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  • Shona McCarthy

Harajuku in the Night: 原宿武道


(Takeshita Street, Harajuku. Photo free from Pexels.)


During my stay in Tokyo, I wasn't completely sure I wanted to visit Harajuku. On the one hand, it's unique and creative fashion culture had been one of my primary cultural influences for half my lifetime by that point. On the other hand, I knew that I would be tempted to overspend if I went, since I would naturally desire to own some clothing that I had actually bought there.


(One of the factors that impacted my decision to get out at Harajuku station was seeing the ads of Kyari Pamyu Pamyu in the station. Seeing her being treated as a normal, organic part of the culture there somehow made the experience feel more real. Taken by me, 2019.)


But I found that the train I took to get between some other locations were passing Harajuku and Shibuya. And so, I decided I would take my chance.


(Harajuku Train Station exits feature a curious blend of different architectural styles. This one looked a little like a Bavarian cuckoo clock to me. I can't help but wonder if this has partially influenced the diverse culture of the area. Taken by me, 2019.)


(I got to see many retailers selling clothing in styles distinct to the area. For a weaboo like me, this was very exciting. Even though they were closed. 2019.) I spotted that there were many places to eat there. In the dark, I was surprised at how quiet the place was. And yet, there was a chance to peek in at the windows and see what was there to some degree. What I saw seemed more generic and less stylised than I was expecting. I wonder if some stores know that cheapo tourists like me will come through and decided to make budget, washed-out permutations for us.

(Harajuku late at night is much quieter that it is in the day. This offers you the opportunity to visit it when it isn't swamped by crowds. Taken by me, 2019.)

One thing that was open late was a creperie in vintage American style. Some youths loitered around it.


(It interested me to see that "Harajuku Crepes" are not an invented concept. You can get crepes in Harajuku. It's not a myth. 2019.)


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