(I was) reporting LIVE from Harajuku.
Now I'm reporting live with my findings from GHOST GIRL HQ!
Takeshita street is always evolving and changing with time. Most of the time, you will discover what the current trends are by walking down this street. But these trends are mainly the fast fashion or social media trends. Before covid hit, there were SO MANY bubble tea shops that opened within the Harajuku area. I'd like to say that, when I visited in 2019, there were definitely more than 10 bubble tea shops that opened scattered around Harajuku. Now, lets take a look and see what we find on Takeshita in 2023! Please note I was only able to take a selection of photos, as there are many stores that do not allow photos. (I have only included photos from the shops that allowed them)
The current map of Takeshita Street (sorry, I know my angle isn't the best, but there were way too many people for me to get a better shot!) The conclusion: there are MANY shops that closed, there are many shops that were also unoccupied compared to when I was here last, there are more of the same style shops than there are unique ones. (Lastly, my favourite bubble tea shop that offered chocolate filled tapioca no longer exists and I AM SAD!)
Here are 5 things that you'll see along Takeshita street, October 2023 edition:
1 - K-Pop. Period. K-Pop music, standees, advertisements with K-Pop boys, even more Korean make-up/beauty products, shops selling items to protect your beloved photos of your k-pop bias, official merchandise, and so on! When I was in Japan in 2019, I noticed Korean fashion and beauty items were starting to become a bit more trendy, alongside the music. But now, these K-pop related things are EVERYWHERE!
This one shop just reminded me of all my K-pop loving friends who have photo cards of their favourite member(s). This shop was specifically for accessories, deco, stickers, cases, protective sleeves, and more for your photo cards and merchandise, whether you're a k-pop, j-pop, idol fan, ect! (Also please note the large banner of that Korean YouTuber, maybe he is popular amongst Harajuku people!)
2 - Jirai Kei. The increased popularity of this style has caused a movement of Jirai-inspired Kuromi and My Melody items, the opening of Noemie on Takeshita, several shops in Shibuya 109 and LaForet offering these products, and many platformed loafers adorned with jewels, clasps, and bows. I think in Shibuya 109 alone, I saw about 6 or 7 shops just for jirai kei items. Noemie was actually doing a Kuromi collaboration and had a mini in-store event where you could meet Kuromi!! I waited in the rain for 30 minutes to see her with an umbrella and no regrets.
3 - Lace Headpieces. Typically, these style of headpieces were mainly used with lolita fashion looks. Now, people are starting to wear them more with daily, casual outfits! Paris Kids is a very popular accessory shop along Takeshita street that currently holds these headpieces in many different colour options! (alongside several other shops) Tenshi Kaiwai outfits have also been using this hair accessory as a main piece of the look. (Usually paired with an oversized jacket) They may include buckles, clasps, or straps in comparison to just lace and bows.
4 - Cross-Body Phone Lanyards/Straps. Something really interesting I noticed during this trip was the amount of people carrying their phone on their body! Lately, people use a cross-body strap to carry their phone. Sort of like how a little purse would sit, but just for your phone! You place a little plastic card under your phone case and a little tab will stick out from where the hole is for the charging cord to insert. From there, you attach the lanyard or strap to the tab and BAM! It's ready to wear! This can work for almost any phone! I feel like Japan is a lot more safe than some countries, so holding your phone with a strap doesnt cause for much worry. But maybe in the Toronto area, people wouldn't want to have their phone out like that because they may feel scared about it being stolen or damaged. I would have purchased one for myself, but my phone is too heavy/large and expensive!
5 - Loose Socks and Leg Warmers. I know loose socks/kogal socks have been popular with some looks for a long time (same with leg warmers), but I found that there are even more available at this time! Especially because jirai kei incorporated loose socks in their looks. I've just seen a lot more shops offering them with more variety. The same comes with leg warmers. I feel like there have been a lot of combo sets with skirt + leg warmers during this time.
Honorable mention to a few other items like these large, puffer jacket looking,over the shoulder bags, 90s punk cat style hats, and bucket hats.
The last time I visited Takeshita was at the end of 2019 and very briefly beginning of February 2020, so a lot of things have changed since. It's so interesting to see all the new trends and see what people are interested in, as I'm only able to catch a gimps of it over the internet or via social media. I hope you enjoyed this report! Until next time . . .
BE STRANGE. FEAR THE NORM.