There’s only one place on Earth where you can still be well into your adulthood, but stay kawaii forever. This place is Harajuku, Tokyo, a snowglobe of childhood simulacrum. Takeshita street is the first thing you see upon exiting the station, immediately recognisable by its LED lit sign adorned with inflatable balloons. Your journey begins here at this vortex, and I call it this because you will find yourself caught in a loop as the stores repeat themselves halfway into your walk, so don’t make the mistake of doubling back, you’re going the right way.
Now Harajuku really loves their pancakes and crepes.
No, seriously. Look how chuffed this kid is over her crepe.
But as this was my second time in Harajuku, I decided to take the time to really take in the surrounding alleyways and side streets. I must admit though, it’s a bit overwhelming at first, so you may just want to take the stroll down the main shopping streets to start off. But if you take your time, Harajuku will start to unveil itself with its colourful array of stores, cafes, and characters.
The only way to escape from a big city is to get high. Harajuku has plenty of tall buildings where you can climb up and get a real aerial over the city. One of my favourites is the Tokyu Plaza with its kaleidoscopic entrance made up of mirrors. From the very top you can see Mount Fuji on a good day, but there was nothing but clouds in the sky today.
As the day came to a close I went to Yoyogi Park to rest. Travelling in solitude is a strange experience. The desire to sit in one place and let your thoughts wander is stronger than ever rather than to travel. Actually, the act of existing in a foreign country becomes a form of meditation, each step forward a pendulum swing keeping you in balance. Despite the ever impending isolation, the distance you throw between yourself and others and the strange air filling your lungs like a new brand of cigarette smoke, all this seems too familiar. I really do feel at home here.