Harajuku street fashion and praying at the Meiji Shrine
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Harajuku is famous for fashion and latest trends and the atmosphere is dynamic. Therefore, Harajuku is one of the most popular places to visit in Tokyo. The beauty of Harajuku is that when you leave the Harajuku train station on the Yamanote Line you have two distinct options and people often mix both together if they are tourists. This applies to visiting the stunning Meiji Shrine which is a major Shinto place of worship or browsing around the diverse fashion area.
The Shinto religion is the indigenous faith of Japan and unlike Buddhism it fuses Japanese folklore with history and mythology. Often you will see Shinto shrines and small statutes in the mountains of Japan and everything appears natural.
The Meiji Shrine is a fantastic place to visit because nature and Shinto blends naturally and tourists, Tokyoites and religious people feel at ease immediately. The serenity and architecture amongst the beauty of nature is very powerful and time and space will mean different things to each individual. However, you can certainly feel the pulse of something irrespective if it is Shinto mysticism or your own personal feelings.
During my visits to Buddhist temples I feel nothing but I admire the architecture and in special temples the beauty of the gardens are amazing. However, the kami spirits seem mysterious and irrespective if in the Meiji Shrine or the mountains of Japan; the mystery of life and nature does seem alive in Shintoism.
The beauty of the Shinto faith is that it also allows reality and does not seek to enforce pressure on individuals. Therefore, before entering the main entrance you will see young Japanese people dressed in diverse styles of fashion and despite the closeness of this area to the Meiji Shrine, it is clear that no pressure is being put on fashion lovers who are within meters of the main entrance.
Leaving the religious world behind and visiting the fashion areas of Harajuku is a good way to understand Japan and Shintoism. It is about co-existence in the modern world and the free spirit of Shintoism and the diverse kami which exist in nature and animism.
Literally within one minute or two minutes of leaving Harajuku train station you are either in the environment of the Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi Park or the fashion area of the Takeshita Dori or the more upmarket main street. Therefore, the choice is yours and this is what makes Harajuku so special.
Also, the more you venture in Harajuku then you will also enter Omotesando and the fashion changes to high brands and exquisite fashion. In truth, high quality and individualistic brands can be found throughout Harajuku and Omotesando and 6%DOKIDOKI and Tracy Reese sum up the fashion area.
This applies to the striking individualism of the fashion designer Sebastian Masuda and his dedicated staff at 6%DOKIDOKI because this fashion company represents the Harajuku feel and spirit of freedom. The color schemes at 6%DOKIDOKI are amazing and the style is vibrant and energetic.
Meanwhile Tracy Reese represents the elegance of fashion in America and both companies represent the richness and beauty of fashion. Therefore, just like the pluralism of Shintoism you have the rich diversity of fashion in Harajuku and Omotesando.
If you are a first time visitor to Tokyo then Harajuku should be high on your list because you can just soak up the atmosphere and the changes which can be found in this diverse part of Tokyo. From the heart of Japanese religion which is represented at the Meiji Shrine to the creativity of fashion and designers like Sebastian Masuda.
In Harajuku the old world and new world does not clash because the environment is based on harmony and co-existence. Also, the Meiji Shrine is blessed with stunning walks and this enables people to contemplate and think about the richness of this life.
http://www.meijijingu.or.jp/english/ (Meiji Shrine)
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3006.html (Places to visit)
http://www.dokidoki6.com/ (6%DOKIDOKI fashion)
http://www.tracyreese.com/c-45-dresses.aspx (Tracy Reese fashion)