold santa costumes for little dogs – those little doggies that are treated like a bag by their owners and seem to be more acceptable for landlords than a real dog. The funny thing is, that most of these dogs are more appropriately dressed for winter than their owners are.
The other store that caught my eye was Takenoko. The boutique’s name has its origin in the dance/cultural trend of the same name in the 80’s. The rockabilly dancers near Yoyogi park are the last remnants of this once popular trend. The store sells specifically designed costumes and probably also know capable plastic surgeons to make you fit into the dress 😉
On the way back to the station, I found the second H&M store in Tokyo. H&M (Hennes & Mauritz) is a chain store for stylish, yet affordable clothes. Originally from Sweden, they are very popular in Europe. In central Hamburg alone are over four H&M stores and they even managed to sell a fashion collection designed by Karl Lagerfeld. They just recently made the jump to Japan.
The crowd control was probably more interesting than the store itself. Over 20 people (in suits or security uniforms) were only responsible for splitting the pedestrian walkway into one lane for the people who wanted to visit the store and the other one for anyone else. Occasionally they would stop the latter one, so that people can get through to the store. Weird!