The Sun Rises Again: A Tale of Two Jukus

(My one and only issue with not traveling alone is that I’ve less free time to post to this site from the road. So kindly allow me to fill you in on some more notable details and pics from my recent Tokyo trip…)

On our second full day in Tokyo I made the executive decision that LinLyn and I should nix the hotel breakfast and eat on the road. Of course I had something in mind, specifically the Denny’s in Harajuku. Sean and I had dined there three years ago, so I figured it’d be easy to find. Only after searching for almost an hour on empty stomachs did we find out it had moved down the block.

Once we found it and had eaten we were ready for another of Tokyo’s big attractions—the Harajuku Kiddyland. Visiting the store’s five floors is like riding the central nervous system of Japan’s popular culture. Here’s what we found:

image

These “root men” are manufactured by Takara toys. If you can find anything specific about them on the company site please let me know!

image

I still can’t conclusively say whether these are toy versions of Japanese raccoons, foxes or bears. But they sure are cute…

image

Stuffed bears as furniture and appliances..? All completely possible, thanks to the good folks at Wanroom.

After Kiddyland we weaved our way through the Saturday crowds on Takeshita Street. This bustling walkway is where many a fashion trend is born, but I didn’t see as many western photographers there to document it as I have in the past.

Having about a half-hour of sunlight left we joined more crowds pouring into the grounds of the Meiji Jingu shrine.

image

I had thought that Seijin no hi was only a one-day affair, but there were already young ladies in kimonos walking the grounds, which were also dressed up for the occasion.

image

Did I mention how fricking cold it was during our stay in Tokyo? Northern Japan was under many feet of snow; I was merely freezing my ass off…

image

But soon enough after a short subway ride we were being warmed by the neon lights of Shinjuku, inspiration for the look of Blade Runner if ya didn’t already know. Of course, I don’t remember seeing the sign for Yodobashi Camera in the movie…

image

And somewhere in the maze of alleys we found a basement-level restaurant that served up this yummy prime rib, with a mountain of horse radish on top just the ways I likes it!

Tags: ,

3 Responses to “The Sun Rises Again: A Tale of Two Jukus”

  1. Chris says:

    I found this on Boing Boing and thought it might help you on your journey.

    http://www.pingmag.jp/2006/01/13/10-things-to-do-for-free/

    Later

  2. Mieke says:

    The root-men may be Pikmin—Nintendo video game with great graphics and these little root-like creatures who help Captain Olimar rebuild his crash-landed spaceship.

  3. Hey Chris and Mieke, how’s it going?

    My girlfriend is gonna kill me for not knowing about the free rubber stamps; as for Pikmin, I own Pikmin, and Mieke, those were no Pikmin!

    If previous visits to Japan are any indication, we’ll be seeing an English-dubbed version of a root men cartoon on our TVs in a year or two!