Monday, April 16, 2007

The Fast and the Furious - Julian's Birthday

The next day, Saturday was Julian's birthday! we went to the famous area of Harajuku to Takeshita Street, where the kids dress up in crazy goth outfits and there are many funky boutiques and clothing stores.
Apparently, many of the kids sneak out of the house and change in public bathrooms. I wish I had gotten more pictures. The blurry picture below of the girls is from a department store ad, but it's how some people dress in Harajuku-so cute!
We asked a lot of questions as to why kids are dressing up this way. Is it a political statement? But it seems it’s mostly about fashion and about being different.
We headed to nearby Omotesando, a tree-lined boulevard with elegant and upscale shopping. Of course my favorite shop in the area is Kiddy Land, which has 5 or 6 stories of kids stuff. Japan is so full of cuteness. On every sign or product there’s always a cute character of some sort. I can’t get enough of it.
We also stopped at this shop.
After a hard day of shopping, we got some crepes at a fantastic French café, Le Bretagne. Then we headed back to the main drag and went to a fancy café for some coffee and people watching.
We headed to Shibuya in the early evening to people watch. There were thousands of people crossing the intersection every which way with cross walks that zig zag horizontally. There were more department stores, shopping, bars and nightlife along with huge TV monitors and screens, while music and sounds blared at us from all sides. Th photo below is also from the internet. We mostly took video and I don't know how to post videos up here yet. But this is exactly what we saw and walked through - a river of people!
Since we were in a huge city, Julian’s request for his birthday was to go to a Mexican restaurant. We are seriously starved for good Mexican food. We make it ourselves sometimes, but there’s nothing like going to a restaurant and ordering and eating all that you want! Yukiko made a late reservation at El Torito in Shinjuku, a chain restaurant that I’ve been to in Washington DC. It was the best Mexican food I’ve had in Japan. We got a big pitcher of margaritas, ate salsa, beans, guacamole, fajitas, and more. It was so delicious; we stuffed ourselves. I wish I could go there now!

Afterwards, we headed to Roppongi, a nightclub and bar area. We went to a bar that had a really bad rock band, stopped at a stand-up bar, called Azool, where the drinks were only 500 yen, and went to a nightclub called Muse at about 1 or 2 in the morning. It was a 2-story bar that had lots of little rooms and alcoves. There was a pretty good DJ in the basement, but no one was dancing. So, we hung out, wandered into different rooms, sat on a swing together, talked, drank and people watched. We took a cab home and finally went to sleep at about 5 or 6 in the morning! Happy Birthday Julian!


Anonymous said...

Hey! Glad to hear you're having fun.

I know what you mean about mexican food. Minneapolis isn't super great for it. I was in Az in march. I got off the plane and went straight to the market on 16th street for a fix.

Miss you guys.


Anonymous said...

very snazzy glasses julian. happy birthday!