Sunday, June 5, 2011

Japan Trip Day 17: Harajuku and the cosplayers that weren't!

Greeting from wedding central. XD Ah weddings. You have months to plan for them and yet the week before the wedding is when most of the work gets done. Hopefully things will work out. Or at the very least I can find a decent pair of shoes before Saturday.

But there is still Japan Trip Days to blog. Plus I need a break from wedding stuff. It is a nice way to end a Sunday night. Blogging and watching Housewives tear each other apart.

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That's nice but where are the cosplayers?

Up next is our sad little trip to Harajuku. XD Believe me I wish this was a longer post but it shall not be. Not my fault and you can't get everything in life. We still made the best of the dreary Sunday so I hope you enjoy this post.


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These are not cosplayers....

So most people know about the Sunday cosplayers of Harajuku even if they don't know much about the anime/music/lolita scene in Japan. Of course many people might refer to them as freaks but I don't see them that way. To me Harajuku was going to be like an anime convention in terms of people dressed interestingly...just without the anime element.

Yet...this is what I saw?

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That's nice but where are my cosplayers?

Right when we got out of the station we turned right and were greeted with this site. It was right in front of Meiji Shrine. I am not sure what was going on but there were people holding donation buckets and people were playing drums. Also I am not sure if this was a weekly thing that happened on Sundays or if this was something special.

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Aw so cute. Our buses do not have cute little doggies on them.

So when got off the train we didn't see the cosplayers. And our map was not really clear on where this cosplaying "bridge" was. We were under the impression that it was actually a big bridge that required some walking to. So off we went into the heat despite the rain clouds overhead.

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That's the bridge?!?!

So after walking the wrong way and then walking up and down the shops of Harajuku we finally realized...that small tiny section before Meiji Shrine WAS the cosplaying bridge. "Bridge". Remember "gardens"? Yeah same concept. So we kept walking around like crazy people because we are that special and because there were NO COSPLAYERS.

Insert sad face now. The weather did say it was going to rain that day but it didn't rain until after 3. So was in the drum people keeping them away? Respect for the tsunami? Or were they avoiding the rain? Whatever the case they were not out and we were all X__X so much walking for no reason.

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I couldn't even afford the headbands in this store.

HOWEVER today was not a total loss. I heard about this crazy store Laforet that was good for window shopping. It ended up being like 8 stories tall but it was still fun to just look as I don't have the budget young Japanese kids have. In the basement sections of the store were tons of Lolitas though. XD No pictures as it was not allowed in the store but I still got to see them in all their frilly glory. Buying expensive stuff. And walking really, really slow in their crazy shoes. So I was happy I got to see some cosplayers.

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This store was SO TINY.

With the main event not happening today we decided to explore some of the area. And yes folks this is a store full of condoms. We didn't go inside because it looked way too small. I didn't plan on buying anything so I didn't want a store clerk staring at the strange foreign girl.

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SMAP PEOPLE!


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Such lovely food in Japan.

I am a picky eater. I admit it. And it is totally obvious. However...Kit Kat pizza? With marshmallows? Like do they cook the pizza first and then throw the Kit Kats on top because burnt chocolate is too gross to even think about. Just no folks. Well I say no and there was a line out the door for this place so I am wrong. XD

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Why are all the shops I can afford toy shops?

I almost melted on the street when KiddyLand was not where it was supposed to be (according to the map). But a flyer was quickly flung in my face to their temporarily location. Which was still rather big. So I was a happy Tenchi ready to spend some money.

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Trying to sneak a picture inside for you. XD


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Favorite Sanrio character. XD

This store had similar merchandise from the Toy Park in Ginza but still well worth the visit. Similar merchandise yes but not identical. I would still visit both store just to make sure I didn't miss anything. Also I can't say no to a store that has Hello Kitty in it!

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Why hello there random Snoopy.

Another thing that is different about this toy store is their love for Snoopy. There was an entire section of just Snoopy stuff on one of the floors. And as we were leaving we found out why there was a crowd outside. Snoopy was coming to pay a visit before the rain came. I thought it was wonderful timing and made me smile. Dance Snoopy dance!

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This is me trying to be a ninja.

This man was not cosplaying but rather...serious about how he was dressed. I know it looks like he is staring me down in the picture but he was just....acting like Texas lawman for some reason. XD

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Need a tissue?

Harajuku was also the place where we got the most tissues. Businesses have their employees stand on the street and harass people with flyers. Only the flyers are in tissues. And one needs tissues for the squatty potties or as make shift paper towels in the Western bathrooms. So bring on the tissues. XD

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So many people.

We were staying in Shinjuku so we were used to a busy station. However Harajuku is a SMALL station. You go one way or another. None of this multiple line crap. So everyone was gathered up for the same trains and it got crowded fast. Add in the fact that it was a Sunday and it was a sea of people. And some of them were dressed interesting so it made the day worth it to me.

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Is the ramune a lie?

When it started to rain we went back to our hotel since we left our broken umbrellas in the room. But we decided that we would spend the rest of the day exploring Tokyu Hands. Tokyu Hands is a huge department store that has tons of products. For the first week in Japan we only had time to use its basement as a main food source as it houses a huge supermarket and ready to eat foods. But since we had time today we decided to explore its 8 levels of shopping.

Tokyu Hands....was huge. One side of the floors housed really expensive brands that we didn't waste our time with while the other side had every day products that us normal people can own. Everything from towels to stickers to crazy party hats can be found here. At the store in Shinjuku there was a Disney Store AND Hello Kitty store. XD My husband decided to cheer me up from my noncoplaying day and bought me several nice gifts. One can walk away broke from this store alone.

Now to the picture. Since being in Japan we had found ramune TWICE. Both times it was in Kyoto, once in a vending machine and once at a random grocery store. Both times it had been the "normal" flavor. But behold! Tokyu Hands has ramune!!!!!! It is in the specialty section and it was almost as expensive as ramune at an anime convention but they had some! So I am not sure where all these venders are getting ramune but it is hard to find it in Japan. XD

Well that's about it for my special Harajuku day. Sorry that I don't have any cosplayer pictures to share with you but at least you know where to get decent food if you are staying near Shinjuku station. XD I shall try to post a few more Japan Days tomorrow. Today was a busy day so not much got done in terms of blogging. But slowly I am catching up yay!! Thanks for stopping by!

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