Tokyo July 2011 Day 12: Yoyogi Koen on a Sunday

Day 12 in Tokyo, Sunday 24th July. I finally got the chance to hang out in Yoyogi Koen on a Sunday. Yoyogi Koen is one of the largest parks in Tokyo, located next to Harajuku station. On a Sunday it’s a popular hangout where people gather to play music, practice martial arts, dance & enjoy other hobbies. The bridge across the train tracks leading to Yoyogi Koen is also where teenagers dressed in extreme subcultural fashions come to hang out, pose and be photographed for fashion mags and blogs. I had the impression that this was more popular a few years ago and that the trend had died out a little as it had turned in to such a tourist attraction, but on the day I was there lots of kids were hanging out on the bridge posing for the cameras. A new generation of FRUiTS perhaps? It was great to see!

Note the really dinky lolita on the left! She must have been no more than 13 and was accompanied by her dad. So cute!

By the entrance to the park, groups of rockabillies show off their dance moves. This subculture has been around for twenty years now and these guys & girls are really impressive dancers, I watched them for ages.

Refreshing Watermelon Lollies ^_^

Giant torii gate leading to Meiji Jingū

Barrels of nihonshu are stored in the park while they age. The designs on the barrels are amazing.

Barrels of wine are also displayed here. Amazingly they are never tampered with or stolen. I can’t imagine the same things working here in the UK somehow. ^_~

Meiji Jingū, built in 1920.

After walking around the shrine we headed back to the entrance and got to see some more dancing, this time from the ‘Lebels’ – a greaser gang!

This tiny rockabilly was getting his hair done by the gang’s hairdresser.

Japan’s youngest rockabilly?

Cute spectators

The park is such a nice tranquil place to hang out.

Words of wisdom at Harajuku station

As we headed to Shimokirazawa for dinner, I took this shot of Shibuya scramble crossing in action.

We had dinner at a Shabu-shabu restaurant. On the table is a hob with a pot of boiling stock. You order raw meat and vegtables and cook them yourself by swishing them around in the pot (the name Shabu-shabu is derived from the “swish swish” sound of cooking the meat in the pot). It’s delicious & so healthy! We were wondering why it hadn’t made it’s way over to the UK, but we noticed when we got home that a Japanese restaurant in Cambridge is now serving Shabu-shabu so perhaps it will get popular here too. Oishii!

After dinner I had a bubble tea in this cute crepe cafe which was tacked on to the side of a huge arcade.

Perfect Tokyo Sunday!

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