If you are in Tokyo today you really should treat yourself to the gourmet event of the spring, the All Japan Food Festival held right between Harajuku and Shibuya station outside and at the NHK Broadcasting Center (if you travel by the Yamanote line you’d be closest from Harajuku station) from 10 to 16. I went and got to try a lot of great food and drinks from all over the country. It was absolutely not the best place and time to do photography as I bought bags of stuff and spent most of my time with food in my hands but I did manage to get a few shots! Here’s the captions:
1. A yuzu juice drink from Tochigi prefecture, named appropriately Yuzuppe, after the local dialect’s habit of ending sentences with the word …dappe! 2. Delicious chicken clubs from Shimane prefecture. 3. Fizzy Pear soft drink from Tottori prefecture. 4. Garlic rayu (a kind of seasoning pefect for your plain white rice) and melon juice cans from Shiga prefecture. 5. The super cute Shiga melon character Ouminchi! 6. & 7. Daidai (bitter orange) cider and daidai/wasabi dressing. 8. Some very interesting and very rare actually made in Tokyo Japanese sake! 9. One of the cute Hokkaido berry girls! 10. 100% Saga prefecture Mikan juice. 11. The straw God from Kagoshima prefecture remade in Tokyo.
The few holidays after New Year’s is vital to Tokyo’s shopping districts and department stores do their best to lure customers with sales, bargain bags and performances! La Foret, one of the premier youth fashion department stores in the world put up this performance by the Yushima Tenjin Shiraume Taiko group (湯島天神白梅太鼓), which has to be one of the most beautiful taiko drum groups in the world! It was packed with people already before they started but somehow I managed to wriggle my way to the front where I crouched down (so as not to bother the people behind me) and go these pictures. They were just as fantastic as they look!
Last week, in front of Meiji Shrine in Tokyo’s Harajuku district the national farming association held a small demonstration against the TPP proposal. You can read about it here on Wikipedia, but to put it in easy to understand terms, the day Japan joins the TPP is the day when Japanese agriculture and therefore the entire countryside outside the most major cities starts dying. I am absolutely against the TPP and all the problems with anti-democratic, pro-corporation and anti-environment laws that will be the result. Instead of just holding banners the farmers held a parade and then distributed free vegetables and flowers to any member of the public. To raise awareness about the danger of TPP they also distributed some very informative pamphlets and flyers detailing the problems. I wish them luck, and although I try to keep politics and negative things away from this blog, I just can’t let this one slide. I hope the grassroots anti-TPP movements around the world can join hand in this protest.
More gorgeous yukata dresses in Tokyo’s fashionable Harajuku district. My favorite must be the first, the vintage looking pale white, black cat/temari patterned! And don’t miss the two handsome guys in yukata, which is of course much more rare than the girls dressing in this fantastic piece of fashion. There is only one other yukata with a non flower pattern, the butterfly one you can see two the left in one of the photos. I wish I was Japanese, then I’d dress in this kind of fashion every day!