The madhouse that was Yoyogi park last weekend. It was Woodstock-crowded.
I had the best weekend. This was due to the fact that my weekend revolved around some of my great loves in life; music festivals, picnics, cherry blossom trees, and Japanese hippies.
I think Japanese hippies are hilarious. They’re like the cleaner and better- dressed version of the real thing. I went to a Peace festival yesterday at Yoyogi park and saw Japanese hippies camped out everywhere, playing guitars, drumming on empty wine bottles and free-style rapping about the preservatives in convenience store food. For some of them I think that being a ‘hippie’ is more of a style trend than an actual way of life, judging from some of the designer-brand ‘Aladdin pants’ and clip-on dreadlocks that I saw. My friend and I ran into a girl we’d met in a club two weeks ago, and together we danced, sang and watched as several of the hippies attempted to communicate with extraterrestrial, using a device that looked like a cross between a 1980’s cell phone and a stereo.
The end of the night found us near the front of the main stage, in a giant mosh pit. The lead singer of the band “Doggy style” was sans shirt and wearing a loincloth and everyone was jumping and flailing around in drunken excitement. Every few minutes I would have to scream and duck to prevent a crowd surfer from landing on my head. Somehow though, I still ended up getting kicked in the ear and I lost both of shoes in the process (“now you’re a real hippie”) but I had a blast anyway.
Just to put it out there, I’m not a hippie. But my parents are and I went to a hippie school growing up, so they’ve always sort of held a special place in my heart. I guess that’s how I ended up donating money to the one of their causes, “Save the Shimokitazawa”.;
Shimokitzawa is Tokyo’s equivalent to NYC’s Greenwich village. If I were to ever live in Tokyo again (and if I could afford the high rent), I would definitely chose to live in Shimo. It has a lot of trendy boutiques and coffee shops and because it’s a few stops outside of the city’s center, it’s quieter and has a more laid-back vibe.
Unfortunately, like with much of Tokyo, the-powers-that-be have decided that it’s best to build some high-rise buildings and a highway directly through the middle of the neighborhood, which would essential destroy it.
Supposedly people are protesting this. But because this is Japan, I somehow doubt that their protests involve loud, marching pickets or sit-ins or human barricades in front of the bulldozers. From what I’ve read, the most the protestors have done is design some t-shirts, record an album and give some politely-worded speeches at a few town hall meetings.
I have a feeling that this will end up being a losing battle.
Here are some photos of the neighborhood that I took a couple of weekends ago…