Harajuku and Meiji Jingu Exploration

Our Harajuku day has come! I was really excited to go to Harajuku, famous for Japanese fashion. 

We headed out at around 10am to meet a friend at a vegan place off the main strip. I had been there before with Amanda and had been raving about their incredible moringa salad dressing. You may know the blogger Frertsu, also known as Anna. We connected on Twitter a while back and she's living in Japan so we arranged to meet up! You can find her blog (and her latest posts) here! 

We went to the vegan restaurant Longing House. I highly recommend it for those on a vegan diet, the portions aren't as small as typical vegan places in Japan and they offer an all you can eat salad nook.

Anna got this yummy veggie sandwich! Vincent and I were ravenous and ate our food so quickly we didn't take photos! Oops!

Anna walked us down Takeshita Street, which is the hub for all kinds of Harajuku fashion, from Lolita to Goth to Cyber Pastel. I tried to find some cute clothes for Vincent, but he isn't into the 90's street style look that's quickly becoming the trend in Harajuku. There were also some nice vintage areas to buy clothes, but nothing stood out to me.

Here is our daily vlog!

After eating at the restaurant and walking around, we stumbled upon one of the many crepe shops in Harajuku. I decided to get a strawberry cheesecake crepe with red bean, which was delicious! I really enjoy crepes and I wish they were just as common in Albany (or maybe not because then I'd have them every day!).

After filling up on our sugary crepes we strolled over to Meiji Jingu Shrine, which is only a hop away from the Harajuku train station. I've been here once before, but just for a few minutes, so I was happy to take a long stroll through the grounds with Vincent and Anna. Vincent loves nature, so this was a wonderful experience for him to be surrounded by the beauty of the shrine and the quiet tranquility of the trees.

There were a lot of businessmen walking together to the shrine, perhaps part of a company outing that they might make during the new year. As we walked, Anna and I discussed blogging, where our blogs are headed this year, and life in Japan. She's been here for almost a year already, and she walked around with the confidence of an experienced Harajuku go-er. 

Even so, none of us had ever been to the Meiji Jingu Inner Garden before, and we came upon a sign that advertised entry for 500 yen. I admit I was apprehensive to go in because of the price and cold weather, but Vincent insisted that we go, so we call coughed up 500 yen and headed on inside.

I have to say, this was an excellent call. The garden, though not in bloom because of the winter season, was amazing. We walked around the carefully carved paths and gazed into the depths of the fishing spot, all while being surrounded by a quiet that would make you think the hustle and bustle of Harajuku was miles away.

We ended up walking over 18,000 steps that day, but we ended our day with aching feet and happy faces. We headed over to Shibuya to get some sushi near the train station and said our goodbyes to Anna. 

It was a lovely day, and I would recommend heading into Meiji Jingu Inner Garden the second you get the chance when summer arrives!