YELLOW HOUSE, JIM SINN: HARAJUKU PUNK & VISUAL KEI CLOTHING BRANDS, FAMOUS JAPANESE SHOPS.
In Harajuku, the underground fashion is… literally underground. As you walk down Takeshita Doori, keep your eyes peeled on the left for the Yellow House sign. The little clothing stall is down a flight of steps, and an absolute must-visit. You’ll enter a cave filled with clippings of X Japan, Dir en Grey and Miyavi. Then, the old and spunky lady — who has been dominating this joint for decades — will pounce on you and zip you into punk rock clothing.
As I said in an interview: “I salute you, Yellow House Baba. You’ve been running your little Harajuku shop and designing outfits for famous Visual Kei / J-rock artists for 25 years. And you’re still scuttling around like a teenager, dressing people up in pirate punk cat hoodies when they wander in. Let’s hope I can be like you someday.”
Next door is Death Trap ID, another indie boutique. The clothes are rock, punk, Gothic, fun.
The fabrics and cuts are less refined than similar brands such as Sex Pot Revenge, but they make up for it in skulls and attitude.
There’s a wall of slinky tops and jackets for Visual / host boy types.
Viva Visual Kei!
Next door (and still underground) is Jim Sinn. Punk pants, custom leather jackets, and accessories such as a leather studded eyepatch. Arrr.
When you walk back up to the ground level, pop in next door to Takenoko: drag queen clothing heaven.
Poofs and glitter. These old-timers are some of the remaining indie shops in Harajuku, which is becoming run over by big retailers like Forever XXI — so I encourage you to support them.
Don’t forget to wander into the side streets, where you’ll find cheaper alternative clothing like in AC/DC. Want more photos, maps and guides to shopping in Harajuku? Please check out my shop guide here.
Thoughts on the disappearance of indie shops in Harajuku? Will this trend continue, or will we see a Renaissance?
PS: I have new hair! Added a certain bright color to my fading orange dye — can you guess what it is? Want to see photos?
Japanese Word of the Day: Binbou himanashi = No money or free time
Song of the Day: Syu – Against The Wind