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Street Performers and Walking Adventures in Tokyo
The Craziness and Interesting Side of Japan
Around the year 1997 on one my trips to Japan, I had used a camcorder which I had recently bought and so I didn't have a digital camera at the time. I'm not sure if many people had them...or even if they were even available at the time. But in order for me to show you my old films, I had to think of a way to show them on my lens. I didn't take pictures on that trip. And so I apologize for the poor quality videos which I had recorded onto my I-phone (that I now do have) and have uploaded them on you tube. As you will notice, I have also posted other videos for extra entertainment value. On my lens, I will be showing you some of the craziness (but not all) ... attractions that I've seen on the road or roadside as I take you through Harajuku,Yoyogi Park,and Shinjuku. Here are some of my memories in words and on film. Here we will see some street performers and a world of unique fashion.
* All pictures are taken by me unless stated otherwise.
A Glimpse of what is Harajuku (Style) Fashion
Harajuku Station to Yoyogi Park
I had asked my friend if we could go to Yoyogi park and so we did and we went on a Sunday. It was my first time there and it was quite a huge park indeed. We got off at Harajuku station and walked from there. The walk through Harajuku was quite entertaining. Many trendy fashion conscious teenagers were out dressed in such stylish clothing, expressing their own individuality and creativity in which someone like me would probably never get to see anywhere else but in Tokyo. We also walked through the high end areas of Omotesando. I hear the rent there is quite expensive to live in. We then continued on towards Yoyogi park. There were people all around enjoying the nice warm weather and sun. It was quite comfortable. After walking a bit we ran into some teenagers jumping rope. They were doing what is called the "Double Dutch". It was pretty cool to watch.
My Double Dutch 1997 Video in Yoyogi Park
Yoyogi Double Dutch Dancers
Thai Festival In Yoyogi Park event area
This was my first time to an annual Thai festival in Yoyogi Park. I have been to Thailand before and so this event I was definitely not going to miss. There were many food booths in an enclosed area near a stage, complete with performances to entertain you (however I could not understand the language). But that didn't stop me from having a good time. Food and beer from around the world was available. And when it came to the various types of foods, there were all kinds of portion sizes. You could eat a good sized meal or you could snack on this, and share a little bit of that with your friends. You could try as much of anything there was available to eat and drink. It all depends on how much your stomach and wallet could handle. Souvenir booths sold Thai goods there along with other booths providing cultural information. It was a good time spent and worth checking it out.
Thai Festival Pictures
Thai Festival @ Yoyogi Park Video 2012
Earth Day Market
Just a bit away from the exit down the road, we found ourselves in the midst of "Earth Day Market". This event is where the local, fair trade, and Organic meet. Started in 2006, it's intentions were to help organic farmers find buyers. Customers such as us on this day could find a better selection of organic fair trade produce and products. Here you'll see a wide variety of organic produce such as fruits, vegetables, grains, bean, bread... and even tea. We found ourselves looking at some jam as well, I remember. The people there were really friendly and eager to share their knowlddge on what they had, giving us samples to try. It was quite amazing to even see organic clothing and jewelry. Very eco -friendly materials here.
Earth Day Market Pictures
Abe "M" Ariaas in Tokyo
I have seen her right outside of Yoyogi park and I believe she goes by the name of Abe "M" Aria. Although strange, I kinda like some of the things she does, but she can really go way out there. You just might see her on the streets in Shinjuku rocking away to the loud blasting music while being in her own world of that she only knows, expressing herself.
As I watched her dance, I felt intrigued. We were back in the time of the 60's psychedelic rock generation era. And her music she was playing was loud and sort of Japanese psychedelic. We watched as I decided to video tape her performance and after seeing her for the very first time, it was one of those unforgettable experiences that became etched in as one of my memories during my trip.
Here are a few of my personal videos of her right outside of Yoyogi park in Harajuku.
I actually like the grain and imperfections in the video after re-recording and putting it
up on You Tube. The most craziness you'll ever get to see here of any street performance I have to offer.
The Street Performer
What's your opinion ?
Street Entertainers in Shinjuku,Tokyo
While entering the busy streets of Shinjuku, we noticed a sign saying "Warning" Act of vending performance on the street is prohibited...Chief Shinjuku Porice Station (they had mispelled Police). But we went through anyway. There were many on the streets that day despite the warning. As I try to remember there were street bands, the acrobatics type acts, along with fire eating demonstrations. This one act had caught my attention. A Japanese male with some white paint all over his body as if he was supposed to be a sculpture. He stood there standing on top of a sculpture display stand which said "The Living Museum of Art". I decided to stay and watch.
"The Living Museum of Art" Video
The Living Museum of Art sculpture comes alive !!!
This first video I have added from around 1997. I have also added others from You Tube for added entertainment related to Shinjuku's Street Performers.
JuJu Guitar Street Performer in Tokyo
Rockabiller Dancers and Greasers
To throw some fun into the ending, I'll like to take you back to Yoyogi park and show you the dancing that goes on there. Reliving the 50's and 60's, they are the Rockabilly dancers and Greasers. I wish we had a place like this back home. It would be great if we had a following like that such as those gathered there in Yoyogi park on Sundays. This is one of the many reasons why I love Japan. In Tokyo, there is always something to do and see. So many places to go, so it never gets boring. And there are also the nook and crannies kind of places where you just might happen to stumble upon from just around the corner.
Even as a very modern city, there are those who still embrace the good old things like that good old Rock and Roll, Psychedelic music, House music from the 90's, Retro, you name it...etc. and yet also be progressive. I myself get stuck in that time warp bubble sometimes and get caught along in there with them. Whether it is something from the past or recent... Tokyo pretty much has it all. I will never ever get tired of it and I will always find myself going back.
In conclusion, I hoped you have enjoyed reading this and wanted to show you some of the things you'll see in Tokyo as a viewpoint from a tourist and simple article writer as I am. With that I'll leave you with some fun videos to watch.
Lets Rock & Roll !!!
Peace !!! : D
Rockabillies in Tokyo
Are you or were you a Rockabilly Dancer or Greaser?
Helpful Books for Your Japan Travels
An entertaining, visually rich look in the travels of an artist, as an observant in the everyday life that happens within the City of Tokyo. With a sense of humor and wit along with some colored pencils, the Japanese essence comes alive in a beautiful city here illustrated in "Tokyo on Foot".
Great recommendations for attractions, restaurants, lodging, hotspots and transportation. Need I say more?
Added are attractions that appeal to most children as well. Includes a walking guide with a pull out map, and everything you need to know of the distance and time involved when making your itinerary. Lots of useful information here.
Please feel free to share your comments and thoughts. Thanks for reading. :)
With information and history, 29 walks takes you to the many places that would make your trip well complete. From the area of Mt. Fuji, Japan's godlike symbol and to Kawagoe...it's like visiting the old Japan during the samurai days. And how about visiting the giant Buddha in Kamakura.This book offers way more and is the book to have as a guide for your next trip.
Believe me ! Commuting in Tokyo can be a very time consuming, difficult task when trying to figure out the mazes within the many train stations in Tokyo. This map makes it easier for you to get around to where you want to go. It has detailed information on train lines, street names, and building locations to help you to pin point and navigate when traveling. A MUST if you are a foreigner who can't read or speak the language and are alone.
Many good reviews and very helpful to have. Well laminated and won't tear.