Last time I visited, I had wanted to go to Harajuku and had run out of time. This morning we purchased a travel card and jumped on the Joban and Yamanote lines, on wonderfully air-conditioned trains, before alighting at Harajuku station. Instantly, Takeshita Dori (birthplace of many a Tokyo trend), comes into view. It was crazy, filled with approximately 2 billion souvenirs I could have purchased purely for the cute factor. It was crowded and noisy, playing a crazy mix of J-pop and Western music (including some classic Bon Jovi), and looked at first glance as though a hyperactive toddler had gone crazy with a paintbrush. The sheer volume of colour and textures and advertising was fabulous - similar to the effect of Shibuya at nighttime. The real treasures were the things to buy. Imagine the weirdest thing you could put on a t-shirt, and I guarantee you'll find weirder in Harajuku. Also, they love Disney. And Barbie. And Totoro. I mean, who doesn't?
We jumped back on the JR line to get home, revelling in the cool train carriages, and have stopped for a rest and a shower at the hostel before we go out for the evening.
Okay, so it was a long rest and shower! And then more chatting with hotel guests. And THEN we got on a train to Akihabara, famous tech/anime/game district, which looks like Shibuya only MORE CRAZY. We wandered around forever to find some dinner (which we bought with the handy vending machine ticket system they use a lot over here), and then went into one of the massive, multi-storey arcades. SO MANY WEIRD AND COOL GAMES! I have precisely zero interest in games, and genuinely surprised myself with how much fun I had. I can see why these places are so popular! (Also, sorry for being a game snob.)
Home now, nearly midnight, and I want to be asleep soon so we can enjoy our day with Reiko tomorrow!