An afternoon in Harajuku and Shibuya

I was going to just stay in Ikebukuro yesterday, run a few errands, taking it easy, but then Yuko had to go to Shibuya (more precisely, to the Todai Komaba campus) and so I went with her. I started out by going to Tower Records to check out the magazines, and it’s when I was leafing through the latest issue of STUDIO VOICE that I noticed an article on the new DS game ELECTROPLANKTON with Kahimi Karie, which reminded me of the launch event that is currently being held (until tomorrow) at the Laforet Museum.

I walked to Harajuku, straight to Laforet. The event was quite enjoyable, as is the game — I’m not really sure if you can call it a game actually, since it’s more of a musical interactive simulator that looks trippy and sounds great. It was created by media artist Toshio Iwai, and the space had an exhibition of some of his work, including earlier games and installations. If you get a chance, do try to catch this before it closes.

After Laforet I stopped at Lapnet Ship to catch the Panda-Z exhibition (today’s the last day), as well as the Kenji Murabayashi exhibition (also closes today), featuring PERO’S FARM.

KDDI’s Designing Studio didn’t have anything new, so I started back towards Shibuya, using Cat Street, as I wanted to have a look at the new Tadao Ando designed shop. The layout inside is quite nice, but the ridiculously expensive interior designs weren’t really to my liking.

Getting back to Shibuya, I had a look at the new Blister store. They used to have a tiny shop on Meiji in Harajuku, and this recently opened store counts three floors. The top 2 floors are all American-style figures and toys, while the comic section is hidden in the basement. If you’re looking to buy some American comics in Tokyo, it’s a good place to go, if you don’t mind the mainstream selection. Prices are of course almost double the US cover price, but that’s still better than at a lot of other places I’ve seen (like Manga no Mori).

I then met up again with Yuko, and we went to Conceal Cafe for a bit. I had the caramel and banana pie, which was to die for — it was on a “today’s sweets” menu, so no idea if it’s often available. An hour or so later we were on our way back to Ikebukuro. As we were walking home in the cold and rain, Komen’s jukusei ramen kept calling out, and we heeded the call. Believe it or not, it was my first bowl of ramen in at least 2 months.