Yoyogi National Stadium

HarajukuYoyogi National Stadium (????????, Kokuritsu Yoyogi Kyogi-jo?) in Shibuya, Tokyo, is an arena in Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan which is famous for its suspension roof design. It was designed by Kenzo Tange, Japan's foremost postwar architect.

It was built between 1961 and 1964 to house swimming and diving events in the 1964 Summer Olympics. This stadium located across the Inokashira Avenue from the Yoyogi Park. The Stadium is one of Tokyo's most impressive landmarks. National Yoyogi Stadium is also in Harajuku area. Located in Yoyogi Park which is also where Meiji Shrine located, no wonder National Yoyogi Stadium is one of most attended place in Tokyo.

The design inspired Frei Otto's arena designs for the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. its awesome and daring shell-like steel-suspension roofing has earned it a spot in the Japanese Ministry of Construction's Top 100 Public Structures of Japan. The stadium seats 8,000 and is used for concerts, mostly rock, as well as sporting events.The arena holds 10,500 people. A CFD evaluation of the stadium interior was recently performed by the Shimizu Corporation to better understand the quality of the air-conditioning system for both modes of stadium operation.

Nowadays, this Stadium also being used for ice skating and volleyball competitions, basketball competitions, concerts (it's a nice place to concert) and various other events. In October 1997, the NHL opened its season at the arena with the Vancouver Canucks taking on the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in two matches. The following season the San Jose Sharks played the Calgary Flames in two games also to open the 1998-99 NHL season.

National Yoyogi Stadium, a holy place for athletes in Japan. The design of the stadium applied the same technique as a suspension bridge and the 126-meter long and 120-meter wide roof hanged from one or two main posts is providing a large open space. With its unique and stunning design. It has employed innovative suspended roof construction utilizing high tension cables, and we are proud of their unique shapes. The premises feature the 1st gymnasium, which looks like a tent supported by two columns; the 2nd gymnasium, which looks like a dragon spiraling towards the sky; and other sports facilities. The stadium was used for international competition in swimming, volleyball, basketball, tennis, and ice skating and has brought up and sent many athletes into the world, becoming a place for people who love sports.

Two of the stadia, built for the Olympics, remain the area's most famous architectural features. The main building of Tange Kenzo's Yoyogi National Stadium is a dead ringer for Noah's ark, and its steel suspension roof was a structural engineering marvel at the time. Inside are a swimming pool and skating rink (Mon-Sat noon-8pm, Sun 10am-6pm; ¥900). The smaller stadium, used for basketball, is like the sharp end of a giant swirling seashell.

The damper mechanism from KYB protects the elegant suspended roofs of the gymnasiums from vibration due to strong winds and earthquakes. It supported the roofs and the history of the gymnasiums for more than 40 years. The damper mechanism is the root of the present vibration insulation system. In 2004, an overhaul of the system was conducted, and it was proved that 12 dampers removed from the building had maintained the designed performance after 40 years of service. The same technology is used in the large roofs of Fukuoka Dome and Oita Dome.

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Oriental Bazzar

HarajukuOriental Bazaar is one of Tokyo's largest souvenir shops, most probably it is the most famous of souvenir shops. Oriental Bazaar is very popular among foreign travelers who look for typical Japanese souvenirs, such as kimono, tableware, lamps, dolls, furniture and samurai related goods.

This store is located about halfway between Omotesando and Harajuku station on Omotesando Dori (5-9-13 Jingu-mae) near Togo Shrine in Harajuku. To find the Bazaar go to Omotesando station and walk down the main street towards Harajuku, the shop is on the right about halfway down the road. It is just down the street from Kiddyland. The Oriental Bazaar is set in a quieter section of bustling Harajuku.

Oriental Bazaar is also the most imaginatively laid out. The bazaar has several different focuses, and the store is laid out accordingly. It is a four-stories store, and when you step to the higher floor you will get the more expensive items. The basement stocks bright, cheap and cheerful, touristy items, while the top floor offers antiques and traditional Japanese kimono and crafts. It is surely one of the best places to buy affordable and beautiful, second-hand original kimonos. Yukata (new and used), ceramics, towels and papercraft are some of the more popular items. There is also available woodblock prints, paper products, wind chimes, stationery, fans, chopsticks, lamps, Imari chinaware, sake sets, Japanese dolls, pearls, books on Japan, and a large selection of antique furniture.

The first floor is mostly occupied by furniture and ceramics/porcelains with more touristy items there as well. Also, a very fine selection of tea and sake services is found downstairs. Go upstairs you will find prints (standard and woodblock), more touristy items, and textiles for purchase. The bazzar has sections which each section of the store is operated by a separate owner, so you will not be allowed to go away with goods from one section to browse in another. Make you purchase and move on or compare and come back to buy. Overall, the Oriental Bazaar is a handy place to do some comparative shopping in one central location. The craftsmanship probably is not as good as in some high-end shops, but it is quite nice and the price justifies the purchases.

If you don’t have plenty of time to go around to find the best souvenir you look for, Oriental Bazaar is an easy one stop souvenir store in Tokyo which can provide you with the best-completed souvenirs. This is the city's most popular and largest souvenir/crafts store, selling products at reasonable prices. This store will also ship things home for you. Open Friday to Wednesday 10am to 7pm. For last-chance suit-of-armour purchases, you can go to the branch at Narita airport. The staff at both branches speak fluent English. The English-speaking staff are quite willing to wrap things up and have them posted for you. Oriental Bazaar is the place to go to when you want to return home bearing souvenirs of your trip to Japan. Oriental Bazaar will satisfy all the gift buying needs for your friends and family back home.

It's hard to miss the Oriental Bazaar - its grand red and green exterior welcomes you into a real temple to Japanese consumerism, with a facade that resembles a Shinto shrine. The Bazaar is housed in an instantly recognizable building with a faux-Chinese temple roof.

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NHK Studiopark

HarajukuNHK Studiopark, located in Shibuya, Harajuku, adjacent to Harajuku Station or JR Shibuya Station, is a part of NHK Broadcasting Center. It is close to Yoyogi Park and open to the public. NHK (Nippon Hosou Kyouka) means Japan Broadcasting Group or Corporation. It is a public TV of Japan just as The ABC in Australia and BBC in Great Britain.

NHK Studiopark gives visitors a chance to look behind the scenes of television broadcasting for a small entrance fee, 200 Yen. By paying that admission, visitors can look the production of a live programs on most days such as the popular morning drama, the historical taiga drama, and the kids program "Okaasan To Issho". The visitors can also watch the nationwide live broadcast of the talk program "Studiopark Kara Konnichiwa" from behind the scenes on weekdays from around 1pm.

NHK Studiopark hs attracted nearly a million visitors a year. Visitors are eager to visit this studiopark since it offers a tour of the recording studios where the visitors can see where some of Japan's favorite television is recorded. They might even be lucky enough to see some recording of drama or news.

Like all Japanese media there are some pretty cute and somewhat weird animated characters in the NHK line up including Domo-kun. He is the little brown creature with a mean looking mouth hatched from an egg and he lives underground with a wise old rabbit. He is one of the favorite s at the great gift shop at NHK Studiopark which stocks lots of TV themed T-Shirts and other Japanese novelties. Furthermore, there are attractions which introduce various broadcasting an 3D images, and illustrated information about popular programs of the past, NHK announcers and brodcasting histor. Finally, there is a shop where NHK related goods, tapes and books can be purchased.

The public is also treated to a mini studio theme park with quite a few attractions incluing chances for visitors to try their hand at announcing or even acting. Studio Q offers visitors to see the cutting edge broadcasting technologies used to deliver quality television and there is even a 3D high definition theatre which is well worth a visit. Open daily 10:00 to 18:00. Closed on the third Monday of each month, except in August and December and if the third Monday falls on a National Holiday, in which case the studiopark remains open on Monday but closed on Tuesday. Closed from December 25-31. For those who want to be in the studio audience of one of the sometimes whacky television shows you can make an advance booking with the centre.

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Yoyogi Koen

HarajukuThe largest Open to the public park in Tokyo (Akasaka Park and the Imperial Palace having partly restricted access). Yoyogi Park lies between the Meiji Shrine grounds and the NHK Broadcasting Center.

Contrarily to others like Ueno or Shinjuku Gyoen, it has a much more luxuriant flora, and is the only one really like a forest rather than a park or gardens since Yoyogi Park has variety of landscape and places to sit and enjoy your time. A popular place for "Lovers" to go.

Yoyogi Koen (Yoyogi Park, in Japanese, park is koen) a vast expanse of trees and grass, is one of Tokyo's largest and pleasant city parks, featuring wide lawns, ponds and forested areas. It is a great place for jogging, picnicking and other outdoor activities. It is one of the largest parks in Tokyo, located adjacent to Harajuku Station and Meiji Shrine not far from Shibuya. Approximately 3-5 minute walk from Harajuku Station on the JR Yamanote Line. JR Harajuku Station is on the Yamanote Line which makes Yoyogi Park easy to reach from most parts of Tokyo. It is next to Meiji Shrine, so as a photographer you can easily make it a day at these very different (but close) areas. but, there are no pathways between the two as the forest there is a bird sanctuary. So, you must walk past the entrance to Meiji Shrine to actually enter the park.

Although Yoyogi Park has relatively few cherry trees compared to oter sites in Tokyo, it makes a niceh cherry blossom viewing spot in spring and in the fall it is a great place to see some really beautful ginko trees that turn golden. There are a reasonable number of cherry trees in Yoyogi so it is popular in the spring for blossom viewing. As well, the forests of Ginkgo and other deciduous trees make it popular in the fall for leaf viewing. There is a small rose garden near the south entrance to the park. Assuming the weather is nice (and sometimes even when it isn’t) there are plenty of people enjoying outdoor activites, sports, picnics, sunbathing, dancing or just relaxing. Furthermore, it is known for its ginko tree forest, which turns intensively golden in autumn.

Before becoming a city park in 1967, the area where Yoyogi Park is located today, was the site of the first successful powered aircraft flight in Japan, on December 19, 1910, by Captain Yoshitoshi Tokugawa, following which it became an army parade ground. During the Second World War occupation, it was the site of an American housing complex called Washington Heights, residence for U.S. officers and US military personnel. Yoyogi Park served as the site of the olympic village for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and the distinctive Olympic buildings designed by Kenzo Tange are still nearby. The stadium remains one of Tokyo's most impressive landmarks. Tokyo is bidding to again hold the Summer Olympics in 2016 and Yoyogi Park is once again an important part of the bid. Recently, Tokyo governor, Ishihara, has backed building a 100,000 seat olympic stadium in the park as part of Tokyo's bid.

Located in Harajuku, Yoyogi Park is one of Japan's most active sites of counter youth culture. For more than 20 years, it has been the place that young people to hang out on Sunday and dismiss Japan staid business culture as irreverent. In return, the police periodically sweep through and attempt to clean up the "antisocial" aspects of the park. The park is one of the largest in Tokyo when combined with the adjacent Meiji Shrine and while it may not be the prettiest it sure is one of the most vibrant and colorful. It is a western style park with wide lawns, bike paths, forests, ponds and fountains.

If you want to know what the Japanese do on a Sunday afternoon, then head off to Yoyogi Park. The whole of Tokyo seems to descend on this wonderful park. Families come for a picnic, unsigned pop bands play inpromptu gigs, theatre groups practise their latest plays and people just hang out letting the world go by! Everything seems to happen in this one place! When I went there a year ago, I felt like I saw the real Tokyo - seeing the Japanese at play.

Today, the park is a popular hangout, especially on Sundays, when it is used as a gathering place for people to play music, practice martial arts, etc. The park
has a bike path, and bicycle rentals are available. As a consequence of Japan's long recession, there are several large, but surprisingly quiet and orderly, homeless camps around the park's periphery. These are somewhat like the Hoovervilles during the Great Depression in the USA. Foreign visitors once marveled at the exhibitionist Japanese rock-n-rollers here when the road through the park was closed off on Sundays, but that's been stopped.

Not a lot about the place is unusual; it's just a good place to get away from it all for a while and perhaps take a nap on the grass. A nice fountain with changing patterns punctuates the middle of the park, and there's a bicycle path for kids that features free rental up to junior high school age. Yoyogi Park is also a popular spot for jogging. Early in the morning, you may encounter a practicing saxophonist or drummer. They can be sure the empty park, at least, won't tell them to keep quiet or move house.

Another interesting thing about Yoyogi Park is that all types of people gather here. If you come on a weekend you will see people playing sports, juggling, playing instruments, dancing and anything else that can be done outside. One of the more unique groups of people is the interest group that is all about the 50s (or maybe 60s). I am not sure if these people dress (and style their hair) like this all the time and are stuck in a time warp or if it is just a weekend activity but you really should take a minute to watch this short video of them dancing.

Where can you find dozens of Japanese Elvis doing the twist? Guys dressed up as school girls playing live music? A man in a Fred Flintstone-like costume doing the salsa? A family of dogs wearing sunglasses? A painter selling his art in order to support his family? Or an illustrator and fairy tale writer giving out free copies of his work in hopes that one day he can make a living out of his hobby? Yoyogi Park, of course! .

While bands and other entertainment are banned from the park that doesn't stop them from setting up on the corner between Harajuku Station and Yoyogi Park. As well, the corridor south of Yoyogi Park to the NHK buildings is usually bustling with bands and street theatre. Cosplaying is a major part of the park's culture and every Sunday groups descend on the park. In turn, photographers descend on them in equal numbers.

This naturally wooded park adjoins the Meiji Shrine, and until 1996 was the venue for Tokyo's amateur rock and roll bands to show their stuff every Sunday. They have since moved to Omotesando, and Yoyogi Park has become quiet, and ideal for lovers and families who like to enjoy a tranquil Sunday afternoon with each other on the grass and strolling by tranquil ponds filled with koi (Japanese carp). Rental bicycles are available within the grounds during summer for JPY500/hour.

Opening date
Land area
Number of trees
Variety of plants

Nearest station
20 October 1967
540,529 m2
Tall trees : 15,382 / Shrubs : 92,689 / Lawn : 200,689 m2
Sawara cypress, Zelkova trees, Himalayan cedars, osmanthus,
oleanders, azaleas, gingkos, cherry trees, pines, konara oaks, etc.
Yoyogi Kamisonocho/Jinnan 2-chome, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
3min walk from Harajuku (JR line) or Yoyogi Koen (Chiyoda line),
6min walk from Yoyogi Hachiman (Odakyu line)

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Harajuku Station

HarajukuThe station of JR Harajuku is the principal entry of Harajuku nowadays. By using the line of JR Yamanote which functions circularly in the middle of Tokyo, you can easily reach Harajuku. As soon as you leave the station, you will see a crowd of the young people with the fashion of novel.

Harajuku Station is a station on the JR Yamanote Line located in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward, adjacent to Yoyogi Park. The station was opened on October 30, 1906.

JR Harajuku Station on the Yamanote Line is the obvious way to get to Harajuku. The station is very conveniently located next to both the entrance to Meiji Jingu and the beginning of Omotesando.
The station takes its name from the area on its eastern side, Harajuku.

The Chiyoda Line Meiji Jingumae Station is immediately adjacent Harajuku Station and is marked as an interchange on most route maps, although there is no physical connection between the two stations.

Harajuku is also the station used by the Imperial Train for journeys beginning and ending in Tokyo. To the east of the Yamanote line platform there is a separate platform for the Imperial train.

The station is composed of a single island platform . A provisional platform is located on the Western side of the station usable by rail travelling towards Shinjuku which is used when the principal events occur in the sector, particularly around the new year when many people visit the Meiji Shrine.

The bathrooms in Harajuku Station also act as mini dressing rooms for many teenagers and rebellious youths who express themselves through the outrageous fashions for which Harajuku is famous.

The main entrance is at the southern end of the station. A smaller entrance is in the center of the platform is convenient for Takeshita-dori, another famous sector in Harajuku. Takeshita-dori is a popular shopping street and the entrance of Takeshita-dori is often very crowd, creating a bottleneck at the weekends when a mass of tourists and people of the country arrive and leave Harajuku generally and the shopping areas in and around Takeshita-dori specifically.

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