Tokyo Gothic Lolita Shopping Guide: Sweet & Goth Harajuku Stores, Maps to buy Clothes in Japan.
Welcome to La Carmina’s Tokyo, Japan shopping guide – (updated Dec 2014)! Looking for the best Gothic Lolita Punk / Visual Kei / Alternative clothing shops in Harajuku, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro? Here are maps, photos, videos… everything you could possibly need. (And you can buy these clothes here.)
This Japanese fashion guide is constantly updated, so please visit my blog for the latest posts. (My OSAKA store maps and photos are here. For Goth Industrial EBM Fetish nightclubs in Tokyo, visit my comprehensive Nightlife Guide. )
(Click the images above to shop these Japanese Lolita & Kawaii styles.)
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† WHO IS LA CARMINA? † I am a professional Goth/subcultures blogger, travel TV host and arranger, author of 3 books (Penguin USA and Random House), and journalist for CNN, Huffington Post and more. My popular blog on Japan Gothic fashion – www.lacarmina.com/blog – has been featured in major publications (The New Yorker, Washington Post, WWD, Cosmopolitan, LA Times). I’m the author of 3 books — including Cute Yummy Time (Penguin) and Crazy, Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo (Random House) — and a graduate of Columbia University and Yale Law School.
I’ve appeared on The Today Show and co-hosted an episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern for Travel Channel, which airs in 75 countries. NHK Japan filmed two programs about my work; recent TV hosting and arranging credits include Discovery, Fuel, National Geographic, NRK Norway, Pro Sieben Germany, Sony Australia, Canal Plus France, Norway TV, and CNN International in Tokyo. View my TV reels and full biography.
I run a Tokyo TV fixing, hosting and arranging company: La Carmina & The Pirates.
– We specialize in Japan, Goth, alternative, cosplay, burlesque, theme restaurants, Harajuku fashion, pop culture.
– Our services as fixers include TV production coordinating, on-camera hosting, Japanese translation and guiding, coolhunting, consulting.
– We’ve worked with CNN, NHK, Travel Channel, Discovery and more.
– For more about our services, please visit our Pirates website.
Please feel free to contact La Carmina if you’d like to work with me in any capacity (TV presenting and fixing, sponsored posts, advertising, appearances, etc.) If you’re looking to buy these Japanese clothes online, I’m selling them at discount prices here. Domo arigato gozaimasu!
Here are links to major Japanese alternative clothing brand websites. The groupings are general, as many of these designs span various style tribes.
♥ Department Stores: Laforet Harajuku, Marui One Shinjuku, Shibuya 109, Kera Shop Arena & Angel
♥ Sweet Lolita: Angelic Pretty, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Emily Temple Cute, Innocent World, Justine et Juliette, Metamorphose temps de fille, Milky Ange, Mille Fleurs
♥ Classical Lolita: Atelier Pierrot, Chantilly, Jane Marple, Victorian Maiden, Mary Magdalene, Heart E, Antique Beast
♥ Gothic Lolita: Alice and the Pirates, Elements, Excentrique, h.NAOTO, Maxicimam MA/MAM, Moi-meme-moitie, Visible, Miho Matsuda
♥ Punk Rock Lolita: ScoLar, Listen Flavor, Super Lovers, Deorart, HellCatPunks, Sex Pot Revenge, Toxic Star, Dangerous Nude, Ghost of Harlem, Putumayo, Algonquins, Nile Perch
♥ Elegant Goth Aristocrat & Kodona: Atelier Boz, Black Peace Now
♥ Goth Fetish: Rituals by Kenzo-A, Alice Auaa, Suppurate System
♥ Cyber & Wa: Takuya Angel, Qutie Frash, Lacrima, Ozz On & Ozz Croce
† † † HARAJUKU † † †
Harajuku is ground zero for alternative, experimental youth fashion and the famous “cosplayer” bridge. This is the best place in Tokyo to buy Gothic Lolita Punk clothing, as most of the brands are found here.
How to shop in Harajuku:
1) Take the JR (green) subway line to Harajuku Station, and go out the Takeshita Doori exit.
2) If this is your first visit, I strongly recommend that you DON’T stress about finding the individual stores! Simply walk down Takeshita Doori, the main street that begins with a colorful gate, and meander into the side-streets. You’ll run into incredible Sweet Lolita shops, Fairy Kei accessories and more, I promise. (Photos and more below).
3) When you reach Meiji Doori (the main street that cuts Takeshita Doori), turn right. Walk 1-2 minutes and you will see Laforet Department Store on the right (green/white building). There are many Classical / Goth / Lolita / Punk brands in the basements. (Photos and more below).
4) Or keep walking straight after Takeshita Doori, into the small streets lined with stores. Wander around here and you’ll find Putumayo, h.NAOTO… (Photos and more below).
5) Finally, you might want to turn left past Laforet and wander into Omotesando. The boutiques tend to be expensive, Western brands, but Kiddyland (the giant toy store) is a must-visit. (Photos of Kiddyland here and here.)
The above map is modified from the one found in Kera Maniax, Vol 7. You can see where the main Harajuku stores are located. Again, don’t stress — you will find them if you walk around.
For an OSAKA Gothic Lolita shopping map, click here. (Comprehensive Osaka shopping and nightlife guide to come.)
Below are photos / articles about all the main stores in Harajuku. Closet Child and Kinji are secondhand/thrift stores. I highly recommend Closet Child; you will find used brand Goth, Lolita, Jrock fashion for low prices. Closet Child has locations in Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Yokohama and Sagami-ono too.
(You can order these styles from online! Click above to shop these Japanese Lolita & Kawaii clothing.)
HARAJUKU SWEET LOLITA KAWAII shops
Introduction to Harajuku
NEW Closet Child Harajuku (secondhand)
OLD Closet Child Harajuku (secondhand), 3rd and 4th floors, Sweet Lolita
OLD Closet Child Harajuku (secondhand), 2nd floor, Goth Punk Lolita
Kikirara Shoten, Dangerous Nude
Mania Q fairy kei boutique
HARAJUKU CYBER PUNK ROCK shops
Kinji is a secondhand store that has all types of fashion. This post also features AC/DC, and drag queen glam store Takenoko.
Takuya Angel’s new store (Same location, but in the back)
Takuya Angel (old store – Cyber / Wa / Rave)
Takuya Angel (2008)
Mari’s Rock, Richard’s, Listen Flavor (Rock, Punk, Gothic)
Sex Pot Revenge (Punk Goth)
Sex Pot Revenge F***
Vivienne Westwood, Sexy Dynamite London (SDL is now closed)
Sexy Dynamite London Queen and Vivienne Westwood Museum (SDL is now closed)
HARAJUKU GOTHIC & CLASSICAL LOLITA (also see Closet Child in the Sweet Lolita category above)
Baby Doll: indie store with corsets, PVC, fetish, Goth burlesque clothes and accessories
MA/MAM Maxicimam (Gothic Lolita)
h.NAOTO Frill, hANARCHY, hJELLY, BLOOD, NOIS
h.NAOTO 8 CLub
Yellow House, Jim Sinn, Takenoko
Putumayo, Kiddyland, Visual Kei music store Edison
Address: Jingumae 1-11-6, Shibuya-ku. +81 3 3475 0411
Harajuku’s major department store. Walk down Takeshita Doori, turn right onto Meiji Doori, and walk until you reach Laforet on the right side.
Most of the Gothic Lolita Punk designers are on the basement levels of Laforet. Photos in reverse chronological order:
2012: Goth, Jrock, Visual Kei and Lolita brands at Laforet. h.NAOTO, Malko Malka, Plastic Tree.
2012: Kawaii girls accessories, decora, and cute fashion at Laforet
2011: Fairy kei and cute Japanese girls accessories
2011: Gothic, Sweet and Classical Lolita boutiques
2011: Japanese male punk and cute Goth clothes
2010: Laforet Sweet Classical Lolita and Fairy Kei: Angelic Pretty, Putumayo, Atelier Pierrot, Nile Perch
2010: Laforet Goth Punk: Sexy Dynamite London, Hellcatpunks, h.NAOTO Sixh, Black Peace Now
2010: Laforet cute clothes & accessories: Monomania, Kyoga Teddy Monster, World Wide Love
2010: Gothic and Sweet Lolita teens lining up for a Laforet event
2008: Laforet: Emily Temple Cute, Jane Marple and upper floors
2008: Laforet: Gothic Lolita Punk basement floors
2008: Video tour of Laforet basement levels
2008: Emily Temple Cute
2007: Introduction to Laforet Harajuku
If you turn right and walk 1-2 minutes, you’ll arrive at Jingubashi (the famous bridge where the cosplayers used to gather). Sadly, you don’t see much crazy fashion on the bridge any more, but it’s worth checking out.
† † † SHINJUKU † † †
(Click on the above map or here to enlarge.)
Kabuki-cho (East Shinjuku) is known as the red-light district and playground for host clubs. Tokyo’s Goth / Industrial / Alternative nightlife is concentrated in Shinjuku. There are also theme restaurants, a Closet Child (secondhand Gothic Lolita Punk Rock clothes), and 0101 Marui One department store. (Photos and info to all are below.)
Color key to the map above
PURPLE: Goth / Industrial / Alternative / Cyber / EBM / Fetish clubs, parties, bars. View my Nightlife Guide for detailed directions and reports.
BLUE: Theme restaurants, cheap sushi, and other favorite places to eat. (And convenience stores are great for cheap alcohol and snacks.)
GREEN: Gothic Lolita Punk Rock clothing stores, dollar stores and other places to buy goodies.
– The Robot Restaurant (as seen on Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown) is also in Shinjuku, but it’s very expensive and the food is poor.
– For articles and photos on theme restaurants in Japan, visit this section of my blog.
– For addresses, photos and info on ALL the major theme restaurants in Tokyo, please check out my book, Crazy Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo.
CLOSET CHILD SHINJUKU
I literally buy 60-70% of my wardrobe here. Closet Child Shinjuku consists of two floors of secondhand Gothic Lolita Punk clothes. Take the West exit of Shinjuku station, walk straight and go past the building with the clock. Look for the big sign above; the entrance is hard to find (it’s a small nook that leads to an elevator). The 4th floor is Vivienne Westwood, 5th floor is Sweet Lolita Kawaii, 6th floor is Rock Goth Punk. Click for photos. Also see the Closet Child locations in Harajuku, Ikebukuro etc.
MARUI ONE SHINJUKU
Address: 3-1-20 Shinjuku, 160-0022
Marui One, the department store mecca, is almost entirely dedicated to Sweet, Kawaii, Lolita, Goth, Punk and Rock fashion. It’s a short walk from Shinjuku station; go out the East Exit, keep to the right, go down the main street and look out for the red 0101 sign!
Photos of the new Marui One:
Eighth floor: Kera Shop Arena, Goth punk Visual Kei
Seventh floor: Kera Shop Angel, Moi-meme-moitie
Seventh floor: Sweet Lolita, Metamorphose temps de fille
Seventh floor: Angelic Pretty, kawaii toys
Sixth floor: Hangry and Angry by h.NAOTO
Sixth floor: Gramm by S-inc
Sixth floor: Sexy Dynamite London, h.NAOTO FRILL
Sixth floor: Black Peace Now and Peace Now
Fifth floor: Alice Auaa
Fifth floor: Gothic and Sweet Lolita shoes and boots, Artherapie
Fourth floor: Jesus Diamante princess kei, Blythe doll shop
Third floor: Emily Temple Cute, kawaii accessories
First and second floors: Fruits Mix, Quolomo Hello Kitty, h.NAOTO accessories, Spank
Floor displays, entrance and first floor: Galaxxxy Returns, Funky Street
Blablahospital and ZoeStyles event at Kera Arena (April 2009)
Marui summer sale, Hello Kitty x Quolomo (July 2009)
Hide X-Japan memorabilia and Lemoned store (2010)
Below is a guide to the old Marui One store; the new shop list can be found here.
Video tours of Marui One’s Goth Lolita Punk floors
Overview of Marui’s designers and brands
October 2008: Pullip doll display at Marui Department Store
Fifth floor of Marui One: h.NAOTO, Alice Auaa, Goth punk clothing
Sixth floor of Marui One: Kera Shop Arena, Super Lovers, Sexy Dynamite London, Hellcatpunks
Seventh floor of Marui One: Antenna by Kreuz, Leche by Yosuke, Lolita rocking horse shoes and boots
Eighth floor of Marui One: Sweet Lolita dresses and accesories. Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Angelic Pretty.
In early 2014, Marui One underwent a renewal, and the brands were all moved to 0101 Marui Annex (Shinjuku, 3−1−26).
See the full guide to Shinjuku Marui Annex here, with photos of the stores like Milk, Peace Now, h. Naoto, Mercibeaucoup.
OTHER SHINJUKU STORES
– See this post about Jrock stores and Closet Child Mens, plus Book-off and other places that sell J-rock and Visual Kei music.
– Studio Alta is gyaru and fake eyelashes heaven. Liz Lisa, Fernopaa and more. Department store located right across from Shinjuku Station East Exit.
– Inside Alta, Swimmer and Outlet are must-visit kawaii accessories and home-goods / souvenir stores.
– Fernopaa is an edgy punk-Goth-metal fashion boutique in Alta. This post also covers Avantgarde Tights in Shinjuku.
– Studio Alta had a Hangry and Angry (h.NAOTO) pop up store.
– Abilletage is a Gothic Lolita tea-room and treasure trove of corsets, antiques and accessories. I brought NHK Kawaii to this indie boutique.
– Okadaya – fabric, trimmings, eyelashes, feathers, drag queen heaven
– Another big photo post of Okadaya, and another from 2014 (cosplay wigs, theatrical makeup and more)
– Mitsuyoshi: theatrical makeup, feathered eyelashes and cosmetics
– Don Quijote is a big discount store that sells crazy costumes, nail polish, circle contact lenses, clothes and beauty products. There are wild Halloween costumes here.
† † † IKEBUKURO † † †
(Click on the map or here to enlarge.)
Ikebukuro has some great cheap izakayas and is home to Black Hole, the concert venue where Visual Kei artists like Kaya often perform. This is a great district to visit for cute shops and cheap accessories. There’s also a Butler Cafe and several cat cafes! (Below are links to photos and articles.)
From Ikebukuro Station, go out the Sunshine City exit (34 or 35) and walk straight. Take a slight left to Sunshine 60 Doori; you’ll see a giant Hello Kitty store on the right. Keep walking and you’ll reach Tokyu Hands and then Sunshine City, the big shopping center on the right.
Sunshine City is a huge shopping complex filled with cute stores (some of which are inexpensive). Studio Alta is a great place to find funky costume jewelry and socks.
Closet Child Ikebukuro
The secondhand Gothic Lolita Punk fashion store was recently enlarged and is not as heavily-trafficked, so I highly recommend that you make the trip. To get here, ride the subway to Ikebukuro and follow the signs towards Sunshine City. Follow the arrows to Sunshine 60 Doori (street); you’ll see the giant shopping/entertainment complex, Sunshine City, ahead. A block before you reach the entrance, turn left and look for the Starbucks. Closet Child is on the third level.
If you found my Harajuku / Tokyo shopping maps and photos helpful, please consider buying one of my Jpop books or leaving me a tip (click below). If you’re looking to buy these Japanese brand clothes, I’m selling them at discount prices here.
La Carmina Wiki Biography
La Carmina (www.lacarmina.com) is a Japan fashion, travel and culture blogger, TV host (Bizarre Foods, Oddities Taboo, Kawaii TV), journalist (Huffington Post, AOL, CNN), coolhunter, and author of 3 food books (Random House, Penguin) — including Cute Yummy Time and Crazy, Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo.
Her influential blog has a passionate following and is featured in major media (New Yorker, LA Times, Washington Post). Journalism work includes: CNN, Huffington Post, AOL, Business Insider. She heads a coolhunting firm that provides consulting and TV hosting/arranging chiefly in Tokyo. She is a graduate of Columbia University and Yale Law School.
La Carmina is flown worldwide to speak and attend events, including press trips to Israel, Maldives, Eastern Europe, Phoenix, Macau, Mexico, Hong Kong. She has a large online following, with a popular site and social networks. Speeches include NY Fashion Week, Hong Kong Social Media Week, PRSA Travel & Tourism conference, Mediabistro Summit.
La Carmina has years of on-camera travel TV hosting experience (Food Network, Today Show, Travel Channel, NHK Japan, Dutch Pepsi, Sony Australia, Canal Plus France, Discovery, National Geographic, CNN). She also hosts and produces her own travel video series for AOL / Huffington Post, with hundreds of thousands of views per episode. View my TV reels and full biography.
We are also Tokyo, Japan TV fixers. Our company: La Carmina & The Pirates.
– We’re known for our programs about bagelheads, or saline forehead inflation.
– Our services include TV production coordinating, on-camera hosting, Japanese translation and guiding, coolhunting, consulting.
– We’ve worked with CNN, NHK, Travel Channel, Canal Plus, Sony Australia, Fuel, Discovery, National Geographic, Pro Sieben.
– For more about our services, please visit our Pirates website.
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Contact La Carmina if you’d like to work with me in any capacity (TV host, fixer, blogger, etc.) Domo arigato gozaimasu!
(PS – click above to shop for Japanese Lolita & Kawaii clothing.)