Tokyo is for Fashion

Forget about shrines, museums, and parks. Tokyo is for fashion!
We did start the day visiting the gardens at the Imperial palace; they were peaceful and lovely, especially, the area around the pond – exquisite, as only a Japanese garden can be. But after, we went to the fashionable section of Tokyo starting with Takashita-dori, where indigenous tribes of teen, preteen, and tween girls are at a never-ending Halloween parade. A river of girls in their baby-doll finest, stroll down the street. Their hair in braids or ponytails, often died green, pink, or blue, their little skirts flouncing around their shirt legs, the feet are adorned with lacy socks and impossibly high heels or platforms, the accessories are appropriately childish – backpacks and toys, the earrings are long and elaborate, while the makeup is garish. There is a total sensory overload in this baby-doll kingdom, theatrical makeup, loud music coming out of cheap-chic shops, plastic displays of ice-cream crepes, and colorful signs and graffiti art on the walls.
Harajuku Street, while also eccentric, is more tasteful, and the neighborhood around it is quaint and fun to get lost in.
Just several streets away is a different world entirely. Omotesando Street – is a mecca of high fashion with all major brands represented. Women strolling down Omotesando are elegant and fashionable, dressed to a “T”. Why even in Paris I didn’t see such abundance of well-dressed and well- heeled women. Good taste prevails! Window displays are worthy of a museum. Architecture here is on par with the shoppers. It’s much more modern than in other areas of Tokyo we visited. The crown jewel of them all is Prada flagship store. Built in 2003, it is still of the future – all 7-8 stores of conclave bluish glass panels.
We walked from Omotesando to the crazy Shibuya intersection. The streets were clean and the buildings alongside were a mix of interesting architectural ideas. Around Shibuya, one gets lost in the human ocean, but this was the first time ever I didn’t hold on to my purse while in a crowd – in here, you feel completely and totally safe.
Some other observations: on the subway, they line up in designated areas while waiting for trains. Some lines are indicated “for women only”. In restaurants, they hand you a warm wet towel to wipe your hands before meal. And they bow, bow, bow.

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