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Newer Page 863 of 966 Older Full Trip Report
Japan Tokyo Imperial Palace Harajuku Yoyogi Park

9 May 2010

Imperial Palace, Guitar Street, Harajuku

Today I planned a long day of many activities.
First up, decided to go to the Imperial palace, with all the other tourists. You cant get into the actual palace, but you can check out the moat, gates and the east gardens which are pleasant enough.
Nearby is a cool science museum, its meant for children as all the exhibits are interactive, but I had fun playing with them anyway. The highlight I didnt take a photo of, but its a giant 1 tonne metal ball that you use levers and pulleys to maneuver through a long complex course.

After the museum I stopped for coffee, and something strange happened. I watched as some guys sat at a table outside and noticed it wobbled a bit. It was positioned on cobblestone sort of things so of course it was wobbling, just like every table we have all sat at ever.
Well these guys were not happy, and one of them came storming inside, and started yelling. Next thing all the staff from the coffee shop are outside trying to make the table so that it wouldnt wobble, this went on for 10 minutes and a different combination of napkins, spoons, plastic lids etc. was all used. I really do not understand what this was all about, my table wobbled a bit as well when I tried it. All this fuss at a hole in the wall $3 coffee shop where you drink out of plastic cups.

My next interesting observation was on the train. Whenever I sit down, I cross one leg over the other. It has occured to me that I am the only person doing this on the train. Everyone else sits with both feet firmly on the floor, knees together, like they are posing for a school photo.

After all of this hilarity, I arrived at the guitar shop street in Ochanomizu. Theres probably 50 or so stores, I think a lot of them are the same store spread across multiple buildings. Best were the used gear stores, I think Japanese people hate used things. As an example a Mesa Boogie Dual Rec brand new here cost about $3500, Second hand it cost $1500. And there were a few to choose from. In Australia new they are $4500 and second hand, $3500. I think the difference with guitar is much greater still which makes no sense as secondhand guitars generally work better than new ones.
The most popular brand by far is Edwards, more so than Ibanez or Fender. I like them a lot.

I then had a banana and a chocolate bar for lunch. The banana from Family Mart was huge and only cost about $1.50, so stories about fruit costing a lot might be true for individually packaged stuff for presentation from fancy department stores, but buying from the convenience stores is cheap enough.

Finally I headed back to Harajuku, which I had been to previously, but Sunday is the day when it all happens. As the pictures will show I found some of the performers but none of the much discussed gothic lolitas. I did however find a giant Jamaican festival.

Japan-Tokyo-Imperial Palace-Harajuku-Yoyogi Park - The imperial palace, with moat.

The imperial palace, with moat.


Japan-Tokyo-Imperial Palace-Harajuku-Yoyogi Park - Inside the interactive science museum, all over the place there are scientists giving various presentations.

Inside the interactive science museum, all over the place there are scientists giving various presentations.


Japan-Tokyo-Imperial Palace-Harajuku-Yoyogi Park - The history of the bike is interesting, because the first bikes you walked along with. Not sure of the point, seems to be for fat business men too laz

The history of the bike is interesting, because the first bikes you walked along with. Not sure of the point, seems to be for fat business men too lazy to support their own weight.


Japan-Tokyo-Imperial Palace-Harajuku-Yoyogi Park - Japanese families really get into the interactivity, pedalling as hard as they can, or winding handles with injury threatening speed.

Japanese families really get into the interactivity, pedalling as hard as they can, or winding handles with injury threatening speed.


Japan-Tokyo-Imperial Palace-Harajuku-Yoyogi Park - One last picture of the imperial palace east gardens.

One last picture of the imperial palace east gardens.


Japan-Tokyo-Imperial Palace-Harajuku-Yoyogi Park - This is near the guitar stores, and theres a lot of yelling and screaming and holding aloft various gold colored things. I have no idea what was going

This is near the guitar stores, and theres a lot of yelling and screaming and holding aloft various gold colored things. I have no idea what was going on. Most of the participants are doing it barefoot.


Japan-Tokyo-Imperial Palace-Harajuku-Yoyogi Park - Oh my god, the famed CAE 3+, the worlds most desirable guitar preamp.

Oh my god, the famed CAE 3+, the worlds most desirable guitar preamp.


Japan-Tokyo-Imperial Palace-Harajuku-Yoyogi Park - The Japanese revolutionary guard are holding a rally. Actually I dont know who they are but the guy in the truck is VERY angry about something. There

The Japanese revolutionary guard are holding a rally. Actually I dont know who they are but the guy in the truck is VERY angry about something. There seems to be different ranks of people in attendance, the guys all in black doing the talking and yelling, some guys in camo fatigues clapping, and some guys in blue military uniforms standing to attention.


Japan-Tokyo-Imperial Palace-Harajuku-Yoyogi Park - Various weird people in Harajuku.

Various weird people in Harajuku.


Japan-Tokyo-Imperial Palace-Harajuku-Yoyogi Park - Rockabilly dancers. This I dont get. The dancing is nothing clever or special, the guys are old and sweaty. Yet they turn up every week and draw a cro

Rockabilly dancers. This I dont get. The dancing is nothing clever or special, the guys are old and sweaty. Yet they turn up every week and draw a crowd.


Japan-Tokyo-Imperial Palace-Harajuku-Yoyogi Park - A competing group, waiting for their turn. I think they put tape on the bottom of their shoes so they can do the twist more effectively.

A competing group, waiting for their turn. I think they put tape on the bottom of their shoes so they can do the twist more effectively.


Japan-Tokyo-Imperial Palace-Harajuku-Yoyogi Park - A blimp appeared.

A blimp appeared.


Japan-Tokyo-Imperial Palace-Harajuku-Yoyogi Park - This park is enormous, and theres people all through it, in amongst the trees, the various garden beds, everywhere. Lots of people who are really bad

This park is enormous, and theres people all through it, in amongst the trees, the various garden beds, everywhere. Lots of people who are really bad at their hobbies practice them here. Badmington, soccer, frisbee are popular, but also Irish dancing without music, Michael Jackson impersonations, Skateboarding (I saw a whole group of people who were absolutely terrible at skateboarding, why would you come here to learn?), jump rope, trumpet etc.


Japan-Tokyo-Imperial Palace-Harajuku-Yoyogi Park - This guy was kicking the crap out of his girlfriend.

This guy was kicking the crap out of his girlfriend.


Japan-Tokyo-Imperial Palace-Harajuku-Yoyogi Park - LOVE AND AIDS.

LOVE AND AIDS.


Japan-Tokyo-Imperial Palace-Harajuku-Yoyogi Park - Much to my surprise, this is a huge Jamaican festival. The performers on the stage only spoke english, and announced they would do an encore. Then the

Much to my surprise, this is a huge Jamaican festival. The performers on the stage only spoke english, and announced they would do an encore. Then they went into the scooby doo theme song (scooby dooby doo, looking for you, scooby dooby doo where are you), and the crowd went crazy.


Japan-Tokyo-Imperial Palace-Harajuku-Yoyogi Park - Jerk Pork, Jerk Chicken, Red stripe beer, but no ganja or marijuana related themes of any kind anywhere to be seen.

Jerk Pork, Jerk Chicken, Red stripe beer, but no ganja or marijuana related themes of any kind anywhere to be seen.


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