Best art, crafts and stationery shops in Tokyo

Best art, crafts and stationery shops in Tokyo As a person who love all things art and crafts I've hunted down the best shops that I could find during my travels in Tokyo. Here's a guide to my personal favourites. Read more

Japan Candy Box review + giveaway

Japan Candy Box This is a promotional post. The Japan Candy Box was kindly sent to us to try and review for Why So Japan. We've been wanting to try a Japanese themed box for a long time now and thanks Read more

Japanese TV Adverts #54

It's been a while since we last posted about Japanese TV adverts from YouTube user JPCMHD who uploads them regularly. They're always fun to watch, and the latest upload includes adverts for Mouse the computer company, Y! Mobile with Read more

Elvis Presley’s influence in Japan

This is a collaborative post. Often referred to as “the King of Rock and Roll” or simply “the King,” Elvis Presley’s influence and image makes him one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. He’s so popular Read more

JAPAN - Where tradition meets the future

Japan National Tourism Organization JNTO in Europe has just started it's largest ever promotional campaign for inbound tourism from Europe, as a part of the visit Japan project. The tourism organization based in London has launched a site showcasing what Japan has Read more

fashion

Takeshita Dori – Shopping in Harajuku

Takeshita Dori

Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street in English) is a very famous shopping street in Harajuku. It’s a pedestrian only street and the shops are focused on fashion, Japanese pop culture and young people. The street is about 400 meters long and there are a lot of shops on both sides.

The area

This part of Tokyo is seen as an youthful area. There are a lot of clothes shops with the latest trends in fashion, alternative styles and independent designers. Harajuku has become famous for young people dressed in more fun or alternative fashion styles, such as visual-kei, lolita and cosplay and hanging out on the Jingu bridge and in the Yoyogi park. Takeshita Dori is the place where new trends are tested and where you can spot Harajuku celebrities like Shironuri. It’s also where Kyary Pamyu Pamyu was discovered.

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan harajuku station

Shopping

Of course, everyone won’t have the same favourite shops, it depends on your personal taste, but if you like Japanese fashion you’re very likely to find something you like here. You’ve got shop after shop after shop along the street. Some are more expensive, some are cheap. I didn’t have any problems finding clothes that were just as nice as the ones you find in Shibuya 109, but a lot cheaper, the difference being they’re no brand here. But you can also find very famous and more expensive brands too, like Liz Lisa.

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan liz lisa

Here’s a list of a few of my favourite shops:

Paris Kids
Cheap and fun jewellery. You’ll find lots of teenagers coming here, because everything is so cheap. I think it’s a set price, 324 yen last time I was there, for each item. You’ll find necklaces, ear rings, bracelets, hair accessories and more. I found lots of nice necklaces that were typical Japanese and Harajuku style. I loved it! You’ll find the shop on your left hand side, if coming from the station, and it’s at the beginning of the street.

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan paris kids

Daiso 100 Yen Shop
Daiso is a 100 Yen chain shop. They sell everything and anything, and it’s fun browsing the shop. It’s pretty big, several floors, and you will find beauty products, stationary, sweets, kitchen items, crafts and lots more. A lot of the things are of lower quality, but you can find some great bargains too. Daiso is also located at the left hand side.

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan daiso

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan daiso 100 yen

Wonder Rocket
I absolutely love this clothing shop. You’ll recognize it by the mannequins with hare masks. The clothes are very Japanese, I’d say romantic and mori girl would describe their style. Lots of muted earthy tones and pastel colours, lace, ribbons and flowers. I absolutely love just browsing the shop and looking at all the pretty things they have for sale. It’s located on the right hand side, a bit further down on the street.

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan wonder rocket

The crepes
Not really a shop, it’s a food stall. Harajuku is famous for it’s delicious crepes, and I dont think it’s possible to walk though Takeshita dori without stopping for a crepe. The queues can be long, but they move pretty fast, and it’s well worth the wait. They have loads of different fillings and I try to remember to try out a new one every time we are there. They’ve got whipped cream, strawberries, mochi, red bean paste, banana, chocolate sauce, ice cream, custard, peach… I could go on forever. Remember to stand to the side or have a sit down while enjoying your crepe, since it’s considered rude to eat and walk in Japan. If you go to the big crepe stand somewhere in the middle of the street on the left hand side, there’s a good area just behind the crepe stand for eating. You’ll probably see it, because that’s where everyone else is sitting or standing.

whysojapan takeshita dori harajuku tokyo japan crepes

How to get there

Takeshita Dori is located in Harajuku, an area in Shibuya in Tokyo. to get there, take the Yamanote Line to the Harajuku station. There are two exists, the southern exit is closer to the Yoyogi Park and northen exit is closer to Takeshita Dori, and it’s this exit you want to take, because as soon as you’re out of the station, you just have to cross over to the other side of the road, and there you have Takeshita Dori. If you happen to come out the other exit, you walk down the hill to the left until you reach the crossing and then cross the street. It’s very easy to spot Takeshita Dori once you’re close to it, because the entrance has a gate you can’t miss and the street is probably packed with people.





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Fashion, Food & snacks, Shopping, Visiting Leave a comment

Japanese lolita fashion outside of Japan

Japanese lolita fashion has spread across the globe, and can be found in other countries outside of Japan. Here is a short documentary about people in the U.S. who wear lolita fashion.

In this documentary we meet some very brave lolitas, going against traditions in society, gender and religon. What they all have in common is that dressing in lolita fashion made them feel braver and happier.

 





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Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

The internet and the rest of the world outside of Japan saw Kyary Pamyu Pamyu for the first time when she released her music video PonPonPon. It was a big hit on YouTube and seen by millions. The music was catchy and the video was colourful, fun and weird.

But Kyary’s career began before that. She was walking through Harajuku with a friend and was stopped on the street by a photographer from the fashion magazine KERA. He asked if he could take their photo for a streetsnap to be published in the magazine, which they agreed to do. The photo can be seen here (extrernal link). That was the start of her modelling career, and soon she was being paid for shoots and regulary appearing in the magazines Zipper and KERA. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu became more and more famous and soon she was became a fashion blogger, and appearing on fashion shows and TV shows.

After meeting and working with music producer Nakata Yasutaka of capsule, she released her single Ponponpon and the mini-album Moshi Moshi Harajuku. The mini album was followed by more singles, and soon a full album was released as well.

kyary pamyu pamyu music why so japanHer musical career really took off, and soon she was performing not only in small venues, but even bigger arenas and festivals as well, and earlier this year she went on her first world tour, performing in Belgium, France and the UK, then Asia and the United States. She’s currently back in Asia again and will finish her world tour in Shibuya, where she started her career. Several of her concerts during this world tour have been sold out. One of them was the concert in London, and we were two of the lucky ones to be at that concert. Paul will write and post a full report about it here soon, including photos and videos from the London concert.

When KPP isnt performing around the world, she hosts two TV shows, Space Shower AREA and Catherine the Third and also stars in a show called TVJohn. She’s also has her own radio show on kyary pamyu pamyu fake eyelashes why so japanNicoNico Douga and appears in several TV commercials.

For her single and music video Tsukema Tsukeru she collaborated with the Mameshiba charachers, where the commercial for her new music video featured special KPP versions of mameshiba, called “Mameshipamyupamyus”. These special Mameshibas were also released as plush dolls. Paul has written about Mameshiba in a previous post, which you can find here.

There are a lot of Kyary products available, such as her own line of fake eyelashes (Harajuku Doll Eyelashes by Eyemazing x Kyary), books (her autobiography is called “Oh! My God!! Harajuku Girl” and she’s done a Tokyo guide book called “Moshi Moshi ☆ TOKYO”) and other things too.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is famous for mixing the cute and kawaii with the obscure and weird. One example being a cute bow with a weird eyeball in the middle.

kyary pamyu pamyu book why so japan

If you want to know more about Kyary, there’s an excellent blog on Tumblr with loads of information, facts, photos, videos, translations and more. Its called Kyarychan and can be found here: kyarychan.tumblr.com

Her music is cute, upbeat and happy, and I like most of her songs. My favourite song though is probably the lesser known “Onedari 44°C”. Whats your favourite KPP song?





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Music Leave a comment

Buying clothes in Tokyo

Buying clothes in Tokyo why so japan

Fashion styles

When you think of Japanese youth culture and fashion you most probably think of visual kei, the Harajuku girls dessed as lolitas and styles similar to that. You do see these extreme styles in Tokyo, especially in the Harajuku area. But most young girls in Tokyo do not dress like that at all. The typical Tokyo girl has long beautiful hair, very high heels, a very short skirt and a top that covers well and shows no clevage at all. The clothes are usually in soft pastel colours, like vintage pink and beige, and you see a lot of lace decorations. A very soft and romantic style, modern with a vintage touch. They look so pretty! This style is typical for a young woman in Tokyo. You see a lot of ther styles as well, of course, but this is the most common one.

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