Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Harajuku ended up being quite the experience! We knew that Sunday was the day to go to experience it fully, but we were not prepared for what was ahead. The Harajuku area is well known for the youth that hang out here and for their distinct style of dress. The harajuku girls are known for their school girl outfits or as I call, "little bo peep" ensembles, but Sunday is the day for"cosplay" or costume play, where they dress up as anything resembling anime characters, in cyber punk gear or really anything that would be described as a little crazy.

This seemed like an interesting thing we should experience... what we weren't expecting was the incredible amount of people that were in the area. I have experienced large groups of people before in small spaces and I feel pretty confident in saying that I'm ok with crowds. I'm fairly patient and realize that we are all just trying to get from here to there, so there is no need to push and as long as everyone stays calm and orderly, that will happen in a relatively timely manner. Well Harajuku this particular Sunday was crazy. To say the street was crowded would be a great understatement. It was literally a sea of people -a sea of bodies that wanted to go in every direction possible, cutting in front of you to pop into the shop or to race past you to meet up with friends ahead. They were walking in every direction, which made it that much harder to navigate. It was impossible to take regular sized steps and impossible to swing your arms without hitting at least 5 people. To put it in perspective, it made Shubuya crossing seem calm and roomy!

We were told that Harajuku is pretty busy on Sundays, but this was more so than usual. Going down the length of the street, which I would assume would take all of 5 minutes normally, took us closer to 30... the sea of people was neverending, and then when we got to the top by Harajuku station, all you could see were swarms of more people coming off the trains and descending upon the streets.

I would still recommend going to experience and see the sights of Harajuku, i.e. the people watching, but be careful of the crowds. It reminds you that Tokyo is a densely and highly populated city, and I'm convinced I saw them all on that Sunday in Harajuku!

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