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hyper core Tokyo Punk Fashions

Punk is a major influence in Harajuku street fashion. However, Japanese punk clothing brands are different from what you might expect. It’s not London punk or New York punk (though it does take inspiration from them) but a unique mix not to be found anywhere else in the world. With its artful, flowing shapes and studied silhouettes, Japanese punk clothing always seems to be on the brink of affected elegance, but careful never to fall into it. So, if you’re on the lookout for structured plaid pants, unique graphic tees, and lots of black everything, here are a few shops that are worth a visit.

Algonquins

algonquins Inside Harajuku’s La Foret Mall is Algonquins. Their style is a girly, colorful punk that flirts with Lolita, especially when it comes to the skirts with petticoats and military-inspired dresses. Their tank tops and casual dresses are ideal for hanging out with your friends or going to a live concert, while their wide-legged pants, either plain black or with plaid inserts, are bound to make you look too cool for school.

Website (via Google Translate) | Twitter (Japanese) | Instagram | Online Store (via Google Translate)

Nearest Station: 2-minute walk from Meijijingu-mae Station, 5-minute walk from JR Harajuku Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open daily 11am-9pm

 

ankoROCK

ankorock Japanese Punk Clothing BrandsOK, so you’re still inside La Foret mall. If you love loose-fit clothes and quirky prints in slim-fit styles, just move on over to ankoROCK. The star of the brand’s current collection is an adorable and mischievous creature that looks like a cat with a unicorn horn and wears human clothes. You can find this character on T-shirts, jackets and canvas bags. Other eye-catchers are the lace-up boots and sailor-style tunics.

Website (Japanese and English) | Facebook (Japanese) | Twitter (Japanese) | Instagram | Online Store (via Google Translate)

Nearest Station: 2-minute walk from Meijijingu-mae Station, 5-minute walk from JR Harajuku Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open daily 11am-9pm

 

Hyper Core

hyper core Tokyo Punk FashionsLocated across the street from La Foret Mall, Hyper Core greets its visitors with a youthful aesthetic that’s bound to appeal to punk-rock fans as well as graphic design enthusiasts. Here you’ll find basic pieces such as hoodies, T-shirts, and loose-fit tunics printed with one-of-a-kind graphics signed by the brand’s creator, Japanese artist Hisacy. Among the original characters that illustrate the clothes you’ll encounter Sicks Bear, a depressed anti-conformist teddy, and cute, feisty punk girls, such as Thursday. You can also buy iPhone cases featuring these characters, and don’t forget to pick up a brightly colored accessory or a pair of socks to complete your look.

Website (Japanese and English) | Twitter (Japanese) | Instagram | Online Store (via Google Translate)

Nearest Station: 2-minute walk from Meijijingu-mae Station, 5-minute walk from JR Harajuku Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open Daily 12am – 7pm

 

Monomania

monomania Japanese Punk fashionWhen you go to LaForet Mall, don’t forget to check out Monomania. It’s a menswear shop, but that doesn’t mean that ladies on the hunt for Japanese punk clothing can’t go in and have a peek. The style is loose-fit, black and with playful prints. You can buy hoodies printed with teddy bears or star-eyed skulls, canvas bags and studded accessories. Our personal favorite was a t-shirt with a vampire fangs print.

Website | Twitter (Japanese) | Instagram | Online Store (via Google Translate)

Nearest Station: 2-minute walk from Meijijingu-mae Station, 5-minute walk from JR Harajuku Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open daily 11am – 9pm

 

Never Mind the XU

never mind the xu Tokyo Punk FashionsWe’re willing to bet that the name of this shop, located inside Harajuku’s La Foret mall, is an homage to the Sex Pistols iconic 1977 album Never Mind the Bollox. Their aesthetic is decidedly modern with a few nods to the legacy of the 1970s. The shop offers a wide range of versatile t-shirts and jackets, as well as many accessories to punk up your look. They also sell Demonia boots, whose thick soles and heavy-yet-sleek look have made them a favorite among Harajuku’s trendy youth. For an even more hardcore look, you can also pick up a studded leather bracelet or collar, or – why not? – a leather harness.

Facebook (Japanese) | Twitter (Japanese) | Instagram | Online Store (via Google Translate)

Nearest Station: 2-minute walk from Meijijingu-mae Station, 5-minute walk from JR Harajuku Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open daily 11am-9pm

 

Online Japanese Punk Clothing: SEX POT ReVeNGe

With a name bound to grab your attention (to the point where you don’t even notice the rather strange use of lower and upper case), SEX POT ReVeNGe was once located on a side street in Omotesando, but has since moved online. The brand offers a wide selection of artfully distressed shirts whose prints feature crosses, skulls, strange symbols and bizarre, but rather friendly-looking creatures. They also sell heavily-buckled skirts and trousers and black jackets with unique designs. Although currently homeless, this Japanese punk clothing brand remains popular with the Harajuku fashion set and would be a great addition to your look.

Facebook (English) | Photobucket | Online Store

Have a suggestion for another punk label or brand? Email us!

Click on one of the links below to explore other shopping options in Tokyo–

November 24, 2016 0 comment
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Yoyogi National Gymnasium Showcase Tours

Yoyogi National Gymnasium Showcase Tours

Being a jeans-and-sweatshirt kind of guy, I do not go to Harajuku often. I have fashion writers for that sort of thing. Much younger fashion writers, who know the brands and can talk to Harajuku girls about the hottest new trends. I am glad I have those writers. There is no way I can approach a girl half my age and ask about what she’s wearing without the police becoming involved.

But there’s another side to Harajuku and Shibuya that doesn’t involve me embarrassing myself in a dressing room. I like history and I like a good story. Harajuku has a lot of stories, and Showcase tours can tell you all of them.

“This area used to be US military housing,” Yuka says. She is a slim Japanese woman who speaks English with an American Midwestern accent, a souvenir from a childhood spent in Chicago.

“Here?” We are standing on a bridge overlooking the grounds of Yoyogi National Gymnasium, designed by architect Tange Kenzo for the 1964 Summer Olympics. I look to the right and see the entrance to Yoyogi Park. If I crane my neck a little, I can see the entrance to Meiji Shrine.

“Right here,” she confirms. She relates the story of how the Gymnasium was built. We are on Showcase’s Harajuku – Omotesando Architecture Tour, but we aren’t just talking about building design techniques. A city’s history can be found in its construction choices. Why is this building here? What was here before? Go ahead and ask. The answers will tell you about a Tokyo on the rebound, a city that rebuilt itself to host the Olympic Games less than two decades after the end of a devastating war.

A short walk away from the Yoyogi National Gymnasium I learned about the Co-Op Olympia apartments, built in 1965. They were the first “100 million yen” apartments, and were the first in Tokyo to have a concierge service.

As befitting a place of its renown and stature, Harajuku and Shibuya are host to a number of unusual buildings. There is the famous Gyre building, designed by Dutch architects MVRDV, who envisioned a building a stack of spun tiles. Omotesando Branches, designed by Sou Fujimoto, incorporates trees into its design. The Louis Vuitton building’s shape is meant to evoke an impression of stacked suitcases, to give the viewer a feel of travel. And the Sunny Hills building? You just have to see it for yourself–

Sunny Hills Showcase Tours

But the tour isn’t limited to the large and famous buildings. Tokyo has a style all its own, and architecture has had to adapt to changing times and available space. Yuka pointed out a tiny, wedge-shaped building on an intersection near the Iceberg, Audi’s former showroom. That awkward building is an example of “pet architecture,” a term given to the quirky buildings that are built to fit in leftover urban spaces. Later on Cat Street, Yuka told us about the Onden River underneath. “Look at the buildings,” She said. The former family homes were all situated facing away from Cat Street itself, because there was no reason for Japanese people to build their houses facing the dirty, narrow river.

And Showcase Tours aren’t limited to the new. taking a side street, we curved around the back of several buildings and walked right next to a graveyard, mere meters from people buying new suits. We passed by to emerge at Zenkoji Temple, a beautiful example of ancient architecture hidden behind the bustling streets.

Zenkoji Temple Showcase Tours

There is also an example of how the other half lives–not far from the temple is a low-income housing area, slated for demolition. Rows upon rows of squat, stained apartment buildings choked with weeds and sprayed over with graffiti, but one only has to turn around to see billboards for expensive watches over buildings that likely seem worlds away.

The Showcase tour functions not just as an Architecture Tour, but also ably serves shopping tour. “We sometimes have trouble keeping the groups together,” Yuka admits. “People see all of these fabulous places and drift away to go shopping!” It’s not hard to see why, once you pass by the Prada Building and its specially-imported windows, or the side-street boutiques of Cat Street. Take notes! Shopping opportunities abound, and not just on the main streets. All brands start somewhere, and you might just be able to pick up a little something from a label before they get world-famous.

I toured all of these spots and many more, thanks to Showcase Tours. Our three-hour excursion ended with sore feet and a camera full of photos. Harajuku and Omotesando isn’t just for the fashionistas–there are stories here, and not just about the architecture. There is a history, and hidden places that you might otherwise miss if you were just passing by in pursuit of the latest trend.  So go ahead–you can always go shopping later. Showcase Tours are great for history buffs and architecture fans alike!

Showcase Tours Information

Website | Facebook (English) | Instagram

Phone (local): 050-5308-1745, 9am – 6pm

“Why Go?”: Get a personal architecture, history, and shopping tour from the people who know best!

Click on one of the links below to explore other places in Tokyo–

November 21, 2016 0 comment
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Scramble Cafe and Bar 1

Scramble Cafe and Bar 1

Just a 5 minute walk away from the Hachiko exit of Shibuya is the Scramble Cafe and Bar. This convenient spot is great for an easy lunch or dinner and is a common meeting spot for expats.

The Scramble Cafe and Bar menu (in both English and Japanese) is egg-themed, with pictures to help those people whose words have finally failed them after a long night of partying or are just waking up to breakfast (whatever time of day that meal occurs for them). It is a cozy little place right from the get-go, almost like a seaside café right by the beach! The food Western-styled, which includes Eggs Benedict, quiche, stew, and confit. All the dishes are a mix of traditionally American and French dishes with a Japanese twist. I had the Eggs Benedict, which came with pasta, potatoes and a mixed salad with some Japanese dressings and ingredients. The Eggs Benedict themselves were more like Eggs Royale, with its ham and the salmon on muffins, including fried egg on the salmon. It is the perfect post-clubbing late-night meal for the steamy Tokyo summer. Or could be your lunch, being a pleasant stop during your mid-day shopping spree. And it went pretty well with the iced Earl Grey.

Scramble Cafe and Bar 3

Scramble Cafe and Bar has two dining sections – an open area that is used in the daytime, and a more relaxed ‘evening’ dining section for late meals. It’s a great little place to sit back and take in the atmosphere, with good food at a good price for a town as busy as Tokyo. And the bar part? Scramble transforms in to an exciting bar with reasonably priced drinks at night. There is also a Saturday happy hour, and DJs start around 6 PM.

So there it is–perfect for lunch during the day and a drink or two at night, all within view of the Shibuya Scramble and not far from Shibuya station. Get your seat while you can!

Scramble Cafe and Bar Information

Website (Japanese and English) | Facebook page

Nearest Station: 5-minute walk from Shibuya Station Hachiko exit (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Monday – Thursday 9am – 2pm; Friday and Saturday 9am – 5am; Sundays and Holidays 9am – 12am

“Why Go?”: Reasonably-priced meals and drinks in the heart of Tokyo!

Click on one of the links below to explore other dining options in Tokyo–

November 17, 2016 0 comment
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Faline

Faline

Faline Tokyo is another off-Takeshita Dori treasure that can be difficult for the uninitiated to find. But we here at EnableJapan.com are in the know, so now you are too! And you’re in good company. This small shop has been patronized by the likes Gwen Stefani and Sky Ferreia. And when you see the range of accessories adorning its shelves, you’ll also want to join their latest quirky fashion trend!

But where is it? As all the fashionistas know, the best finds in Tokyo aren’t always under the big signs on the main streets. All brands started somewhere, and the back streets and alleys are where you have to go to find tomorrow’s hottest look today. Faline Tokyo is in an alley, likely in a section of you wouldn’t go to unless you are a dedicated Harajuku fashion-trawler. Just follow our map and look for the baby-blue sign with the neon lights.

The Faline style focuses on a relaxed yet quirky aesthetic. Faline Tokyo has their own brand and garments, ranging from printed tees, patterned skirts, dress shirts with printed cartoon characters, and more! The Faline brand has been featured on many “Japanese street style” websites and magazines, and is recognized for its fun and imaginative stylings. And though it is becoming a “known” brand, Faline Tokyo maintains an appeal to all sizes of pocketbooks–the lines feature high-end, mid-range, and affordable priced must-haves.

Faline Tokyo also carries selections from designers such as Jeremy Scott, whose style fits the “Harajuku look.” And don’t pass up their accessories!  they also carry an extensive range of those cute “Harajuku Style” tidbits, including bows, lunchboxes, and hair clips.

The target audience for Faline Tokyo’s designs and selections are younger women, between their teens and mid-twenties. So if you’re feeling daring and rebellious, seek them out in the Takeshita Dori area. It’s a must-shop place for the Tokyo Girl who wants to have fun with her outfits without breaking the bank.

Faline Tokyo Location Information

Website and Online Shop | Facebook (English and Japanese) | Twitter (English and Japanese)

Nearest Station: 5-minute walk from JR Harajuku Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open daily 12pm – 9pm.

“Why Go?”: For that oh-so Harajuku street style appeal!

Click on one of the links below to explore other shopping options in Tokyo–

November 10, 2016 0 comment
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The Public Six Tokyo 12

The Public Six 1

Finished with work and looking for a place to wind down in the evening?  Tired of the usual izakaya?  Why not experience one of Tokyo’s newest Japanese-style gastropub/sports bars? Check out THE PUBLIC SIX in Roppongi.

The Public Six Roppongi 2

THE PUBLIC SIX pride themselves as the perfect international gastropub and sports bar experience. It is the perfect spot to meet with friends any night of the week for a beer and a plate.

The Public Six Tokyo 3

The Public Six Tokyo 4

The Public Six Tokyo 5

And what plates they are! Nearly every item in their English menus are pub classics made fresh. BEHOLD!

Food at THE PUBLIC SIX

The Public Six Tokyo 6

You CANNOT have a pub without Fish and Chips.  THE PUBLIC SIX uses Pacific cod fried to golden perfection. It is accompanied by a house-made tartar sauce that will leave your mouth watering, waiting for that second bite. (¥1200)

The Tokyo Public Six 7

Looking for something “greener”?  Their Grilled Caesar Salad is made from fresh Romaine lettuce from Nagano. (¥1200)

The Public Six Tokyo 8

Our recommendation would have to be the Grilled Roll Steak.  This delectable item is made from a ribeye steak from the U.S. and is served with an Awajishima onion sauce. (¥2600)

The Tokyo Public Six 9

And for dessert, a French classic is available… with a Japanese twist.  The Roasted Green Tea Crème Brulee is a sweet treat well worth the trip. (¥600)

Can’t decide what to eat?  Try out a “Public Course” and taste a number of items!  There are two options for the Public Courses: For 2,000¥ you can get the Casual Course a.k.a. the “PUB 4” and try a set four items.  Want to go for even more food?  The Premium Course, a.k.a the “GASTRO 7,” is ¥4,000 and is essentially a 7 course meal!

Craft Beer at THE PUBLIC SIX

The most essential item on any pub or bar menu is the beer, and THE PUBLIC SIX does not disappoint.

The Public Six Tokyo 10

The Public Six offers six Japanese craft beers all on tap, each different from the others.  Their selection includes golden and white ales, a lager, an IPA, a stout, and a fruit beer.

The Public Six Tokyo 11

And if beer isn’t your thing, THE PUBLIC SIX also has a wide assortment of other selections, including nihonshu and sochu.

They even offer a Nomihoudai (all you can drink) that you can add onto either of the Public Courses!  Two hours for ¥2000, and for ¥3000 you can try all their craft beers and their nihonshu and sochu!

Cigars at THE PUBLIC SIX

So you’ve had your fish and chips and you’ve had your fill on the great food and the craft beer, what could you use to end your great night out?  How about finishing it off with a classy smoke?

The Public Six Tokyo 12

THE PUBLIC SIX has ten different cigars available for purchase.  Their handy Cigar Menu rates how strong each one is and how long it takes to smoke through one.  Don’t want to be caught halfway through a 3,500¥ Cohiba Robustos when you have to be somewhere in an hour, right?

The Public Six Tokyo 12

Not that you’re going to want to leave anytime soon. With good food, great beer, and an after-meal cigar, THE PUBLIC SIX is going to be your new favorite after-work hangout!

THE PUBLIC SIX – Gastro Pub and Sports Bar

Website (Japanese)| Facebook (English)

Nearest Station: 4-minute walk from Roppongi Station (click on the map for directions)

Hours of Operation:  Mon-Sat 5pm to 5am (last order 4am); Sun & Public holiday 5pm to 3am (last order 2am)

“Why Go?”: Tasty food, craft beer, and a fine cigar makes for a fine meal. Get to The Public Six and get yours!

November 1, 2016 0 comment
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raw-tokyo-9

raw tokyo vintage fashion 11

Vintage items make up an important part of any trendy Tokyoite’s wardrobe. But if you’re a budget fashionista rummaging through the goodie piles of Harajuku’s vintage stores, you might find even those prices to be a bit forbidding. Even second-hand, pretty much everything costs over 5,000 yen. You want to find that one great bargain but you’re not even sure where to begin to look for it.

raw tokyo vintage fashion 9

The answer to your question is Raw Tokyo Vintage Fashion, a flea market that takes place on the first Saturday and Sunday of each month. The location is the Farmer’s Market@UNU (United Nations University) in Aoyama. When you get there, just step through the farmer’s market and the vintage wonderland will open up to you.

Raw Tokyo started as a joint project of Kinsella and Aquvii, two stores that sell vintage clothing. The name alludes to the raw realness of Tokyo street fashion, which incorporates items that are a few years or even a few decades old. The event’s main purpose is to draw attention to the idea of re-use in a world where fast-fashion reigns supreme, with new items produced and discarded at an alarming pace.

raw tokyo vintage fashion 2

Over 20 Tokyo vintage stores take part in Raw Tokyo vintage fashion flea market, and they all lower their prices for the event. You can find one-of-a-kind T-shirts – maybe even that one band T-shirt you’ve been looking for ages – for as little as 1,000 yen. If designer labels are your thing, there’s plenty to choose from. The clothes are in good condition and priced so low that it’s almost a giveaway. It’s not everyday that you can find LANVIN PARIS shirts for only a few thousand yen, but you will at Raw Tokyo. This may sound unbelievable, but on the latest edition one of the stands sold genuine leather jackets for only 5,000 yen.

Vintage jeans, a staple of any Japanese used clothing store, aren’t missing from this event. You can find any style you’re looking for, from straight-leg Levi’s to drawstring mom jeans for an 80’s inspired look. The prices go as low as 3,000 yen.

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Low-priced traditional Japanese clothing items can also be found at Raw Tokyo Vintage Fashion flea market. If you’re looking to build an outfit that says 100% Tokyo street style, we’d like to suggest picking up a haori jacket to go with your T-shirt and cool vintage jeans.

Those of you who are willing and able to splurge can also check out the independent designers who take part in the market. You can grab a brand new T-shirt and have it printed with an original design on the spot, or you can go for loose-fit organic cotton pieces or sturdy oversized hoodies.

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And, since all this shopping is bound to make you hungry and thirsty, you’ll be glad to know that you can always stop at one of the food or coffee stands to recharge your batteries.

Does all this sound like a bargain-hunting fashionista’s dream? That’s because it is! Mark the first weekend of every month in your calendar. And when the day comes, go forth and shop!

Raw Tokyo Vintage Fashion Flea Market Location Information

Website | Facebook (Japanese and English) | Twitter (Japanese) | Instagram

Nearest Station: 6-minute walk from Omotesando Station, 11-minute walk from Shibuya Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Map (center) (click on map for Google Map walking directions) (give an address, I’ll make the map)

Hours of Operation:  First Saturday and Sunday of the month, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

“Why Go?”: Great bargains, vintage clothing, independent designers, good food, fun atmosphere

Click on one of the links below to explore other shopping options in Tokyo–

October 18, 2016 0 comment
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Buddha Kamakura

Need to get out of the city for awhile? If you don’t mind an hour on the train, one of the best short trips from Tokyo is to the city of Kamakura in Kanagawa prefecture. With several temples and shrines, a beautiful beach, and a shopping district specializing in Japanese sweets, you’re sure to find a relaxing way to spend your day.

Buddha Kamakura shopping

Directly outside of Kamakura train station is the Komachi Street shopping district. Although there are some big names, most of the stores here are of the mom-and-pop variety. Traditional Japanese candy, handmade umbrellas, toys, and Buddhist iconography make for interesting souvenirs or small gifts to send back home.

One of the greatest things about Komachi is that it is mostly a mom and pop district, with no big chain stores making shopping here superfluous.  whether you are looking for interesting souvenirs or just some small gifts to send back home Komachi has you covered.  Be it traditional Japanese candy, handmade umbrellas, traditional toys for the kids, or perhaps you are looking for a crystal carving of Buddha you are sure to find it there.

Temple Kamakura

After walking through Komachi Street, you can visit the Tsurugaoka Hachimangū Shinto shrine.  Founded in 1063, Tsurugaoka Hachimangū has a long political and religious history, which you can learn about by visiting the museum on the grounds of the main shrine. Visitors can learn the details of the assassination of Minamoto no Sanetomo and the 1868 Shinto and Buddhism Separation Order while viewing a variety of historical artifacts.

Buddha Kamakura

One of the biggest tourist attractions in the city is the Kamakura Daibutsu, the Buddha of Kamakura. Located on the grounds of the Kotoku-In temple, the 13-meter tall bronze statue of the Amida Buddha is the second biggest statue of the Buddha in Japan. For a 200 yen entrance fee, you can be visit the Kamakura Daibutsu from 8:00 to 17:30 any day of the year.

rickshaw-1Kamakurarickshaw-2 Kamakura

If you are really interested in seeing everything Kamakura has to offer, do yourself a favor and use a rickshaw.  Kamakura is rather large, and having to walk from shrine to shrine is a daunting task, so why not let someone else do the walking for you?  Rickshaw are easy to find on Komachi St.–just keep your eye out for a man in a straw hat and bicycle shorts.  A rickshaw can take you anyplace you want to go, and all of the drivers know the best spots to go see.

Kamakura Beach

And finally there is Kamakura Beach, a nice little patch of sand on the coast.  The beach itself is worth the trip, as it is a popular getaway from the cities and is a popular destination for windsurfing. Or you can go for a walk along the beach at sunset to cap off a perfect day’s getaway from the busy city.

Kamakura Day Trip Information

Tourism Website

Nearest Station: Kamakura Station

 

 

Click on one of the links below to explore other day trip and getaway options in Tokyo–

October 3, 2016 0 comment
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Yoshida Bag 1

If you’re looking for a bag that is a practical and sturdy enough for an adventurous trip all over Japan, pay a visit to the Yoshida & Co. flagship store KURA CHIKA YOSHIDA OMOTESANDO.

Founded by Kichizo Yoshida in 1935, Yoshida & Co has become one of Japan’s leading bag manufacturing companies for its sleek yet understated bags and wallets. High quality material such as Italian leather, Egyptian cotton, and organic cotton from Texas and various nylon textiles are all source materials for their creations. They also have been challenging to develop their original fabric. Yoshida& Co bags are also very exclusive-from design to final product, the brand is produced entirely in Japan.

Yoshida Bag 2

Yoshida & Co. has two main brands, both of which you can find in their Omotesando flagship store. PORTER, the brand launched in 1962, is named for the one person who can tell if you have a quality bag- the hotel porter, who had lots of experience handling customers’ bags. PORTER’s ladies line, PORTER GIRL, launched in 2009. While the PORTER products are unisex, PORTER GIRL is aimed exclusively at a feminine audience. The brand maintains the original PORTER’s strong and high-quality characteristics while reinterpreting them in a sweeter and softer key. LUGGAGE LABEL came along in 1984, combining originality and innovation with day-to day practicality. LUGGAGE LABEL’s military-style long-seller series of bags has been popular and cherished by adult men in any age.

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If you’re shy about your Japanese skill, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. You will find English speaking staff at the KURA CHIKA YOSHIDA OMOTESANDO flagship store. You will also be glad to know you’re not alone because there are many foreign customers visiting the store.

KURA CHIKA YOSHIDA OMOTESANDO store also provides tax-free service. So, pay them a visit and take your time browsing, for one of these timeless pieces might just be your soulmate. You want to be careful and get the one that you want to carry around with at all times.

KURA CHIKA YOSHIDA Omotesando Store Information

Website | Facebook (English) | Twitter (English) | Instagram

Nearest Station: 4-minute walk from Omotesando Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open daily 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm

“Why Go?”: Get an exclusive bag from a world-famous design, at the ONLY place you can get it!

Click on one of the links below to explore other shopping options in Tokyo–

September 13, 2016 0 comment
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Harinezumi Cafe Harry Roppongi Tokyo Japan 2

Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are undoubtedly one of the cutest animals on the planet. And lucky for you, the world’s first hedgehog café has opened up right in Roppongi! The Harinezumi Café Harry (called “Hedgehog Café Harry” in their social media) is the Roppongi Hedgehog Café to go to! The café sits in a quiet little alley near Roppongi’s crowded streets. Usually there is a small line outside, because there is limited room and seating area in the café. But once you get inside, you’ll find it is well worth the wait. Or you can skip to the front of the line with a reservation by our good friends at Voyagin!

Harinezumi Cafe Harry Roppongi Tokyo Japan 2

See?

The room is filled with glass tanks containing hedgehogs. Although some are ambling about, many are in little balls, sleeping. When you sit down, attendants will bring you a tiny hedgehog in a shoebox for you to play with for a bit. In one 30-minute session you will play with multiple hedgehogs, since they can be overwhelmed if they are played with for too long.

Harry's Hedgehog Cafe 1

When held, the hedgehogs are friendly, but also very squirmy. Make sure you hold onto them and be careful so they don’t fall. Also, I don’t know what I was expecting, but when their quills prick you, it hurts. It’s not the worst feeling in the world, but be ready to feel like you’ve just played with a really cute cactus.

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Most visitors only stay for 30-minute periods, but their website can be used to make one-hour reservations (English). English service is available, because 1/3- 1/2 of their customers are visitors and tourists. And if you fall in love with these little guys (and have a home in Japan where they can live), Harry’s hedgehogs are also available for adoption. Hedgehog adoption prices range from ¥30,000- ¥100,000. If you are not accustomed to caring for a hedgehog (or just want to know what you might be getting yourself into), they also have a hedgehog care manual online. (“Let’s Embrace the Hedgehog” is my favorite part, but the list of “Hedgehog Personality Types” also triggers an awww…)

Hedgehog

For people concerned about the animals’ well-being, the hedgehogs are well taken care of. The workers take extra caution to ensure that the animals are comfortable. The cages are a good size, and the hedgehogs seem happy and healthy. If a hedgehog is asleep, they will be left alone. If you are visiting with small children, please be aware that hedgehogs are prickly, and a quill-sting might surprise a child and result in a dropped hedgehog if we are not careful. Please be kind to our pokey little friends!

I would really recommend going so long as you don’t mind being prickled a bit. The hedgehogs are all friendly and quite adorable. One thing to keep in mind is that if you are allergic to animal dander, you can react from the quill pricks. Wash your hands often. Visiting is a great experience and you will get a lot of great pictures from your trip.

Harinezumi Café Harry – Roppongi Hedgehog Café Location Information

Website  |   Facebook (Japanese only)  |   Twitter (Japanese only)

Nearest Station: 1 minute walk from Roppongi Station (Hibiya Line Exit No. 3). Located under the Ms. Bunny Cafe.

Hours of Operation: Open everyday 12:00 pm- 9:00 pm. Hedgehogs often sleep in the morning and the middle of the day, so this café is open later than other animal cafés, so the hedgehogs will be fully awake.

Average Cost: On weekdays, a 30 minute stay is ¥1,000, and on weekends and holidays, 30 minute is ¥1,300. Let Voyagin help you with your reservation!

Why Go?: Harry’s Café is the only hedgehog café in the world; where else will you get the chance to hold an sweet little hedgehog?

For other sightseeing options in Tokyo, click on the links below–

September 9, 2016 0 comment
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World Wide Love Harajuku Tokyo Japan

World Wide Love Harajuku Tokyo Japan

World Wide Love is a fun and quirky hipster-style brand based in Tokyo. Relaxed and chilled, this brand is targeted toward a younger audience with its funny cuteness with an punk edge. The branch inside the LaForet shopping center in Harajuku is an eye-catcher, with their illustrative graphic tees and checked and printed skirts.

World Wide Love’s signature is a spray-painted smiley face, and they sell an array of hoodies and other clothing with their logo. They have done many collaborations with popular cartoons and anime (One Piece, Garfield, Adventure Time). The brand is exclusive to Japan, so you’ll be sure to stand out back home in your authentic Japanese street-style! World Wide Love also offers a range of footwear, from studded shoes, strappy boots, and the trendy platform sandals that don’t look like they are going out of style any time soon. World Wide Love also offers a range of accessories like leather cuff bracelets, punk-style baseball caps, and spike-studded rings.

The fabric quality of the World Wide Love brand is composed of a basic jersey used in all their t-shirts, cottons for their pants, and sheer organzas and denims. Prices are mid-range, which is very affordable in exchange for the quality and branding that you get in exchange. So if you’re looking for an easy and affordable Japanese street style that you can’t get anywhere else, World Wide Love in Shibuya’s LaForet Shopping Center is the place to go!

World Wide Love Shibuya Location Information

Website (via Google Translate)  | Twitter | Instagram | LINE QR Code | Online Store

Nearest Station: 2-minute walk from Meiji-jingumae Station, 5-minute walk from Harajuku Station (Yamanote Line). Inside the LaForet shopping center. (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open daily 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

“Why Go?”: A stylish and affordable street brand that you can only get in Tokyo!

Click on one of the links below to explore other shopping options in Tokyo–

September 5, 2016 0 comment
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