Hanging out Harajuku-style in Tokyo
Japan is renowned for being conservative, orderly and refined, but take a weekend walk to one of Tokyo’s hip inner suburbs and you’ll see a very different side to this fascinating country.
Philip Wilson explains…
“I’ve visited Japan many times, but never seen anything to match the crowds at Harajuku on a Sunday afternoon!
In this area between Tokyo’s Shinjuku and Shibuya districts, crossing the street is an experience not to be missed – with thousands doing the same thing – walking diagonally in both directions without touching one another. My tip, keep in close contact with your fellow travellers, else you won’t find them again amongst the throng.
The area has two main shopping streets, Omotesandō and Takeshita Street (Takeshita-dōri). Specialising in youth fashions, this is where you’ll find many small stores selling Gothic Lolita, Visual Kei (accentuated make up, elaborate hair styles and flamboyant costumes), Rockabilly (dancers), hip-hop and punk outfits.
Every Sunday, young people dressed in a variety of these styles spend the day in Harajuku socialising. The fashion styles of these young people rarely conform to one particular genre and are usually a mesh of many. Most of them gather on Jingu Bridge, which is a pedestrian bridge that connects Harajuku to the neighboring Meiji Shrine area.
Need some space after the experience? Nearby Yoyogi Park (one of Tokyo’s largest parks) is a great place to cycle, listen to music or just hang out!”
* Photo of girls in Tokyo by Angela Maltezos, for the Intrepid Photography Competition.