It had been for many years that I heard I should go to Harajuku, but for several reasons, I ended up not going to Tokyo for a long time. When I finally did, and realized I would be there on Sunday, it was obvious I would go to see the famous cosplay girls. Cosplay is a contraction of the words costume and play, and it basically means dressing up like a cartoon, music, movie, or other character. Even before reaching my destination, I saw several girls in bizarre clothes on the subway, which got me into the mood for Harajuku even more. After crossing two streets, I arrived at Jingu Bridge, under which the Yamanote Line runs. This is also the way to enter Yoyogi Park. From the overpass, I had a good view on the activities below.
For a while, I stayed right here on this strategic spot: I could see many people flocking to the bridge - not just girls in extreme costumes, but also many ordinary people about to become their audience. I followed suit, and soon found myself walking in between teenage girls dressed up with very heavy make-up, with blonde hair, with long coloured nails, with costumes making them look like angels, fairy-tale princesses, but also Gothic Lolitas, girls with masks, dressed up like manga (Japanese cartoon) or video game characters that I could not recognize, and much more. They proudly posed for the many onlookers like me, and patiently waited for their pictures to be taken.
After looking at the amazing creations on Jingu Bridge, I ventured into Yoyogi Park, where I found a group of rockabillies dressed up in black leather and with daring hairdos, lingering at the entrance of the park, where later on they would turn up the music and put on a performance. Further inside the park, the action seemed over - people having a pic-nic or playing a game on this sunny Sunday afternoon. Coming back to Jingu Bridge, even more girls had arrived to show off, and I decided to stay longer. Yes, there were a few men dressing up in exotic clothes, but they were few and by far outnumbered by girls. With their coloured hair and lenses, they sometimes looked very Western and very little Japanese. The Harajuku girls had not disappointed me - and I decided to come back again next time I am in Tokyo on a Sunday.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Harajuku Cosplay (Japan). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Harajuku Cosplay. Read more about this site.