The first semester ended yesterday for Yokosuka DOD schools. Today and tomorrow are teacher work days. What is a better place to spend days off with kids than in Harajuku? Oh, wait… Kids? Hmmm… Fortunately, Dina agreed to share her sweet girls and we all ventured up together on the train!

Probably my favorite moment of the day was shortly after we took this picture.


I (jokingly) told the girls that our Kimono appointment was at noon. They both looked at me as I continued to tell them, I scheduled an appointment for all of us to have a kimono fitting and photo shoot.  The look Dina’s oldest daughter, a teenager, gave her was priceless! From there, the joke only escalated and morphed into an inconceivable Japanese kimono fairy tale. It was hilarious.

We walked down Takeshita street and worked our way to Dominique Ansel Bakery for lunch. On our way, we passed this spectacle. A HUGE group of balloons!

Not only was there a huge thing of balloons, there were a lot of Japanese standing in a long line and a cute little American girl wearing cat ears! Kawaii!

Turns out, the spectacle was actually a very well known sales event. According to my research, the Japanese flock to Harajuku for the semi-annual Grand Bazar sales. The sale includes a six-story complex (plus vendors on the street) with many different well-known Japanese brands. The event offers drastic discounts and amazing bargains if you are willing to stand the crowds.

Knowing we would not have much luck finding our size, we continued on our way to lunch. We thought the girls would enjoy seeing and drinking the blooming hot chocolate at Dominique Ansel Bakery. Plus, I wanted to try the lobster roll.

The lobster roll was good. The one I had at Luke’s was better.

After lunch, we spent about an hour and a half wandering around a five-story toy store called Kiddy Land. They had a wide variety of Japan characters and many American. Sadly, no Neko Atsume!

As we walked back towards Takeshita Street, we passed the Laforet Grand Bazar again. This time, the main character was on the street! Seriously. Soak in the number of balls this guy is wearing/carrying. Each time someone asked to have a picture taken with him, he asked, “which ball do you want?” So, bizarre.

Hopefully, the picture is not too grainy but, you really needed to see the details of the makeup on his face.

I laugh each time I look at this one! Her face, his face! Her height, his height! Too, funny. He was definitely not Japanese. However, I think I detected a slight Wisconsin accent.

When you visit, Harajuku is an absolute must! I can’t promise the Bazar but, I can promise the bizarre!