Shibuya Crossing, Cat Cafe, 109, Yoyogi Park
28.10.2012 - 28.10.2012 -18 °C
We started our day with a trip to Yoyogi Park to hunt down the market. Despite the rain it was stalls aplenty, offering a wide variety of hippy gear. You could purchase anything in tie-dye, wool or hemp. We browsed the market but couldn't find anything that we wouldn't look ridiculous in. The only thing we could see potential in was the vast array of candles which hardly seemed a must in a city famed for its neon lights!
We were pleased to see today's rain hadn't put off the dancing youth who were practising their moves under the shelter of a stairway; they were breaking out a lot of cheesy boy band moves that momentarily entertained us as we walked past. There were also a few loitering old men in denim- they were less interesting.
There was almost a fatal calamity as Ashton nose dived up a set of stairs. Where was the wet floor sign? Getting away mostly unscathed, we decided to cut our losses and head uptown in search of something more up our street.
Shopping in Tokyo is infamous and so we decided to do a full scale raid of Shibuya 109, a mall that we were advised was popular with 'young ladies'. Being young and being ladies, this seemed ideal. Wowaweewa were we surprised, the sheer variety and eccentricity of the clothes blew our noodle.
It's fair to say that Japanese ladies take their shopping very seriously, it was like a shopping spree and fashion parade all rolled into one. Halloween is very popular here and there were a lot of people in costume and at times we were unsure what was costume and what was fashion. We decided to embrace the weird and the wonderful and get involved! It was time to go hard or go home!
The shop assistants are very on the ball and quick to help, pulling together outfits for you, or recommending you items you might like. After Ashton tried on the red devil suit in jest, she started being recommended studded choker collars with chains hanging off them. In a lingerie store, we paused to look at some nipple tassels and the assistant promptly gave us a flash of her cleavage to demonstrate how they might look. What a very helpful and forward young lady she was.
We must have spent hours perusing all the shops and it was quite a relief to break off into the freedom of the street after that mayhem. Far from shying away from Tokyo's madness, we decided to throw ourselves into one of Japan's other quirky theme experiences: the cat cafe. Here you can sit with a cup of coffee (or cocoa with marshmellows) and hang out with a hoard of cool cats.
The best thing about it was that the cocoa was superb and the cats were incredibly cute. The unfortunate thing about it was that none of the cats wanted to be friends with us. The only ones that let us stroke them were the ill and the sleeping which made us feel our friendship was a bit one sided. In an attempt to get the attention of the more active ones, we started throwing balls around and poking teddies in their faces. I think we turned the big fluffy white one a bit mad though because it went bonkers running about the room and scratching everything.
We continued our day on foot, pacing the streets of Shibuya. It's all pretty manic with restaurants, hotels and shops galore.
We even ran into a tiny pet store with little puppys and kittens in and cooed over them for a while.
With all that lark, the day was almost over and it was time to head back to Shibuya station and to cross the famous Shibuya Crossing- Japan's busiest commuter route. When the lights change, there is a burst of people all bustling across the roads simultaneously in all different directions. When you're in the herd you just have to keep moving, especially on a brolly day when your chances of loosing an eyeball are increased tenfold.
Ashton takes a danger shot of Emma caught in the herd: