Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Harajuku Art Walk

Lonely Planet recommended it. I thought to myself, 'Let's explore the city' and this was an absolutely brilliant experience. Very frustrating because of the language barrier and the LP map and directions were useless. Ended up relying on the IPhone Maps to go walking in different directions which was an extremely useful tool to have handy.

Harajuku is a district in Tokyo city. It is known for its outrageous shops selling all kinds of crazy things and the people who are very distinctive because they are mostly Goth. But the husband had advised me that the Goths come out only on Saturdays :) So my quota on Goths is very less but schoolgirls I saw plenty of - shopping away for mobile phone accessories, jackets, lingerie and what not things!

So I started off at Takeshita street where the arch to the street looked quite festive.

Aforesaid school girl checking out stuff at the shop. Check out the shop entrance!

Then came a mural of Harajuku Street before the actual street pops up

In Harajuku I kept getting lost and I was seeking this Design Fiesta Gallery which is a series of rental galleries. Yep like less than 100 sq.ft of space is what the artist gets to exhibit his work. The building was super cool...I could not stop taking photos.

LP says that it looks like a paint bomb exploded on this place. I really could not agree more!

One of the artist's works on display there - Emily B was her name

At the cafetaria

Right outside and this is on the steps believe it or not!!

So after this fab experience, I went trying to find a street called Ometo-sando and man this was one difficult proposition. Finally IPhone maps came to the rescue here. The street is full of big brands like Gucci and the like.

I was trying to find an experimental gallery which I think changed hands. (My LP copy is almost 2-3 years old) and gave up but found all these very interesting things along the street.

Outside a shop selling curios

This beckoned me to go downstairs but since I didn't know what the heck it was, I desisted

Kawaiiii no? (Cute in Japanese) And on a garage door!

Some more street walking led to these discoveries

Outside a clothes shop called Brooks Brothers which mind you had the English flag hanging out alongside the Japanese flag

Just outside a shrine near the Ito Hospital crossing

Loved the colours on the ad, don't you?

Then went looking for other galleries and a building called the Spiral Building. I am sorry to say the building ain't much to look at and I suddenly chanced upon it to be honest as I was lost again :) I bought really cute postcards from the shop though so quite happy about that.

The sun was going down down and my phone battery was going down too. So I did give up and headed home quite exhausted after an almost 4 hour long walk, one which involved being lost quite a bit :D

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

So am here

Have moved. In a different city in a completely amazing country. The Japanese are crazy :D and ever ever sooo polite. Technology is omni-present which is way cool. The dogs are really small too. Now that sentence isn't very coherent is it? :):)

So am in Japan, living in Tokyo with the husband who has been debuted here. Its been slightly hectic, settling in, starting out your own house, figuring out how much to cook for 2 ppl (am used to cooking for 4!) and also staring out at a gorgeous gorgeous view of the river which I feel very blessed about. After 28 years of looking at slums, this kind of thing is almost God-given or husband found :D

Its been a week. Fall is very clear here and temperatures keep dropping and going up. I like the idea that he comes home to me every day and I rustle up a hot meal for him. Very homely I know but something I look forward to.

Today is the first day I intend exploring the city without him. We still haven't had a chance to look around given that we have going around buying sandwich makers and rugs for the kitchen and what not jazz! I am looking forward to it. People don't understand English - like zip nada zap! I need to use my IPhone app for translation so the lady who sells me veggies understands that I want parsley and no she doesn't have coriander! :)

So am off to start my day. Am of course taking photos so will be posting those with hopefully something to write about Harajuku where the walk is going to happen....