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Harajuku Fashion

Harajuku has become world famous as Japan’s center of street fashion. This square mile area is jam-packed with boutiques, fashion malls and chains. Every single day of the year, tens of thousands of people come here to shop, hang out, and see what the latest trends are.

The area was originally a small village inhabited by low level samurai. Harajuku’s start as a center of fashion and youth culture came after WWII. US Army barracks, called Washington Heights, were built here. Shops that catered to the military families followed. This attracted young people curious about Western culture.

In 1964, the Olympic Games came to Tokyo. Washington Heights became the Olympic Village housing the athletes. People from all over Japan came to Harajuku for a chance to meet the athletes. The crowds of young people persuaded young creators to set up shop here.

In 1978, the Laforet fashion mall was opened. It quickly became Harajuku’s main attraction. Harajuku had now become THE place for fashion businesses to be. It changed from being a place, into being a concept. Harajuku stood for energy, change, newness.

Trends come and go at lightning speed in Harajuku. Decora, Goth-Loli, Cyber-Punk, Mori Girl, the list is endless. Many happen at the same time, and influence each other. Often it’s impossible to determine what gave birth to what. This disconnect and freedom is possible because there is no social message. Harajuku fashion is about fun. It is fashion in its purest form.

At JAPANESE STREETS we cover many types of Japanese fashion, including Japanese fashion shows. But our main focus is Harajuku fashion. Have a look at some of our recent Harajuku fashion photos


Dress – Conpeitou
Shoes – Yosuke U.S.A.

Sunday January 17, 2016
Kjeld Duits: @Miyuki: One more reason for seeing fewer cool people on the street: social networking sites like Instagram. People don’t need to go to a central place like Harajuku anymore to see cool fashion or show off their own.
Kjeld Duits: @Miyuki: I don’t think that Harajuku street style is dying out yet, but Harajuku is now mostly a tourist attraction and not so interesting anymore for the cool kids. Many shops in Harajuku cater to tourists instead of Japanese, so it is becoming difficult for them to find cool things there now. Jingubashi Bridge in Harajuku was never really a place for Harajuku fashion, more a location for cosplayers to get together. But that already stopped many years ago when the police asked them to leave. Contributing factors are an extremely low birth rate and an economy that makes it difficult for young people to find good jobs. So there are fewer young people, they have less money to spend, and they are worried about their future. Anyway, it has now become more difficult to see cool people on the street. They have gone underground again and you will need to go to events to meet them.
Miyuki : Do you think harajuku street fashion is dying out? I’ve heard from some people that you just don’t really see it as much anymore and that there used to be people on the harajuku bridge on Sundays and that you just don’t see that much anymore. I sure hope its not. But I thought I’d ask a professional on the topic like you. Thanks.


Cardigan – UNIQLO
Skirt – small-laly
Shoes – chocoholic

Saturday January 16, 2016
Kjeld Duits: @MJ: I love your description of the knit cap, has some bubblegum feeling about it. Your observation about the colors is very true. When I first started shooting Japanese street fashion, I initially felt that some people seemed to have just randomly thrown colors together. But when I started to add the color blocks to the articles, I discovered that there was an incredible amount of repetition of the colors in the different items, and also that the tone of all the colors usually matched. I think that Japan’s long history of working with kimono has created this incredible ability to use color.
MJ: oh, i like this one. the colors are kind of cheerful, the hat has some bubblegum feeling about it. :D i’m not a big fan of the shoes but they fit the whole outfit nicely. it’s neat how every color can connect/match to another one (cardigan-scarf, skirt-scarf, hair-shoes, hat-scarf… great scarf!^^). makes the whole thing appear well thought out.