After a class on Tanizaki’s ‘Naomi’, which is a great noveI about the relationship between a 28 year old man and 15 year old girl, I made my way to Harajuku. Harajuku is a place near Shibuya known for its cheap shopping, described as a sacred street for teenagers by my host mom (I have never heard more squealing and ‘kawaii’s in my life). It was a nice place to walk around. I noticed lots of foreigners there. Crepes were a popular food item being sold there. After walking past the third crepe stall, I felt the need to try one and bought the highly recommended macha cheesecake and strawberry crepe. It was heavenly.
|Harajuku’s Takeshta steet-known for its cheap shops|
|My beautiful crepe-the highly recommended macha cheescake and strawberry with whipped cream|
|The crepe menu at Angel Heart, the oldest crepe shop in Harajuku|
In the Hirajuku area, there were several trucks which drove by with music blaring from them. On the main street, I saw a caucasian man outside the train station playing music and trying to make money. The area was really lively and I heard an unusual amount of english and hollywood music.
|A passing truck at Harajaku with blaring (and really good) music|
I later went to Yoyogi park nearby which is connected with a Meiji shrine. The park was huge. Once inside, it was so quiet and peaceful.
|Barrels of sake near the Meiji Shrine, representing the sake offered to enshrined dieties on an annual basis|
I discovered the secret of the kotatsu today. Kotatsu is a low japanese table with a heater below it. People put their feet under the kotatsu in winters to warm their feet.
I also wore a hokairo today. Since it was chilly and random parts of my body hurt, Kaori-san handed me a hokairo which is a little cushion with a sticky substance on one side. It is stuck on an undershirt and provides warmth to your body for up to 10 hours. My body ache disappeared. Japanese technology continues to amaze me.
|The heater below the Kotatsu, used to warm people in winters.|