The remainder of Day 1 was spent wandering around the area surrounding the busy Harajuku station.
Harajuku is known internationally as a center of Japanese youth culture and fashion. Most of the large international fashion houses and chains were represented and in a large part it reminded me of the Miracle Mile in Chicago.
We spent most of our time wandering along the side street known as the “Alley”. It was buzzing with life and quite busy for a Wednesday afternoon. In fact it appeared to be fueled by a combination of sugar and teenage hormones.
There were a few neat little shops that stuck out from the rest. One was a shoe shop called Whoop-de-doo. Brad found a great deal on some sweet leather shoes that were made in Japan.
The other was a men’s clothing store called Acoustic, where they sold locally designed ready-to-wear apparel of outstanding quality.
My favorite shop was one where they sold the cutest socks. But the socks were so tiny and only went up to a size 6 shoe in the U.S. !!!
The Meiji Shrine (明治神宮, Meiji Jingū) is a shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. Located just beside the JR Yamanote Line’s busy Harajuku Station, Meiji Shrine and the adjacent Yoyogi Park make up a large forested area within the densely built-up city. The spacious shrine grounds offer walking paths that are great for a relaxing stroll.
In the spirit of the moment I wanted to purchase one of the small wooden votive tablets. They are called ema and they are used by worshippers to write down their prayers or wishes.