July 25, 2012

Ginza Is Getting Too Weird for Me

Every Sunday, Ginza's main street is closed to traffic, and shoppers and tourists are free to wander up and down the wide stretch. Lately, I've been seeing more and more odd things here that are completely at odds with my impression of Ginza.

Above, Uniqlo Ginza shop displays Sanrio-inspired outfits to commemorate a Uniqlo / Sanrio collaboration on T-shirts.

You have to admit, this puts all the party animal-making clowns to shame. A Marie Antoinette wig made out of balloons!

If you're too busy gawking at it, you won't notice that on the left is a tiny yappy dog in its own car.

Admittedly, the car is remote-controlled, but it almost doesn't matter. Seeing this dog and car zip around people's ankles is a dumbfounding sight.

The famous lion statue (erected in 1914) in front of Mitsukoshi department store. Look closely and you will notice a cat playing with itself.

There was a huge crowd gathered around it for a good hour or so. Lest you think it was a stray that had wandered here itself, it had an odd bonnet around its neck, and there was a minder-type person standing ominously slightly out of sight.

As amusing as I found all of these oddities, it was jarring to see them specifically in Ginza. Ginza as an area with sleek buildings, crisp dressers, and a slightly formidable properness (particularly during the day) that reminds visitors that they are in Ginza. The sort of crowd-pandering and attention mongering seems like something you would see in Shibuya or Harajuku. Is this the turn of the tide?

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