Harajuku Station, Shibuya and Tokyo’s Public Transportation System
This is a continuation of the previous post, where we got lost, received a fine and gave the car back to the rental agency.
Feeling a bit crappy because of the surprise parking ticket fine, we decided to go see the girls at Harajuku Station even though it was a bit too late for them to be out. We read online that the Harajuku girls usually hang out during the afternoon on Sundays. We decided to take a chance and go see them anyway. Worst, we could just walk around the area to kill some time.
Instead of taking the subway or train, we simply took a cab to get to Harajuku Station. This is where we passed by the Champs D’Elysees of Tokyo: all the major brand name stores such as Louis Vuitton, Nike, Gap, etc. had set up shop. Shibuya is known as Tokyo’s fashion district, and this was not far from the truth.
At Harajuku Station, we were indeed a bit late to the party, but still managed to witness a few girls dressed up in alternate/different fashions and styles: cosplay, gothic and punk. There were a ton of people using Harajuku Station, so we had to pay close attention to all the people passing by to spot the Harajuku Girls.
After killing some time at the station, we decided to walk to the famous Shibuya “square”, where thousands of people cross the intersection at any given moment. This place is constantly featured in movies and films, such as in Tokyo Drift. It wasn’t too hard to find the intersection, as the lights in the sky guided us to it (okay, Thundergod’s GPS also helped us out).
We finally arrived at the intersection and took some great shots. Thundergod and Hinjew created some killer panoramic views; we’ll try to put them up in the next day or two if we’re not lazy. It was pretty damn nuts to say the least: you’ve got thousands of people just crossing the street every single time the lights change. It’s something that should be experienced first-hand… the pictures cannot express the volume attributed with this famous spot.
Nearby the intersection, we stopped by a cheesecake cafe to grab a bite to eat and have some dessert, while watching people cross the intersection.
Our night came to an end on a good note: we finally decided to try out Tokyo’s public transportation system. First, we took the subway from Shibuya Station to Shimbashi. It was a 11 minute ride in quite possibly the cleanest metro system ever. The seats actually had cushions, the people were civilized and there was no smell, graffiti or trash to be found anywhere. From Shimbashi Station, we took the Yurikamome Line to our hotel’s train station called Daiba, which took another fifteen minutes or so.
Compared to the hassle of driving, paying for tolls & parking and “surprise” parking fine in the recent post, I’d say the public transportation system in Tokyo is quite possibly the best we’ve experienced in all our travels across the globe. For the remaining days in Tokyo, we’re sticking to the subway and train system.