Monday, November 03, 2008

Tokyo Day 1: Freaky Sunday in Harajuku

Well, after our Kyushu ramen lunch, we headed for the bridge linking Harajuku station to Yoyogi Park, where teenage girls (and some boys) gather in all their freaky splendour; if you wanna see these Goth-Lolis, you've gotta go on a Sunday.

We had seen some of them earlier when we were walking up and down Takeshita Dori, but on this bridge, there were so many of them. Many of them were dragging their trolley bags along so I assume they left their house wearing normal clothes and their parents aren't aware of what their kids were up to on Sundays.

I joked with Brian that imagine you're just standing there minding your own business, not in any costume, then tourists start coming up to you, taking your pictures! Cos you look like a freak without even trying! It was really funny at the time, cos what I really said was, "Imagine Daddy standing there, and people going up to him and taking his pictures." Waahhh, we kept laughing at the thought, Eddie claimed I looked more the part, being in all black that day save for my red reebok sneakers.

Actually, I almost took a picture of a Caucasian lady who was wearing a purple frilly dress and had heavy make-up and bright-hair, till I realised she was with a few other westerners who were busy taking photos of the real Harajuku kids.













21 comments:

monlim said...

Hey, you saw a lot more Harajuku kids than we did! Aren't they cool? Yup, I think the trolley bags hold all their costumes but I'm pretty sure their parents know where they are! Didn't see them getting into trouble though, just posing in costume so I guess that's alright.

Your camera is so cool, the photos turned out fabulous!

Lilian said...

Thanks, I bought a new lens that takes great close-up pics with blurry background.

Someone did a thesis research on Harajuku kids and many of them come from troubled family backgrounds. But they are definitely a big tourist attraction.

Eddie's really mean. He said actually, none of the girls are pretty or attractive, so they do this to get the attention they would otherwise not get if dressed in normal garb! I didn't say it, he did!

monlim said...

Bwahaha, so mean! I think Japanese society is so stifling that this gives the teens a good outlet to don another persona. Become a super hero or bad gal or comic character. Better than bottling it all up then one day exploding and going around stabbing people, I say.

Lilian said...

You're right about Japanese society being stifling. I met a lady on the flight home, she is Canadian chinese and has been working in Tokyo for 7 years, she has so many stories to tell about life in Japan. One thing she shared was the brutal ways in which murder is committed. In the west, they use guns. But when kids kill their grandparents, parents, it's by stabbing or chopping with axe etc. And reasons for the killing, grandma said something that irritated me. ???!!!

monlim said...

Sounds like they've kept all the unhappiness and resentment inside until one day, they just snap. *shudders*

bACk in GERMANY said...

Ermmm...erbb... that's why I think graphic novels are sooooo violent. When we were at the Comic Strip Museum in Brussels, Alan and I had a real eye-opener.

Back to the costumes... the Frankfurter teens do that every year at the Book Fair. It's like a convention for Manga fans. It's an alternate life for the kids. They are there not for the books. They are there to see and be seen.
Many of them make their own costumes. On the creativity side, they score high man!

And Lilian, your pics score too! So nice. Now you are making me jealous of your new lens. You got a macro lens?
K... first pay check when I'm back to work again...

bACk in GERMANY said...

Btw... forgot to add...
That comment from Eddie, so typical of ACS boys!

Lilian said...

Not macro, but portrait lens, not expensive, $120. AV value can go as low as 1.8. No need to wait for paycheck, just eat in instead of out once or twice. Buy it, you will love it. Really good for taking pics of cutie Kristin.

Lilian said...

Are you sure ACS boys are so obnoxious or is it just him?! Should I pull my boys out of ACS? hehe...

bACk in GERMANY said...

Are we talking like 120 SGD?
What's the model?
So does that mean you carried two lenses around your trip?

Aiyah... no need to pull the boys out lah... at most they become mean toads, if not, they'll still be the charming, witty ACS boys!

Now I understand why you had so much clashes in the past with yr husband regarding your stand on education... like the boys don't do enough work at home... ACS mah... where slacking is considered a subject! Just kiddin'!

I love all the ACS boys I taught... they are such a cheeky bunch of kids. Always made me laugh!

Lilian said...

Yes SGD120, I was surprised when I was told the price, immediately said, I'm taking it. Bought from John3:16, brand is Canon. Yes, gotta bring both along, quite mafan, but the portrait lens is quite small.

Yalah, these fellas always try to act like the cool slacker type, but I think they're just like ducks, paddling furiously underneath! The cool, calm demeanour is just an act lah.

Alcovelet said...

Hi Lilian, John 3:16 is good right? Just love those guys! Your pics are very happening. This is not good, but I'm not sure if I were a parent of one of those! Force myself to get real open minded in a hurry, I bet! This Japanese society thing - they are the weirdest. I had a friend who lived and worked there for yonks. She was telling me - they have all these clubs where bored housewives would make arrangement to show up at a pre-arranged train station with salary men and go to a love hotel for you know what. See? Makes IAA look GOOD!

Lilian said...

Yeah, the son, Samuel, was at the shop, well, I think that's him, with pretty funky hairstyle, and he gave me a mini-tutorial. In that maybe 5 min or so, I learnt more about my camera's functions than I did the entire month just browsing through the manual (I'm hopeless with instruction manuals lah).

Oh yes, the society is pretty weird. The lady I was on the flight with said teenage girls would dress up as french maids and walk around Shibuya area, lots of men waiting for them. There are restaurants/bars where girls don such uniforms/costumes. She said many times she just can't believe the stuff that go on in Tokyo and go, "Are you kidding me??!!"

bACk in GERMANY said...

Wow... so I must go to John 3:16 for tutorials too!

My cousin said while there would be no special price at mentioning of his name, but there would be excellent service!

So what's the model no.? Maybe I should ask Alan to go and grab one for me before coming back on Friday night. I googled for portrait lens from Canon and the laptop kept spitting out results of expensive marco lenses!

Lilian said...

Samuel told me to sign up for the free Canon tutorial, said it's very useful; maybe we go together in December? Ai...but you're back only on Christmas Day? I wanted to go during this trip but class was already full.

Model number is EF 50F1 8II.

Lilian said...

Lots of customer reviews here.

bACk in GERMANY said...

Xie xie ni!
Have been busy googling for images shot using the lens... very very "gian" liao!!!

Lilian said...

Most welcome, anything to help boost Singapore's retail sector.

Lilian said...

How do you google for images using a particular lens?

bACk in GERMANY said...

Type in your lens model and google for images. You know the top bar, you can find the word images.

Lilian said...

Oh okay, duh...thanks.