Since being up so late, I slept in this morning which was nice. I walked around my neighborhood until I found a little cafe and I sat and wrote for a bit. In the afternoon I decided I wanted to check out Harajuku so I headed there via train. I got off at Shibuya and walked from there to Harajuku which was less than a mile. I’m glad I did because it was the coolest little neighborhood. I ended up popping into an “anime” café, where food and drinks were anime themed. It was one of the most relaxing cafes I’ve been to. Probably because it was super small and cozy and they were playing anime cartoons (only set to music) on a television. There were two boys doing their homework next to me and I could only think that I’d choose this over the library as well.
There were many connecting walking streets lined with interesting clothing stores. They were mid-priced, but the further I walked, it slowly started to turn into high end luxury retail. The people and the cars fit that clientele spot on. I had so much fun popping into the stores and trying on things that I normally wouldn’t. I also had on an outfit that I bought yesterday that I never would have worn back home, yet, mine fit in perfectly here. I even got lots of compliments on it! Except from one person.. I’m almost positive I heard one young man mumble white trash as I walked by him. I tried to not let it bother me, but it did. I hope I misheard him, but if not, I feel bad that he felt it was okay to do that. Anyways, In each shop I found something I wanted to try on. The stores are very formal with that process. First they’ll take everything off the hangers as you take off your shoes and enter the dressing room. Then, they hand you the clothes and a face cover (to put over your head so you don’t get make up on the clothes. During checkout, they take a lot of care in folding and wrapping up everything nicely. They put it in a bag and then tie the handles of the bag together with tape.
Eventually I made a turn that brought to me the heart of Harajuku, a trendy, eclectic neighborhood lined with stores that sold clothing that was either really strange, or really cool. Honestly probably both! I tried on a few things that even I wouldn’t be able to pull off. Jeans with ribbon laced in them, plaid jumpsuits, care bear high heels and more. I could have looked around for hours but it was starting to get late and I still needed to take the train back. It was crazy busy in the train station with people rushing left and right. I kind of wondered where they were off to in such a hurry, most likely late for a dinner appointment or on their way to the airport I suppose. Once I made it back to Asakusa, I stopped at a “fast food” ramen place. For fast food, that ramen was actually quite good!
Today was going to be a “normal” day with nothing specific planned until the evening. I went for a brief run (I tried to run on a track but apparently it’s not public), stopped at a exercise park and did some stretching, saw plum blossoms (too early for cherry blossoms), put some laundry in, caught up on blogging, tried a roasted chestnut (did not like), opted for one of those rotating sushi trains instead, did a 30 minute reflexology session (I had a really bad pinched nerve in my back and he fixed it!), stopped and practiced English with some 8 year olds completing school assignment (who were the cutest and had the best uniforms. Also, I can just imagine the teacher saying go to a public area and look for white people hahaha, but to be fair there are very few “white” people around, we stand out a lot) and then finally got ready for the evening.
Tonight I actually went back to Harajuku, or to a neighborhood near it called Kawaii for a show at the ‘Monster Cafe’. This place was designed to be colorful and weird. I was a little underwhelmed by the design, it was cool, but not nearly as exciting as I had expected. The food was good and unique though! I had rainbow colored pasta that you could “paint” with different colored sauces. I had a cocktail that you could mix in colors to as well. For dessert, I had chocolate rainbow fondue. The show started at 8pm and included Orien (Geisha) dancers. They tended to repeat a similar routine so after about an hour I ended up sneaking out. I knew my way on the Ginza train line by now so I opted to watch a show on my phone, just as everyone else was doing. I went back and began to organize my bags as I planned on only taking two small bags to Kyoto the next day.