Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Walk with ChaMike in Japan | Harajuku 

Harajuku is a district in Tokyo known as the center of Japanese youth culture and fashion.

Harajuku was ChaMike's first stop for the day, we took a train from Tokyo Station via JR Yamanote Line and just a few walks from Harajuku Station we saw Takeshita Dori.

Takeshita Dori
The most well known street in Harajuku where you can find a long street line of fashion boutiques & restaurants. 
Entrance of Takeshita Dori

The moment I entered the street I knew that this place was for me. If Akihabara is for Mike then Harajuku is for Cham. It was fun exploring the adorable shops of girlie clothes, accessories and anything cute and adorable!

Accessory shop

I bought for myself a pink sweater (which I wore on our last day).

Fashion Boutiques
100 Yen Shop

We also found a shop called The World Connection where they sell one-of-a-kind Japanese souvenir items.

The World Connection

Inside the shop we saw a wide collection of Coca-Cola products like shirts, stickers, bags, cars and unique Coca-Cola bottle and cans. I bought here tiny Coke-in-cans for only Y40 (P17) as pasalubong.

Coca Cola items

It is not just the shops that are cute but the Japanese teenagers as well. It was fun checking out the kids wearing their cutesy uniform outfits.

Japanese teenager- how I wish I wore the same uniform too

On weekends the street becomes crowded especially during Sundays when Cosplayers gather in the area. Cosplay means Costume play where Japanese fanatics dress in eccentric costume to resemble an anime, manga or video game character. Unfortunately, we went there on a weekday so we didn't see any of them around.  

Teenagers at Takeshita Dori

When we reached the end of Takeshita Dori we passed by a major street called Meiji Dori which is the home of two big fashion brands.
Meiji Dori
Forever 21 and H&M are two of my most fave fashion stores located at Meiji Street. This time, I skipped Forever 21 since we have it in Manila but didn't pass the chance of visiting H&M. It was so big I didn't get to visit all floors however I saw a discounted sling black bag for only Y1500 (P649) and grabbed it (My old black sling bag's handle broke two days ago so the H&M bag was just right on time)

H&M and Forever 21

It was just a quick stop at H&M as I was helping Mike look for Kiddy Land which is along Omotesado area.

An upscale shopping area featuring high-end fashion stores such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior, Tod and the likes.


Aside from the leading fashion brands along Omotesando lies a toy store that Mike and I were searching for.

Kiddy Land
One of the most popular toy stores in Tokyo. Of course out of all the stores in Harajuku we went to, this was Mike's favorite. He bought stuff here as gifts for his friends.

Nano Blocks, Star Wars Action Figures, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Licca Dolls

Kiddy Land has 5 floors including Hello Kitty Shop and Snoopy Town. Exploring the store was very nostalgic, I saw here some of the toys I grew up with- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars, Hello Kitty, Snoopy, Sailormoon and the Japanese Version of a Barbie Doll. I remember that those cutesy Japanese Barbie Dolls were the toys of my cousin because during those times her papa worked in Japan.

Hello Kitty, Snoopy Town, Edible Cake Maker, Sailor Moon Figurine
  But out of all the toys I saw, there were two dolls which made my jaw dropped. A Barbie Doll collectors edition of Audrey Hepburn! I felt like a kid again drooling over Sabrina and Princess Ann of Roman Holiday. However they were soooo expensive! Sabrina (on the left) costs Y10,000 (P4,322) and Princess Ann (right) Y7,000 (P3,025). If only I had the money! So the least that I could do was to take a photo as a remembrance instead.

Barbie Collector's Edition Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina and Roman Holiday.

As I mentioned, there was a whole floor dedicated to Hello Kitty. I just have to take shot at the Hello Kitty Wall. As you can see, I used my H&M bag the moment I purchased it- hehehe

With my newly purchased H&M bag

After all the shopping at the chaotic streets of Harajuku, Mike & I decided to have a quiet time at a shrine near Harajuku Station.

Meiji Shrine
Not too far from Harajuku Station lies a shrine that's a complete opposite of the places we went to.
Torii Gate

The grounds going to the actual shrine has spacious, beautiful and dense forest perfect for peaceful strolls for those seeking for tranquility.

Barrels of Sake wrapped in straw

Meiji Shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji, the first emperor of modern Japan.

Another Torii Gate

Visitors go here for a number of reasons like making offerings, buying charms and writing their wishes on an ema.

Meiji Shrine

Ema is a wooden tablet where visitors write their wishes and leave it at the shrine hoping that their wishes come true.

Wishes and prayers

Yoyogi Park
Just across Meiji Shrine is one of the largest parks in Tokyo. Yoyogi Park has wide lawns, ponds and trees perfect for picnic, jogging and biking.

Yoyogi Park with the gwapoest boyfie

We didn't have much time so we left Yoyogi Park and went to Shinjuku to catch the first show of the Robot Restaurant.

Go to Harajuku with your girlfriends to shop for cute Japanese clothes and accessories. Also, try to go here during weekends to spot Cosplayers. 

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