Just next to Tokyo`s famed Yoyogi Park, you will come to a little concrete plaza, bordered on one side by the weirdly soaring form of the National Gymnasium (based on a samurai helmet and considered an architectural masterpiece) and the NHK TV studio.
Although guided tours of the studio are available, the real attraction here is the street performers - young people flock to sing, dance, and perform standup comedy and theatre in the hope that they will be "discovered" by the star-makers who work in the studios nearby.
Unfortunately though, most of the performers are pitifully untalented, making a walk down this boulevard of broken dreams both hilarious and a little sad.
On weekends, teenagers flock to the street to see the free entertainment (and laugh at the very worst performers). There are frequent festivals and events in the plaza area - everything form Thai foodfairs to hip hop concerts - as well as a biweekly flea market. And Shibuya is just a short stroll down the hill, walking past the NHK studios and away from the park, making it easy to stop by on walking tour of Shibuya,Harajuku and Yoyogi Park.
See "Yoyogi Park" for more street culture.
Well, wondering what statues are these.
Due to the high abortion in JPN, these are represent the little baby who passed away in JPN. You will find them right behind the temples or ji.
DO NOT wake them UP !!
To understand how the younger generation of Japanese are out to forge their own individuality, you must go to harajuku during the weekends.
They will hang around the area decked in costumes that scream to shock. You will also get to enjoy street performances by these stars wanabe.
Nowadays the authorities are trying to control so there are signs set up around the area to prohibit such activities but nevertheless you will still catch a glimpse of these youths.
If you are into dressing yourself up as well, there are a few shops in the Harajuku area which sells these fancy costumes but be prepared to deck out quite a bit for them!
"Taiko" is the traditional japanese drums performance. I had the chance to go to such a performance by one of the most famous Taiko groups in Japan.
I really enjoyed the powerful rythm and the amazing coordination and technique of the drummers. If you have the chance of going to a Taiko performance don't miss it. It's just amazing.
In august during every weekend all over Japan there are fireworks combetitions/demonstrations called Hanabi. And Japanese really know how to do really impressive fireworks. Probably they are the best in the world.
I happen to live just next to an amuzement park that does Hanabi and it's marvellous.
Festivals are the best way to see the real Japan- they are not just tourist shows. try to gatecrash a local shrine or town festival in the summer. experience new year or , my favourite, hanabi. Hanabi are firework festivals held in summer. They are well planned, well attended and great. Pitch your riverside spot days in advance or just turn up a nudge in on someone elses. wear a yukata or jimbe and watch the fantastic displays. Edogawa was good last year.
The Tokyo Hanabi Festival, occurs annual during the summer months, is a great time and place to gather with friends and have a picnic with the firework show as a finale.
2003 commemorated the 400th anniversary of Shogunate Tokugawa making Edo, now called Tokyo, his
You'll notice the nice traditional robes (ukadas) worn by the locals (and foreigners alike) during these summer festivals.
Several times in history, Tokyo has been almost destroyed -- by fires, earthquakes, floods and war -- but it has always rebuilt itself. That might explain why it retains only vestiges of Old Japan. You'll find an amazing hodgepodge of old and modern architecture, often side by side, and a maze of streets where even taxi drivers lose their way. You can get utterly lost just a few moments' walk from your hotel. It is a safe place, however, and a relatively good city to be lost in, with kobans (police boxes) interspersed throughout the metropolis and shy but friendly people who almost always help if you ask.
Well, a Japanese convenience store (konbini) is part of modern Japanese culture and are very different from Western convenience stores. These days you can buy concert tickets there, pay all of your bills, do your banking, buy some lunch (with some beer), read a magazine or two, and buy a strawberry and cream sandwich (huh!!) or a yakisoba roll (double huh!!).
If you like traditional arts you must see this group, they describe themselves like this on their page: "Kodo is a group of japanese drummers that perform on a worlwide scale but remain rooted in the local comunity of Sado Island Japan"
It's amazing, if you hear about a KODO tour get a ticket, you will never see something like that if it's not in their shows.
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