Monday, January 25, 2010

Harajuku: Takeshita Street PartⅠ

If one were to ask any teenager living outside of Japan today, "what do you think when you think 'Tokyo'", they are most likely to mention fashion amongst other subjects. Tokyo, as publicized in the media, is one of the fashion capitals of the world. As a US citizen studying abroad in Japan, I cannot agree more with this statement: teens and young adults here take fashion very seriously, and I mean it when I say they use fashion as a means to express themselves. People here rarely leave the house unless they're dressed from head to toe in the most fashionable manner, and they are definitely not afraid to wear funky outfits with bright colors or items sporting the most outrageous patterns and fabrics. Some even go as far as dressing as what most Westerners may consider "Halloween costumes" on a regular basis. Thus, one cannot help but to wonder, "in a fashion conscious society where trends are constantly changing, where do young people find crazy, cute, fashionable, yet affordable clothes?" The answer: Takeshita Street.

Takeshita Street (known as Takeshita Dori in Japan) is a pedestrian-only street lying directly across the Harajuku Station in Tokyo. It serves not only as a teen shopping heaven as well as a popular tourist spot, but also as a Mecca to observe the many different fashion cultures of Tokyo. The street itself is less than half a mile, but it is crammed with trendy indie-boutique shops that line both sides of the street with fashion ranging from gothic punk to Lolita to vintage to American casual. The street is also home to many accessories stores, fortune telling booths, and food venues alongside many others various types of stores bound to catch an eager shopper's interest. Takeshita Street is a popular shopping destination for many fashion conscious teens because most of its stores appeal to the younger generation with cheap prices and frequent bargain sales.

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