This is actually a carrying case for a compact digicam. The younger reader probably don’t know that it is styled after the design of a classic twin-lens reflex camera. As I noticed before, vintage film cameras make cool fashion items and this camera case seen in Kiddy Land is no exception. The Japanese still have a love for analog photography, even it is just as a retro accessory to hide a modern digital camera in.
Even the mannequins of Western fashion stores look different in Japan! This dummy with ridiculously large, anime-style eyes was seen at Zara on Omote-sandō. It looks like this was just a regular doll until someone stuck the huge, hand-drawn eyes on its face to make it more Nippon-compatible. Apparently this is the way to lure in the customers…
Not just shoppers and cosplayers flock to Harajuku on the weekend, but also many other street musicians go there to practise, entertain the passers-by and promote their work and projects. Here the guitarist Shunsuke Watanabe (渡辺駿介) of the Japanese band Bals (バルス) sits in the vicinity of the Harajuku station and performs some live guitar music.
I miss the bulk of the cosplayer which gathered on the Harajuku bridge on Sundays. A couple of years ago, there were lots of young people coming here to meet their friends and be seen by other people. Many dozens would “costume play” in public and be open for photography. Recently only a very small number of cosplayers come to Harajuku bridge and most of them are not that friendly or good anymore.
However, I do check the location from time to time and this Sunday some very interesting cosplays were on display. Without any doubt this old man took the cake when it came to cosplay design and presentation. He was dressed up as some kind of bespectacled old woman with a huge headdresss with dolls and live goldfish earrings. I don’t know if he is cosplaying an actual anime/manga character or if this cosplay is of his own design, but he is quite famous for it. His name is Eijirō Miyamae, but around here he is know as the “Harajuku ojisan” (原宿おじさん) and it was a pleasure to take some pictures of him.
Yoyogi park is a popular hangout and the large pond with its water fountains is one the main attractions where people gather on holidays. This Sunday the weather was fine and it was quite relaxing to spend some time in the park, watch the people and take a couple of snapshots of the scenery.
On the weekends Yoyogi is the place to go if you want to walk or check out weird pets. All kinds of dogs can be seen, but often people show up with more exotic animals. For example, a young man was walking his pet lizard in the park and constantly passers-by would stop and gaze at the reptile. I took a couple of shots, too.
The Japanese really love to dress up their dogs! This Shibuya toy poodle wears a blue jeans skirt and a colorful shirt under a turquoise jacket. Of course its coat is clipped and there might even be a hint of ginger hair dye present. These canines are status symbols here, after all.
This weekend was the Eco Life Fair 2010 at the Yoyogi park. I expected it to be a big event thanks to the many seminars, workshops, performances and demonstrations aimed at raising awareness of the impact modern lifestyle has on the environment. Thus I was pretty surprised that the festival area was poorly attended with virtually no crowding. While the Japanese love all things natural, environmental concerns seems to be less mainstream than in Western countries. So I guess for all the NGOs/NPOs providing information about volunteering and their projects to protect or improve the environment this much have been a rather disappointing event. However, it was nice to see that some people care, but it will probably take a lot more effort and many more eco fairs like this one to bring some serious change here.
Central Shibuya on the weekend is one of the most crowded neighborhoods in Tokyo. The sidewalks are so crammed with people that Japanese parents have resigned to carry their children instead of exposing them to the dangers of pedestrian traffic. And it’s really the fastest way for them to get from point A to point B!