Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Kagehashi Japan (Day 9) Part I

Meiji Shrine | Harajuku | Okonomiyaki

A scenic route to the Meiji Shrine is where Kagehashi begins its 9th day in Japan, specifically Tokyo. In the middle of the busy city, one can find sanctuary from the bright Eastern sun under the lush canopies near the Shrine. Visitors at the main entrance are greeted with caskets of alcohol on both sides of the walk: Japanese sake on the right and fine French wines fit for an emperor on the left.

Pictured here is the main entrance to the shrine. These gateways are meant to look like the word "kai" in Japanese/Chinese which means open. My tour guide told me that people aren't actually supposed to walk through the big gateway as it's meant to be a door for gods, but even most Japanese people aren't aware of that fact.

Entrance to the inner shrine. I assume the procession of people walking are priests of some sort?

Before going into the shrine, we washed our hands using this fountain and the ladles. Perhaps this is symbolic of cleansing ourselves of impurities before entering a holy place? Either way, it was refreshing on this hot and humid day.

A traditional wedding photoshoot was taking place when we arrived.

These girls in beautiful red kimonos were part of the wedding. 

In front of the inner temple where we made wishes by tossing coins into a box.

For 5 yen, you can write a fortune placard and place it among the others. People usually wish for good luck, love, health, peace and fortune.

Speaking of fortune, I bought myself a little charm that promises job security. I especially need this as a senior next year. Oh joy, interviews.

During the LNY show, I explored different subcultures of Japanese pop fashion (mori kei, lolita, decora). On my trip this summer, I finally got to experience one of my fashion dream places – Takeshita Street in Harajuku!

Takeshita street! They had so many small clothing stores and intricate crepe stands. All the fashion here that wasn't a brand name were all reasonably priced around $20 and so-so quality. Many of the shops sold the same types of shoes and tops - probably the same supplier.

One of the first clothing stores we passed! As you can tell, Takeshita street is a place for girls to get relatively cheap and trendy clothes.

A "decora" style store. You can tell by the bright kitschy styles of the clothing.

I loved this place! It had so many "kawaii" merchandise from Hello Kitty to Rillakuma to...

BANAO! I bought My Melody and Moomin stickers from this store, but they had a ton of other mascot trinkets like keychains, stationary, plushies, jewelry.

Harajuku is known for its crepes! These stands have such a cute feminine appeal that's hard to pass up. All crepes are around $4, which is much cheaper than in the US! And you can walk around with it since it's considered street food.

Banana caramel custard crepe - a staple favorite of mine. I think I have 3 crepe pictures on my blog now...

The Bodyline shop, a lolita clothing store! I even have a blue sailor dress by them!

Liz Lisa, a gyaru clothing store, featuring feminine and innocent summer clothing perfect for picnic tea parties.  I bought a floral sweater at Makuchari that was Liz Lisa and I'm so happy I got it there because this store wasn't cheap!

On our way to lunch, we passed by a funky design gallery. I really need to go back and check it out!

Graffiti lined walls covering the outside of the restaurant. I'm pretty sure we were in the artsy fartsy part of Harajuku.

A creepy, yet interesting mural inside our restaurant that features pregnant school girls... I wonder what message the owners were trying to convey to its customers. Perhaps a cautionary tale?

D.I.Y. okonomiyaki - a savory pancake with cabbage and meat topped with laver, mayo and special sauce. They had toppings such as mushroom, pork, egg and beef. My favorite was the kimchi one and I loved flipping the pancake with the little spatulas!

I could spend a whole day in Harajuku just shopping and looking at art galleries but alas, we had to move on to our next destination. I snapped this photo from the bus and it turned out just like this - no filter added!

No comments:

Post a Comment
personal style | travel | food | shopping