Harajuku! A place I had first discovered on the Internet long ago at the age of 15. A place that had captured my attention with the quirky fashion that is commonly seen there. A fashion statement produced by those who still have their inner-child dwelling within them, or just those who are bold & different with their style. One search on Google for “Harajuku” gives you those kinds of images for this unique fashion hotspot!
The first time I discovered this fashion culture of Harajuku was when I had gone to a Sanrio store here in Texas. I went as often as I could when I was in the area since it was 45 minutes away. There was a bag on sale with a pattern that featured cherry blossoms & cute girls in kimonos. The one on the right in the picture. I found that picture through a google search since I don’t have a picture of the bag myself.
I bought the bag because I’ve always been a fan of Asian culture and if I could, I got my hands on whatever I could at Sanrio. This bag did not cost me a lot, but to further understand what I had found, I looked up the tags on the bag to see what characters these were since I loved being in the know of Sanrio characters. This was back when I was 15 mind you, and did not have a smartphone on me to just look up stuff on the fly. My age may be showing a bit q;
After researching the brand I was looking at, I found that this was from a line called “Harajuku Lovers” made by Gwen Stafani. She produced the line “Harajuku Lovers” after being inspired by the fashion statements being made in Harajuku. It was then that I went down a spiral of looking at Harajuku fashion and falling in love with it, all because I bought a cute bag at Sanrio.
After following so much about Harajuku, I started to thrifting for clothes that I could use that were in the “Harajuku” style, or at least, my poor attempt. The only part I think I nailed was the accessories. Cue the old & embarrassing photos of me at 15.
Anyways, enough blasts from the past! That was more of to give you an idea of how much I had wanted to visit Harajuku. Sadly though, we went on a weekend when it was very busy. You could still shop, but to see those who practice Harajuku fashion at large, you should probably go on a weekday when it isn’t as crowded.
It was neat to finally go to a place I had admired as a teen! It was a bit different than I thought I would experience, however. The stores were filled with American styled clothing, or were even actual American brands. For example, one store I went to was like walking into a thrift store and finding all of the good clothing items all in one place. Which is cool, but each piece was at least $40 or more, and I didn’t really want to buy anything I could find back home.
I did find W C, which I loved the most out of all clothing brands I found there. I bought some from that brand and of course Liz Lisa, but other than that, I didn’t really find anything in Harajuku clothing wise.
BUT! One thing I did do that Harajuku is popular for having spots to satisfy your sweet tooth! So of course, I had to get a Crepe! I stopped by the Angel Crepes booth and was definitely not disappointed. I got mine with some cake and ice cream. Can you really go wrong with that combination all wrapped in a crepe? I definitely don’t regret it.
After walking around & exploring Takeshita Street, we headed to the Pompompurin Cafe! We waited until about 3pm so that when we went, the lunch crowd was gone and the line wouldn’t be as long to get in.
I was especially excited to go to the Pompompurin Cafe because I had found while researching that one of their main dishes was vegetarian friendly! Plus, it is Purin! As a fellow Sanrio lover, I had to stop by!
My husband & I went and were joined by our friends Edgar & Gabriela, so we all got a lot of different things to try! Especially the desserts. Our friends ended up getting the puddings and sundae, while I got the Chocolate Shake drink which was super good, especially for fellow chocolate lovers. One thing to caution though, I believe there were pieces of chocolate jelly in the chocolate shake which may not be vegetarian. I split the drink with my husband and had him drink all of the jelly pieces.
Everything looked too cute to eat, but they were certainly as good as they looked!
We then got our main dishes. The vegetarian plate that I got was the omelette rice that made it look like Purin was being tucked in by a blanket! It was incredibly cute, and very delicious! It was one of the few actual Japanese meals I had that wasn’t pancakes or spaghetti, and I sure enjoyed it! But yeah, side note, if you’re vegetarian, lots of pancakes and spaghetti to be had in Japan :)
Once we were filled up on all of our Purin goods, we headed out to Meiji Shrine which isn’t too far from Takeshita Street. We went as the sun was starting to go down, and despite it being right next to a train station & busy city, it was a very peaceful & tranquil place to visit.
We walked our meals off for a good hour there, then headed to our group’s favorite spot. Akihabara. If you’ve been reading all of my blog posts on my Japan trip, then you know we commonly ended our nights by heading into Akihabara to shop & play at the arcades that are littered throughout that city!
I wish I had taken more photos, but the pictures I did take definitely highlight the best memories I got to experience while in the beautiful country of Japan. And if it weren’t for my shoulder issues while on the trip, I definitely would have carried my camera more. But I had to be a whimp and give it a break ;)
I hope you’ve enjoyed my series of Japan blogs! I plan to have more blogs soon with different kinds of content! Content such as projects in the works, latest events, and helpful material for those interested in Photography!