Sunday, March 6, 2011
We meet again Harajuku
I spent the whole day in Harajuku, which is completely exhausting on a Sunday because practically every young person in Tokyo is there to shop, to be seen, or just to watch. So it's the perfect place to just hang out and photograph people. My favorite part about Harajuku or more exact the kids the come to hang out in Harajuku, come dressed in outrageous costumes to hang out with their friends in a very touristy neighborhood (because of the shopping and the Meiji shrine), and they get pissed at people that try to take pictures of them.
I walked on Takeshita street in a sea of people, and I popped into the doggy clothing store, omg, they have the cutest things, I wish Francie liked wearing clothing. I also went into the Angels Nest harajuku, which is a store with just Super Dolfie dolls and all sorts of accessories, they were amazing but a little creepy because they are huge.
After a couple of hours of shooting and getting the evil eye from teenagers I was hungry so I went to Bio Ojiyan Cafe. The cafe is housed in the old Opatoca building which is really distinct in the middle of square box buildings. Opatoca was a sweet bakery chain. Bio Ojiyan's specialty is a type of Japanese Risotto made with what looks like barley, probably egg and dashi. These are just some guesses. There was also shredded scallion, sesame seeds, prociutto, some nori sheets, a tiny food colored frank carved into a flower, and a piece of sugary fried bread. I was stuffed and ready to move on.
I spent more time shooting people on Cat street then I headed into the new and temporary location of Kiddyland, a toy store that houses mostly character toys like Hello Kitty, Miffy,etc. It was probably worse than any other time I've been but Harajuku in general was insanely packed today.
After that insanity and buying a couple of Hello Kitty Rement boxes I parked myself on Cat Street for sunset light and shot some more film.
Time to go home to get ready for dinner with a new friend. I took some of the back streets to get to the train station to avoid the crowds and enjoy some of the tiny quieter blocks. But I had to eventually get back onto Omotesando-dori, and I went for a quick peek at Meiji Square where all the Lolita's and other kids hang out. It was pretty empty except for a group of gaijin lolitas and a crazy drunk with a sign that read "ask permission to take picture", regarding the girls and he would shove it in the face of anyone who dared to take a picture. I took several anyway, posed pictures are no fun. I got to my train station and as my train pulled out I saw a pigeon get trapped on the electric wires desperately trying to get out and as it released itself and flew away, a million lights and alarms went off in the station and the trains all came to an abrupt stop. Platform guards ran back and for on the platform freaking out not knowing what set the alarm off, I knew but I don't speak Japanese to tell them it was a poor bird stuck on wire.
Dinner. I met, Jennifer, a friend of a friend, for dinner at Iwao Izakaya,in Shibuya, it was totally decent and the staff was nice including Hawaiian guy named Robert who helped translating the menu for us. Getting in the restaurant was interesteing because the door was about 3.5-4 feet in height so you really had to bend to clear your head. We had a few beers, some tuna sashimi that was like butter, steamed thin slices of pork and a delicious Japanese fried rice with ginger, shiso, scallions, and ground chicken. It was really nice making a new friend in Tokyo and not having to sit alone for dinner, and Jennifer saved me because she was kind enough to bring me a hairdryer and frying pan!