Ever since I was a tiny little 6th grader I've dreamed of traveling to Japan. It started innocently as a love for japanese animation and comics- anime and manga- and grew into so much more. This year, as a graduation gift, my mother and I travelled to Tokyo and Kyoto to take in the views and experience the vibrant culture and the grand juxtaposition of the modernity to the ancient sites.
On our first day we went to a place I'd read about and seen videos of hundreds of times before- Harajuku. Harajuku is a prime, bustling spot for Japan's youth, for cheap shopping and the main place to go to see some of Japan's unique fashion styles and subcultures. Some people might find these styles strange, and though some may be considered a bit outlandish, I absolutely adore them. From fairy kei to cult party kei, classic to sweet and even gothic lolita, to morigirl and decora styles, they are each so incredible and different their own way. (I might make a post highlighting these specific styles later). It was amazing to be able to see people walk the streets proudly in their outfits, they were dressing for themselves, unbothered by society's limitations on what's considered 'normal' or 'traditional' to wear or not.
|some Harajuku street fashion snaps|
On the other side of these more extreme subcultures, it just seemed that everything considered 'stylish' in Japan was a little different than back home in the United States. The girls typically wear their blush way up right under their eyes, giant and cute character keychains on their backpacks, and overall more girly, sweet and innocent looks are favored as supposed to more 'sexy' and skin showing ones. Inspired by these ideas, I wore a more youthful look, with my favorite new sweater starring a sweet, or 'kawaii' (the japanese word for cute) anime style boy on it and a pink seifuku (the japanese school sailor uniform-- which I adore) peeking out from underneath as well as frilly white socks and nude flats. Though I typically don't wear things quite like this, I thought it was fun to try it out- and if not in Tokyo's trendy fashion hub of Harajuku, where else?
|The entrance to Harajuku's main street- Takeshita Dori!|
|I adore the small, low hanging backpack trend|
|Adorable pastel colored outfits|
|The entrance to one of my favorite stores in Harajuku-- Wonder Rocket|
|The inside of Wonder Rocket|
|More Wonder Rocket|
|Adorable display at Wonder Rocket (notice the backpacks!)|
|I freaked out over these house shaped bags|
|A store selling JUST socks|
Harajuku is not only famous for it's fashion, but also it's crepes! Unlike french crepes, Japanese crepes are thicker and shaped and eaten more like an ice cream cone. There are hundreds of choices, from getting a typical strawberries and ice cream to more lunch-type options like tuna and salad inside.
|So many options to chose from|
|A little LA within Harajuku|
|Another one of my favorite shops-- Liz Lisa!|
|The tamagotchi store!|
|Some Japanese film crew was filming that day|
|A shop displaying items to celebrate Sailor Moon's 20th anniversary|
|My favorite mall in Tokyo, LaForet (full of fun and quirky Japanese designers) was in the middle of a collaboration with Disney characters and each floor was themed differently (this one being Minnie Mouse!)|
|A store in LaForet called Swimmer, they sell very cute and colorful little household items|
|Overlooking Omotesando Hills|
On Omotensando Hills there's a shop called Kiddyland which is a must stop if you're headed to Tokyo. The whole place is 4 stories of fun character items, including Star Wars, Hello Kitty, Rilakkuma, Studio Ghibli and more!
|Lots of Totoro!|
|Gigi goods from Kiki's Delivery Service|
|Studio Ghibli plushes and charms|
|so many phone charms|
|Calcifer- one of my favorite characters- on a frying pan!|
|Adorable wall art|
|A great shop on Cat Street- Candy Stripper|
|A adorable girl dressed in loita fashion passed by (just barely got a shot!)|
Skirt: American Apparel
Choker: unknown japanese brand