Things have been busy, but I’m picking up where I left off on my post back on April 9th.
When we were last reading about my zany adventures in Japan, I had just left the Imperial Palace with Rob and Jason and the three of us were on our way to check out the world famous intersection at Shibuya Station.
When we got there, the bustle of people lived up to the place’s reputation. See?
Still not buying it? Maybe this will help: I took a video of us walking through the crowd when the lights changed and the pedestrians all crossed the road:
Crazy, right? I know what you’re thinking; you’re thinking, “Tom, why do you use the phrase ‘mass of humanity’ so much when narrating?”
Great question! I was tired, less than articulate, and (honestly) it’s a really good descriptive phrase when talking about the mass of humanity that the population of…
Dammit. I did it again.
We walked around the town for a bit stopping in various shops. I took a photo of this in a movie store because it seemed funny to me (and because I really, really like those movies:)
Every once and a while we’d see some super cute Japanese girls in fashionable outfits. My wife asked me to try and get photos (she LOVES Japanese fashion) when I was near Harajuku. The problem was, though, that I didn’t want to be “that creepy American guy” with the camera. (We have enough of those at American anime conventions already; you know who they are.)
Solution? Rob would volunteer to act like he was posing for a photo. Notice him to the right of this shot:
As we continued down the street, we hard a lot of chanting and noise and walked towards it expecting a parade or something. It turns out that we stumbled upon a nuclear protest in Shibuya. People were walking through the street (a LOT of people) protesting with signs and chanting.
We ran into the crowd again later that day when we made it to Harajuku. Before making it to the world famous fashion district, though, we saw some interesting things. Things like a McDonald’s and (what I assume to be) a member of the Japanese version of ZZ Top:
COLORS. The city around the Shibuya are is just a blast of advertisements, signs, and architecture:
Holy crap. A PHONE BOOTH!
Remember in my earlier post when I mentioned I saw an El Camino in Japan? I was telling the truth. See?
No, this isn’t photoshopped. It’s a REAL Tower Records store still open.
Speaking of “towers,” we passed this shop along the way:
The closer we got to Harajuku, the more crowded it got. The most interesting thing about this photo is the fact that you can see not just one, but two (TWO!) Caucasians in the crowd. While this sounds like sarcasm, it’s not. Seeing other non-Japanese people in Japan was a rare sight.
I took this photo to illustrate a point. In Japan, it is considered impolite to walk and eat at the same time (unlike America where everyone in the city is gulping a cup of coffee or chewing down a hot dog.) Thus, the Japanese will stop and eat before continuing going somewhere:
Spelling “softened” in Engrish since 1977…
And then we finally arrived at the street made mainstream at Target shopper friendly thanks to Gwen Stefani: