When last we left Harajuku, we were standing outside of the Peanuts theme store with our Gothloli friend:
The Peanuts store is pretty damned awesome, what with it being a completely and thoroughly ‘themed’ shopping experience, meant to feel like the historical middle American past of the strip.
By the way, in Japan it’s not Peanuts, it’s all about the Snoopy. Welcome to Snoopy-Town!
Continue reading this entry after the cut:
It was almost Halloween when we were there, which explains the Great Pumpkin display, as well as the ghost-costume wearing Snoopies and Woodstocks.
Hey look! It’s the English-language Fantagraphics-published Peanuts books! In Japan! (alongside tons of volumes of the Japanese Snoopy collections, of course). This image is here in the hopes that the fine folks at http://www.fantagraphics.com/blog will link me. *Cough*
Notice the themeing on the counter? Look familiar?
The whole thing was like an outdoor market in California somewhere, ‘cracker pavement’ floors, sewer grates, the whole nine yards.
Even a fire-hydrant.
What’s with all the aprons? We saw aprons everywhere… I know there’s a really specific domestic culture in Japan, but I feel like people in Japan are collecting aprons rather than buying them to use… Like decorative thimbles or something. Weird.
These were both pretty awesome, actually. :)
We actually bumped into a woman in the Peanuts shop who was carrying a Tintin shopping bag… which blew my mind. I mean, I’d knd of acclimated to the idea of a Peanuts Boutique store (not a boutique: actually bigger than most comic stores I’ve visited), but a Tintin boutique? In the area? She spoke really great english and actually gave me the commemorative postcard that you get with purchases at the store, which had a handy map on it! Awesome! So off we headed in search of the Tintin store.
This is the first major intersection we came to, and it was clearly AWESOME. Shopping is more than just an activity here, it’s a way of life. Speaking of which, there was another awesome condom shop on this corner, so I had to get another picture of the greatest condoms I’ve ever seen.
I’m not going to lie to you. I now have both a Pikachu condom and a Spider-Man condom, and I have 6 months to use’em. :)
It was really busy, being Sunday afternoon (I think). Coming up on the right, you can see KIDDY LAND, the first Japanese toy store that I got to visit in Japan. I only spent $250 there.
Boutiqued all to hell and 7 stories of toys, I was having a little shopping freak-out. How could I go all the way to Japan and not get Doraemon souvenirs?
The girls’ section was really cool, though very… domestically oriented.
Much like everywhere in Japan, there was an elaborate Evangelion display, with a life-sized Rei Ayanami doll. It was so cooooool. I found eva stuff in this store that I didn’t find anywhere else. And bought it.
Evangelion Unit 01 Papercraft. Tyt!
This is so cute that it makes minimates look like vomit.
Ebony… and ivory! Living together in perfect, harmony! Side by side in my display case, oh lord, why can’t we?
Never forget: Hello Kitty is bigger than Jesus, and celebrates way more holidays to boot.
MOOMIN! There’s a giant Moomin boutique! Three times as big as the last Moomin boutique!
These pictures are included in the hopes of getting a link back from http://www.drawnandquarterly.com/blog/index.php. Because that’s how I roll. :)
My cousin Alison would have totally died.
Andrew feels a vague sense of unease. Maybe because the Totoro’s were looking at him?
I had to buy myself a Jiji (Gigi?). So I did. But I mean, they’ve even got a replica of the baked fish dish that she delivers in the rain! LOOK AT THAT.
So awesome. But I knew we were on our way to the Ghibli museum later in the trip, so I didn’t want to spend all of my ducats up front on Ghibli stuff if it might be available elsewhere, or more officially, or… something. I don’t know. I was just rationalising not spending that much money up front. But. Yeah.
You know? Seriously? There was nothing I was looking for that couldn’t find, and a ton of stuff I never even thought I’d find. Anyway.
(I really like this photo.)
We headed down the alley off of the main strip towards the Tintin boutique after finally escaping the kick-ass toy store. Even the alleys were cool, pedestrians and scooters and amazing little boutiques.
Then we got to the TINTIN STORE! Yeah! All I did was freak out and take pictures.
The original albums in French.
The Japanese translations! These are really interesting, because they’re printed in the manga digest format, though they keep the original left-to-right orientation.
Rather than shrinking the art, they decided instead to cut-and-paste the panels and pages to create a thicker, more ‘manga-sized’ expeirence. And in black and white too. I’d be surprised if this particular translation/reformat wasn’t actually handled in France, because it’s pretty-much a note-perfect translation of the stories from one format to another. I picked up one of these for a diehard Tintin fan that we know, and he loved it. Cool beans!
Life-sized bust of Capt. Haddock, anyone?
By the time we exited the Tintin store, it was getting dark. Luckily, Harajuku stores open late and the whole area goes all night!
The outside of the toy store Kiddy Land at night.
The Dior headquarters. Apparently there’s a fabulous club in there exclusively for the jet-set superstars of Japan. Needless to say, in shorts and a T-shirt I was not invited. Actually, we didn’t even go in.
A view from the bridge over the main shopping drag.
The ultra-fabulous flagship Ralph Lauren store.
The shanty-town that sprung up in front of the ultra-fabulous, flagship Ralph Lauren store. Power to the people!
Sure, the big names are all over Harajuku, but there are really beautfully designed boutique clothing stores crammed into every square foot of the area we visited.
Andrew is carrying my bag of toys.
3 floors of boutique shopping.
This isn’t affiliated with the video game company Rockstar Games in any way. They just seem to have uh, homaged, the logo…
This place was tamer than an Old Navy commercial. YOU HAVE A POORLY-NAMED STORE.
We like the perfectly design graffiti.
This was Book-Off, and they sold discount manga. 105 yen-400 yen. At this point I’ve been walking for like 7 hours, have three bags of stuff, and? I bought another 20 manga. For like 40 bucks. I bought the two Taiyo Matsumoto artbooks for $8 each. My feet are killing me, after this photo.
I got laughed at for being a tourist while taking a photo of the gorilla.
They had so many awesome shoes, and they were all on sale. Problem? Size 11 in Japan is reserved for Sasquatch. But if you’re up to a size 9, mens? The world is your rare-sneakers-from-around-the-world Oyster.
Then we went for crepes. They were so, so awesome. This is the fake-food crepe display out in front of the crepe stand, to show you how awesome your crepe would be and help you make up your mind.
By this time I’m falling apart, and I find the street warning message hilarious.
YOU ARE A CRIMINAL.
MY DOG IS IN DANGER.
I am still amazed by how awesome the design can be though.
I am worse for wear.
Then a masked hero appears, and heads into the subway. He waves though.
Then I was shocked by the awesome machine designed to go up and down stairs.
I slept well this evening, surrounded by my day’s purchases. The next morning? Studio Ghibli!