Tokyo Attractions

Akihabara - The otaku freak capital of Japan!
Harajuku - Tokyo Extreme Street Style
Hon Komagome - Old Tokyo Temple Town
Morishita in Tokyo, home of metropolitan museums, and plenty of temples and old homes
Charming old Edo Period district of Nezu, in Tokyo
Roppongi and Roppongi Hills
Shibuya Streets
Ueno -- Homeless Heart of Tokyo

Rest of Japan

Jomon Japan
Jomon Japan
Kyoto, the most beautiful city in Japan
Matsumoto Castle, one of the highlights of central Japan
Yokohama City -- The City By The Bay

Best of the World

Australia Guide

Egypt in the 1990s
Iceland, North Atlantic
Mumbai City Guide
Malaysia Travel Guide

Girl Hunting

Russian Girls in Japan -- Even Better than the Japanese Girls!
Russian Girls in Japan

ONE OF THE FIRST PLACES I VISITED when I came to Japan was Shibuya, a postmodern part of Tokyo packed with sleek, needle-thin buildings adorned with huge TV screens and posters of the latest Japanese pop star, famed department stores, and plenty of second hand recycled clothing outfits. On the streets of Shibuya I had heard from my cousin who used to live in Japan that Shibuya was the place to be in Tokyo, and after discovering that there was a youth hostel nearby (at Yoyogi Park), I decided to make Shibuya my first stop. This was on November 11 2000 -- my first ever morning in Japan! It was a sunny, spring morning -- a beautiful introduction to the land of the rising sun. Unfortunately, partly due to my own mistake, my baggage had been lost in transit, and was sitting on a carousel in Singapore. I was dressed only in jeans and a T-shirt, and the cold Japanese winter was coming on. I needed to buy a winter coat -- and cheaply! Fortunately, Shibuya saved me. That's the great thing about it, it is a Mecca for recycled clothing, and here I want to give you a guide to discount second-hand shopping in this vibrant and cool neighbourhood.

Garnet Mae shopping in Shibuya According to the must see website: "Shibuya leads Japan in popularity, constantly creating new culture in the worlds of fashion, food, and music. Fashion trends that start here always draw the attention of young people and they quickly spread throughout Tokyo and then the rest of the country. Sometime between the late 80's and early 90's, Shibuya started to attract public attention as a fashion town. Shibuya, subsequently became more entrenched as the definitive spot for Tokyo's youth. With the boom in brand awareness and the economic boost of the Bubble Economy, PARCO and Marui enjoyed several prosperous years in that era. After Shibuya reached its peak as a trend-setting neighborhood, the town quickly fell back during the economic strife of the late 90's. Though the unusual fashion and makeup among teenage girls captured public attention again during the late 90's, it was in vogue for a very short time."


And A: aJ_1 |3|4.
1-3-4 Jinnan, Shibuya Ward (opposite Shibuya Fire Station.)
Website: Phone: 03/5428 6720.
During the surprisingly mild winter holidays of '06/'07 I was fortunate to host a visit from my cousin Kellie, an old Japan hand who now works in London. She is the aforementioned Kellie the same cousin who gave me the whole idea to live in Japan, and like many foreigners, she just loves Shibuya. One night before New Years we went shopping and sightseeing there. We found a place selling sunglasses for only 500 Yen (and what would you expect... they fell apart after only a couple of days!) We had dinner at a strange fusion restaurant called Shanti near Harajuku Station, which dished up Indian/Vietnamese curry soup brimming with seasonal Japanese vegetables. On the way to Harajuku we stopped at a mini department store opposite Shibuya Fire Station called And A.
And A claims on their sign to sell music books design art fashion. It is very minimalistic, even by Japanese standards. For years in the early 00s And A was recognisable by the rows of silver mini bicycles lined up at the front door. Well, the bicycles are gone, but And A is still trying to be cool. And And A is suceeding, more or less (but then again, what store in Japan isn't cool? -- it is something in the blood, something which comes with consumate ease to the Japanese.) And A is a good place to get information about dance parties in Tokyo, pick up some flyers or listen to obscure CDs, or buy headphones of even Polaroid cameras. On the Polaroid front, they have some outstanding items, and prices range from up to 12,000 Yen for the clunky serious looking Polaroid Pinhole Camera, down to 2000 Yen for the artcore 1 click/4 photos/4 colors Pop Art Maker, essential for anyone wanting to make cover art for their new album on the cheap.
And A have a bunch of outlets across Japan, at the following places in fact: Tokyo (Aoyama, Shibuya, Shinjuku), Yokohama, Sapporo, Sendai, Osaka, Umeda, Kobe and Fukuoka. There are And Accessorie's at Shibuya and Ginza, and a And A Homme store at Shibuya.

Contact the author Rob Sullivan at Anticopyright February 2007.



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