What is the Japanese word for swag? Yes exactly: Harajuku.
You won’t find many places on the globe which such a density of hippsters, fashionistas and ultra cool stores as in this neighbourhood of Tokyo. If you ever wondered where Pharrell draws his inspiration from, then it is certainly here. Actually he dresses exactly like every guy in this district – hat, oversized windbreaker, round designer shades and crazy sneakers. But after his collaboration with Nigo and their common project called Billionaires Boys Club this is not really a surprise.
Reserve a whole day to discover the neighbourhood and try your best to remain disciplined, otherwise the day may end up in a wild shopping spree first and tears after checking your remaining budget. Most stores offer great quality items and exclusive Japan only editions, but this comes also at a price. Personally I decided to buy only a few selected things made in Japan and ended up with a knife, a bag and two jackets. It is not much but this time I went for quality and exclusivity over quantity.
If I had to pick only three stores I would recommend the following:
Military and vintage clothing. Great store. Could have spend my year’s salary in there. Took my breath away. Couldn’t resist the B-10 Flight Jacket. Definitely a danger zone for your wallet. Any allusion to your favourite movie of the 80ies is fully intended.
I know what you are thinking. Of all the stores he talking about he goes and selects Ralph Lauren? Yes, because you need to see this specific RL store. Especially the rear side with the brick walls is astonishing. One of the most elaborated and coolest interiors ever.
If GQ approves, I do too.
Of course there are tons of other shops that would deserve to be mentioned. Especially the sneakers shops – if you collect Jordan’s than this is paradise -, the hat shops – no need to go all Pharrell here, but a stylish hat can’t hurt- and of course the Japanese selvedge denim stores.
Btw, I just read that Nigo opens today his new store in Harajuku “STORE by NIGO” at Laforet Harajuku. I guess it may be worth a visit…
Roppongi, Roppongi, Roppongi…praised as the nightlife epicentre of Tokyo and in my opinion totally overrated. If you want to avoid shady and tedious promoters just avoid the area at night unless you are into bottom shelf liquor and “massaaaaage”.
This is “the electric town”. You will find here one shop after the other selling all types of new and second-hand electric devices. But what is way more interesting and is actually the reason to take the tube to this district are the anime and manga fans. You won’t see that many geeks and freaks in one place anywhere else. Old businessmen staring at “schoolgirls”, people dressed as comic figures and so on.
Another place to spot some rather interesting people is usually the Yoyogi park on Sundays, but unluckily it was raining during our stay so no pictures from that weirdo reunion 🙂
There are a million other places to visit and discover in a metropolis like Tokyo, but I do not believe in interminable blog entries and I am also running out of time today. I guess you may need to discover the rest by yourself.