Last Saturday I was very touristically visiting a shrine and an art galery in Harajuku when, from a distance, I noticed that the tree in front of LaForet was covered with balloons. (LaForet is the fashion department store where I bought fukubukuro earlier this year.) There appeared to be a sale called LaForet Grand Bazar going on and the building was just as crowded as when the fukubukuro are being sold. I found a pamflet I couldn’t really read, but I did understand ’25/01 15:00′, and the image of a nearly exploding bomb pretty much said it all.
So I dicided to go back on Monday to see if it could get any crazier; the answer is yes. There were people everywhere and about 15 minutes to 15:00 I noticed that the horde was divided into queues. When fukubukuro are being sold people just queue for certain stores, but now almost every store had it’s own queue and they were going up and down the staircases of the department store.
And then, at 15:00, there was chaos. Many stores played very loud music (but all different songs, so there basically was just a lot of noise). There were people from the store’s staff shouting, trying to be louder than the already way to loud music. And there were people everywhere, literally. It is pretty amazing that, within this chaos, people actually seemed to patiently stick to their queues.
I partly understand why people would go to this sale, because discounts were just as crazy as the atmosphere. There were shops with signs saying ‘all 1000 yen’ and ‘all 70% off’, so that is quite a good buy. But the chaos was a bit too much for me so I left without buying anything.
The internet tells me that it is a yearly event and there’s a winter edition and a summer edition. If you want to experiene some Japanese organized chaos, LaForet Grand Bazar really is the place to be.