D4: Harajuku, Sushi & the Shibuya Scramble

After our department store art scene adventures, Don and I headed to Yoyogi Park for a break from the Shibuya insanity, and then to Harajuku for even more intense, crowded, consumer-driven madness.

Yoyogi Park
Yoyogi Park

Below is a picture from the top of one of the most famous streets in Harajuku (famous for “Harajuku girls” fashion, and generally just being a teen-oriented, teen-crazed neighborhood).

Takeshita St
Takeshita St., Harajuku, from the top

I also had my first rotating sushi experience (though Don had to ask the chef to make some vegetarian sushi for me – it was on the menu, but never seemed to appear on the conveyer belt).

Rotating sushi
Rotating sushi conveyer belt

And after the brief respite of our meal, we headed back into the insanity of Shibuya.  I really cannot convey, through words, pictures or even video, just how insane the crowds are in this neighborhood.  The biggest intersection, just outside the Shibuya train station, is apparently the biggest cross walk *in the world.*  Called The Scramble, literally thousands of people descend on this intersection to cross it *every three minutes.*  It is a wall-to-towering-department-store-wall wave of people. But the part that is oddest to me?  Not necessarily the thousands of people crossing the street, and then a new set of thousands of people crossing the street right after.  The strangest thing to me is how orderly it is.  Everyone waits patiently until it is time for pedestrian crossing, no one even appears to attempt to go against the crosswalk.  New York City numbers (and then some!) it is, but New York City people-vs-vehicles, it ain’t.

(I took a video, but as of yet, I can’t figure out how to upload it.  I’ll keep you posted.)

[UPDATE: You can view the video on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQqAsoccoZs]

After the madness and masses of Shibuya and Harajuku, it was wonderful to get off the train in Kichijoji, to the relative calm of our neighborhood:

Kichijoji Dori
Kichijoji Dori

And (as a random aside), on the walk home from the train station, we discovered a restaurant that specializes in the poisonous puffer fish:

Blowfish restaurant
Blowfish restaurant
Blowfish close-up
Close up of the lil' puffers. I couldn't get any of them to puff up for me, though.

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