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Elvis is Alive and Performing in Yoyogi Park

It was a beautiful autumn afternoon yesterday in Yoyogi Park, and the rockabilly clubs were out in force. These guys gather around boom boxes near the Harajuku Station entrance, occasionally swigging from a bottle of whisky, taking turns dancing their hearts out to “Blue Suede Shoes” and other classics from when The King was king. There were several different clubs, each with their names on their backs of their black leather jackets and tight black t-shirts. And Elvis would definitely have envied their pompadours, the likes of which haven’t been seen since Sputnik circled the earth.

I’m always amazed at the effort people here put into their after-work pursuits. The rockabilly guys could really dance. The contact jugglers should have been in Cirque du Soleil. The jazz jammers should have been surrounded by a club. And because so many people live in cramped apartments without so much as a carport (let alone a garage or basement), groups gather in the public parks to practice together and hone their skills, with delightful un-selfconsciousness.

If you’d like to visit Yoyogi Park the next time you’re in Tokyo, directions & a map are on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.

“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist

The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon!

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

8 thoughts on “Elvis is Alive and Performing in Yoyogi Park Leave a comment

  1. I did look around and make sure other people were taking pictures without being stomped before pulling out my camera! These guys were occupying a major tourist-infested piece of real estate right in the middle of the walkway into Yoyogi Park from Harajuku station, though, so they had to know that every other person was going to whip out their cellphone and take a snap as they passed.

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    • Wow, thank you so much for your kind words! I’m curious about how you’re viewing the posts, though, since you’re not able to see the photos or videos…? I’m sad you didn’t see the four shots of rockabilly dudes dancing like the 50s never ended in this post especially! ^^;; Makes my happy that you like the blog just for the words, though – as a writer, you totally made my day!

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