7/5/23, Day 3, Tokyo - Shibuya, Harajuku, TPMB concert

In front of the famous Shibuya Crossing.

The world's busiest pedestrian crossing.

The faithful dog Hachiko's statue, outside EXIT 8 of JR Shibuya station.
Hachiko went to the station every day to wait for his master's return from work,
even long after his master had passed away.
This statue is a popular meeting point for people to meet up.

After we crossed the busy crossing onto Center Gai,
the girls were attracted by this Capsule Toys (扭蛋) store.
They spent more than 30 minutes in this store, trying to get some favorite mini anime figures
for themselves and their friends back home.

In Shibuya PARCO - an 11-story shopping complex with an emphasis on youth culture, art, music and fashion.
The 6th floor is a Cyberspace center. It is a floor dedicated to games, anime and character goods.

In Shibuya PARCO.
(How tall are you?)


Queuing for lunch at the Katsu-Midori (活 美登利) sushi restaurant on the 8th floor of the Seibu department store.
You either draw a queue number from a machine, or tell the hostess how many people in your party,
then sit in the chair queue till your party is called.
Katsu-Midori is a popular sushi restaurant chain with several locations in Tokyo.

They waited for about 20 minutes before being seated at the counter.

Everybody has a touch screen in front to order what one wants.

Takeshita-dori (竹下通り), Harajuku's busiest street.
It is 400 meters long, for fashion, food and fun.

A dog cafe in Harajuku.

Inside a dog cafe.

A Taiwanese boba-tea shop in Harajuku showcases how they make tapioca pearls.
The machine on the right transformed dough into pearl-size.

------------- Meanwhile, back in Asakusa, -------------
The band's published schedule showed they were performing at Asakusa Shrine
to celebrate 夏詣 on both 7/4 and 7/5, and for 2 shows each day.
夏詣 means "Summer Pilgrimage".
"夏詣" is an occasion for people to go to a shrine to express gratefulness that
half a year has passed and pray for the safety of the next six months.
(Asakusa Shrine is located next to the Sensoji's main hall, on its east side.
The shrine honors the three men who founded the Sensō-ji temple.)

Since it was a 夏詣 celebration,
many vendors set up stalls to sell snacks.

VT had been there since the 1 pm concert, so he already had a chair seat up front on the far left of the stage.
Philip was also there for part of the 1 pm concert, to check out the band and shoot videos.
Philip said it looks like Dad is a big fan.

VT took this photo from the 1 pm concert.
It was the 3 young apprentices singing and playing guitar.
So, what happened to the 4 Takashima brothers?

The 2:30 pm concert started.
The 2nd brother, Yujiro(雄次郎), explained that Kotaro's throat was unwell today thus could not sing.
Then the band proceeded to play about 7 songs without Kotaro.
After that, Yujiro announced that they were entering the "encore" time,
which meant the concert was coming to an end soon.
Then, Kotaro walked onto the stage to join the rest of the band.
He said that he woke up in the morning to find his voice hoarse.
But he sang a song for the audience anyway.
Fans continued to throw money in the hat.

As soon as Kotaro appeared on the stage,
there was another line formed by aunties who wanted to give Kotaro envelopes (with money.)
Here, MC handed Kotaro a red envelope to show appreciation for watching the band's videos
for 3 years without paying for a ticket.
MC said to Kotaro that she is a fan from Massachusetts, USA.
Kotaro replied in English, "I am sorry" (for not being able to sing.)
(The grainy quality of the picture is because this photo is a freeze frame from a video.)

After the concert, fans found their favorite band members to take photos with.
MC took this opportunity to ask Kotaro for a 2-shot.
Philip took this picture.

An iconic view from Asakusa's Kaminarimon-dori (雷門通り) across the Sumida River (隅田川).
Next to the Skytree, the golden building with bubbles on top is the headquarters of Asahi Breweries (朝日啤酒).
It is shaped like a beer-filled mug with suds on top.
And further right is the ASAHI BEER HALL, with a golden flame sitting on top of a 3-story restaurant
serving beer straight from the factory. Its shape is supposed to resemble a beer glass with a
golden fire representing the burning heart of Asahi beer.