Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Overheated Harajuku with Art

The day after my trip to Haneda and Shibuya I was out in the heat again. No avoiding it. This time I headed to Harajuku.

Despite the weather the area was packed with people.

One of my favorite places to visit in my prior trips, the Laforet store. A little sad this time because h.NAOTO no longer is selling inside and they have closed their stores in Harajuku.

Vivienne Westwood's shop is still here.

Along with more anime style characters. These ones I recognize. They are from "Uta no☆Prince-sama♪" which is an otome game and anime series. I noticed that many of the department stores now have spaces with cardboard cutouts of different anime, manga and game characters where people can take photos, buy goods and I imagine maybe meet people related to the media. I admit I found it a little odd given that these are regular stores versus Akihabara shops.

But I wasn't there for that. My visit was to Atelier Pierrot inside Laforet. Lots of cute and pretty clothing there along with my being able to see the clerk open a box from Moi meme Moitie. I was hoping there was something in there that I was looking for but no luck. I wish I could have tried one or two things on but given that it was extremely hot I did not feel right about doing that. Maybe next time.

Back out on the street and walking to my next destination. I really think this was the hottest day I was there. Or maybe all the people made it worse along with all the concrete and asphalt. I stopped at the new Volks location but it was closed. Odd because it wasn't a holiday and it was past the time they should have opened. Probably saved me a few yen.

There are a number of interesting shops and more in the back alleys of Harajuku where very few people go. One is this Gintoki jewelry store which also has art by people like Kiyoha who creates beautiful and thought provoking cut-out art. Kiyoha has a blog here.

Just beyond Gintoki was the main drag of Harajuku, Takeshita Dori. I've had fun wandering here in the past, visiting the many stores. But in this crowd in this heat, I did not want to.

Oh Takeshita Dori, louder than ever and even more tacky. Never boring that is for sure.

I had thought about visiting the Calbee store where they bake chips right there. But long line inside was discouraging.

I did reach the other place I wanted to visit. MIJ Factory. It's a place that only sells stickers. What is cool is they offer artist ones. I bought a couple cat stickers and a number by popular gothic artist Yoh.

His "Yoh's monochrome world" manga has been running in the Gothic Lolita Bible magazine along with his artwork being featured in fashion shops. Like others who have his stickers I plan on placing them in a frame. The book I bought at a different place in Tokyo. Yoh's website is here.

So that was Harajuku. But I wasn't done for the day even though I felt done. Next stop is in my next blog.


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