Various Vibes of the Tokyo Fashion Scene

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Various Vibes of the Tokyo Fashion Scene

Tomoko Hara and Sarah Deschamps

Modern Tokyo Times


Often in the international media the Kawaii angle, Lolita fashion, Shibuya girls, the vibes of Harajuku, gyaru, kogal and other independent angles predominate. However, in reality mainstream fashion, natural elegance and a vibrant street fashion exists throughout Tokyo. Therefore, in major fashion districts throughout Tokyo you have a plethora of Japanese, European and North American boutiques to visit across the entire city.

Of course, you do have a vibrant independent vibe in Tokyo because many different fashion subcultures do exist. Yet even when kawaii culture hits the headlines in Harajuku because of buzzing companies like 6%DokiDoki (6%DOKIDOKI), it is clear that mainstream fashion and street culture exists enormously within this striking district. Indeed, when walking along the main walkway which connects Harajuku and Omotesando it becomes more than noticeable that mainstream fashion and elegance predominates.

Another writer at Modern Tokyo Times, Lee Jay Walker, comments that you “Also, within the backstreets of Harajuku and Omotesando you have a delightful street fashion scene which attracts the younger generation. Street fashion is still heavily influenced in the backstreets by the American angle with fusions within Japanese culture. At the same time, you have amazing independent fashion boutiques to plush boutiques which are internationally famous. The adorable mix is a real treasure therefore within such a short distance you have kawaii fashion, street styles, mainstream fashion and high fashion based on sophistication.”


Famous stores like Laforet Harajuku, Shibuya 109 and Marui One cater for an abundance of different styles. Also, each store is extremely famous because they are landmark names and attract many internal and external tourists. More recently, Tokyo Plaza Omotesando Harajuku (Omohara) is hitting the headlines despite being much younger than the above mentioned at the start of this paragraph. In the same area you also have exquisite boutiques throughout the Omotesando Hills shopping complex and the architecture is also extremely beautiful.

If you adore vintage fashion, student styles, punkish and independent styles then Koenji will appeal to fashion lovers. This district is still growing and clearly many up and coming fashion designers are using this area in order to be a hopeful springboard in the long-term. Of course, for some fashion designers then Koenji is “their Tokyo” whereby designers feel free and can be extremely creative. Indeed, the real beauty of Koenji is that you don’t have any boundaries and the mixture of vintage fashion to new creative designers is amazing by itself.

One fantastic individual for fashion in Koenji is Kimoken (Kenta Kimoto). In a past article it was stated that“Kimoken ( is an individual who adores fashion and understands the importance of creativity, individualism and the need to discover the “real self.” Therefore, he is constantly updating his websites in order to show “real fashion” connected with the independent vibes of Koenji.”

“Kimoken provides “real street images” whereby the viewer can really understand the unique fashion angles of this part of Tokyo.”

In Ikebukuro you have a vibrant mix whereby on the West Side you have amazing fashion boutiques in Lumine Department Store, Tobu Department Store, Marui, Esola, and throughout various parts of the train station. On the East Side you have Seibu Department Store, Parco, a buzzing street fashion area, places for Lolita fashion and otaku culture, Sunshine City and so much more. This delightful mix means that this part of Tokyo is extremely busy on the East Side whereas the pace on the West Side is a touch more relaxing. Ikebukuro is also high on the list for people residing in Saitama and another beauty of this district is that it caters for people of all age groups. Therefore, while Ikebukuro may not hog the limelight like Aoyama, Ginza, Harajuku, Shibuya and Shinjuku; it is still clear that this buzzing district isn’t playing second fiddle because it is a fashion powerhouse by itself.


Ginza and the Yurakucho area are awash with the crème de la crème of international and Japanese brands. The grand nature of the environment means that you have adorable architecture in all directions when related to the fashion zone areas. Both districts are enhancing each other and in recent times several fast fashion companies have altered the fashion landscape by adding a new dimension to this extremely sophisticated part of Tokyo. This reality alongside other angles related to Lumine opening up for business in Yurakucho means that a more youthful nature can be found in this vibrant fashion area. Despite this, high fashion still dominates because of so many famous brands being firmly established.

If you are a young lady and adore the unique angle to fashion in Japan then Marui One is a real treasure of a place to visit. This applies to catering for kawaii fashion, Goth styles, Gothloli, Visual Kei, punk with a Japanese angle, modern kimono, Sweet Lolita, romantic designs, dreamy fashion, various Lolita styles, fantasy fashion and other unique angles. Boutiques that will certainly appeal to the above lovers of these various styles include Angelic Pretty; Metamorphose; Baby, The Stars Shines Bright; Alice and The Pirates; h.Naoto; Jesus Diamante; and many other companies.

Overall, for fashion lovers you are spoilt for choice because you can visit extremely commercial areas like Harajuku, Ikebukuro, Shibuya and many other places like Shinjuku. Alternatively, if you adore complete sophistication then Aoyama, Ginza, Omotesando and Yurakucho will be your cup tea and Ebisu is also delightful but on a smaller scale. However, if you prefer a more sedate pace but where fashion is also stylish and vibrant, then you have lovely districts like Daikanyama, Jiyugaoka, Shimokitazawa, Kichijoji, Nakameguro and several others. In truth, Tokyo is one huge mega-city for fashion and clearly fashion lovers are spoilt for choice.

Lee Jay Walker gave support to both main writers

Modern Tokyo Times Images

AOYAMA SHOPPING LINKS TO HELP TOKYOITES AND TOURISTS – Map of where the fashions based companies are located (6%DOKIDOKI website) (Sebastian Masuda) – Sanyo i Store (Sanyo Shokai Ltd / Kimoken (fashion images and news)

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