Tokyo and Harajuku Girls

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We arrived in Tokyo Saturday afternoon after a nine hour flight. We'd been slightly mislead about filling out our customs entry forms and Sam needed to fill out a second form when we we arrived at the customs gate, at which point they decided to search our luggage. Anyone who's seen the way either me or Sam pack would know this is not a pleasant task. Every square inch of our bags are generally stuffed with something with the layout being fully optimized to the contents of the bag ;-). Also, Sam often needs to sit on her bag to get it to close completely. The officials were quite courteous and didn't want to make it too difficult to repack, so after painfully searching through two of our four bags (trying to leave most things undisturbed), and only opening the third bag (likely giving them a bit of a fright with how tightly it was packed, they decided to just pass on the rest and let us through.

We arrived at Narita airport at about 2:30pm and got to our apartment just after 7. We unpacked, had a Japanese 7-11 dinner and passed out around 9pm, which had us off to a great start at 5am the next day. After a few hours of sorting out the last of my remaining North American things, and getting a bit of email done, we headed out to the Shibuya and Harajuku districts.

Shibuya is a major business district and just north of it is one of the major "fashion capitals" of the world, Harajuku. We spent about 5h shopping and browsing and just taking photos. Apparently a lot of worldwide fashion trends start in this small neighbourhood (hopefully not the bad pants one that was super popular in Buenos Aires!). On Sundays people like to get dressed up in ridiculous/awesome outfits and hang out in the neighbourhood and get photos taken with their friends. We had good timing to witness and catch some of the action.

We're staying pretty close to the electronics district and decided to detour there on our way home, one of the things they're known for besides the hundreds of electronic stores is a lot of manga and porn stores. There was no way I was leaving Tokyo without checking some of /that/ out ;-). The first store I went into was somewhat of an eye opener... they must have had almost a whole aisle of child porn!? I couldn't believe it, but as I found out earlier today, apparently Japan has quite liberal laws relating to that with an apparent legal age of consent at 13!! I don't really know exactly how to feel about the whole situation just yet. I realize it's a different culture here, but I feel some things are just universally wrong.

Anyway, it's been pretty crazy so far and today we're taking it a bit chill (recovering from the trip and 9 hours of walking/shopping yesterday). Hopefully we won't wake up before 5am again tomorrow :). I managed to get a few photos posted today and will continue to add to my Tokyo set as I go.