Exploring Old Guangdong: A Rainy Day in Dapeng Village

The front gate of Dapeng Fortress
I went on a day trip to Dapeng(大鵬), a subdistrict in Shenzhen about an hour and a half away from the city center. Aside from being conveniently close to the coastline, Dapeng is a great place to visit to explore the history of the area before Shenzhen's formation.

Signage is in English
and Chinese
My day trip was slightly interrupted by the rain, but I was able to throughly explore Dapeng Fortress(dapeng suocheng; 大鵬所成)and Dongshan Temple(dongshansi; 東山寺). 

I took bus E11 from Shenzhen North Station(shenzhenbei; 深圳北), and got off at Dapeng Station(dapengzhan; 大鵬站). Then, I walked to Dapeng Station #2(dapengzhan er; 大鵬站二)and took but 928 directly to the fort. Travel time was about two hours, but the scenery was interesting at many points so it didn't bore me. Plus I had a great book in tow. 

Dapeng Fortress was build in 1394 to protect citizens from pirates. Almost 200 years after it was built, the fortress was attacked by the Japanese. Nevertheless, the complex is largely still intact. A beautifully antiquated place, the fortress has clearly been restored, but it still retains it's age regally. 

Old homes







A Rainy Day in Shibuya and Harajuku (Part 2)

Forty years of deliciousness.
Takeshita Street
The modest Harajuku Station.
Map of Harajuku — click to englarge
After visiting Meiji Shrine, I made my way deeper into Harajuku to have lunch and do some shopping. Of course, I spent quite a bit of time on the well-known Takeshita Street, which is right across the way from the small, humble Harajuku Station.
As it was rainy, cold, and not peak tourist season, Takeshita Street wasn't unbearably crowded, though there were quite a few people. There are several shops on the street where you can buy some of the latest Japanese fashions for cheap, or eat a yummy meal. 

Marion Crepes
Part of the yummy sweet and savory selections.
Although there is a wide variety of cute, interesting eateries on Takeshita Street, a stroll down Harajuku's most popular lane would arguably be incomplete without a visit to the well-known Marion Crepe, which has been in business for nearly 40 years—quite impressive!

Unlike Western-style crepes, Japanese crepes (which, in terms of style and fillings, are more or less identical to Taiwanese crepes often seen in night markets) are hand-held, cone shaped treats. Like their Western counterparts, Japanese crepes can be sweet or savory, but the combinations solidly deviate from the original treat (i.e., pizza and cheesecake...yes, a crepe with a piece of cheesecake in it!)

I visited Marion Crepe for lunch a few hours after a small breakfast, so I was hungry by the time I made my way there. At any given time, they offer tens of flavors, some of which are limited or seasonal. Generally, I don't like super sweet food—especially on an empty stomach—so I choose one of their snack crepes, which are savory and perfect for a lunch on the go.