Friday, October 31, 2008

2 gaijins, 1 camera on a perfect weather

So we had a photoshoot for one of our clients yesterday. The target location was the funkadelic Harajuku, Aoyama and Shibuya area. I decided that we should do it first thing in the morning since weather was forecasted to be sunny. It was fun being out of the office after such a long time, especially with me being made to go in regular hours as compared to before.

Anyways, I met up with Johan at Harajuku station. We headed straight to Takeshita Dori, the alley where all things youth and colourful can be found. On Sundays, you will see teens all dressed up in their favourite anime characters and sporting mind-boggling accessories and piercings. The McDonald's on the left is a fav - grrls lining up for a sundaes immediately clogs the whole street up.

H&M, a major fashion brand from Sweden has descended in Tokyo. The first store opened in Ginza a few weeks ago to rave reviews and a long line on its opening day. Not surprising, even the launch of the iPhone was greeted with the same hype. Queueing up must be one of the Japanese past times - notice how they do it obediently in Disneyland! :)

Another huge fashion label from America, GAP. Due to its location at a crossroad, it's also a popular meeting and hang out place. Japs can be seen in traditional yukata in summer time, sitting at the sidewalk or just powdering their noses.

Walking towards the posh Omotesando, luxury brands such as Dior greeted us. Each has their own building and signature architecture style. Shokwan was the one who first showed me this street when I came to Tokyo last year, and being a architecture postgrad, she was naturally more polished in the design of the various buildings.

Similar to Malaysia's Pavillion, Omotesando Hills houses top brands that cater to the affluent in Tokyo. I've never stepped foot in either, but at least I know in Japan they don't discriminate you based on what you wear. Never ever have I gone inside Prada, Gucci and LV in Malaysia, but walking into these boutiques here, the level of Japanese service just makes you wish it could be emulated everywhere else in the world.

It's nice walking outside Omotesando Hills, especially on a good weather day like this. It's midautumn and the leaves are slowly turning yellow. I'm proud to say that our own Jimmy Choo has his own outlet on the ground floor facing the traffic.

Anniversaire, another one of many beautifully decorated stores along the Omotesando Dori. Now that Halloween is over, the next big thing is Christmas. You can almost feel the holiday season in the air. The cold seasons seem to be a good time to celebrate foreign events, especially when it involved parties and presents.

Since Johan was into the new GTA4, he was naturally delighted to see billboards like this sprouting all over Tokyo. We saw 2 more along the way to Shibuya and 3 more in Shibuya itself. Heard it's a violent game, but what do I know - I'm not a gamer myself!

As we walked back to the station and towards Shibuya, we saw more funky shops like the above. There's always something new to look forward to, since novelty is the keyword here. The weirder the better. As long as you know how to mix and match, no matter if it's some cheapo looking stuff, you will be able to survive in Tokyo. It's the antics of the fashion-conscious that makes people watching a never-boring activity.

Audi Forum Tokyo - this 7-storey building sure stood out from its neighbours and from what I found out here, it's known as the "Iceberg" building and sparkles magnificently at night. Taken off the ddi magazine : The exterior was inspired by a combination of "crystal, an iceberg and a crushed PET (plastic) bottle," says Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, director of Creative Designers International. Three kinds of color-laminated glass enhance the edge effect of the building shape, making it look like a giant crystal rising up in the middle of the city.

After having lunch at an Asian restaurant, we decided to take more shots in Shibuya and head back to the office. The show below was taken from the famous Starbucks just outside the Hachiko exit at the Shibuya station. It's known as the most congested crossing in the world, especially at peak hours. When the lights turn red at the same time, people from all directions walk across rather smoothly, never quite bumping to the next person no matter how packed it is.

We were happily snapping pictures when the waitress told us that we were not allowed to. But being gaijins, we didn't really care and just walked away!

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