Saturday, September 11, 2010
Tokyo Trip Part 2: The Shopping
As a fan of Japanese street fashion, I definitely had been looking forward to going to Harajuku. Harajuku is definite fun and vibrant and different. On weekends, I heard many cosplayers gather. Unfortunately, it wasn't the weekend. However, there were still many people with very distinctive fashion styles walking down the streets ranging from street-wear sweet lolita to indeed some very strange garbs that I cannot quite describe. I remember receiving a comment on deviantart regarding why I draw the girls' skirts so short. In case anyone was wondering, yes, school girls do wear their uniform skirts that short. Another fashion quirk. During my time in Tokyo, I swear I have never seen more black parasols in my life. Japanese women take very good care of their complexion, hence black parasols and fingerless gloves that come up to their upper arm in the sweltering 36 degrees Celsius heat. It was one of the hottest heat spells in Japan this year while I was there, and I am surprised I did not melt away.
I saw a hoodie with bunny ears and a tail just like the one I drew for Sakura. It was adorable; I was half tempted to buy it. There were many stores where you could buy some quality cosplay outfits. If you go to Harajuku, you must try the delicious crepes. Takeshita Street has a lot of fun stores as well, including a very bling pet store with the most adorable accessories! There are so many teddy bears in Japan. It made me happy.
A posh shopping area. Pricey and full of brand names. But if you just walk down the street for 5-10 minutes, you stumble into Harajuku. Omotesando Hills is a shopping complex that was designed by Tadao Ando, Pritzker Architecture Award recipient. Apparently you're not allowed to take pictures in the building.
Can be considered the "Fifth Avenue" of Tokyo and a luxurious shopping district with several notable departments stores (including Matsuya and Mitsukoshi, under renovations while I was there). It is generally very pricey to shop in the area but the building designs and decorations are worth looking at. On Saturdays, the main road is blocked for the shoppers. The Swarovski building is very pretty and there was a pretty cherry blossom design crystal ornament. Apparently, you're not allowed to take pictures there either.
Roppongi is probably best known for its nightlife and Mori Tower. Unfortunately, I didn't get to spend much time in the area and was too pooped in the nighttime and my feet were ready to fall off. The Galleria had many pretty stores and the Suntory Museum of Art. Apparently, the store full of pretty nick-knacks below doesn't allow pictures.
I learned that in Tokyo, there are a lot of places that you are supposed not allowed to take pictures of. I already mentioned Shibuya in Part 1 as a fun shopping area, but I personally preferred the Omotesando/Harajuku area because I think there is a broader range of styles available. I got the cutest floral print lacy sundress for 1900 yen in Harajuku after taking purikura with my friends--and boy these purikura machines make you look like an anime-character. My friend told me that the fabric in Japan is usually very good and durable and lasts for years. There were so many pretty, lacy clothes I was in absolute heaven. Warning, everything runs small in Japan; I'm a US Size 4/small and I'm a "Large" there. There are a lot of "free-size" clothes in Japan, meaning one-size. My feet are somewhere between 6.5 and 7 in US size, but there, I'm 24 "Large." I did manage to find the cutest pumps at the Ginza Marui department store on my last day which were on sale for less than 5000 yen... A good find.
Tokyo Trip Part 1:The Places
Tokyo Trip Part 2: The Shopping
Tokyo Trip Part 3: CLAMP x Blythe Dolls
Tokyo Trip Part 4: Food
Tokyo Trip Part 5: Final Thoughts