Japan has always been on my bucket list. This year I finally had the chance to visit the country with two of my friends. It wasn’t an ideal time for me to take a trip, but I decided to go regardless. I’m not sure when I’ll get the next opportunity to visit the country. I did all my April deadliness before hand in order to go. I like to think the trip as my summer vacation; I’ll be busy with both school and work throughout the summer.
We spend the entire 2 weeks in Tokyo. It might seem like more than enough time to explore one city, but we only got to see a portion of Tokyo. We rented an apartment from Minato-ku, which we later on learned to be one of the fanciest areas of Tokyo. Not something a person on student budget wants to hear, but regardless we were very pleased with the place.
For the first few days we went according to a plan in order to see some of the places on our list, but after that we started meeting up with the locals. Due to this we got to see some places we would’ve never found on our own. It also made ordering food and interacting with other locals a lot easier. Japanese are taught English since elementary school, but they generally don’t know the language regardless as they don’t need it in their everyday lives.
My number one spot to visit was Harajuku. Harajuku is one of the fashion districts of Tokyo. There people go dressed in their street styles as opposed to the suit culture that is domain in most of Tokyo. A lot of photographers and scouts also go to Harajuku to shoot these looks and in a search for models. I had been planning what to wear to Harajuku for a while, as I do whenever I’m excited about something.
The streets are surrounded by fashion stores of different quality. Takeshita street is one of the main spots in Harajuku. It is mainly lined with mid-priced clothing stores, eateries, cafes and boutiques. Most of the businesses are aimed towards young people. From all the places we went to in Harajuku, the Takeshita street was the most crowded. We got to test out purikura machines for the first time at Takeshita street.
Omotesando is another one of the big fashion streets in Harajuku. Unlike Takeshita street, it’s not just for pedestrians. The walk paths and traffic are separated by a line of trees. The street runs straight for about a kilometer and it was interesting to see the large mass of people constantly walking on the street. While we were walking on the street, a hair stylist looking for models stopped us, because he wanted me to act as a hair model for him. It would’ve been an interesting experience, but sadly our schedules didn’t match up.
Another street to see in Harajuku is the Cat street. The street is located right by the Omotesando street. It’s lined with high quality street fashion stores. Unfortunately most of the stores don’t suit my budget at this time in my life. As much as I’d love to buy designer clothes, I’d rather eat.
I feel like our trip was very fashion centered. Both of the friends I was traveling with have graduated as clothing artisans last year, so we’re all in fashion business. We also ended up meeting up and talking with a lot of people from the business. One of my favorite nights was when we met up with a model and went to his friend’s fashion store in the Cat street to hang out.