If you want to experience total Tokyo chaos, take a Sunday afternoon and stroll down Takeshita Street in the city's Harajuku district. After I did just that, I read in one of my guide books that on the weekends, it's the busiest street in the city. I believe it.
Here are a couple of photos of Felix and me at the start of the street where you can see some of the crowds in the background. By the way, notice how bored Felix looks standing under the one of the world's happiest signs.
It just gets crazier from there. To the point that with the heat and humidity, the whole thing can quickly become overwhelming. My trip down Takeshita street brought some of the stuff I'd heard I might find. Like following a Harajuku girl who's obviously found her closeted child.
Or the strange and wondrous clothing stores that help people release their closeted children, or their . . . well I don't actually know what some of this stuff releases but there might be a gay man involved.
However, without doubt, my favorite part of Takeshita street is the store names. Remember that scene in the Simpsons where Homer takes a drive down Springfield's gay boulevard and the street is lined with shops featuring hilarious names based on gay puns (my personal favorite being Armistead Mopeds)? Well Takeshita street is like the bad Japanese translation of that scene. And yet, there are a couple of stores that would be right at home in Springfield's gay district.
Take Wonder Rocket. Who doesn't want a ride on a Wonder Rocket?
Then there's Top Guys. No matter how hard we tried, we couldn't find the entrance to Top Guys. No, I'm serious. We couldn't find the entrance to Top Guys. Takeshita street may have just written the best gay joke ever!
There were also plenty of other funny store names. Here's Mighty Soxer, and yes, they sold socks.
Or what about Paris Kid's. This might not be that funny but as a kid who grew up known as one of the Paris Boys, it made me laugh.
Speaking of kids, what kid wouldn't want to be sent to her SBY Happy Room?
Nearby was Fancy Pocket.
Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all shopped at the Happy Hearts Poesie Elf?
Finally, I leave you with the most fantastic store name ever: Store My Ducks. Indeed!
Oh, Takeshita Street, I hope to return soon.