An Evening in Harajuku


We head out to Harajuku to check out the Placard#7 electronic music festival taking place in Yoyogi park. I especially want to be there for Momus’ set. On my way over, I get a call from Carsten, who having seen my post about going there, figures I would be a good person to contact to find out where the event is taking place. Seems he’s in Yoyogi park, but cannot find where the performances are. As I’m not sure either, I’ll have to wait until I get there to contact him again. As we exit Harajuku station, we encounter a multitude of yukata girls. There’s a big firework display taking place in the area (near Gaienmae I believe). Approaching the park, we hear some heavy metal coming from the stage area next to the NHK building. Yuko believes this is where we should be going, but explaining to her that there is no way that this could be Momus, she counters with: “Maybe he changed his style?”

Once inside the park, after a bit of keitai tagging with Carsten, we get to the area where Placard#7 is taking place. I’m quite surprised by what I find: pure silence. Everyone is equipped with headphones, and this is the only way to listen to the performances (outside of the Internet streams, which Robert is enjoying in another part of the park). Momus is at the controls, red cloth coifed to combat the mosquitos. The air is quite nice, and I must say that the concept is quite interesting. Unfortunately, it’s not what I’m expecting, and I feel a bit uncomfortable about leaving Yuko alone while sitting down with headphones. In attendance (and waiting for his turn to perform later on in the evening) is sound/visual artist Nicholas D. Kent, who gives copies of his DVD to me and Momus. We watch bits of it on Momus’ trusty iBook.

After staying for about 2 hours, we leave the area, getting ready to head back home (Yuko’s a bit tired from having studied all day). But on our way to the station, she gets a second wind, and we decide to get some coffee somewhere. Walking down Omotesando, I bring her to Montoak, where we get a few drinks, and enjoy the scenery (mostly a yukata clad couple, drinking too much, with the girl passing out and having to be dragged out of the place).

After Montoak, we walk down a few small streets, still enjoying the nice fresh air (what a nice change from all the recent humidity), and end up going to Komen for some ramen. Now, regular readers will recall that I have forsaken Komen for close to a year because of a change they made to their shouyu soup. So shocked was I by this change, that I couldn’t possibly entertain the thought of offering them any kind of patronage anymore. Well, after a few drinks and a hungry stomach, the images of ramen near the entrance are a bit too enticing, and the promise of a delicious-looking bowl of tonkotsu ramen (which I’d never tried) is too much to resist. The verdict? Komen’s tonkotsu ramen (which they call jukusei) ends up being like a slice of paradise. It’s quite possibly the tastiest I’ve had, and means that I now call to a stop my boycott of the Ikebukuro branch also. Viva ramen!

Update: The sound of my blogging, via Click Opera.