This day, Josefin and I decided to visit Harajuku, an area in Tokyo that awaken my curiosity since the well-known street Takeshita is located there… and not to mention: LEMONed shop!
LEMONed Shop is kind of a fashion sub-store for hide fans. (hide – with lower-case “h” – was the former guitarist in X-Japan). As a crazy hide-fan I wanted to visit it, of course.
We started our journey with a coffee and a beer at Omotesando, a big shopping street in Harajuku. Since I had forgot the address to LEMONed Shop (stupid! stupid!), I asked the waiters about it and a young man was kind enough to draw me a map. It didn’t seem to be so far away, so we started to walk but got pretty lost. We realized after a while that the map couldn’t be correct. I asked several people about the store, but no one seemed to know where it was.
An observation I did that day is that a lot of Japaneses are so eager to help, so they try to do so even though they are very uncertain. After a while, we understood that we couldn’t rely on all those confused way descriptions. I was about to give up when we finally found a map over Harajuku at an art gallery and LEMONed Shop was marked on that map.
The store was pretty small and insignificant. Not to question that people didn’t know about it. Another bit bothering observation was that Japanese youths weren’t very fond of either X-Japan or Visual kei. Visual kei bands are probably much more successful overseas.
In Japan, Visual kei is quite uncool.
Anyway, I stormed into the building and ran up for the stairs. Hearing hide’s song “Beauty and stupid” from above made me so excited and I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve when I stepped into the store and saw all hide-posters on the walls.
The store was very small and they didn’t sell much. That was actually a bit of a downer. The goods were extremely expensive, so even though I wanted to buy certain things – I just couldn’t afford it. Mostly they sold clothes and knick knack. I had to settle down with some smaller souvenirs, like a calendar and some post cards. Irrespective, it felt great just to have been there.
Tip: Don’t wanna get lost as we did? Here’s a map over Harajuku. LEMONed Shop is located at number 10.
I loved Harajuku. It was cozy! And best of all was Takeshita Street. If you’re interested in subcultures like cosplay, lolita, goth, punk, visual kei etc. then this is the place for you. The street is quite narrow, lined with a great amount of cool stores with clothes, accessories, idol gadget and other knick knack.
Here and there you spot young girls and boys in eccentric outfits, bright colored hair, piercings and weird-looking contacts. So cute.
I’ve heard about the famous Harajuku crepes before, so when we passed one of the crepe stands we couldn’t resist to try them out. You could order a crepe with a lot of different stuffing, both sweet and more healthy choices like salad and ham.
I bought a crepe with whipped cream, chocolate and banana – and it tasted heavenly! I truly regret that I didn’t bought another crepe before I went home to Sweden. I still dream about the Harajuku crepes and sigh with a smile.
If you’re going to Harajuku, you really must taste the Harajuku crepes. *Oishii*
Purikura photo booths
When we stumbled upon halls with Purikura photo booths on Takeshita street, I more or less dragged Josefin with me and forced her to become a silly and bouncy teen with me in front of the cameras.
I’ve seen these kind of photo booths before on TV, but never tried one. They are a popular trend in Asia, but I’m sure Swedish kids would love the idea as well.
There are several booths in the hall and you pick one that seems suitable. This is truly a hall designed for girls, very stereotypical cute, glittering and pink. The booths are quite big. I think you can put 10 people in there, but the programs seems to be designed for two people.
You don’t have to follow the programs to the latter if you don’t want to though, it’s just for funny inspiration.
In front of you is a big screen that tells you to choose a program. There are a lot of different choices and since neither me or Josefin understood Japanese, we just threw 400¥ coins (~320 crowns ~$4) into the machine and pressed random buttons on the touch screen.
When the program starts, you can see yourself on the screen. The wall behind you becomes transparent and switch to different backgrounds during the course of the programs. You get told to pose in different ways and you can see exactly how the photo will be the whole time. As newbies, Josefin and I messed up quite a lot and forgot to look into the lens when the photo was taken. But it was very fun!
When the program’s over, you continue to an adjacent booth with some kind of computer.
There’s a big screen on which your photos get displayed, and then you get some minutes to decorated them by pressing a pencil-like device against a cute motive (there are several galleries to pick from) and then dot them on the pictures, or draw them in some cases (like waves of stars and such).
It took some time for us to understand how it all worked, so the first photos became quite ugly. But who cares, really. ^_-
When time’s up, your pictures get printed and spit out in a holder outside the booth. The pictures can be used as stickers.
We might be “old ladies close to our depressing thirties”, but this was really amusing. We decided to go back to a Purikura photo booth later that week. Here’s a sample of our first mistakes. ^_-
12012 in Harajuku
After we left the Purikura photo booth, I realized that some things that day felt very familiar. I recalled a movie with the Japanese group 12012 in which Wataru runs around among people, eats crepes and gets photographed in a Purikura photo booth. When I watched the video later, I saw that we actually been to the same places in Harajuku. Too bad Wataru wasn’t there this time… -_-
Take a look at the movie: Hide and seek
Blog posts from this journey:
Shopping in Harajuku
2 July 2009
Today we visited Harajuku in Tokyo. It was awesome!
I took a little while, but we did find “LEMONed Shop” after a lot of searching. The store was quite small and they didn’t sell so much stuff and it was extremely expensive… but I found some cute souvenirs for me and the cat. ^^ It felt so strange to walk into a shop with a lot of hide-pics on the wall and hearing “Beauty and stupid” in the speakers. Lovely!
Then we went to Takeshita street where all the alternative subculture stores is located. So many cute and cool outfits and weir-looking people! ^^ I loved it! We tasted the “famous” harajuku-crepes (so good) and tried out Japanese photo machines (First you take a serie of photos and the wall behind you get transparent. Then you sit in front of some kind of computer and decorate your photos with cute stars, hearts, text and such… So fun!)
Then we got lost in Tokyo, but as you might understand.. we found our way back to the hotel after a while and enjoyed a meal at a restaurant. ^^
Hide has just taken his nightbus in Osaka and will arrive in Tokyo tomorrow morning. Then we will maybe go to Akihabara “Akiba” – electric town. The place for all manga-, anime- and electronic nerds… ^^
In this movie with 12012 you can see what kind of crepes we ate and what kind of photo machines we used. ^^ Maybe they are in Harajuku? Hard to see, but it looks very familiar.
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