Harajuku is an upbeat district with fashionably dressed citizens which did make me feel slightly out of place in my thick, unflattering winter clothing not designed to make a fashion statement. Nevertheless, it was a really interesting place with lots of little streets to explore.
From the train station, we walked to a nearby shrine and park (Meiji shrine and Yoyogi Park). I was so glad that the trees weren’t all leafless yet. It was late in the morning and the sunlight filtered through green and red and golden leaves to create beautiful backlit images. The ground was rocky and the park was surprisingly crowded for a Monday morning. But the weather was lovely and we walked tirelessly through endless tunnels of autumn leaves and interlocking branches.
We reached the shrine eventually and I guess there was some kind of festival going on as there were many children dressed in kimonos and hopping around excitedly. It was an adorable sight! We didn’t really go in so we just walked around the outside.
After that, we went for lunch. We got sidetracked halfway though, and ended up getting snacks. The takoyaki was steaming hot and delicious, and there was also another snack, a crispy golden pancake-like pastry shaped like a fish with red bean (azuki) filling. My gosh it tasted amazing and I wanted to buy another one! At the stall, we met another woman who was really friendly and somehow we found out that she was from home! I realised that meeting someone from home away from home is a wonderful feeling. I guess it’s something familiar in a foreign land, which is always welcome.
We had our real lunch in a little shop where I ate curry katsu-don. I think everything here just tastes really good, even the instant noodles!
The streets and quaint little shops in Harajuku are so fascinating and great for shopping. The warm and toasty interiors of the stores also offered good protection from the freezing cold!
For dinner we went back to somewhere near where we were staying, and we realised we didn’t really know how to order anything! So the owner was really kind and upon hearing that we were Singaporean, he whipped up for us a Japanese-style nasi goreng and mee goreng, which are dishes from home. It was really lucky that he knew some of our dishes from home! I guess this also made the meal extra special, eating food from home in a foreign country.:) we also ordered something called okonomiyaki, which is a sort of vegetable and seafood pancake. I know it sounds dubious but it tasted really great! ( Trust me I hate vegetables but I ate all of it)
Rounding up my second night in Tokyo here, and a searingly freezing walk back to our apartment.