Remember that time I went to Japan? Remember when I was blogging about all the exciting adventures I had? The last time I posted part of that particular tale was over two months ago – in the beginning of May. Check it out: http://www.tomcroom.com/archives/8990
I left off at this photo:
So let’s pick up this story again, shall we? Here goes:
After regularly hearing the hype in anime convention fandom, books like Fruits, and that whole Gwen Stefani thing, I really wasn’t sure WHAT to expect when I started walking do that road. The Starbucks across the street from that sign, though, should have been my most obvious clue regarding the hard truth I was about to discover.
Harajuku = American hipster
Don’t get me wrong – it was fun, trendy, and much of the charm was retained since it is a bunch of Japanese people dressed American hipster-esque. Here’s some of them now – and Jason from Otaku Life looking TOTALLY out of place:
They are all so much cooler than we were. Near the intersection was this road sign (across from the Harajuku one.)
Allegedly this sign is a newer one and it has MANY of the locals (and Japan-philes) upset. The original Takeshita Street sign was supposedly much cooler and, while it seems pretty trendy-cool in my eyes, this one just doesn’t cut it for a lot of people. I guess I’ll never know. MEANWHILE, though, past the signs and into the streets…
Dee Snyder would be so proud! Glam rock style of the Seventies and Eighties in America, it seems, lives on in Japan. This colorful group drew the attention of everyone around us as they walked by. They could have, for all I know, been local rock gods in Japan and I wouldn’t have known. That said, I could have been Justin Bieber and they wouldn’t have recognized me, either. Perks of being on the other side of the planet. Either way, they seemed pretty cool. Next up:
Alice in Wonderland is really trendy in Japan. (This will come up again later when I finally write about my adventures in Tokyo Disney SEA.) Aside from the obvious gothic lolita action in this photo, take note of all the t-shirts for sale in the shop behind them. That’s right – trendy American culture. (Check out the larger version here.)
Now, I present you with the sign for this shop for no other reason outside the fact that it makes me giggle – and I still don’t know why.
That’s right. Store My Ducks.
Down the street from this fine, fine establishment is every American Otaku’s wet dream. A wet dream made even more drippingly epic by random chance and the best luck ever.
The dream? The Evangelion Tokyo-01 store. http://www.evastore.jp/real/index2.html
The epic lucky part? We were there the week the racing team models were visiting. http://sgcafe.com/2012/03/evangelion-store-tokyo-01-hosts-evangelion-racing-week/
We had no clue until we got there. (Grab your tissues, boys.)
That’s right! It’s a zany American taking a photo! Do a thumbs up because that’s what they all do, right? Inside the store:
For the record, I spent over $80 on a business card holder while I was here. In Japan, the damned thing turned out to be invaluable during introductions. I use it in America, too, since a lot of my business dealings have to do with folks in fandom. It never fails to draw attention when I take it out and – by the way – you can only buy it at this store in Japan. (You’d think after all that, I’d post a photo of it or something. Maybe later. I don’t have one available while writing this. Trust me, though. It’s snazzy-cool.)
Now let’s look at more hot chicks:
And the store again:
If you want to see more, all of my Japan photos are posted in this set on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomcroom/sets/72157629780231609/
Thus ends my tale of Harajuku. I found myself in Akihabara again that night… but I’ll write about that later. For now, I leave you with this photo of the Starbucks that serves as a warning for Americans entering this particular fashion district: