HARAJUKU GIRLS TOKYO SHOPPING GUIDE: WILD, CUTE GOTHIC LOLITA PUNK STORES.
Now that we’ve thoroughly dissected Marui Young Shinjuku, let’s turn our attention to Harajuku. I’ve visited and photographed basically every Gothic Lolita Rococo Punk shop in the district, as well as Laforet department store. We’ll visit each in turn – but first, an intro.
Harajuku is easy to access on the JR Yamanote Line (two stops south of Shinjuku, one stop north of Shibuya). You’ll spot rainbow-colored hair and piercings as soon as you exit the station. Follow the teens ahead to the main shopping street (Takeshita Doori), and you’ll be overwhelmed by the sardine-stacks of Goth Loli Punk overflowing into the side streets. You’ll eventually hit Meiji Doori; Laforet is on the right. Keep going straight and you’ll get lost in a maze of even more shops.
Visiting Harajuku feels like following the White Rabbit into Wonderland. Punk plaids and Loli lace are everywhere you turn, but there’s plenty of streetwear, cutesy decora, and romantic.
There are a number of vintage stores in the mix. My favorite (and probably the largest) is Kinji on Meiji Doori; I saw a skull-sweater by Black Peace Now hanging over a row of leather skirts. Don’t shy away from no-name boutiques; many of them carry Lolita-esque gems.
These kurololis (all-black-wearing Lolitas) are browsing Halloween goods at Claire’s – yes, Claire’s! The selection of cheap jewelry is much better here than in the West. I was struck by their towering doll-like platforms and corseted skirts.
You are certain to spot at least a dozen full Lolita outfits. Many girls went shopping in pairs.
Harajuku is too much to handle on a single visit, so try to go back several times if possible. I suggest wandering around aimlessly on your first trip, rather than stressing over finding specific stores; you’ll probably stumble upon them in your explorations. Last word of advice: watch out for vampires!