We’re in Japan! Konichiwa from Tokyo! The last two days have been a whirlwind of travel, both by air and rail, and so….much…..food. We knew heading out to Japan was going to be fast and furious, a feast on both familiar and new foods, but indulging so quickly on the local fare was mind blowing beyond our imagination.
“What the hell, just go and do it!”- That was our motto for Day 1 and we did just that. Even 18 hours of travel didn’t put one ounce of wear onto our adrenaline pumped bodies. We’re in Japan baby! We didn’t travel all this distance to sit and figure out where to go next—just get our asses up and go somewhere!
We navigated our way through Tokyo with Todd’s semi quasy–white dude accent + 3 years of college Japanese language experience that he studied 15 years ago, and Diane’s universal finger maneuvering body language–excuse me, where’s the bathroom? plea look. Believe us, it worked and there was always a helpful Japanese local willing to help. (More of this embarassing, crazy story later).
Our “what the hell” attitude led us to the first train going to Shibuya, the heart of Japan’s fashion and entertainment area in Tokyo. Not far from there was Harajuku, an area most noted for their eclectic gathering of young, rebellious and flamboyant Japanese trend-setters. It was the place that inspired Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Girls CD. If Gwen found it mind blowing, then we’re there!
Shibuya and Harajuku was insanely crowded and a contagious mix of fashion, style and fun. There were really no rules here in this this district–almost everything and anything goes. All this self-expression on the most famous crosswalk in the world was the clincher.
You gotta love the young generation of Japanese for their spirit of self-expression and fashion forward ideas. Everywhere we turned, it was a shopping paradise. From high end Louis Vuitton to inexpensie knock off’s, there was someone for everyones shopping pleasure.
The most notable street in Harajukyu is Takeshita-Dori, where small trinket and clothes boutiques abound. Masses of people from all around the world came to immerse themselves in the sea of both local and tourist humanity. Yes, there were tons of people crammed into this tiny street, but it there was also a unique, connecting spirit that united us all.
Japanese/French-style crepes are the “it” food in Harajuku. Kids young and old all lined up for Harajuku’s culinary claim to fame, their sweet and savory filled crepes. These were addictingly soft and warm on the outside and filled with ice cream, fresh fruit, whipped cream and other toppings. Savory ones were available as well, ranging from ham, cheese and fresh cucumbers.
Takeshita-Dori Street in Harajuku. It was elbow to elbow shopping room.
Thanks to Twitter, we met up with wonderful Chika from She Who Eats food blog (our amazing Shibuya tour guide) and she told us that when she was a child, all she wanted to do was to come to the cool Harajuku district and eat these sweet crepes. It was a blast to be in the sea of people and participate in the masses of fashionable, Harajuku crepe eating crowd.
These Harajuku crepes are available in the US too! New locations are in Los Angeles and New York, just google it and you’ll find the location. Sorry, we would give you a list, but this time, we’re on vacation. Gotta catch the next train to …..somewhere in Japan!
-Diane and Todd
Above: New friends we met in Shibuya: Takuya from Toyo and Aiman from Italy
Harajuku locals say “peace” from Toyko
More Konichiwa Japan! posts for this trip:
- Shibuya district and Harajuku crepes – Tokyo
- Tonkotsu Kyushu style ramen – Tokyo
- Ohayō from Mister Donut – Kyoto
- Tsukiji Fish Market – Tokyo
- Jōgai Shijo (outer Tsukiji market) Street Foods – Tokyo
- Thoughts on Kyoto (Photos) & Heading to Mt. Fuji- Kyoto
- Tokyo Today & Takoyaki Octopus Balls – Tokyo
- Nigishi Market, Aritsugu Knives & Saba Zushi – Kyoto
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