Welcome to another in our series of Tokyo Christmas 2009 photo walks. The basic idea is that we walk you around Tokyo, shooting pictures and explaining where we are and what we’re seeing as we go. In the last walk (Harajuku #1), we covered Harajuku from Meiji Dori up the hill toward Harajuku Station. In today’s walk – Harajuku Part 2 – we will try to cover most of the rest of Harajuku. Today’s area encompasses basically everything east of Meiji Dori – including Cat Street and Ura-Hara. We’re intentionally excluding Omotesando Dori east of Meiji Dori from this walk because that’s an entire walk in itself. We’ll cover that area in another post very soon.
So, without further delay, let’s grab our camera and hit the pavement near where we left off last time…
(Remember, you can view a high quality version of any photo by clicking on it.)
Okay, here we go! We’re starting out where we left off in the first Harajuku walk – at Killer Dori, across from the Diesel Harajuku shop. We’ll walk right onto Harajuku Street from Killer Dori, directly under that big green lighted sign!
First stop, a haircut? Well, maybe not tonight – but there are hundreds of cute hair/make (make = makeup in Japan) shops scattered around Harajuku. This one has little lighted Christmas trees out front.
We continue down Harajuku Street, walking parallel to Meiji Dori toward the intersection of Meiji Dori and Takeshita Dori. This street is packed with lots of used/vintage/resale clothing shops, including this one – BerBerJin.
Many of the shops in Tokyo are underground. If you don’t look down, you’ll miss some cool stuff. Made in The World Harajuku is a select shop run by the same company as Made In World Shibuya. (We’re not sure why the Shibuya shop is missing “The”, but there must be a good reason.) They have a little Christmas tree to lure you in.
Is that Michael Jackson in the window of the Viz Tokyo shop? Hmm. Anyways – just as a lot of the cool stuff is underground, even more is somewhere above your head. When you’re wandering around, don’t forget to hit the stairs and see what’s going on seven floors up.
Down these stairs we have a fire hydrant, a Christmas tree, Yoda dressed as Santa, and a folded stacks of argyle shirts. If one (or more) of those doesn’t interest you, then you must be the Grinch! And by the way, the Grinch is green, Yoda is green. I’m just sayin’…
Now we’ve reached the intersection of Meiji Dori and Takeshita Dori (we walked near here, but on the other side of the street in our Takeshita photo walk). This photo is a close-up of the KDDI Designing Studio – one of the best known buildings in Harajuku.
Now we’ve turned left toward Cat Street on the street that continues as Takeshita Dori on the other side of Meiji Dori. This is one of the many clothing shops for young Japanese guys along this stretch of the road and its little side streets.
We’ve started to wander a little from the main street, taking a few short detours on the little side roads and alleys. Here we find another cute Harajuku hair salon. This one has a Christmas tree and a sign out front that says “Welcome All People!! We speak English!”
Went down a tiny alley and noticed this place all lit up. The picture sucks a bit, but they have about a million Christmas lights, a Christmas tree, and plenty of cute characters goods, dolls, and other stuff you know you can’t live without.
Okay, we wandered around the little backstreets until we somehow ended up all the way back to the area near Killer Dori, but further away from Meiji Dori now. Here is the Banana Fish shop between Killer and Cat Street. Should we go inside and look for LaCarmina? :-)
Okay, now we’ve made it all the way back to Killer Dori. This is the courtyard of a small group of shops on Killer Dori. It looks very nice and Christmasy (that’s probably not a word, but neither is “Japanesey”, so yell at Utada, not me).
Okay, we’ve gone too far (again). We’re going to turn right onto the famous Cat Street and head in the direction of Shibuya. It’ll be a long walk, but we’ll see a lot of cool shops, fashionable people, and (hopefully) holiday cheer along the way. The first Cat Street shop to catch our eye is the Raffinato store right off of Killer Dori. It’s a really nice looking building, don’t you think?
Continuing on down Cat Street, we fall in love with the Dicokick window display. It’s full of Christmas and disco balls. What’s not to love? The effects of the bad economy in Japan can be felt in this area of Cat Street. There are literally more empty shops than there are active ones. This was once a really crowded and fun area, but now it looks a little like a ghost town back here. Let’s hope that 2010 brings better days for Ura-Harajuku!
We’ve just past the old Nike shop – the one that closed a few years ago before they opened the bigger one further down Cat. We’ve reached Another Edition, and it’s time to party. What kind of party? How about a Swindle Party? What does that mean? Not sure, but it’s almost certainly got something to do with punk rock and disco balls! Seems like disco balls are quite popular for Christmas 2009 in Harajuku!
The fact that we’re looking at the brand new – just opened – Pariero Mart pet accessories shop means that we have reached the intersection where Cat Street meets Takeshita Dori – or whatever it’s called on this side of Meiji (ask a few people, get a few different answers). We’ll continue down Cat Street, still heading in the direction of Shibuya. Still far away from our final destination!
This is the resale shop Sevens where everything costs 700 yen. It’s a bit random and chaotic, but the price is right. Plus, they have a Christmas tree and a strange alien creature in a 1960s chair out front.
There is no better shop picture to be taken on Cat Street at night – or probably even in the day – than the Candy Stripper shop. This store was designed perfectly. Tonight they have their interpretation of a Christmas tree in the window.
Wow, we’ve already made it to Omotesando Dori. From here, we can see this year’s street illumination. All of the trees are lit up, and they’ve hung gold bells all over the place. It’s pretty cool! On the right, you can see the Dior building (glowing red) and the bridge over Omotesando Street. We’ll be crossing that bridge soon enough.
After checking out the Christmas illumination, we take a right on Omotesando Dori, then take the first side street on the right. There are many little back streets in Harajuku. We want to get pictures of some of the shops in this area – between Meiji Dori and Cat Street – before we cross over Omotesando and continue toward Shibuya. The first shop we stop to check out on this side street is a cute little Japanese jewelry shop where you can clearly see the employee working inside.
We’ve covered a bunch of the side streets. (Many of the shops didn’t have anything up for the holidays, but we got a few pictures, at least). Now we’re back on Omotesando Dori and heading back for the pedestrian bridge near the Dior building. On the way, we pass by the brand new CA4LA hat shop. This is an extremely popular chain of hat shops in Tokyo. They carry their own brand as well as lots of domestic and import hat brands. The range goes from budget hats all the way up to 50,000+ yen high end imports. Their new Omotesando Dori shop is really nice, and they’ve got a lot of Christmas lights out front!
We’re now crossing the pedestrian bridge. Even though some guy in a yellow jacket is using a bullhorn to repeat “DON’T STOP ON THE BRIDGE” over and over again, we’ll join the 150 other people pausing (we didn’t stop, we just paused!) for a quick photo of the beautiful Christmas lights on Omotesando Street. To our left is Omotesando Hills, and to the right, the Dior Building. Okay, time to get moving – don’t want to anger the guy in yellow!
Cat veers left a bit after the funny Christmas tree. We’re technically in Shibuya now, but we didn’t cover Cat Street on our Shibuya walk so we’re going all the way to the end! Here’s the Manhattan Portage shop with snow painted on the window. This shop gets interesting exclusives sometimes, if you’re into messenger bags.
Okay, this is it – the end of the road. The last shop we’ll photograph before calling it a night is the LORO shop near the intersection of Cat Street and Meiji Dori. We are definitely in Shibuya now, and we are also VERY near the Deliziefollie gelato shop. Maybe it’s time to put away the camera and eat some sweets. Until next time…Happy Holidays and Merry Xmas!
Our next Tokyo holiday photo walk will probably be Omotesando Dori. Check back soon! In case you missed any of the previous photo walks, we’ve already done Christmas in Shibuya, Takeshita Dori, and Harajuku Part 1.