Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tokyo 2013 Trip Highlights: Day 2 Part 2 - Harajuku, Evangelion Store, Shibuya Crossing, Hikari Building

After Kiddyland we headed over to the Bathing Ape store (BAPE) that is on the street just north of Omotesando Hills.  The BAPE store has an upstairs and downstairs with the upstairs for guys and downstairs aimed at the ladies.  Lots of interesting fashions here.  Heading west through the back streets here towards Takeshita Street shows you how Harajuku and Omotesando have a very lively shopping scene with many little shops and boutiques rather than the big chains on the main street.
Harajuku Street
Eventually we arrived at Takeshita Street and started looking for the Evangelion Store which is close to the eastern end of the street.  There are actually signs on Takeshita Street and we turned in at one to easily find the store in short walk.
Sign to the Store

View Shibuya Shinjuku Harajuku in a larger map

The Evangelion Store was pretty cool.  It is for Evangelion fans of course, but there are types of interesting clothing, jewelry, and other character goods inside.  It is a nice looking store too.
Evangelion Store Tokyo-01 Harajuku
Store Sign
On the main floor, it is mainly clothing and jewelry.  All kinds of styles, but I found some of the selection looking picked through as various sizes and such were not available.  They seem to have merchandise remaining from their various promotional campaigns so if you missed something, you might just find it still.  Two nearly life size metallic figures of Rei and Kaworu are displayed here by the windows.
Main Floor Fashion and Accessories
The second floor is loaded up with all kinds of Evangelion merchandise and I spent a bit of time here looking at some snazzy coffee mugs, stationary, and other character goods.  Figures and such I can easily get online from places like HLJ and AMIAMI and not have to worry about carrying the things back in your luggage.  There is some very nice exclusive stuff in the store.
Second Floor Display
Evangelion Snacks
Hello Kitty / Evangelion Crossover Goods
The second floor was pretty warm too, but nothing too unusual for Japan.  The humidity here is higher than at home and it is hard to keep wearing you coat indoors like all the locals in the winter.  Too hot!

After the Evangelion Store (still need to see the Q the third movie) we headed back to the main street and headed to the McDonalds for a quick drink and a break.  What a zoo.  Every kid in Tokyo must have been in here.  After a short break we took our time to wander up and down the street looking at the Harajuku fashions and doing some people watching.  There are plenty of interesting sights to see and there are some new stores like the Calbee+ where you can get freshly made potato chips.  A large Daiso 100 yen store is here too and is a great place to get cheap souvenirs for distribution at home - think chopsticks, cloth hangings/banners, cups, bento box supplies, sushi making stuff, etc.  There are very interesting fashion shops here too so watch your money and I hope you're not into leather and gothic as you'll probably blow a fortune.

West Side Entrance To Takeshita Street (Harajuku Station side)
Takeshita Street
Colorul Store
The Street
Fresh Chips.
Tamagotchi Store
After a little more shopping on the street we exited off Takeshita Street at the Harajuku Station side entrance and caught the Yamanote Line one stop down to Shibuya.  Even though Shibuya really isn't super far away, you have to conserve your strength when you have been walking a full day and need to walk some more.  I wanted to take more photos of the famous Shibuya Crossing and check out the new Hikari Building.

The famous Shibuya Scramble Crossing here is one of the busiest pedestrian intersections in the world.  I seems like a endless stream of people go to and from Shibuya Station.  Outside the station (Hachiko Exit) is the famous statue of the dog who waiting for its master day after day.  The massive TV at the Q Front Building also illuminates the area, except for the evening when I was there.  I'm not sure if it runs every other day or was out of order at the time, but the place is much darker without the light from that screen.  Power saving measures are still in effect in Tokyo as you can see missing lightbulbs and buildings that have elected not to turn on their exterior lights.  By no means is the city really dark, as in a blackout, but you can notice it here and there.  You need to actually try crossing at Scramble Crossing yourself - it's like threading the asteroids in Empire Strikes Back.
Darkened Screen on the Q Front.
Scramble Crossing
Closeup of Scramble Crossing
Shibuya 109
 At this point we were getting pretty hungry for dinner and after walking around a bit to see the 109 building and all that we noticed that most places were pretty busy.  We still had not seen the new Hikari Building with its massive atrium way up in the sky and decided to head there to check out the food floors.  We decided on a conveyer belt sushi restaurant there and had a pretty good meal while resting our feet.  The washrooms in the Hikari Centre are supposed to be nicer for the ladies too as there is a heavy emphasis on art and stores for them here.  Access is by walkway or underground into the Hikari from the subway passages.

Hikari Building
Underground Approach

View of Shibuya Crossing From Hikari
There is a Lawson on the Atrium Level - Convenience Stores are everywhere.
The views from the atrium were pretty nice and we headed back to the hotel after that.  We checked out a food floor and bought some cake to go.  Strawberries are in right now too and they are delicious.  Strawberries are also being pushed for White Day in March where the boys need to buy something for the girls who gave them giri chocolate on Valentines Day.

Strawberries in the market. Regular size and Huge Single Berries.
Very Nice Fruit - not cheap though.

View Day Three of the travelogue here.
View the Tokyo Travelogues Master Page here.

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