Harajuku, the vibrant part of Tokyo, has a rich history of unique street fashion, including the famous Lolita style. While some images may have been generated by AI, there are still ways to prove that Harajuku is still populated with Lolitas. Harajuku is also ideal as a starting point for going out for dinner, drinks or dancing. However, if you want to stick to fashion, explore other cities in Japan with unique street fashion and vibrant subcultures.

Harajuku in a Historical Context

In the ’90s, Harajuku was the epicenter of sartorial eccentricity. It was immortalized in the monthly magazine FRUiTS, which captured Harajuku’s innovative and extravagant personal style. These styles include not only Lolita, but also Gyaru, Decora, Ura-Hara and more. Each of these subcultures had its own specific dress codes and concepts.

Demise of the Lolita style

Cosplayers in Harajuku - AI gegenereerd
Cosplayers in Harajuku – AI generated

In recent years, interest in Lolita style has **decreased**. Social media and changing fashion trends have contributed to this shift. However, there are still **some Lolitas** to be found in Harajuku, such as Ai Akizuki and Hamuka, who remain true to the petticoated Lolita style¹⁴.

Online Communities

Although street photography is less common, there are online communities where Lolita lovers share their outfits . Instagram and other platforms still feature photos of real people in Lolita style.

Gothic Lolita’s Worldwide

Two Gothic Lolitas with their faces clearly visible
Two Gothic Lolitas

Gothic Lolita-mode is een subcultuur die voornamelijk beïnvloed is door Victoriaanse kinderkleding en kledij uit de rococo-periode. Het kenmerkt zich door de esthetiek van schattigheid. De kledingstijl kan ingedeeld worden in drie substijlen: gothic, classic en sweet.

Gothic Lolita onderscheidt zich door donkere kleuren en thema’s zoals kruizen en sluiers¹.

Some characteristics of Gothic Lolita are:

Long skirts: Often with corsets.
Dark colours: Black is dominant, but can be combined with deep red, purple and blue tones.
Gothic symbols: Such as crosses and veils.
Headwear: Hair bows or bonnets (similar to a canopy hat).
Knee high socks, ankle socks or tights**: Often worn with shoes with a high heel or platform sole, or low shoes with a bow.

Two Gothic Lolitas in a cityscape
Two Gothic Lolitas in a cityscape

This fashion has developed into a widely followed subculture in Japan and the rest of the world. Fashion museum

In short, while street photography has changed, the Lolita style remains an intriguing part of Harajuku’s fashion heritage.

The Gothic Lolita style has spread worldwide, thanks in part to the Internet. There are now **communities of misfit girl aristocrats** in Japan and beyond⁵.

Source: Conversation with Bing, 3/7/2024
(1) Lolita (subcultuur) – Wikipedia. https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lolita_%28subcultuur%29.
(2) Lolita fashion – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lolita_fashion.
(3) Ultimate Guide On How to Be A Gothic Lolita – RebelsMarket. https://www.rebelsmarket.com/blog/posts/ultimate-guide-on-how-to-be-a-gothic-lolita.

Source: Conversation with Bing, 3/5/2024
(1) The outrageous street-style tribes of Harajuku – BBC. https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20170920-the-outrageous-street-style-tribes-of-harajuku.
(2) Exploring the ever-changing trends of Harajuku, Tokyo’s fashion-forward …. https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/travel/2022/09/exploring-the-ever-changing-trends-of-harajuku-tokyos-fashion-forward-neighbourhood.
(3) Where to find Harajuku Girls in Tokyo – Newsweek. https://www.newsweek.com/where-find-harajuku-girl-tokyo-1445588.
(4) “Maiden’s Armor”: Global Gothic Lolita Fashion Communities and …. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/theatre-survey/article/maidens-armor-global-gothic-lolita-fashion-communities-and-technologies-of-girly-counteridentity/9F487327A01D1B6011D65526C8DBD535.
(5) Japan Fashion Now – Harajuku – Fashion Institute of Technology. https://sites.fitnyc.edu/depts/museum/Japan_Fashion_Now/harajuku.html.

Group visits

You’re in luck because GETYOURGUIDE has now a new Kawaii Tour through Harajuku. Let it be as good as the other one who has a five stars rating. Also the the third, a food tour through Harajuku is well appreciated. Make this your entry in the Harajuku going out life and next time you visit it on your own you will feel more at home yet. Also if you have question your guide can certainly find the best answer for you.

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What to find in Harajuku except for fashion?

Cafés en Restaurants

**Kaiten sushi Ginza Onodera**:
Dit **conveyor belt sushi**-restaurant in Omotesando biedt een premium selectie van zeevruchten tegen betaalbare prijzen. Probeer de verschillende soorten tonijn, rechtstreeks van de Toyosu Fish Market⁴.Website

**Mushroom Tokyo**: Dit restaurant viert het veelzijdige ingrediënt **paddenstoelen**. Proef gerechten zoals een romige paddenstoelen- en zeevruchtenrijstgratin of een hartige paddenstoelencurry⁴.website

**Harajuku Gyoza Lou**: Voor heerlijke **gyoza** (dumplings) tegen betaalbare prijzen⁵.website

2. **Kawaii Monster Café**:
– Stap binnen in een psychedelische droomwereld bij dit unieke café. Neonkleuren, fantasiefiguren en surrealistische kunst wachten op je. Geniet van kleurrijke gerechten en drankjes terwijl je je ogen uitkijkt⁴.= heropend in Osaka

3. **Nachtleven**:
– Hoewel Harajuku niet bekend staat om zijn nachtclubs, zijn er wel enkele **bars en lounges** waar je kunt genieten van een drankje en muziek.

**Oath**: Een stijlvolle bar met een breed scala aan cocktails en een ontspannen sfeer.
– **Harajuku Trump Room**: Een populaire plek voor dansliefhebbers. Hier kun je tot in de vroege uurtjes dansen op verschillende muziekstijlen.website

4. **Omotesando Hills**: Dit winkelcentrum heeft een aantal **restaurants en cafés** op de bovenste verdiepingen. Geniet van een maaltijd met uitzicht op de stad.

5. **Yoyogi Park**:
– Hoewel het net buiten Harajuku ligt, is Yoyogi Park een geweldige plek om te ontspannen. Op zondag zie je hier vaak **cosplayers**, muzikanten en andere artiesten.

Kortom, Harajuku biedt een mix van mode, eten, kunst en entertainment. Of je nu wilt winkelen, dansen of gewoon wilt genieten van een kopje koffie, er is voor elk wat wils! 🌸🍽️🎶

Source: Conversation with Bing, 3/5/2024
(1) 16 best restaurants and cafés in Harajuku and Omotesando – Time Out. https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/restaurants/the-best-cafes-in-shibuya-harajuku-and-omotesando.
(2) Where to Eat in Harajuku | byFood. https://www.byfood.com/blog/tokyo/where-to-eat-in-harajuku.
(3) . https://bing.com/search?q=Harajuku+restaurants+cafes+nightclubs.
(4) Pacific Sandwich Place. https://www.ekiten.jp/shop_62190030/.
(5) GatoSano. http://gatosano.com/.
(6) 7 MUST-VISIT Cool Cafes in Harajuku 2021 | OTAKU IN TOKYO. https://japantour.xyz/2021/02/08/cool-cafes-harajuku/.

1. **Shinjuku**:
– Shinjuku is het **nachtleven-epicentrum** van Japan. Het staat bekend om zijn bruisende bars, clubs en restaurants.
– Hier kun je Japanse streetwear dragen die past bij het feestleven. Denk aan edgy outfits met een vleugje glamour.

2. **Okinawa**:
– Okinawa, een eiland in het zuiden van Japan, heeft een **tropische vibe** en een unieke mix van invloeden.
– Hier kun je kiezen voor lichte, comfortabele outfits met een zomerse uitstraling.

3. **Sapporo**:
– Sapporo, gelegen op het noordelijke eiland Hokkaido, heeft een **koud klimaat** en een eigenzinnige stijl.
– Denk aan warme lagen, funky accessoires en opvallende jassen om je te beschermen tegen de kou.

4. **Andere steden**:
– **Kyoto**: Bekend om zijn traditionele cultuur, heeft Kyoto ook een **hedendaagse streetwear-scene**. Combineer moderne en traditionele elementen voor een unieke look.
– **Osaka**: Deze stad heeft een **levendige straatmode** en een relaxte sfeer. Experimenteer met kleuren en patronen.

Kortom, Japan biedt een schat aan stijlen en subculturen in verschillende steden. Elk heeft zijn eigen flair en inspiratiebronnen. 🇯🇵👗🌟¹²³⁴..

Source: Conversation with Bing, 3/5/2024
(1) Unique Japanese Streetwear Styles: Tokyo, Harajuku, and More. https://lycheethelabel.com/blogs/blog/japanese-streetwear-cities.
(2) Fashion Districts in Tokyo | Be Japanese Beppin. https://be-japanese.com/fashion-tour/.
(3) Japanese Street Fashion: Popular Brands in Japan. https://jw-webmagazine.com/japanese-street-fashion/.
(4) Master the Art of Japanese Street Fashion: Styles and Subcultures. https://www.triptojapan.com/blog/master-the-art-of-japanese-street-fashion-styles-and-subcultures.
(5) Getty. https://media.gettyimages.com/photos/kabukicho-red-light-district-shinjuku-tokyo-japan-picture-id1058360160?b=1&k=6&m=1058360160&s=612×612&w=0&h=6U6Bd3pvxam_EzVZHwsKu_y34h6DyqzKfxtqAhvuF-o=.
(6) Getty. https://media.gettyimages.com/photos/aharen-beach-in-okinawa-japan-picture-id522032391?b=1&k=6&m=522032391&s=612×612&w=0&h=lQmlZBx6eu3WY3AfYxSesyCylSkElsZqGKzl8WJqyfY=.
(7) Getty. https://media.gettyimages.com/photos/sapporo-at-odori-park-picture-id453190103?b=1&k=6&m=453190103&s=612×612&w=0&h=4XX-OB6woHps8dDjIs1uXqhZYQuO9YYhmbE1d9sJTWM=.

Ometosando Avenue

Omotesando Avenue, the most fashionable street in Tokyo
Omotesando Avenue, the most fashionable street in Tokyo

To travel from **Harajuku** to **Aoyama**, you have a few options:

1. **Walking Route**:
– Begin your journey in the vibrant streets of Harajuku.
– Head towards **Omotesando-dori**, the famous avenue lined with high-end boutiques and trendy stores.
– As you walk along Omotesando, you’ll transition from Harajuku to Aoyama.
– Keep an eye out for interesting side streets and small boutiques tucked away in the backstreets.
– Continue uphill until you reach **Aoyama Dori**, which marks your arrival in Aoyama².

2. **Public Transportation**:
– Take the **subway** from **Harajuku Station** (located on the JR Yamanote Line) to **Aoyama-itchōme Station**.
– Alternatively, you can hop on a **train** or take a **taxi** for a quicker commute.
– The subway ride is convenient and efficient, connecting these two fashionable neighborhoods⁵.

Remember, whether you choose to walk or take public transport, you’ll be moving from the colorful and youthful energy of Harajuku to the sophisticated and upscale ambiance of Aoyama. Enjoy your journey! 🚶‍♀️🚇🌸

Source: Conversation with Bing, 3/8/2024
(1) Itineraries – Harajuku to Aoyama – NAVITIME Travel. https://japantravel.navitime.com/en/area/jp/guide/NTJtrv0012-en.
(2) Aoyama-itchōme Station to Harajuku – 2 ways to travel via … – Rome2rio. https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Aoyama-itch%C5%8Dme-Station/Harajuku.
(3) Google Maps. https://maps.google.co.uk/maps.
(4) Harajuku & Aoyama travel – Lonely Planet | Tokyo, Japan, Asia. https://www.lonelyplanet.com/japan/tokyo/harajuku-and-aoyama.
(5) Where to Go in Harajuku and Aoyama – Japan Travel by NAVITIME. https://japantravel.navitime.com/en/area/jp/guide/NTJtrv0016-en.– While not directly adjacent, Harajuku and Aoyama are located in the same general area on the west side of Tokyo.
– As you stroll along the wide tree-lined avenue of **Omotesando**, you’ll transition from Harajuku to the wealthy district of **Aoyama**.
– So, while they’re not next-door neighbors, they share the same fashionable and dynamic corner of Tokyo, each with its distinct flair and allure.

Aoyama

Aoyama, Tokyo, Yellow ginkgo leaves
Aoyama, Tokyo, Yellow ginkgo leaves

The name Aoyama is derived from a samurai named Aoyama Tadanari, who served the Tokugawa Shogunate and had his mansion in the area. Today, Aoyama is known for its upscale and sophisticated vibe. It’s a world away from neighboring Harajuku’s vibrant and colorful scene. Aoyama boasts modern Tokyo at its most grown-up and glamorous. It’s a hub for fashion houses, high-end restaurants, and chic shopping³⁵. This district is frequented by Tokyo’s wealthiest citizens and those seeking refined experiences.

2. **Harajuku**:
– Harajuku is one of Tokyo’s biggest draws, thanks to its grand **Meiji-jingū Shrine**. It’s also Tokyo’s real-life catwalk, where the ultra-chic (and chic in training) come to browse and be seen.
– The area is characterized by broad streets, fashionable stores, trendy restaurants, and cafes. It’s a playground for fashionable young people and a hotspot for unique street fashion.
– **Omotesando-dori street**, which runs through the middle of Harajuku, hosts top-brand name stores and is one of Tokyo’s most fashionable avenues.
– Harajuku is just a **20-minute walk from Shibuya**, and it’s also close to **Omotesando** and **Aoyama**. Walking between all three neighborhoods is entirely possible²⁴⁶.

3. **Proximity**:
– While not directly adjacent, Harajuku and Aoyama are located in the same general area on the west side of Tokyo.
– As you stroll along the wide tree-lined avenue of **Omotesando**, you’ll transition from Harajuku to the wealthy district of **Aoyama**.
– So, while they’re not next-door neighbors, they share the same fashionable and dynamic corner of Tokyo, each with its distinct flair and allure.

Aoyama, Tokyo, Jill Stuart store
Aoyama, Tokyo, Jill Stuart store

Source: Conversation with Bing, 3/8/2024
(1) Aoyama, Tokyo – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aoyama,_Tokyo.
(2) Neighbourhood Guide: Aoyama, Tokyo – LUXE City Guides. https://luxecityguides.com/neighbourhood-guide-aoyama-tokyo/.
(3) Harajuku And Aoyama – Truly Tokyo. https://trulytokyo.com/harajuku-and-aoyama/.
(4) TOKYO POCKET GUIDE: Harajuku Map in English for Things to Do and …. https://tokyopocketguide.com/tokyo/harajuku.thingstodo.html.
(5) Harajuku & Aoyama travel – Lonely Planet | Tokyo, Japan, Asia. https://www.lonelyplanet.com/japan/tokyo/harajuku-and-aoyama.
(6) undefined. https://molescontrol.com/mole-teeth-function/.

 

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