Konichiwa Tokyo, Japan! Shibuya District and Harajuku crepes

by on August 26, 2009

Harajuku Girls

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).

Harajuku Crepes

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.

Tokyo Subways

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.

Harajuku, Tokyo Japan

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!

Sayonara!

-Diane and Todd

Harajuku, Tokyo Japan

Above: New friends we met in Shibuya: Takuya from Toyo and Aiman from Italy

Harajuku, Tokyo Japan

Harajuku locals say “peace” from Toyko

More Konichiwa Japan! posts for this trip:

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    { 20 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Kamran Siddiqi August 26, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    That crêpe looks amazing! I want a japanese crêpe now :( Send me one from Japan? The photos are great and I cannot believe how many people are crowded on the streets- definitely worse than NYC!

    Well, I hope you two are enjoying Japan! :D

    Reply

    2 Jen August 26, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    That is awesome!! How funny – the blonde girls in the top photo could’ve been my younger cousins!! Glad to see you’re getting a “taste” of japan! :) sorry to sound greedy and everything but I can’t wait to see more!

    Reply

    3 Andrea August 26, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    How fun! I’ve been through Narita airport a zillion times but never got to actually see any of the country. Every time Michael takes a business trip there I’m so jealous. Todd’s Japanese is probably still better than mine, which I learned in a six-week conversation class back in the early 90s. The only thing I remember is how to introduce myself and say, “Watashi no Nihon’go wa dame desu.” And I probably said that wrong. Have a great time!

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    4 Woo August 26, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    What is up with Asians and the peace sign? Koreans do it too. I grew up in the US and when I get together with my Korean friends they all flash the peace sign in photos.

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    5 Kristina August 26, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Yay! I’ve been waiting for you to post! Looking forward to reading and seeing more (please).

    Reply

    6 Broderick August 26, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    I love it that you’re blogging already — Love those Harajuku pix!!

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    7 Hanna August 26, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Ah…the elbow-to-elbow shopping is common here in Seoul as well. As are the crepes, although I think they’re a crossover from Japan. Thanks for the quick peek into your trip!

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    8 Gastronomer August 26, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    WONDERFUL first report from Japan! Gwen was so right, those Harajuku girls got some wicked style. She didn’t mention anything about crepes though! I’d write an entire album and design a clothing line based on crepes ;-)

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    9 Eat. Travel. Eat! August 26, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Great photos! The crepe creation looks so fantastic and so filling :). Haven’t eaten one of these filled crepes in a long time now…and the crepes from Todai’s buffet do not compare at all!

    Have a great trip! These posts are so amusing with all these photos.

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    10 Tokyo Terrace August 26, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    Sweet first post about Japan! I love it. Harajuku is a crazy place- definitely unique in many ways. I have yet to try a Harajuku Crepe (gasp!) but feel this is the year to do it. Hope your adventures continue! Can’t wait to hear about Tsukiji!

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    11 Helen-Tartelette August 27, 2009 at 12:26 am

    You know, every word of this I could hear or imagine you both having witnessed that “just do it” attitude! Can’t imagine either of you be less than 500%!! I am loving this post and can’t wait to read more about your adventures. Yay fro crepes!

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    12 keiko August 27, 2009 at 2:29 am

    Have fun, T&D! Lovely to see the places through your eyes. xx

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    13 The Gardener's Eden August 27, 2009 at 4:09 am

    Yesterday I was visiting the Japanese art exhibit “Through The Seasons: Japanese Art in Nature”,(at The Clark Museum in Massachusetts). All the way home I was fantasizing about a trip to Japan, as I often do… the countryside, the art, the gardens, the FOOD. And then I saw this new blog post and decided it must be a sign. You know how it is when something just keeps popping up on your radar? Well, I will enjoy traveling vicariously through your blog until I can make it there. Thank you for sharing your experiences with all of us… eagerly awaiting your next post. Have a wonderful time.
    -Michaela

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    14 Nicole Spasiano August 27, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Wow it all looks so amazing. I’m so jealous of you guys!
    I love when you share about your travels!
    Enjoy your visit, savor the food, take in the beauties!

    Nicole @ iamhoneybee.wordpress.com

    Reply

    15 Jared August 28, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Been to Japan several times and never had the crepes. Definitely going to try it when we go in October. I hope you get a chance to visit the Kansai region, Osaka is the place for food!

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    16 Hélène August 28, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    What a trip. Would love to go. Enjoy and send lot’s of pictures.

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    17 mycookinghut August 29, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Photos look great! Looks like you’ve captured the soul of Japan. Would bookmark this and other parts of your Japan trip for future reference! :)

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    18 Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary August 29, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Wow you guys! I’m loving these posts. Those crepes look amazing. You know I have a sweet tooth, so these posts are killing me!! (but in a good way!).

    Thanks for taking us on your adventures!

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    19 Allison Day August 29, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Looks like you guys are having so much fun… wish I could go to Japan myself, but for now I’ll just live vicariously through your pictures. ;)

    When I read that those crepes can be found in LA, I figured I would have to find them eventually. And whaddaya know, without even meaning to I did tonight! We were out with some of Son’s friends and one of the guys suggested going to this “Asian crepe” place… we went there and all got some, and they looked just like the ones in your picture. (We got a crepe with strawberry jam, bananas, and vanilla ice cream.) So good.

    In case anyone in LA was wondering, the place we went was in Rowland Heights just off the 60, in that big flashy strip mall on the south side between Nogales and Fullerton (get off at Fullerton). It’s called Genki Living… a cute little place. There are probably others in LA, but… I thought the timing of reading this post then going there was pretty awesome. :D

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    20 harajuku crepe October 12, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    haha, i actually just opened a organic harajuku crepe store called “Harajuku Crepe” in Beverly Hills!!
    i have 3 different batters to choose from(original/green tea/ buckwheat), and you can fill with whatever you like, you can customize your crepe.

    checke this out:
    http://www.foodgps.com/harajuku-delivers-tokyo-style-crepes-to-beverly-hills/

    come check out my store!! :)

    Harajuku Crepe
    9405 S. Santa Monica Blvd, BH, CA 90210

    Reply

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