Sunday, September 4, 2011

Omotesando Hills

Weird. I was randomly surfing the web and found myself back to this place again (and again). I recently bought an iPad 2 and installed the Flipboard app, which is a cool news reader. One of the channels(?) you can add is Harajuku, basically photos of strange Japanese people in Tokyo. Long story short... I was reading the Wiki description and saw this under location:
Harajuku is an area between Shinjuku and Shibuya. Local landmarks include the headquarters of NHK, Meiji Shrine, and Yoyogi Park.

The area has two main shopping streets, Omotesandō and Takeshita Street (Takeshita-dōri). The latter caters to youth fashions and has many small stores selling Gothic Lolita, visual kei, rockabilly, hip hop, and punk outfits, in addition to fast food outlets and so forth.

Omotesandō has recently seen a rise in openings of up-scale fashion shops such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Prada. The avenue is sometimes referred to as "Tokyo's Champs-Élysées". Until 2004, one side of the avenue was occupied by the Dōjunkai Aoyama apāto, Bauhaus-inspired apartments built in 1927 after the 1923 Kantō earthquake. In 2006 the buildings were controversially destroyed by Mori Building and replaced with the "Omotesando Hills" shopping mall, designed by Tadao Ando. The area known as "Ura-Hara", back streets of Harajuku, is a center of Japanese fashion for younger people—brands such as A Bathing Ape and Undercover have shops in the area.

Hmm, for some reason Omotesando Hills sounds familiar. A Google search and a few clicks later, I found that this was the super-expensive apartment listing I blogged about in 2006 and 2008. "Tokyo's Champs-Élysées" eh? No wonder the rent was so expensive. Unfortunately, all the units are occupied so I don't know what the rent is like in 2011.

This Internet is a small place... :)

Some more "fashion" photos from Harajuku. Maybe I'll visit here next time I have a layover in Tokyo that's not at 5am in the morning.

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