Harajuku is an area in Tokyo that caters to the young and the hip. The main shopping street, Takeshita Street is a pedestrian street packed with clothing stores, cosmetic shops and places to eat cute trendy food. It is crazy busy on the weekend, and near impassible on a Sunday as the young and beautiful come to shop and to be seen, and everyone else comes to see them.
Been there, done that.
But there’s another part of town that services a different clientele.
This is the entrance to the shopping street in the district of Sugamo, known as Grandma’s Harajuko. Here, the street is wide and flat. There are benches upon which one can rest and stores that cater to a clientele looking for comfort over trendiness.
We were there on a Sunday afternoon, and it kind of reminded us of our Sidney – lots of senior citizens out for a stroll, a snack, some shopping.
Red is colour associated with strength and vitality, and apparently it is not uncommon to give people over 60 articles of red clothing to ensure that they remain energetic and vital.
There is, of course, a store for that:
A store dedicated, mostly, to red underwear.
Boxers for the gents
Briefs for the ladies.
Why so many, you say? To get the full effect you need to have red underwear emblazoned with the symbol from the Chinese Zodiac that matches your birth year.
And so – the year of the dog, and the year of the rabbit. Ready to be pressed into service…..
There was a slip of paper tucked into the bag with information about how the wearing of red panties can stimulate the Qi energy in the body without having to learn all sorts of esoteric breathing techniques. It concludes with the following statement
‘Please note that our Red Panties may cause you to suffer from insomnia due to their stimulating effect, so please change into underwear of an ordinary color when you go to sleep.’
Well then, we’ve been warned!