After receiving simple left then a left directions which turned out to be a bit more complex including down escalators on the street(yes, you read that correctly)and through a tunnel I made it to the subway and got off at the Harujuku Station and headed over to the Menji Shrine. The Shrine is located in a beautiful park full of huge trees. The gates to the Shrine are so big you would think giants guarded it. It is frequently used for weddings and I was lucky enough that both times I went I saw new blushing Brides.
After the Park I headed up to the streets of Harujuku starving since I had not eaten yet. Too hungry to look around I saw a Doutor Coffee Shop which reminded me somewhat of a Pret a Manger, popped in and got a triple decker sandwich or Tuna, Egg Salad and Ham and Cheese along with a much needed cup of coffee.
Re-energized I headed over to Omotesandoo Street a high end shopping street for some people watching and from there to Takeshita-dori which is known for its Kawaii(Cute) Culture where Tokyo’s Trendy youth gets all dressed up in Cosplay like costumes.
The day I went it was just packed with lots of teenagers and tourists and very few in the costumes(see above) it is known for. I grabbed a Cold Stone grapefruit pop and headed to the train to hit Ebisu a neighborhood I heard good things about.
After crossing the skyway full of restaurants I stumbled upon the Yebisu Beer Festival, a German style Octoberfest serving Japanese Beers. I saw a group of Kawaii girls at one of the beer hall tables with some room, asked if the space was available and found myself partying with Japanese Kindergarten Teachers(you just can’t make this stuff up).
Along with being cute they were all very friendly, though they didn’t speak much English. This at times made things interesting since telling girls they are “good catches” because they teach young children and are very pretty while using hand gestures to communicate that would have made entertaining video…
I drank a Hop Sorachi, The Special Edition Wa No Houjun, and a Half and Half(what we would call a Black and Tan). As much as I wanted to stay it was time to move on. I went back towards the Train Station wandered around the streets of Ebisu and came upon Bagel and Bagel where I had a Veggie Bagel with Smoked Salmon, Avocado and Shrimp (when in Tokyo…) to soak up the beer with an Iced coffee.
I actually managed to make it back to my hotel in Roppongi the Hotel S a nice little Boutique Hotel in a nicer and lower key section of this hood. More on Roppongi in my next piece. Of note, yes the blogs on my trip to Japan are not following a linear pattern…but since I was lost and jet lagged often I feel apropos for this trip…