A Rainy Day in Shibuya and Harajuku (Part 1)

Barrels of sake at Meiji Shrine in Harajuku.
On my fourth day in Tokyo, I visited Shibuya and Harajuku. It was rainy and cold—as it was for most of my trip—but with rain boots, an umbrella, and a heavy jacket it certainly wasn't difficult to bare.

Although the neighboring areas of Shibuya, Harajuku, and Shinjuku are easily accessible by metro and other forms of public transportation, I elected to walk. On foot, it only takes about 20 minutes to reach Harajuku from Shibuya.

Hachiko in all his wonder.
It's raining, it's pouring!


The first place, or landmark, on my Shibuya-Harajuku agenda was the famous Hachikō statue just outside Shibuya station. Hachikō was a dog who waited around Shibuya Station for his owner Professor Hidesaburō Ueno who would meet him there after work. Unfortunately, the professor died from a brain hemorrhage and never meet his dog at the station again. Nonetheless, the loyal Hachiko waited for his owner outside the station for over nine years until he died in 1935 at age 11. 

After Hachikō's death, a statue of him was erected at the station in his memory. Over the years, the Hachikō statue has become a prominent meeting area for Tokyoites. Shibuya is an area teeming with crowds, so the noticeable statue serves it's secondary purpose well. 

Shibuya 109 mall, a girl's dream.
Shibuya 109

After admiring Hachikō, I went off to Shibuya 109, home of several popular Japanese fashion labels for women (Shibuya 109 Mens is across the street). 

Click to enlarge
Window shopping in the mall was fun, but I didn't make a purchase as most of the clothes was either out of my price range or didn't exactly suite my tastes. Nonetheless, I'm confident any fashion conscious girl would find an outfit that suits her there. 

After visiting the mall, I made my way up to Harajuku. The walk there was quite nice with awesome street art and interesting stores (especially the massive Tower Records shop).

Random graffiti on the way to Harajuku.
Meiji Shrine
One of the gates leading to the shrine.
Meiji Shrine

Meiji Jingu(明治神宮)or Meiji Shrine is one of the most popular tourist shrine stops in Tokyo. Opened in 1920, the Shinto shrine honors Emperor Meiji and his wife. A visit to Meiji Shrine is an experience of stark contrasts. The shrine is situated in a forest right next to the many hip shops in Harajuku. It's a great place to momentarily escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy peace and quiet. 
Barrels of sake near the
shrine's entrance.
Unfortunately for me, I experienced camera problems at the shrine and couldn't take many pictures (thus the borrowed one above). However, I still clearly remember the area and encourage visitors to Tokyo to stop by.

Additionally, while I'm not a fan of buying touristy things, the Meiji Shrine gift shop sells a wide collection of incense with a variety of scents for a friendly range of price points. I bought some sakura scented incense and the fragrance was amazing!

After leaving the shrine, I went to Harajuku's famous Takeshita dori(竹下道り)or Takeshita street for some snackin' and shoppin'. For more on that experience, look out for part two of this post!

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