Tokyo Day 3 Part 2 — Meiji Shrine, Cosplayers at Jingu Bashi, Harajuku

Previously we checked out the beautiful autumn colours at Yoyogi Park (Tokyo Day 3 Part 1). We then took a stroll to the nearby Jingu Bashi to check out the cosplayers.

Jingu-Bashi or Meiji Shrine Bridge is the place to check out cosplayers (people dressed as characters from anime and manga) and gothic lolitas(girls dressed in frilly victorian fashion). It is located near Harajuku Station. If you walk from Harajuku Station, you will pass the bridge before reaching the gravel-covered pathway of the Meiji Shrine approach.

Meiji Jingu Torii (Meiji Shrine Gate)

A grumpy old man with wild grey hair was preventing everyone from taking photos of the early cosplayers. The other tourists looked thoroughly irritated and confounded about the whole situation. We were very confused too. Who was this man and what right did he have over the cosplayers?

Since the day was still early, we left Jingu Bashi to visit Meiji Jingu (Meiji Shrine).

Sake Containers at the Meiji Shrine Approach

Probably just a few minutes away from the shrine proper, after walking a good 7 minutes, we decided, in unison, that we didn’t want to visit the shrine so we backtracked to Jingu Bashi. On the way back to the bridge, we saw a lot of young children in traditional costumes walking towards the shrine with their parents. Kawaii! (^_^)

Back at the bridge, we were greeted by the sight of tourists taking photos of cosplayers. The grumpy old man we saw earlier was occupied with taking photos of a girl in a red Lolita outfit. There were all variations of gothic and sweet Lolitas.

Harajuku Gothic Lolitas

There were kids with big hair in all the colours of the rainbow.

A cosplayer at Jingu Bashi (Shrine Bridge) near Harajuku Station

These two whiteface girls posed gamely for everyone. There were very obliging and friendly when I asked if I could have my picture taken with them.

Harajuku White Kabuki Face Girls

I don’t really know what the Japanese for “May I take your picture?” is but I got away with just smiling, gesturing and asking “Sumimasen, photo kudasai?” (^_^)

A passionate U2 fan  armed with a portable stereo sang, face in the hot sun and back towards the crowd, his favourite songs ( “Sunday, Bloody Sunday”, “Vertigo”, “One”) repeatedly. I wonder why he didn’t face the crowd? Was he shy?

Harajuku, Jingu Bashi (Shrine Bridge) U2 Fan Performing

The atmosphere at the bridge was fantastic. There was a strong contrast in the mix of people there — you’re either cool or a tourist. An American father teased his two teenaged daughters, “You guys are not cool enough for this place! Why aren’t you dressed like them?” ^_^

Next up Akihabara (Tokyo Day 3 Part 3)!

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Love your detailed post on you Japan trip.
Can I confirm the time you were at Jingu-Bashi for cosplayers? Any advice on which day is more ideal? Thanks

We were there about 11am.There were a lot more coming in as we left around noon. The cosplayers come out in force on the weekends when there’s no school/work. We reckon Sunday would be a good day to see them.

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