Harajuku is one of those places in Tokyo that I have a real love hate relationship with. For most wether they are visitors from other countries or the Japanese themselves, Harajuku they love is full of teenage girls and boys playing dress up in and around Takeshita Street. Or the ultra brands like Gucci, Prada, and Luis Vuitton. Often it is described as the gauge for what is happening in Japan’s fashion world. For me, this is the part of Harajuku that just gives me the creeps and leaves me feeling empty.
It is too obvious. Japan, crazy people, wearing lots of crazy clothes. Being fiercely independent by all dressing alike. Ok so there are a bunch of overly fashion obsessed kids around here, so now what?
What I actually dig about Harajuku are the little side streets that wind between Harajuku and Shibuya. This is where cool little houses mingle with the most esoteric boutiques. On this rainy day I was not disappointed. I am always amazed that people live within a rock throw of the great teenage hordes.
On this rainy day in May, I still found some love to warm my heart. A door to someone’s home had been tagged up with hearts. Many many hearts. Most of the hearts where smiling at me, so I smiled back at them.
Anyone who has spent a lot of time in Tokyo know that the real Tokyo lies hidden under the gloss of the tour books, and what the Japanese celebrate in their culture too. The real Tokyo that captivates me is in these little backstreets that no one pays any attention to. It is here on these wet backstreets that I found a door of hearts. A door into my own heart.