Thursday, June 30, 2011

Harajuku and Sugamo

At the end of our trip to Japan, we stopped in Tokyo for a night.  I know that a lot of foreigners are still afraid of going to Tokyo for possible exposure to radiation, but I believe it is safe, at least for adults without children to visit.  We stayed at a hotel right by Mejiro station.  Mejiro is on the Yamanote Line, which is the main railway in Tokyo that goes in circles.  The hotel was close to everything we wanted to go, had lots of shops and restaurants around, and best of all, it was only less than US$100 including yummy breakfast buffet.

From our hotel, we visited two different districts.  We went to Harajuku, which is where young people like to go to hang out at the shops, restaurants and bars.  We went there at night for a taproom that my partner wanted to visit for beer, and it was very busy.  By the time we got out of the taproom, most shops around there were closed.  I loved their mural artwork on the roll-up doors, though.


Another district that we visited is Sugamo, which is known as "Harajuku for the old ladies."  There is a street with a temple with a Jizo (Bodhisattva portrayed as a monk) and shops for older generation.  In comparison to Harajuku, Sugamo is more traditional and less western influenced.

A street view of Sugamo


A dried fish shop


Japanese sweet shop

These two districts are very different in contrast, but we really enjoyed visiting both places.  I guess we are somewhere between young and old.