On Sunday Latimer and Ridley journeyed to the colourful and crazy Harajuku to see the Harajuku cosplayers. We’ve figured out that the best time to see them is between 2-3pm on a Sunday, on the Harajuku bridge just beside Meiji-jingu shire. We trawled the internet looking for this information and it was hard to come by, so spread the word!
Latimer: Harajuku is one of our favourite places in Tokyo. It’s the fashion hub for the cool, quirky and kitsch Tokyo teenagers. Takeshita-dori is the main street containing all the main shops sporting the standard to down right bizzare fashion trends.
I would love this superman bag. It’s pretty cool (but I may be too old to pull off the awesomeness!).
These pants are what we’ve termed ‘clown style’. It’s colourful, random and just plain crazy.
I love just looking at what people are wearing. While some things are just too crazy for words, I am still impressed and awed by people’s sense of style, however easy it is to come by in the endless shops of Tokyo.
I am currently obsessed with the artistic tattoo tights everyone seems to be sporting; see-through with stars (or birds) twisting around the leg. Very cool (I am determined to find a pair!).
We headed to the Harajuku bridge at 2pm to try and find the cosplayers (these are teenagers who dress in dramatic, over-the-top outfits every Sunday and meet up with their similarly dressed friends to hang out). They have become a tourist attraction. I don’t know if they like getting their pictures taken by random tourists (I’d hate it), but get their pictures taken they do.
I abandoned Ridley and got in as best I could (as respectfully as I could) to snap some shots. We’d searched so long for them, I couldn’t leave without some good photos! (If anyone knows what style this falls under please let us know because we’ve been musing over the point of the white nose strip since we saw them!)
I think these girls in the last picture wanted to kill me, but I love this photo all the same. The looks go perfectly with the image. Plus they are leaning against a black stone covered in Japanese writing; a mix of the old with the new. While I was getting up close and personal (probably too much for all concerned- but I thought they were cool so it was flattery!) Ridley had disappeared! I turned confused; “where is my friend?” I mused aloud, drifting away, wanting to assure the Harajuku girls that I did indeed have one and I was leaving them alone. Then I spotted Ridley at the forefront of a large crowd… what was she up to?
Ridley: Well at first, I was huddling by the wall on the bridge, baking in the sunlight and wondering where Latimer had disappeared to, she was lost amongst the hoard of photo-hungry tourists. Personally I think she started it all-the gathering of crazy camera snappers. As she started to buzz around the poor crouching Harajuku cosplayers, one by one, people began to join her. Soon she had created a crowd, all surrounding her, as she slipped in and out, happily snapping everyone! I dismissed myself from the madness, with a hurried ‘I’m off over to the wall!’ There I stayed, staring across at the ‘free hugs’ people. There was row of a few girls and two boys with signs offering free hugs. At one point, I’m nearly certain they were smiling over at me and nodding, as if encouraging me to come over. Which I would never do, I’m not a huggy type. I wanted to tell them I wasn’t alone and in no need of comfort, that my stoic expression was just my default one but I knew it would all seem like lies, as I couldn’t produce my friend, I only knew her general area. It was then to my left I noticed a frenzy, there was lots of colour, I saw a pink wig and suddenly there were hoards of tourists whipping out their cameras. There were Harajuku girls all lining up for a photo opportunity.
“Latimer!” I squeaked, but it got lost in all the noises. I threw a desperate glance over at where she was supposed to be, then with a big sigh I launched forward, squeezing in through the bodies to reach the front, knowing I’d never be forgiven if I didn’t get the pictures. I went head to head with giant Nikon cameras and video recorders! And won, well if it had been a competition, I would have!
(Side Note: Ah! As I was writing this, I was rudely interrupted by a small earthquake. They don’t happen in Ireland. I think I panicked a little. Latimer and I just looked at each other and were like ‘What do we do!?’ All I could remember was, door jam, get under a door jam! Or something! But we stayed sitting on our beds, I think I covered my eyes at one point. Cowardly, I know…thankfully it’s over now! Back to the story!)
So, yeah…eventually after the cosplayers began to disperse and I’d pressed the button on my camera about a million times, I turned to find Latimer hurrying towards me, with a panicked expression, demanding to know what she missed. With a nod, I proudly held up my camera, “I got it all, never fear!”
So, we finally managed to see the Harajuku people, after quite a bit of effort really. They were nowhere to be seen last Sunday. We found this week, the best time to be around there was between two/half two to about half three, this photo opportunity happened about twenty past three, then everyone started to go home. Though the Rockabilly boys were around from quite early, from half eleven or so, just in the front of Yoyogi park. They were dancing to loud music, it was funny, so I got a few shots of them.
We’ll be heading back to Harajuku later in the week me thinks, Latimer really wants those tattoo tights, haha, and I like to people watch there!
More from us later! Hope you’re liking our Tokyo posts, let us know if there’s a particular picture you’d like to see. We’re here for a few more days, so we may get a chance to capture it!