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Archive for the 'Harajuku' Category


Harajuku and Shibuya Fashion

Most of these fashion clips are women but on this one, there are quite a number of fashion for men.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Harajuku, Japanese Fashion, Shibuya | 3 Comments »


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Harajuku: Japanese Pop Culture Fashion

even the pets are not spared.

it’s a video shot for a university project so if you expect bumper car music to go with it, you’ll be disappointed. So expect some ’splaining of J-Pop fashion by students trying to explain what J-Pop culture is. I guess.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Harajuku, Japanese Fashion, Japanese Street Fashion | 3 Comments »


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More Harajuku Street Fashion

Some of them were pretty cute.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Harajuku, Japanese Fashion | 5 Comments »


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Harajuku Girls Montage

Previously, the writer of Japanese fashion did a great job writing about harajuku fashion in Harajuku district itself. So I won’t repeat what was written. I have a video montage for you Harajuku fans out there though :)

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Harajuku, Japanese Fashion | 2 Comments »


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Japanese Fashion Magazines: Gothic & Lolita Bible

I’m going to try and focus on the fashion magazines and books that are common in Japan for the next few posts. This information may not be complete and accurate, because my Japanese is poor and a lot of the information I’m finiding is quite old. If there’s anything that I’ve said incorrectly or something that you want to add, please feel free to add to it in the comments.

While I was still in Japan, my housemate purchased the highly appropriately named Gothic & Lolita Bible. This thing was a tome. It was huge. And fairly hugely priced at a bit under 2000 yen. The Bible has many articles, interviews with Visual-kei artists that goth-lolis so often idolise, catalogues, photos, manga and even outfit designs for budding cosplayers and gothloli heads. In theory, it’s published quarterly but don’t bet on that. It seems to be pretty erratic.

Image from

The Bible is a huge success in Japan (and around the world as Gothic Lolita and EGL became popular outside of Japan) and has spawned some spin-off magazines. The Gothic & Lolita Extra Volume seems to be just a collection of things that couldn’t fit into previous volumes. It looks like there is only one of these, but more may appear in the future. The Gothic & Lolita Hair Make Bible focusses obviously on the hair and make-up techniques and trends followed by gothlolis and finally the Gothic Lolita & Punk Brand Book is basically just a catalogue of fashions available. It has photos of all the typical fashions you can find for sale along Takeshita-dori and Harajuku.

I’ve seen it available for sale in quite a few places, but you probably won’t find it at your local 7-Eleven store. Akihabara has stockists given that a few of the maids in the maid cafes also follow Goth Loli fashions. Our sponsors at JList will sell you subscriptions, no matter where in the world you live.


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Harajuku Fashion

Harajuku. If you ask anybody outside of Japan what it means, they’ll probably say HARAJUKU GIRLS, thanks to Gwen Stefani. For those of you who didn’t know, Harajuku is no longer a name for a train station in Shinjuku, Japan. It’s more of an association to fashion that is of a league of its own.

While the fashion sense baffles some, it is definitely not for the faint hearted. Polka dots skirt with bold horizontal strips shirt, a pink flower pin and maybe army boots with whale bone anklets hmm… while it might sound like a fashion disaster to many, these harajuku fashion boys and girls actually pulls it off and look good. I think it’s all in the air of confidence people carry sometimes.

I thought maybe sharing this video, would give you a better idea on Harajuku fashion and maybe it might inspire you to become part of the harajuku-ers.

Frankly, I do not find the Harajuku fashion statement that appealing but maybe that is because I have been exposed to the harajuku-wannabes who have create such emotional distress in me that I cannot understand why they would want to wear something like that. But anyhow, I have come into terms with the fact that the world is filled with different people.

As you can see from the video, Harajuku fashion has a lot of influence from animes, mangas and video games (i.e. FF series). I can only think of ONE artist in Japan that portrays the harajuku fashion so vividly in his entertainment endeavors and his name is GACKT! He reminds of Squall sometimes from Final Fantasy 10. But this guy is a chameleon and he is known for that by his fans. I only know of him because of ex flatmate use to be crazy about him and the fact that he looks androgeneous just like every anime/manga character in the industry.

Take a look at this video and tell me if Gackt does not portray the Harajuku fashion well :-

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Harajuku, Japanese Fashion | No Comments »


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Street Fashion Photographers

PingMag has once again come up with a great article on Japanese fashion. This time, they interview some of the photographers responsible for those ’street fashion’ shots from Harajuku and Shibuya. I’ve written about Shoichi Aoki earlier – the photographer behind FRUiTS magazine, amongst others, but he is far from being the only man witha camera in Harajuku.

One thing that this article really highlighted for me is the breadth of magazines in Japan. In this article alone, there were magazines mentioned that were aimed at 20 year old men, young couples and women who ride bicycles.

Photo from

PingMag: Interviewing Omotesando Street Fashion Crews


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Omotesando vs. Takeshita-Dori

In Harajuku, the two most famous streets are arguably Omotesando and Takeshita-dori (Takeshita Street). But what’s the difference exactly? What do you see in each street? First I’ll write about Omotesando.

Omotesando is a huge traffic thoroughfare, with three lanes in either direction and 100,000 cars travelling down it daily. It joins Omotesando subway station with Meiji Shrine next to Harajuku station. It also has wide footpaths with trees lining the length of the street.

Image by Abrahami. Taken from

Yes, it is on Omotesando where you’ll find that famous bridge where young people meet and hang out on Sundays, dressed up in their crazy finest. That’s at the end of the street just before the gates to Meiji Jingu. Most people interested in seeing these Harajuku kids will want to come to this bridge on Omotesando.

Photo by Matt Watts.

But the rest of Omotesando is quite different to what you’d find on this bridge. Surprisingly, it’s quite upmarket. The uber-expensive brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada all have stores there. So do many international brands like The Body Shop and Zara. There are many so-trendy-that-it-hurts coffee shops and cafes dotted along the street. As a result, it’s sometimes known as “Tokyo’s Champs-Élysées”.

The street is also famous for being home to many design studios and galleries. All this culminates in the newly opened Omotesando Hills complex that I wrote about earlier.

There is affordable shopping on Omotesando, but you’d be better off darting down the side streets and lanes looking for little boutiques and shops where the locals go. The main Omotesando drag (particularly Omotesando Hills) is for those with plenty of cash to throw around. Still, if you want to see all elements of Harajuku, Omotesando can’t be avoided. The question now is, do I wear the strappy heels when I dress like I want to be seen, or do I wear the sneakers that won’t leave my feet bleeding at the end of the day?

Next entry: Takeshita-dori


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Where to Shop

One slightly annoying thing about Japan – if you don’t read or speak any Japanese – is that shops, bars, restaurants, even schools are pretty difficult to find. This is because they tend to be tucked into the millions of office buiidings and skyrises throughout the country. The only hint that there might be a really funky discount clothing shop in this building is a tiny, flourescent lit sign hanging off the side of the building. But it’s all written in katakana, so most gaijin would miss it straight away.

While wandering around Harajuku, I’ve taken to just exploring every nook I can find, walking downs stairs into basements, pressing random buttons in elevtaors…just to see if I can find some interesting clothes shops.

This has been successful on a few occassions, such as the time we found a ¥390 shop. Everything was ¥390 (I *think* that was the price) – including shirts, hats, shoes, bags, endless amounts of jewellery and so on. My housemate and I decided that we would choose a colour and make a Harajuku outfit based on it from items in that store. Twas great fun.

If you’re not brave enough to just randomly walk into buildings and look around, then there’s a few websites you can look at for decent maps:

superfuture has shopping maps for cities around the world, including 10 just for Tokyo. Each shop listed has a short description to it. The downside to the maps is that you can’t seem to filter out only the shops you want (eg: clothing), so the maps look quite cluttered with dots for clothing, design, bars and restaurants, etc.

One website of interest to GothLoli fans is Sumire’s Tokyo Gothic & Lolita Shopping Guide. Here you’ll find some custom drawn maps and shop descriptions for clothing shops, all of which sell Elegant or Gothic Lolita merchandise in some form. Be warned though, the webpage was last updated in 2004, and while most shops are still there, a few may have moved or closed.

If you know of any other fashion shopping guides in Tokyo or elsewhere in Japan, comment it in here.


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A Day Out in Harajuku

A few Sundays ago I spent the day in Harajuku. It was a great day, the weather was great and there were plenty of people around. As usual, the kids on Omotesando were dressed in their finest, although there were fewer than usual because the right side of the bridge (facing Meiji Shrine) seems to be getting re-paved, so it was all fenced off.

Netherless, I got plenty of photos – here are some of them. You can click on them to see the rest at my Flickr account.

Photo by Chidade
This gaijin punk received a lot of attention from the usual locals.

Photo by Chidade

It’s Decorer Stitch! Rawr!

Photo by Chidade
A GothLoli Dress for sale at Body Line in Takeshita Street.

Photo by Chidade
My favourite photo from the day. I don’t know why.

Photo by Chidade
On a Sunday stroll through Harajuku…

That’s all for now! Hope you enjoyed them!


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