Shibuya, Ginza, Harajuku and Omotesando

∼March 26, 2012∼



This weekend I was in a lot of different areas in Tokyo. Saturday I started of with breakfast with the family and then in the afternoon I went shopping in Shibuya.

This is a picture of the famous Shibuya Crossing. In Tokyo areas, most of them has a big Crossing where people will usually meet up or something. In Shibuya the crossing is located right outside the station. Near the crossing you will see loads of people either hanging out/waiting by a sculpture of a dog called chūken Hachikō (忠犬ハチ公 "faithful dog Hachikō") which is why the exit is called Hachiko Exit. The story of the dog is quite moving:
In 1924, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo, took in Hachikō, a golden brown Akita, as a pet. During his owner's life, Hachikō greeted him at the end of each day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925, when Professor Ueno did not return. The professor had suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage and died, never returning to the train station where Hachikō was waiting. Every day for the next nine years the dog waited at Shibuya station. - source: en.wikipedia.org

The crossing is quite scary when you cross it your first time because on the other side you see so many people and at your side you see lots of people too. It's kind of like a war zone and you wonder how you'll ever get pass the hoard of people! On the picture that's actually a few people! On that day it was drizzling so umbrellas were everywhere! Quite annoying that people take out their big umbrellas for some drops of rainbow, but it might just be because I'm a Dane so I didn't care much about some few drops on my face.. It's just hard to shop when people are like everywhere with their umbrellas :) In Shibuya I like to buy things  from FOREVER21 which I adore! I love this shop so much. We don't have that in Denmark and I like their clothes! The best thing about F21 in Japan is that they have 6 floors ^_^ Clothes in Shibuya 109 is very pretty as well and more popular, but it's just too expensive. I don't want to use 5.000-10.000yen on a shirt. The problem with Japan is that clothes here aren't really that cheap. Makeup is so-so, not the cheapest, but it's good so that makes up for the price. So I avoided Shibuya109 this weekend and I just went in and out of all sorts of places. Places I like so far are LOFT and F21 because they seem somewhat easy to understand.

In Shibuya I was in a hurry because I had to meet up with the family in Ginza. I took the Ginza line from Shibuya which is the orange one with a big 'G'. From Shibuya it's pretty easy to get to all the stations in Tokyo since it's the last stop so even if you feel kind of at lost, I'm pretty sure you can just ask around and someone will direct you to the right train.

Here's a picture of Ginza:


Ginza is a more highclass posh kind of area. We have the GUCCI, LV, BVLGARI and those kinds of shops. There seem to be many rich people here and old pretty ladies as well. This area is very relaxed compared to Shibuya and the streets are very wide which makes it very pram friendly. In my picture you'll see where actually walking on the streets because at a specific time on the day they close the street for cars. I think it's around 5-6 in weekends, but I'm not too sure. This place is a haven for (expensive) shopping, but if you want to save yourself some money then I suggest to just window-shopping ;-)

We ate dinner in a low-key Vietnamese place in Ginza and it was really good. I might go there later and snap some photos.
I didn't expect anything of such a low-key place so no pictures were taken :(

On Sunday, we went to Harajuku and Omotesando area. It's an area close to Shibuya.
At first we went to see the Meiji Shrine. I was so excited because I hear that they always have weddings ceremonies and I wanted to see a real Japanese SHINTO wedding.


As usual: they are strict about smoking here. Easy to buy cigarettes though. Cheap too.


Barrels of Japanese wine called Sake and alcohol gifts from other countries.


This was interesting! In this water place, people purify themselves before the enter the shrine. You take some water with the ladle and wash your hand one at the time and then you take some running water and put it in your mouth and spit it out (outside the pond!).


The thing I was looking most forward to was happening right when I entered the shrine! A WEDDING!


The couple is the one under the umbrella. They are wearing a traditional kimono. 
After that ceremony I saw another couple. It was a beautiful wedding, but it's odd that there are so many strangers (like me) snapping pictures and such.
Shrines are popular place to get married.


Further into the Shrine we have a praying place. You're not allowed to take pictures from the inside, so here's one from outside:


When you go up to the main shrine, there are specific instructions which are written in Japanese.

  • You put money in the offertory box (50yen, 100yen etc.)
  • Bow twice, clap twice and then you pray/make a wish
  • You bow once again and you leave
Japanese people don't seem to be that religious, but superstitious. They pray for luck and health, but they don't pray for a specific god or anything like that.

For example is the votive tablets:

Near the main shrine, you see votive tablets which you can be bought for 500yen. You write your special personal prayers and gratitude on the votive tablets and you hope for it to come true. These votive tablets are hung around a tree and is offered at the MIKESAI, the morning ceremony, each day.

Many young Japanese people come here before and after graduating and it's not only Japanese people who write on these :)
I saw tablets written in many languages.

In the shrine you also see these:


This is a place where you throw away your charm(?) from last year.

After that we went to this French café called ANNIVERSAIRE and I had strawberry shortcake! This was on the Omotesando by the way.


Omotesando is very similar to Ginza as it's also a very posh area. So I won't be shopping there. Harajuku on the other hand is very young style. I talked to some Japanese people and they say: in Harajuku there are a lot of young people and it's extremely crowded by young people and then when they get older like high school age and senior high school they move on to Shibuya. Maybe eventually they will move on to Ginza?

I was very tired this weekend because my ankle hurt really bad! but now I'm all better :)
Here's what I was wearing by the way! Everything is from F21. Over-sized purple shirt with a black lacy-ish short skirt.


I hope you guys found this interesting <3
xo

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