Louis Vuitton madness!
Tokyo Travel Blog› entry 1 of 3 › view all entries
One Louis Vuitton, two Louis Vuittons, three Louis Vuittons - oh, and thereâ€™s a Gucci bag. Tokyoites love high fashion handbags (or satchels for men) so much, I wonder if they are created with these accessories like Barbie and Ken dolls. It seems that a Western designer bag is a necessity, immaterial of oneâ€™s status. But are any of them real? Well, apparently they are. Expensive brands symbolise wealth and worldliness of such importance that some Japanese will buy a brand rather than eat. It comes as no surprise that one third of the worldâ€™s designer goods are said to be sold in Japan.
I arrived in the middle of summer to a pasty smog sky and hopped straight onto one of Tokyoâ€™s many subway lines. The subway map looked like a game of snakes and ladders with lines crisscrossing in every direction. I managed to arrive at the train station where I had organised to meet my friend, Nicole. But meeting at a train station in Tokyo turned out to be a huge mistake. The larger stations all have a million exits and with my mobile phone not operating in this country, I couldnâ€™t call to tell her where I was. Itâ€™s amazing that in a nation known for technology, foreign telephone companies arenâ€™t connected. I was left technologically naked while everyone around me carried the latest mobile model with cameras and internet connection installed. Which brought me to wonder how we all managed before mobile phones.
Now buzzing with sugary goodness, we got our shopping fix in Harajuku with big names like Zara and GAP and the funky Takeshitadori lane.
The sun was beating down and I moved one step closer to conformity by purchasing an umbrella. Almost every Japanese woman carries an umbrella or dainty parasole. There are umbrella holders everywhere in Japan and many people have special umbrella holders for their bikes. It's actually a smart idea because you can shield yoursel from the sun much better with an umbrella than a hat. And if it rains, the same device is equally effective!
With my new pink umbrella, we checked out the back streets of Harajuku and found a fantastic little gyoza cafe that makes nothing but dumplings with a few different fillings.
That night, Tokyo's haphazard city finally got the better of me. I'd been told about a crazy restaurant called Kagaya, where the owner dresses up in costumes to entertain diners. Even with the address we couldn't find the place. We called the owner and he said he was coming to pick us up. Half an hour later, we realised he wasn't coming and found a little place in a business building to enjoy sake and ramen noodles.