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Harajuku: trendy fashion, Meiji Jingu shrine, Yoyogi Park and Omotesando

Harajuku: trendy fashion, Meiji Jingu shrine, Yoyogi Park and Omotesando

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Harajuku is internationally famous because of fashion and the electrifying buzz of the main street which connects Harajuku and Omotesando. Trendy youngsters flock to the Takeshita-dori and this is what makes Tokyo fashion so special because the main street is so different and this applies to style, age group and the ambient feel. However, the distance between both places is so short and this is why Tokyo fashion is so special.

Harajuku and the area adjacent is not only focused on fashion because the Meiji Jingu shrine is the most opulent and sophisticated in Tokyo.  This stunning shrine is very symbolic and rich in grandeur and you have a lovely garden and many walkways in this spacious area. Also, it is a living shrine but because of the open nature of Shintoism you don’t have the overtly pious nature of Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.

Therefore, the Meiji Jingu shrine encompasses all the positives of the indigenous faith of Japan. The entire complex is about nature, prayer, relaxation, beauty in simplicity, space, and connecting with what you deem to be special. It can be a religious experience, a casual visit, a place for tourists to view, a place to escape the stresses of life, a picnic in the garden area and just a fluke visit based on having free time.  However, whichever it may be you won’t have any religious restrictions put on you unlike some other faiths which divide women and men and have restrictions on clothing.

Meiji Jingu and Yoyogi Park are very close and this park also provides a spacious place to relax and enjoy a pleasant walk. Often you will see students rehearsing and relaxing with friends, local people walking their dogs, lovers holding hands, friends relaxing, individuals out for a stroll and many joggers keeping fit. Mixed in this environment will be tourists and Tokyoites from different areas who are out for a casual walk or taking a break from the fashion district and unwinding in nice surroundings.

However, for the lovers of fashion then Harajuku is all about stylish boutiques, the latest trends, daring fashion, and iconic companies like 6%Dokidoki which was created by the fashion designer Sebastian Masuda. Therefore, when leaving the main train station in Harajuku you can enter the world of fashion, Shintoism or escape by relaxing in spacious grounds in either Yoyogi Park or the Meiji Jingu shrine.

The magnet area for trendy teenagers and young adults is the Takeshita-dori which is a very narrow street but packed with vibrancy. Fashion boutiques are in abundance and you have several places to eat and drink but if you like tranquility then this isn’t the place for you. However, if you are new to Harajuku and want to feel the energy of teenage fashion and young adults, then a visit to Takeshita-dori is a must.

Yet true to the nature of the entire area the fashion scene changes rapidly. Therefore, from walking down from the top of the main street from the Harajuku Yamanote train side and all the way to Omotesando which is connected with Harajuku by the same long street, then another fashion world will open.

This applies to famous international and Japanese boutiques and you have so many elegant and exquisite fashion companies to visit. The further you walk down and meet the Omotesando area then virtually every single boutique will be plush, exquisite and extremely sophisticated. Also, the elegant and enchanting Aoyama area is only around the corner.

However, just like the Takeshita-dori area and the main street which connects Harajuku and Omotesando are different worlds of fashion, the same also applies to the back streets of Harajuku and Omotesando. Therefore, it is vital to browse around the backstreets of both areas and the district which you need to walk through in order to reach Shibuya is awash with lovely fashion.

Boutiques in the backstreets cater for different styles and you also have sophisticated companies mixed together with independent boutiques. However, in the back streets you can relax and visit fashion companies which cater for street fashion, kawaii culture, Lolita fashion, and a plethora of styles.  Also, because of the nature of the backstreets then often you will see a new company by chance and this makes the entire area so fascinating.

Ometesando Hills shopping complex is certainly worth a visit because the fashion boutiques inside are stunning and this applies to Japanese and international fashion. A partial list of exquisite boutiques inside Omotesando Hills includes Adore, Anterpima, Apartment Department, Betsey Johnson, Black Fleece, Escada Sport, iliann leob, Kiwa Sylphy, Martinique Le Conte, Milly, Tiara, Oriental News, Patrizia Pepe Firenze (Incontro) Tour H. creer (Merveille H.), Tracy Reese, Yves Saint Laurent, and Zara.

However, please visit thehttp://www.omotesandohills.com/english/Omotesando Hills website because you have so many other stylish and elegant boutiques in this stunning shopping mall.  Also, the architecture and lighting inside the building creates a lovely feel and you have many other types of stores like Createur Reveal (nail salon), hair make Pas de deux (hair salon), le bois (spa and beauty treatment), M.A.C. (cosmetics), and shu uemura beauty boutique (cosmetics).

Inside Omotesando Hills you also have many places to wine and dine and throughout Harajuku and Omotesando you will find many restaurants, bars, and café shops to enjoy and compliment your visit.

Turning back to the Meiji Jingu shrine this Shinto place of worship reminds you of the real nature of life. Also, the enormous Torii gate is a reminder of your own individual mortality because of its strength and size compared with mere mortals. Also, unlike people who share fleeting moments, this tower of strength will remain.

In this sense, the fashion area and the most grandeur Shinto shrine in Tokyo make perfect sense, with regards to sharing the same environment. This applies to the spiritual nature of people and the power of nature within our world. At the same time, exquisite fashion and new trends is a reminder of vitality, creativity, freedom, joy, escapism, feel good factor, love of fashion and other aspects which will apply to individuals differently.

Harajuku and the surrounding area which encompasses Aoyama, Omotesando Hills and Shibuya is a clear indicator of the richness of Japanese culture and the power of Tokyo. The Meiji Jingu Shinto shrine and fashion districts of Harajuku and Omotesando work perfectly alongside relaxing in Yoyogi Park. This is because each area is a jigsaw piece which collectively creates a special and exclusive environment.

http://www.meijijingu.or.jp/english/ Meiji Jingu Shrine

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3006.html Meiji Jingu and other tourist information

http://www.japanforum.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=2    (Harajuku fashion)

http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/?eid=508     (personal blog of Sebastian Masuda)

http://www.dokidoki6.com/    (Please visit this fashion website of 6%Dokidoki)

http://www.metrocity.nl/tokyo/streetfashion/harajuku-fashion/

http://www.omotesandohills.com/english/  Omotesando Hills Shopping Mall

Partial list of stores in Omotesando Hills

http://www.adore2005.com/

http://anteprima.com/

http://www.ap-dp.com/

http://www.betseyjohnson.jp/

http://www.brooksbrothers.co.jp/fleece/index.html

http://www.erikonail.com/

http://www.escada.com/

http://www.iliannloeb.com/

http://eu.jimmychoo.com/en/restofworld/page/home?notify=yes

http://www.kiwasylphy.jp/

http://www.lebois.jp/

http://www.maccosmetics.co.jp/

http://www.merveilleh.co.jp/

http://www.melrose.co.jp/martinique/index.html

http://ameblo.jp/oriental-news-omotesando/

http://www.incontro.co.jp/

http://www.melrose.co.jp/tiara/

http://www.pasdedeux.co.jp/

http://www.ysl.com/d/

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/10/14/tokyo-fashion-omotesando-hills-and-adorable-fashion-in-tokyo/

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://www.moderntokyotimes.com

 

 

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Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Japan

 

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Tokyo fashion: creativity, independent and high fashion

Tokyo fashion: creativity, independent and high fashion

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

Milan, Paris, London, New York, and other major fashion cities in the world, have their own unique styles. However, in Tokyo you have so much variety and when you mix this with the rich environment, huge population and ongoing creativity; then it becomes abundantly clear that Tokyo is one of the best fashion cities in the world.

In truth, it is very difficult to judge which city is the best fashion place in the world because you have so many variables and language issues. Therefore, research may be tainted by geographic and linguistic factors and fashion also depends on individual tastes, influences of culture and other important issues.

However, without a shadow of a doubt Tokyo is amongst the crème de la crème and having visited or resided in other major cities; for example London, Paris, and a host of other famous cities; then at no time have I witnessed such a vibrant fashion scene which exists in Tokyo.

Modern Tokyo Times image

The uniqueness of Tokyo fashion is that you have so many districts to visit and in some of the lesser named districts like Kichijoji, Jiyugaoka, Nakano, Naka Meguro, Daikanyama and Shimo Kitazawa, you also have a vibrant fashion scene which caters for the style of each area and this is the beauty of Tokyo.

Harajuku, Omotesando, Ginza, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Roppongi Hills and Aoyama are more internationally famous and these districts hog the main headlines.  However, the lesser named districts’ enables Tokyo to become such a powerful fashion powerhouse. Also, Ebisu, Ikebukuro and Ueno have their supporters and the west side of Ikebukuro is awash with fashion and the east side is always buzzing and the Lumine shopping complex holds many lovely fashion companies

Modern Tokyo Times image

Aoyama and Omotesando are avant-garde, sophisticated, haute couture and chic places to visit because you have endless exquisite boutiques.  The architecture is also part of the image and in Aoyama and Omotesando the crème de la crème fashion companies are a treasure for Tokyo.

In Aoyama you have stylish and chic fashion companies and this applies to Comme des Garcons, Prada, 10 Corso Como, L’eclaireur, Miyake, Issey, Yohji Yamamoto, Artisan, Loveless, Stella McCartney, Mark Jacobs, Bathing Ape, Tsumori Chisato, Diane Von Furstenberg, Undercover, Design Works, Frapbois, and many others like Deuxieme Classe.

True to the nature of Tokyo then despite Aoyama and Omotesando sharing the same area of Tokyo the client base is different.  This applies to the diversity of Omotesando because in the backstreets you have more independent boutiques and street style fashion can also be found.  Therefore, Omotesando is really diverse and this applies to the layout because Omotesando is between Harajuku and Aoyama and kawaii culture, cosplay and other trends including independent fashion and more casual street fashion is awash in Harajuku.

Therefore, age groups, fashion styles and other factors are unique to each area. However, parts of Omotesando overlap in the backstreets and this factor and the natural buzz of Harajuku can be felt alongside the avant-garde and haute couture of Omotesando.

http://www.smackyglam.com – Smackyglam image

In Omotesando you have many top notch fashion companies and I really love the style and layout of Tracy Reese.  Tracy Reese have lovely styles and color schemes and like SmackyGlam in Lumine in Ikebukuro, and other parts of Tokyo; both these two distinctive companies blend fashion with extreme care about image and the quality is exquisite.

In Harajuku you have an area of Tokyo which continues to grow in stature and international appeal. Sebastian Masuda who is the founder of 6%DOKIDOKI is part of the vibrancy of Tokyo fashion because his creativity and fashion styles have impacted on the “real underbelly of Harajuku.”

Sebastian Masuda – 6%DOKIDOKI

Kawaii culture in Tokyo goes back several decades but this unique style which belongs to Japan continues to develop and modify.  6%DOKIDOKI is part and parcel of kawaii culture and the ongoing vibrancy of this unique style. However, Sebastian Masuda does not pertain to any single style because he is a creator and styles come from 6%DOKIDOKI.  Therefore, Sebastian Masuda is not a follower of fashion but he is a rare creator of fashion and styles.

This in itself adds to the aura of 6%DOKIDOKI and clearly they have a strong appeal within aspects of Tokyo fashion and an international following which loves the vibrancy of this company.

In Shibuya you have a hub of fashion within Shibuya 109 and the vibes of Center Gai and Koen Dori are alive with fashion conscious people.  Shibuya means high octane fashion and the famous crossing is mega busy and the youthfulness of Shibuya and Harajuku can be felt powerfully.

In Shibuya you also have SmackyGlam and you have countless boutiques which include the innovative Candy.  Marui, Parco and other leading stores are based in Shibuya and the Marui store in Shinjuku is a must place to visit because of the style, layout and diverse fashion within this store. 

Modern Tokyo Times image – Lumine

Grimoire is another amazing fashion company and Dolly-kei and other fashion styles can be seen and this store is what makes Tokyo fashion so great. The same applies to 6%DOKIDOKI because you have real venture, innovation and fresh ideas.  Grimoire is managed by the elegant looking Hitomi Nomura and is owned by Naoaki Tobe and this store is on the border of Harajuku and Shibuya.

In Shinjuku and Nishi Shinjuku you have major department stores and this includes Isetan, Keio, Lumine, Marui, Mitsukoshi ALCOTT, Odakyu, Takashimaya and Mylord. Each department store provides quality of the highest and if you are a fashion guru then you need time to check the ample fashion on show.

Modern Tokyo Times image

In another article I stated about Shinjuku that “It is unfair to pick any one individual company because they all have a wide selection of brands and I am more familiar with Lumine but also visit Odakyu and Keio often and my visit to Takashimaya was very pleasurable.  Also, I know that Isetan is widely liked throughout Japan and Mitsukoshi, despite setbacks in Ikebukuro after closing their store, is very different in places like Shinjuku, Nihonbashi and Ebisu. In truth, Ikebukuro clashed too much with the nature of Mitsukoshi and this department store is vibrant in Shinjuku.” 

Marui One in Shinjuku and Isetan are very vibrant and energetic and both stores have amazing fashion on display.  The Marui One is extremely diverse and caters for Tokyo fashion, modern kimono, princess fashion, casual styles, fantasy fashion, Visual kei, Lolita, Gothic, and dreamy fashion.  Therefore, Mauri One is a great shopping experience and Isetan also understands the pulse of Tokyo and Japan and both stores are creative and exquisite. 

6%DOKIDOKI and Sebastian Masuda

Tokyoites will understand the fashion scene and people from all over Japan and throughout the world visit this amazing fashionable city.  The international reputation of Tokyo in the fashion field continues to grow and the countless number of areas to visit is what makes Tokyo fashion so unique and special.

 

http://www.dokidoki6.com/    (6%DOKIDOKI website)

http://www.metrocity.nl/tokyo/streetfashion/harajuku-fashion/

http://shibuyafashion.metrocity.nl/

http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/   (Sebastian Masuda – also, please read about the Mighty Harajuku Project)

http://www.maruione.jp/en/

http://6girls.jugem.jp/  

http://www.parco.co.jp/customer/

http://www.lov-lab.com/  

http://tokyofashion.com/6dokidoki-world-tour-harajuku-kawaii-experience/   (Many images of 6%DOKIDOKI)

http://yaplog.jp/grimoire-blog/

http://www.omotesandohills.com/english/shops-restaurants/index.html  

http://www.tracyreese.com/c-45-dresses.aspx  

http://www.smackyglam.com/

http://sanyo-i.jp    – Sanyo i Store (Sanyo Shokai Ltd) 

http://tokyofashion.com/candy-sister-fashion-shibuya/  

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2011 in Japan

 

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Japanese Fashion: buzzing with spirit and energy in Tokyo

Japanese Fashion: buzzing with spirit and energy in Tokyo

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

6%DOKIDOKI highlight the sheer vibrancy of Tokyo fashion

Japanese street fashion is extremely diverse and no single style could ever corner the market and within areas of Tokyo and Osaka, and other major cities, you will have areas which appeal to certain styles. Japan is also a huge market for exquisite global fashion and major companies vie alongside Japanese companies and individual outlets for a slice of the huge market.

The beauty of Tokyo is that different areas contrast greatly and you have noticeable changes within fashion styles. Therefore, you will find greater individualism in Harajuku and Shibuya and both areas have a youthful image and are powerhouses. 

This contrasts greatly with Ginza and other fashionable areas like Ebisu and Aoyama which cater for young adults and all age ranges, with the emphasis being high income earners or people with wealth. Ginza is awash with international brands and Japanese brands where the focus is on elegance, sophistication and extreme quality.

Obviously the price mechanism caters for the rich.  However, being Japan, then many Japanese ladies and men who may have less disposable income, will also save in order to buy luxury brands.

Harajuku and Shibuya are not just about youthful fashion because both areas connect with Omotesando and within each area the mixture of fashion is amazing.  Therefore, you can visit independent companies like 6%DOKIDOKI in Harajuku and within a short distance you will find international and famous Japanese brands.

The fusion of fashion companies and the noticeable change within districts or within a short distance; increases the spice and the creativity of fashion in Tokyo.

This all adds to the high energy of fashion in Tokyo and the spirit of companies like 6%DOKIDOKI and Macaronic are a blessing.  Therefore, designers like Sebastian Masuda (6%DOKIDOKI) and Takashi Aoki (Macaronic) have no boundaries and instead their creativity and passion can be felt within the products that they provide.

Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto provided a strong image for Japanese fashion and their energy was noticeable in the 1980s and onwards.  However, the nature of fashion in Tokyo and throughout Japan is changeable and no single designer can express the exuberant fashion which is part and parcel of major cities like Tokyo and Osaka. Instead, the real beauty of Japanese fashion is the collective because Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, Sebastian Masuda, Takashi Aoki, Junya Watanabe, Tsumori Chisato, Yoshie Itabashi, Chiharu Kikuchi, and many others; collectively add their own individual style and thinking.

It matters not if one fashion designer is hugely famous or not because fashion is not static and different fashion styles will cater for different markets.  Also, the raw energy of designers like Sebastian Masuda and Takashi Aoki merge their free thinking within the unique style of Harajuku.

Sebastian Masuda – 6%DOKIDOKI

6%DOKIDOKI is international in thinking and this company relates strongly with their clients in Harajuku and throughout the world.  The color schemes and designs of 6%DOKIDOKI and Macaronic sums up the creative nature of both companies. 

Fashion also means many things. This applies to a sense of belonging within certain fashion trends, mainstream, individualism, street credibility amongst the hip-hop inspired youth, and so forth.

Irrespective if your favorite fashion company is Comme des Garçons, A Bathing Ape, Uniqlo, 6%DOKIDOKI, SmackyGlam, Candy Stipper, Macaronic, or a multitude of other companies; the importance is that however large or small; or irrespective of stature or design style; each and every company enhances the spirit of Tokyo and Japanese fashion.

If fashion is high on your agenda then Tokyo and Osaka cater for fashion in abundance and the streets of Harajuku in Tokyo and Namba in Osaka are buzzing because of creativity and difference. 

The stunning color schemes of SmackyGlam and 6%DOKIDOKI are a million miles apart and this applies to thinking and client base.  However, the thinking behind the designs is done with utmost care and imagination and this vibrancy and difference is leading to such energy in Tokyo.

6%DOKIDOKI and the Mighty Harajuku Project

Japan is a Mecca for fashion and Tokyo is awash with creativity and style. The same also applies to Osaka which is also very energetic and this certainly applies to places like Namba.  Therefore, this sector will remain vibrant because of the diverse nature of Tokyo and Osaka and it is this diversity which is making the fashion scene tick.

http://www.dokidoki6.com/

http://www.smackyglam.com/

http://candystripper.net/

http://www.macaronic.jp/

http://tokyofashion.com/

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2011 in Japan

 

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6%DOKIDOKI bringing a slice of Harajuku to North America

6%DOKIDOKI bringing a slice of Harajuku to North America

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Sebastian Masuda and 6%DOKIDOKI

The “Harajuku Kawaii Experience” recently visited North America after 6%DOKIDOKI showed the passion and creativity of Harajuku.  This followed on from last year when 6%DOKIDOKI visited America and Europe. 

6%DOKIDOKI is a very vibrant fashion company and if you want to understand the underbelly of Harajuku which makes this place tick; then this company is a must. 

The “kawaii culture” in Tokyo goes back several decades but of course you have many modifications and changes.  6%DOKIDOKI is part of the ongoing vibrancy of the “kawaii culture” and this company clearly thinks on its feet.

The creative nature of its fashion is truly unique and this applies to the amazing color schemes of their products and how they keep on moving forward and challenging new barriers.

However, 6%DOKIDOKI is not only a fashion company because their founder, Sebastian Masuda, and all people who are involved in this company; have a genuine interest in their client base and they care deeply about Harajuku.

The recent tour by 6%DOKIDOKI took them to America and Canada but after recent events in Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami; then this was more than just a fashion statement.

After all, many media outlets painted a distinctively gloomy picture of Tokyo and while shock and bewilderment did take hold on March 11 and the following weeks in Tokyo; it was also true that many people were pulling together in order to help northeast Japan where the real tragedy unfolded.

True to the vibrancy and genuine care of 6%DOKIDOKI the founder, Sebastian Masuda, came up with the MIGHTY HARAJUKU PROJECT.

In my article called Mighty Harajuku Project: fashion sector responds to the devastating earthquake, I stated that “…the fashion conscious in Harajuku have organized the “Mighty Harajuku Project” which is aimed at generating capital in order to help the people of Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, and other areas hit by the recent tragedy which engulfed the north-eastern Tohoku region.” 

“The “Mighty Harajuku Project” is the brainchild of Sebastian Masuda who is the founder of 6%Dokidoki.  Sebastian Masuda cares deeply about Harajuku and 6%Dokidoki provides an abundance of brightly colored accessories and like Harajuku itself the company is vibrant and individualistic.”

Therefore, while 6%DOKIDOKI is primarily a fashion company with zest, individuality, creativity and a genuine buzz about the products created.  This company is also concerned about the bigger picture during times of crisis and it is rare for a company to connect with its client base like they do in Harajuku.

6%DOKIDOKI, just like Tokyo, is vibrant and energetic and the latest tour clearly showed the pulling power of Harajuku and Tokyo itself.

This applies to the amazing fashion scene in Tokyo where the choice is fantastic and the quality on offer is of the highest.

Once more 6%DOKIDOKI is showing its international spirit and this company is revered by many individuals all over the world.

http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/?eid=508    (personal blog)

http://www.dokidoki6.com/   (Please visit this fashion website)

http://www.japanforum.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=2  (Harajuku fashion)

http://www.moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Japan

 

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