I was so excited to have my mom in town for a visit and to show her some the many reasons why I love Japan. The two of us headed down to Harajuku on her first Sunday here and loved wandering this lively area. The train station was abnormally busy, it was absolutely body to body. But, the Japanese are very orderly, no pushing or shoving, just politely exiting.
Our first (of many) character sightings. Watch out Matt! (I actually found out that this character phenomenon has a name- yuruchara, or soft characters. They represent everything under the sun, I have no idea what this one was selling. There is even a yuruchara grand prix competition. Future blog?)
This country absolutely revere's Hello Kitty. This trolley was just outside the station, blasting cute music, and was of course surrounded by a paparazzi of sorts!
If you are in need of a tiger backpack, you know who to call.
We then walked over to the famous Meiji Shrine. It was such a beautiful day, just perfect weather.
We saw LOTS of ladies in kimono,
and three different brides. This was the first. Check out her elaborate hairstyle. She also had the most ornate kimono, with the reds and golds. Gorgeous!
This was the second bride. Also, so beautiful.
On the third bride, we were able to watch the entire wedding procession. This is a traditional Shinto wedding kimono, with the hood.
Call me traditional, but I am not a fan of the bee-bop down the aisle/gimmicky weddings that are so popular now. The beauty of this wedding procession was in it's simplicity and reserved respect for the magnitude of the occasion.
This was a treat to watch.
Here comes the bride......
Even the guests were in black, very reserved, clothing. No one was trying to out-do the bride, or draw any attention to themselves.
This is the large courtyard of the shrine itself.
This is the gate just outside the shrine.
And another lovely girl in a kimono.
I am so glad my mom was able to see this small glimpse into Japanese culture. More of our wonderful visit to come!