My Top 5 Tokyo District’s you should know

Takeshita Street of Harajuku – Instagram

5. Harajuku / Omotesando

Harajuku is the most fashionable place to be. The place, where young Japanese designers open up their little shops, and fashionistas meet up for the Fashion Walk. If you’ve ever heard of “Kawaii“, this is where the Kawaii culture is beeing embraced to the fullest. (Harajuku is home to the Kawaii Monster Café for a good reason)

The “Takeshita Dori” – Takeshita Street is a shop filled little street right in front of the Harajuku station. If you pass the street, you will soon arrive in Omotesando. A quiet bigger street with lots of Luxury Brands at the main street, but if you just walk through side passages & through the neighbourhoods, you can explore many little shops. Take the chance to get a piece there, because it probably exists only once! (Takeshita see above!)

Of course there are many other shops like H&M etc. Definitely take a look at one of many thrift shops. Japanese take very good care of their clothes, they might look like they were never worn! And if you’re lucky, you’ll even find a cheap, second-hand Dior Dress! (Honestly, you can!)

If you’re done shopping and need to relax, you can take a break in one of many Cat Cafés. In case you’re not into cats, you can try the Dog, Hedgehog, Bunny or Owl Café (& Many more).

Western looking Ginza

4. Ginza

Ginza is a place to go, if you have money – there are lots of department & foreign luxury brand stores, luxury restaurants and car shops (more like car ‘showrooms‘). If you don’t like that “high fashion”-thing like I do, I’d still recommend you to go! In some department stores, you can go up to the rooftop and have a crazy amazing view over Tokyo, without having to buy something. I even found a shrine once on top of a building! (Ginza SIX GARDEN)

You can also find some very luxurious Japanese Brands, decoration their stores in a very beautiful traditional Japanese way.

Akihabara – (source my instagram)

3. Akihabara

Anime fans may already know this place – Akihabara is the Anime – and electronic district of Tokyo. You can find all the nerdy stuff here. If you’re a gamer, this is also the place to go. There is a huge amount of electronic stores, enough to build your own computer! And also, of course anime & manga stores and even a couple of cosplay stores.

The famous Maid Café’s which are always a big thing in TV documentarys about how crazy Japan is, this is where they are located. If you’re looking for a culture shock, definitely come here! (I’m a huge Anime fan, so this was more like heaven to me than anything near a “shock”)

Shinjuku (pic source my instagram)

2. Shinjuku

My actual favorite district of Tokyo since it has a little bit of everything. But especially known for it’s nightlife and entertainment. Lots of karaoke bars, clubs, restaurants and bars. People will tell women to “Take Care” there at night, since there are many outgoing people. But it’s also a nice place for shopping, during the daytime. The station is said to be the biggest train station in Japan.

I always recommend this district, if someone would ask me where to stay in Tokyo. Since the station is so big, you have many entrances to enter all around the station and of course very good train connections. Furthermore, there are many shops that are open 24/7, good restaurants and a shopping district, and it’s all close to the station.

The Robot Restaurant (source Wise.travel)

One famous restaurant around the area is The Robot Restaurant. You can pre-order the tickets, or just go there and ask for availability in front of it, since it’s more like a ‘Robot Show’ than a restaurant.

Besides the nightlife (Kabukicho area), Shinjuku also offers a skyscraper area, including the Metropolitan Government Building. A nice place to have a free & nice view over Tokyo. There’s an elevator bringing you to the observation deck on the 45th floor – for free!

1. Shibuya

SHIBUYA CROSSING

Shibuya is probably one of Tokyo’s most well known districts and home to the infamous Shibuya Crossing. The crossing is known to be the busiest crossing in the world, with over 2.4 Million people crossing this street every day. It is also a famous Movie Scenery spot (such as seen in “Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift“, “Lost in Translation“, “Resident Evil“. The crossing, right at the “Hachiko Exit” of the station, is surrounded by big colorful screens, which look amazing day & night.

Shibuya Scramble, with view on the famous shopping center “Shibuya 109” (Pic Source)

Shibuya is also a nice spot for shopping and many restaurants. Especially theme resaurants or theme café’s with extravagant interiors are located in this area. There are also a couple of night clubs around.

You probably saw the movie, or know the true story of the dog Hachiko, who waited at the station everyday, even after his owner has passed away. That’s right, this is the station where that famous dog has waited. They made a tribute in form of a Statue of Hachiko at the station, make sure to not miss it!

Japanese Fashion?!

If you’re as into Japan as I am, you know that fashion is a big thing there. Especially in crazy Tokyo! The feeling of being basic must bother the Japanese & so it bothers me. You can see this at how many different fashion styles that were created over the past 20 years:

 

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 Cute Lolita’s

Lolita

 

A 2008 New York Times report called Lolita fashion a cross between Alice in Wonderland and the Addams Family, whose influences include “Victorian children’s wear, the French Rococo period, goth-inspired darkness and Japanese anime” (Source; Wikipedia). There are 3 different Lolita styles: Sweet, Classic & Gothic!

 

 

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Gyaru street style

Gyaru

 

Gyaru (ギャル) is a Japanese transliteration of the English word ‘gal’Gyaru is a huge uproar of girly-glam style #yolo, breaking all the rules of “what’s pretty”, and dwelling in a party of man-made beauty (wigs, fake lashes, fake nails etc). Gyaru also is heavily inspired by Western features/fashion. (Source; Gyaru Wiki)

 

 

Ganguro girl-bright orange

Ganguro make up

Ganguro

 

The typical look of Ganguro (ガングロ) is a deep tan combined with hair dyed in shades of orange to blonde, or a silver grey known as “high bleached“. Black ink is used as eye-liner and white concealer is used as lipstick and eyeshadow. False eyelashes, plastic facial gems, and pearl powder are often added to this. Platform shoes and brightly coloured outfits complete the ganguro look. Also typical of ganguro fashion are tie-dyed sarongs, miniskirts, stickers on the face, and many bracelets, rings, and necklaces. (Source; Wikipedia)

 

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2 Kogals in the street of Tokyo

Kogal

 

Kogal (コギャル kogyaru) is a Japanese fashion culture that involves schoolgirls wearing an outfit based on their uniform, but with very short skirts. The girls may also wear loose socks and scarves, and have dyed hair. The word “kogal” is anglicized from kogyaru, a contraction of kōkōsei gyaru (high school gal). Kogals favor platform boots, makeup, and Burberry scarves. They have a distinctive slang peppered with English words.

 

 

 

 

Bōsōzoku

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Bōsōzoku Gang

(暴走族), literally “running-out-of-control” (as of a vehicle) tribe. Interested in motorcycle customizing, often illegal, and making noise. These bōsōzoku groups sometimes ride without motorcycle helmets (which in Japan is illegal), also engage in dangerous or reckless driving, such as weaving in traffic, and running red lights. The typical bōsōzoku member is often depicted in a uniform consisting of a jumpsuit like those worn by manual laborers or a tokkō-fuku, a type of military issued overcoat with kanji slogans usually worn open with no shirt underneath showing off their bandaged torsos and baggy matching pants tucked inside tall boots. Tokkō-fuku in Japanese means “Special Attack Uniform“, which is the uniform of the Kamikaze pilots. (Source; Wikipedia)

 

 

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Some Decora Enthusiasts

Decora

 

The clothes are usually in black, dark pink or baby pink, but other neon colors were also acceptable. A plain shirt and hoodie was often worn with short tutu-like skirts. The hair (often worn in low ponytails with long bangs) and make-up itself tends to be quite plain. However, the most significant part of decora is to pile on many layers of cute accessories until the bangs and shirt are barely visible. Stockings, legwarmers, armwarmers, and knee socks are also worn over each other in different layers. Common details also include leopard prints and patterned dental masks. (Source; Wikipedia)

 

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the usual Visual Kei

Visual kei / Oshare kei / Angura kei / Cult party kei

 

 

Visual: Created by Japanese musicians consisting of striking makeup, unusual hair styles and flamboyant costumes, similar to Western glam rock and glam metal. Androgyny is also a popular aspect of the style.
Oshare: The style focuses a lot on mixing different patterns, bright colors and punk elements to create a unique look. Unlike Visual kei, the make-up is toned down a bit and focuses more on the eyes alone. Facial piercings are also common.
AnguraAngura kei is the darkest visual kei style. The clothes of the style tend to be mostly black, but with spikes and chains. Make-up is worn dark and heavy. The style has been compared to the modern goth.
Cult Party: Based on Western religious artifacts like crosses or bibles. Common aspects include crosses wired in yarn, layers of fabric in soft colors, lots of cream lace, satin bows and bible prints. The Make Up is often worn naturally. (Source; Wikipedia)

 

 

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Lolita look-a-like

Dolly kei

 

Based on Japan’s view of the Middle Ages and European fairy tales, especially the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. It includes a lot of vintage-style clothing and sometimes has religious symbols. (Source; Wikipedia)

 

 

 

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Winter Fairy Kei style

Fairy kei

 

A childlike style. Outfits are made up of pastel colors (like lavender, baby blue, light pink, etc.), angel, toy, baby motifs and accessories from Western toy lines such as My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, Rainbow Brite, Barbie, Care Bears etc. Pastel colored hair is common although natural hair is also popular, hair is usually kept simple and decorated with anything cute or pastel; bows are a common theme. (Source; Wikipedia)

 

 

 

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Mori Style Room & Girl

 

Mori girl

 

 

Mori (which means forest) fashion uses soft, loosely fitting layers of garments such as floaty dresses and cardigans. It places an emphasis on natural fabrics (cotton, linen, wool) and hand-made or vintage accessories with a nature theme. The color scheme tends to be light and neutral, but patterns such as gingham and florals may also be used.

 

 

 

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Girl wearing a Kimono

Kimono style

 

Japanese fashion is influenced by historic culture, we can now still see Japanese people wearing kimono on the street in Japan, especially in Ginza. In addition they now still keep the culture of wearing kimono for special and important events, such as mitzvah, funeral, etc. The younger generation in Japan do also accept mixing kimono and modern style in fashion.

 

 

 

EXTRA

If you don’t know what cosplay is, I’ll explain it to you shortly: Cosplay (コスプレ kosupure ), a mix of the words costume play, is a performance art in which “cosplayers” wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character, like from mostly an Anime or any Movie or even from games. Like Pikachu, Superman or Sailor Moon. Many do this as a hobby, in which they create anything by their self!

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A cosplay from  “Sinon” (Gun Gale Online)

Hope you all liked my post! Tell me in the comments 🙂