Harajuku In 15 Steps

November 23, 2013

Everyone has probably heard of Harajuku and at least once Googled the fashion of the teenagers who run it, who make it famous and who are photographed and later even printed with their unique style.

Our life is sometimes monotonous and dull as we stroll in the same cut sweaters, following some trend which has been done last year and with the same models who never change, while Harajuku is always doing the opposite, going for the crazy, insane and beautiful to some, or simply curious to watch like a street performance, this parade of loudly clothed teenagers.

In this fashion-heaven, here are 15 steps to enjoy it to its limit:

1. Of course the first thing to pay attention to is the style. Even if it may seem that the teenagers have just decided to throw on whatever they could find that morning, it is actually not so. As you pay attention and try to see through the dazzle, you’ll see outfits very carefully picked. There are many different popular styles such as Goth Lolita, Sweet Lolita, Punk Rock and others, including Cosplay.

2. Harajuku is also all about shopping, from buying clothing which will turn you into a real Harajuku doll with all the boutiques on Takeshita Dori (which hold all the dresses and black lipstick you will ever need) to fast food chain restaurants.

Takeshita Dori is usually very crowded, especially on the weekends and this is where you are most likely to meet all the dressed up teenagers.

3. Don’t forget to treat the child within you as you go into Kiddy Land, a toy store which now is aiming at a somewhat older audience as well with its Snoopy Town and Hello Kitty, the whole store being five floored and one of the most famous and recognizable in Tokyo.

4. If you want to save, then try going to the ¥100 shop, Daiso Harajuku, where you will find anything raging from clothes to household items and cheap souvenirs so you can forget about them. The store has three floors for your enjoyment.

Jingumae also holds some of Harajuku's best shops.

5. Harajuku is about innovation and for the cultural side of it, don’t forget to check out Vacant. It works as an art gallery, theatre, cinema, concert venue and anything you can think of, where you can soak up on the newest Japan has to offer.

6. If you rock a big flashy look, or like Lady Gaga, pay Dog a visit. This basement boutique (which has had Gaga herself as a customer in the past) offers some of the craziest vintage and reworked clothing in the world.

7. For Evangelion fans: don’t forget to visit the official Evangelion Store for limited edition items and other merch you may not be able to live without.

8. 6%Dokidoki is the place to go for kawaii style. This boutique will stand out even in Harajuku, and has some of the sweetest and flashiest clothing you will ever find.

9. If you’re into digging for gold, Ragtag will look like heaven. Consisting of three floors of used designer goods and furniture, if you can find some gems for a very nice price.

10. Goth and Punk Lolita lovers must visit Putumayo. A pioneer on both genres, it is a paradise of cute, girly and cool clothes you don’t want to miss.

11. For those ahead of their time, Mikiri Hassin is filled with high-concept clothing from new Japanese and foreign designers.

12. Manga mayhem: the gift shop Tokyo’s Tokyo was designed to look like a manga. If you ever wondered how is it to be a manga character, this is as good as it gets.

13. You’ll probably be hungry after all this shopping, so what’s better than treating yourself to freshly cooked crisps? Calbee offers you that, and with toppings ranging from cheese to chocolate!

14. Ice cream lovers be ready: Tokyo’s first Ben & Jerry’s offers a mix of classic flavors and  Japanese originals that you’ll love.

15. Finally, energize at Meiji Shrine’s Kiyomasa Well. It is believed to bring good fortune in your work, and it’ll refresh you to no end. Also, Meiji shrine is the main shrine in Tokyo, and was built for the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife.

Consider yourself ready to explore Toyko's funkiest district! Log onto Trekeffect, plan your Harajuku trip and share it with your friends!

-Mariya Tugayeva

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Maria Tugayeva
Mariya is a Marketing guru and writer, with a world experience from living and growing up in different countries. Her work quote is: "In a word: pleasure. It's like, my pleasure in other people's leisure." -Daniel "Spud" Murphy, Trainspotting
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