Sunday, July 06, 2008

revisiting harajuku (spring 08)

I didn't manage to get a picture of those James Dean and Elvis Presley-look-alikes, but I thought this vintage car might have belonged to one of them. This pastel baby even had pink dice-shaped car locks in each of its doors.

Dogs (and even cats for that matter) are well-bred in Japan. No such thing as strays on the streets wandering unattended. They're really well-groomed and probably live a better life than some of us! However, because some apartments do not allow tenants to keep pets, those who do probably have landed property and are therefore considered wealthier.

Graffiti at the column that supports the bridge that leads from the Yoyogi Park to the Yoyogi National Stadium.

A percussion band performing (for free) near the fountain. Some passerbys were seen dancing to the beat, and even taking turns with the original team members to beat the drums . For the 1 hour or so that we were there, the music didn't stop, but they simply took turns rather naturally so there was no stopping. Just continuous rhythmic beats for our entertainment.

Another good-looking puppy. During winter & spring, pets are seen strutting around with custom-made clothes. But some owners go even further by making them wear full suits of ridiculous looking outfits as if they are dolls.

Japanese live bands really put in the effort and money to perform in public. These instruments are not cheap, and are even considered high-end in their brands. They lug the drums, guitars, keyboards, amps, posters and even stage props to put on a show here. Some even have self-made CD's and unique costumes which are worn by their fans whenever they perform. On good days, you can spend the better part enjoying the music put up by them and they're pretty good too. For free!

Another thing that I can not quite understand - also putting in time and effort and money to dress up like your favourite Anime characters. Two main styles that I'm familiar with - Lolita (sweet frilly dresses with laces in hues of pink and white) and Gothic (dark makeup with thick streaks of eyeliner and layers of mascara). There are others which I can't quite describe since I'm not an anime/Cosplay fan. They flock to Harajuku on Sundays a can be quite unfriendly if you want to take pictures with them but don't quite mind if you take of them from afar.

Even foreigners with a penchant for things Japanese find a release for self-expression. From what I see, they usually come in pairs and dress up like their Japanese counterpart. Except that their coloured hair is natural and they're much taller without having to wear 3-inch heels that sometimes give them a strange gait. Like they're going to topple over anytime.

But ya, these are some of the sights you'll find in Harajuku on a good spring afternoon. I've already done my momiji in autumn and a humid walk this summer. I wonder what winter holds for Yoyogi Park.

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