Asian Fashion Meccas
Harajuku, Tokyo & Shibuya, Tokyo
Welcome to the capital of Asian fashion, TOKYO!
I am very sure you all agree with this statement. We see many Tokyo-based designers like Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, Junya Watanabe, and Kenzo Tanaka keep rocking the four largest fashion weeks (New York, London, Milan, and Paris). Apart from that, Tokyo does offer a wide range of fashion, from prêt-à-porter to haute couture, from elegant to street fashion, from traditional kimono to quirky punk, from limited editions to fast retail chain, and displays great fashionistic versatility and diversity.
One of the most visited fashion spots is definitely Harajuku, with its bustling Takeshita Street and the elegant Omotesando. Takeshita Street is always full of young people showing the latest street fashion. In that tiny street, you can always find shirts, dresses, and accessories that were showcased in the latest fashion magazines. The prices are fairly reasonable so there are always students hanging out after school. I do recommend the vintage stores, where you can always find fashionable items at surprisingly low prices. Although the clothes have been worn before, they are still in great quality, and the stores are consistently recommended on local TV and foreign guidebooks. Therefore, do not forget to get some trendy pieces, and dress like a Japanese fashion icon!
A few blocks away from Takeshita Street we have another world famous spot, Omotesando. Although it is located right next to Takeshita Street, it boasts of a totally different atmosphere, one that is elegant, luxurious, and chic. Omotesando looks like a runway in which many flagship stores of high-end brands such as Burberry, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Prada stand. Recently, Givenchy just joined this runway league with a grand opening of its flagship on Omotesando! Its creative director, Riccardo Tisci, and the legendary fashion icon Naomi Campbell both flew in to attend the grand opening! With more and more luxury brands joining the runway, it’s no wonder why Omotesando is called “Japanese Champs Elysee”.
A place I also recommend on Omotesando is Omotesando Hills, a shopping mall
designed by a famous Japanese architect, Tadao Andoh. Its interior design has been reported on by many interior design magazines internationally. The Toraya Café inside the mall is a must-try. Toraya was established almost 500 years ago, which then served sweets to the Emperor and his family. The Toraya Café in Omotesanto serves both Japanese and Western sweets. Toraya Café is my most favorite spot for shopping breaks.
Next time when you come to Tokyo, please do not forget this fashion Mecca, Harajuku. Let’s have a taste of the young street fashion at Takeshita Street with some chic sprinkled from Omotesando.
Last time, we explored Takeshita Street and Omotesando at Harajuku, where we can see and get what is fashionable in town. But do you know where trend is originated?
The answer is a station right next to Harajuku. Welcome to the birthplace of Japanese trends, Shibuya. As it has a lot of huge department stores showcasing the newest trends and is always crowded with people shopping and hanging out, it became the birthplace of many Japanese cultural and fashion movements. And because of that, there are many cultural and fashion events that take place in Shibuya, including the Tokyo Fashion Week held by Mercedes-Benz every March and October.
Among all the department stores, there is one very famous building which has decided Japanese fashion for over 30 years, 109. It is located right in the middle of the busy Shibuya, across from Shibuya station. 109 is always shown on TV, in magazines, and on postcards, symbolizing Shibuya or even Tokyo. Inside 109, there are hundreds of shops selling any fashion item you can think of from your head to your toes, everything from Western to Eastern styles. It is where all the fashion magazine journalists go and handpick the trends for each season. Although the 109 sells things only for ladies, right next to 109 is 109 Men’s, which specializes in men’s fashion. The setting is more spacious and laid back in 109 Men’s, which is perfect for guys who like to take time choosing the best outfit for themselves.
Another must go for Shibuya is Hikarie, which was finished a few years ago. It is a shopping mall with food and clothes. On the 11th floor, there is Sky Lobby, which allows you to get a bird’s eye view of the busiest part of Shibuya and which looks absolutely amazing at night when all the illuminations come on. It is also very romantic to look at the brilliant Tokyo night sky with your love. If you have climbed the Tokyo Tower or Tokyo Skytree for a night view, why don’t you get a closer look of night Tokyo at Hikarie, looking from a different angle? I hope the next time you come to Tokyo, you will have a chance to visit those places we recommended, and we are sure it will make your Japanese journey much more memorable and enjoyable.