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Monday, June 12, 2017

#carmenxjapan Day 6: Exploring Shibuya

With a bunch of girls, what else can we do? Shop baliaoooo haha I'm sure you must have heard of Shibuya, one of Tokyo's most prominent shopping district. Basically if you see any clips that shows a busy crossing with mega billboards, neon signs and LCD screens embedded on the buildings, you are probably looking at the Shibuya crossing. So for our final day, just gonna explore Shibuya's shopping districts and feel its bustling vibe. 

Meiji Shrine
Before doing all the shopping, gotta take a morning walk, in fact a long walk (because I walked the wrong way LOL), to one of Tokyo's iconic heritage. Meiji Shrine is located next to Harajuku Station. (Do not follow Google maps! It told me to walk from Harajuku to Kita Sando's entrance which is like 3 km away. Just ask the people around and I'm sure they will show you the Harajuku entrance for Meiji Shrine.) Before reaching the main shrine, you would have to walk through a lush forest. All that green trees created a peaceful and soothing atmosphere, the almost 1km walk from the gate till the shrine didn't felt too long. 

random walk down a quiet neighborhood in Shibuya

Entrance to Meiji Shrine, the shrine is located in the midst of the forest, so do expect around 1km of walk. 

I guess there's some significance to the pebbles road, but I really think it's a pain to walk on those haha. 

Kaguraden, the Hall of Sacred Music and Dance

You may write down your wishes and deposit them in the prayer box. 

Traditional Japanese Wedding Ceremony! The Bride and Groom, together with their families will have to march through the shrine. 

Myotogi, Couple Trees where people pray for love.  

The Main Shrine which was under construction. But really appreciate that the scaffolding was made in the image of the Shrine. 

All these are Sake barrels which are important decorations at shrines because the Sake wine is a way of connecting Gods and men. 

Takeshita Street, Harajuku
From Meiji Shrine's Harajuku exit, Takeshita Street is just 5 mins away. Immediately you can feel that "young, crazy and fearless" vibe. Loads of people, especially students in uniform. Pink, cartoons, sweets, pretty much everything a young girl likes, and I mean almost everything! From fashionable clothes, to a Hello Kitty plush, to Strawberry Crepes, to Lacey Pencil Box....everything that could draw a girl's attention. Okay maybe I am wrong to say it's for young girls, perhaps every girl in Tokyo dresses like that. Honestly the clothes are really pretty, something I would buy for my teenage cousin, but not really me haha. But if I had the budget, I would have buy loads of fashion accessories like sunglasses, bags and earrings, the variety is pretty extensive!
The Harajuku Stn 

Super crowded, but it's exactly the vibe you want

Trying out glasses

Chose a rather "young" lunch as well, fast food at Lotteria

Had a Shrimp Burger Set Meal (770yen) where you can have Matcha Latte as your beverage! 

Crepe is like the iconic street food in Harajuku, you'll see many stores along the street.    

and also.... don't miss this heavenly delicious Ice Cream and Cream Puff from Zaku Zaku
Location: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, 渋谷区神宮1−7−1 CUTECUBE原宿

Honestly I didn't check what food is popular here, it was that insanely delicious aroma that drew me to the store. 

Soft Serve Ice Cream (450yen)
This, is like eating milk. You get that ice cream smooth texture, but still the pure milk taste, together with the nuts that add crunch and slight nutty aroma. Goshhh I miss this T T 

Cream Puff (250yen)
This my friend, is probably the best cream puff I've ever had in my life. It was so good that I didnt believe it's a cream puff in the first place, it should be one of a kind haha. U might say I'm exaggerating but hey, this was perfect for my tastebuds. The taste, the texture, the smell. Nothing that you can say NO.  I don't know what sorcery made this perfectly crunchy, perfectly sweet, perfectly creamy and perfectly fragrant cream puff. I was an idiot to left this photo out from my insta post.  

Business idea for you guys, please bring this here, I swear this will go viral. 

Cosplay stores could be sighted but guess my luck wasn't good, didn't really see the Lady Gaga wannabes. Only some that dressed slightly more outstanding. 

Harajuku is actually a pretty large area, but due to time constraint, we only managed to shop along Takeshita street. Shall dedicate one whole day for this area haha. 

After shopping, or window shopping in my case, moved on to the main commercial district of Shibuya, which is probably Japan's busiest area. Really people mountain people sea. The Shibuya crossing was truly a sightseeing attraction for people like me, can you imagine a place where you need to stop cars from every sides to allow everyone to cross the road? Imagine the amount of people who are crossing. It truly is a massive crowd and they are a speedy crowd as well. Another interesting sight at Shibuya is the after-work culture. People in their blazers, walking in groups, as the night goes deeper, you'll see groups of them laughing and chatting, some needs extra support to help them walk straight and all this on a Monday night! I'm not sure whether this is a reflection of something good but damnnnnn it's just something to wonder upon.  

The Hachiko Statue at the Shibuya Station
Bet you've heard his story, he's the loyal dog who waited for his owner at the train station for 9 years after his owner's death. What a touching story T T Which is exactly the reason why I don't really dare to own a pet dog now, their loyalty is just so precious that I don't think I deserve it. Shall wait till I'm mentally and financially prepared. I want a Chow Chow! 

Only a time lapse can do justice to the bustling streets of Shibuya

Another thing I realize is, you seldom find food on the main street, the restaurants and eateries are mainly found in Yokochos aka Side Alleys 横町

There's many choices for food, but in the end, we settled for another dose of Sushi at Kaisen Misakiko 海鲜三崎港 
Location: Japan, 〒150-0043 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, 渋谷区Dōgenzaka, 1 Chome−4−19

It's a conveyor belt sushi joint but you could also order your preferred sushi and have it delivered with their bullet train :D Honest opinion, it taste okay, the one we had at Hanamaru wins :)

Salmon salmon salmon!!


Fatty Salmon 

Albacore Tuna Belly

Green tea is FOC in Japan, that $1.50 green tea in Sushi Express is such a cheat haha. Btw my bill was 1445yen and I was totally stuffed. 

My pals went for shopping while I didn't. I really wanted to be with them but I was pretty sure that I will be easily tempted to buy and so I decided to not go. 
So while they shop, I had my cup of coffee at Segafredo Espresso
which opens till 11pm on a Monday night
Location:  2-25-12, Dougenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Right in front of the cafe, is the crazy awesome Don Quijote Mega Store
girls, if you wanna save money, don't even think of going in, no God can save you from spending your Yen haha. This store has basically everything, from clothes, to snacks, to cosmetics and toys. Everything and every kind. The variety is crazy. And it is the perfect place for last minute shopping because I'm pretty sure you'll find what you missed earlier. FYI, this store can be found at major tourist sites all across Japan and you can shop Tax Free!

sorry I had to post this, haha. This is what happens when you shop till you drop haha. 

That's my final day in Tokyo and I really didn't wanna say goodbye to that bright and bustling street at 12am. But of course I don't think I can stand having nights like this every single day. Just admire the energy of the people, the city. 

Next morning, I parted ways with my dear friends and continued my journey to the ancient and beautiful city of Kyoto. It's Day 7 in Japan but Day 1 of me and myself. Can't wait to write haha. 

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