Thursday, February 9, 2012

visiting japan : Tokyo 2, harajuku + shibuya

Intro about our trip to Japan
Tokyo 1, Tsukiji Market
Tokyo 1, Ginza + Ueno Park
Tokyo 2, Meiji Jingu Shrine

After leaving the Meiji Jingu Shrine we walked to Harajuku. I was really excited to walk around this neighborhood and see the color, energy and people we'd heard so much about. I'll say right away that we didn't see any of the traditional Harajuku girls (boo) but still loved it.
Entrance to one of the main shopping streets in Harajuku (ok, I'm just realizing this sign doesn't read well in English)

Retail displays (I feel like we need more rabbit heads in stores here)

Stopped for another ramen lunch, doing my best to slurp, slurp, slurp.

As I mentioned before, we were backpacking in Japan and hadn't left ourselves much room for shopping. That being said, we were wandering around in one of the most famed shopping neighborhoods in the world. So I decided I need to get m'self a lil something and started to do more than window shop. I found a great pearl Peter Pan collar-style necklace in one store (necklaces pack quite well!)

Side note on shoes - I had brought two pairs of shoes (more on this in the packing post) but essentially had a tall pair of boots (no heel, very comfortable) and a pair of mary-jane like comfortable I'm-a-tourist shoes. When you plan to walk all day and had to carry everything you brought on your back it was easy to simplify the footwear. BUT here's the catch. I'm one of those annoying people that wear heels all the time and genuinely think they can be more comfortable than flats. After miles and miles of walking all day I was already regretting not smushing a pair of heels in my bag to change things up at night.

When I passed an adorable shoe store in Harajuku these puppies caught my eye. It was love at first site (sadly I only grabbed a blurry photo of this pair but I was actually in love with their turquoise sister). I tried my best to ask the sales person if I could try them on. She was so, so sweet and went to the back and brought out a box. "These are very, very big!" she told me with a smile. At 5'-8", I'm fairly tall in America. I was a downright giant in Japan (except that I didn't look as giant as the 6'-1" guy walking next to me). So I totally understood and appreciated that the sales person knew I'd wear a bigger size than the average patron. I put on the shoes and they were a little snug.

"Do you have anything bigger?" I asked.
"This size, this size is the biggest that is made in Japan" she said.

Aaaaand that was the end of my Japanese shoe shopping adventure. I had to leave those little lovers behind.

From Harajuku we walked down Omotesando, another main high-end shopping street. Just like Ginza, there was one gorgeous building and window display after another.

Prada store on Omotesando.

TOD's department store.

Audi. Shut up with your amazing.

Next we walked to Shibuya, another very busy shopping area. The main intersection in Shibuya, the Shibuya Crossing, is well known and often seen in movies. At the recommendation of one of our travel guides we popped into Starbucks and sat upstairs where you could watch the intersection change...become insanity...and then go right back to traffic.

Good music fans here in Japan.

Two stores in Shibuya - my husband and I loved the Berksha building (and the interior, the clothes etc etc)

Another guidebook recommendation, we stopped in Frames for a happy hour cocktail. It was very cute with fabulous floral wallcovering. Sorry for the blurry iphone photo on the left - trying to be discreet!

Shibuya Crossing at night.

Back in Shinjuku near our hotel, saying goodbye to Tokyo with a final stroll around the neighborhood!

Because the next morning we were off to Kyoto...

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