I travel the world one city at a time to experience, firsthand, the many diverse cultures, and encounter the countless number of beautiful places it can offer. My adventure first takes me to Tokyo, Japan where I discover a girl’s paradise in the heart of the city. It’s an area that practically got my heart thumping and made my eyes pop out – the Shibuya District.
Shibuya is any girl’s dreamland. Well, it’s certainly mine. Such a small place, and yet this district of Tokyo is so packed full of amazing and “kawaii” things that it made me speechless. When I walked the streets, I found so many malls, shops and people that blew me away with their over the top qualities.
Tokyo is a haven for fashion. This fashion concentration is nowhere more potent than in Shibuya. I found this huge trendy mall there, the Shibuya 109. What’s amazing about it is that it almost only caters to women, especially young women from teens to 30’s.
Some shops in Shibuya 109 sell costumes and accessories that let you imbibe the different kinds of fashion styles, such as gothic, lolita, school girl fashion and much more. I got to dress like an anime character in one of the Cosplay Makeover Saloons. I also got my picture taken in this chic photo booth they call a Purikuri booth that lets me personalize my photos with cute effects.
For a girl like me, fashion is more than just convenience and functionality, but an expression of oneself. I clearly saw that in Harajuku. It’s a place, within Shibuya, that is known for its elaborate fashion styles. The shops lining the streets of Harajuku sell very unique pieces of clothing and accessories that I probably will not see anywhere else.
Every Sunday, people gather on the Jingu Bridge to show off their own expressions of fashion. I saw everything from gothic, lolita, visual kei and decora, to cosplay types of clothing. Gothic fashion is all about black: black hair, black lips, black eyeliner and black clothes. Lolita is characterized by petticoats, corsets, knee-high stockings and headdresses. Its style is similar to Victorian English dresses but with modern twists. Visual kei fashion is more of a punk rocker/musician type with elaborate makeup and clothes. Decora is an unusual style where cute little accessories are piled over the clothes worn, to the point that you almost can’t see the clothing, just the accessories.
One thing I know for sure about Japanese people – they really love their manga and anime. It’s actually incorporated in their everyday lives. I went into one of those cafes that they call manga cafés. Shelves and shelves of manga line up the inside of the establishment, all available for free reading. After picking a manga, I got to enjoy it with a cup of latte in the adjoining coffee shop. It’s indeed a great way to kill time and relax.
Night life in Shibuya is quite an exhilarating experience. I discovered this strip full of night clubs. Locals call the place Dozen-zaka. It’s a magical place of music, dancing and parties.
All in all, Shibuya has provided a wonderland of fashion and entertainment that struck a girl like me in awe. It certainly is a haven for the young and energetic girls of today.
Photo by cadsonline on Flickr