Exploring Harajuku Culture

Learn more about our Japan Culinary Tour and explore Japanese culture through cuisine.

Exploring Harajuku Culture on our Japan Tour

How do we put into words the fascinating Harajuku culture? A lifestyle? Cultural phenomenon? Fashion era?  In Japan, it is all of those things and more. Uniquely Japanese and cultivated in Tokyo, Harajuku fashion is a combination of childlike fantasy, anime, and expressive other-worldly wear that is popular among subsets of teens and adults.

This is a fun and expressive lifestyle comparable somewhat to punk fashion, or perhaps glam. Youth dress up as life-sized dolls, with frilly skirts, cute haircuts, and outlandish make-up. In addition to their attire, collectible lifestyle possessions abound. Over-sized jewelry, gaudy hair clips, elaborate enamel nails,  magnets, stationery and more are part of the experience. Think Hello Kitty on steroids.

While the arguably most popular style of Harajuku is called Lolita, it does not have the same connotations as it might in the west. Instead, “Lolita” teens dress conservatively, but playfully, as doll characters, often wearing high neck shirts and long stockings.

Kawaii Mecca

A term often associated with Harajuku culture is kawaii. Best described as an adjective for “completely adorable,” kawaii is a fond name for anything cute, cuddly, or just plain squishy. Think cherub dolls and googly eyed puppies. Ok, maybe that’s a stretch, so imagine anything that would make a six-year old girl squeal with delight. That’s kawaii. Entire stores in the Harajuku district are dedicated to kawaii, and its worth a stop to visit while you’re near. Time Out Tokyo has a great list of things to do while immersing yourself in the fascinating world of Harajuku. Shopping for unique treasures

Access Culinary Trips’ Japan Tour Finds Kawaii

Our culinary and cultural tour wouldn’t be complete without a stop in the famed Harajuku neighborhoods and shopping centers of Tokyo. On day 3, we find ourselves among these storybook fashion centers admiring the creativity and exuberance of everyday citizens. Make sure you have your camera’s ready, as there will be many photo opportunities here!