Weekend in Tokyo I: Sightseeing and haircut in Harajuku - Vikingess Voyages

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Weekend in Tokyo I: Sightseeing and haircut in Harajuku

In order to celebrate Norway’s constitutional day I went to Tokyo for the weekend to participate at the 17. mai event at the Norwegian embassy. The National Day is at the 17th of Mai, but for practical reasons the celebrations were held on Sunday the 15th. I left Kyoto by night bus on Friday the 13th and arrived in Shinjuku, Tokyo, at around 7 am.
To be honest I was tired after the long trip and did not feel like going on sightseeing. After all I had already been a trip to Tokyo already and seen a lot on the stuff in the Shinjuku area, so instead of going sightseeing I went to a couple of parks in the area. The first one wasn’t that interesting; it was small and in front of a little temple there was a tiny village for homeless people.
The second one was the Shinjuku Imperial Garden (新宿御苑) where one had to pay 220 yen to get in. This one was a lot bigger and was a lot prettier to. But to be honest, most of the time here I spent sleeping on various of the benches. The weather was lovely and I did not have much energy at all, haha..

Anyway, after spending some hours in the park I continued south towards Harajuku.
When I went to Tokyo last time we did stop by Harajuku, but we didn’t have enough time to see a lot, so I wanted to take a closer look at the area this time. Though quite frankly Harajuku is most known for people going around wearing a little bit ..special clothing and fashion.
One of the many shops with rather special clothes for sale in Takeshita Street.
Takeshita Street
Kawaii (cute) is definitely cool in Harajuku. I'm not quite sure if I think this is cute though.. :p
Harajuku Station on the other hand does actually look quite nice.
Harajuku fashion..(?)
 I did however have another goal with going to Harajuku: I was going to get a haircut! Which actually was my first time to the hairdresser since I came to Japan in September. Before going to Tokyo I had already done some research on the internet about hair salons in town, and found that Chie Funakura-san, who worked at Watanabe Hairdressing, was supposed to be really good with western hair. She was even awarded best hairdresser in Tokyo by the Australian Harper's Bazaar, so I did feel quite secure with my choice. 

Watanabe Hair Salon was situated in Harajuku and was quite easy to find. After going down the overly crowded Takeshita Street you just turn left, walk till you are in front of the Starbucks cafe, cross the road and continue to the left up Harajuku Street till you see this sign on your left hand side.

My hairstylists Kento Utsubo-san and Chie Funakura-san and me, taken after the haircut.
The service at the salon was really good; in addition to the normal hair cut I also received some shiatsu head massage! Not to mention that I got to practice my kansai-ben (関西弁 - kansai-dialect) with one of the other stylists; Kento Utsubo-san. He is a really funny guy! 
(Still, it is not a problem for those who doesn't speak Japanese to go here, since they do speak English as well.)
I am really satisfied with my new hairstyle. It feels a lot lighter now, and of course it looks much better too. I think it is important that you feel relaxed and that you can rely on the hairdresser, and that is just what I did at Watanabe Hair Salon. It is also a good thing to know that there is a place I can go to again when I need another haircut. I guess I'm a bit peculiar about my hair, so I always need to be certain that I'm in safe hands. Haha..  

The address to the salon is Sun Beauty Harajuku B1, 3-25-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. In addition to this their telephone number is 03-5411-5633.
Watanabe Hair Salon

After the haircut it was time to get going again (it was quite a busy day!), and this time my plan was to meet my friends Reiko and Teruko, which were exchange students at my university in Bergen a couple of years ago.
I met them at the Shibuya station, and we went to a cozy place called  Sakuragaoka Cafe (桜丘カフェ), where they in addition to delicious food also had a couple of goats outside the cafe one could feed/look at. I've added some pictures of the restaurant as well:

Outside of the restaurant they had a cage with two cute goats in it.!
Now this is what I call kawaii:))
Me, Teruko and Reiko having dinner at the cafe
The cafe! Nice atmosphere, right? :)
Thanks to Reiko and Teruko for a great evening:D!
After the dinner I traveled to Asakusa, and here I slept at a capsule hotel. You can read about this and the rest of my Sunday at the Norwegian embassy ++ here.

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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  1. you look soooo pretty in new hair style!!!:)


  2. Really? :D Thank you Sayo you're so sweet:))


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A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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