Gallery: on Tokyo’s lively Takeshita Dori
The Tokyo district of Harajuku is known as a focal point for some of Japan’s most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles. And at its heart is Takeshita Dori, the perfect place to see Tokyo’s youth at play. This narrow street, little more than a lane, is lined with uber-trendy clothes shops interspersed with the kind of refreshment stops likely to appeal to its mainly teenage market.
The most eccentric and colourful fashions on show are those of the so-called ‘cosplay’ aficionados. Cosplay is short for costume play, in which fans of animė, manga etc. dress in the costumes of favourite characters. While this started as a practice for fan conventions and similar gatherings, today it has extended into life on the streets and the range of costumes widened.
As well as these costumes you’re likely to see Goth, punk and many other styles; often several are combined in the one outfit! And the shop windows of course display fashions in the same vein. I wasn’t surprised to read later that Lady Gaga apparently shops in at least one of these!
We squeezed ourselves into the crush of people walking along the street and wove our way between them. The shops here are mainly independent ones, clearly aimed at the young people who flock here to shop for cute accessories and the latest fashions. We are clearly not in the target market for these shops; but despite feeling a little out of place in this youthful crowd we had a fun time taking photos as we made our way slowly along the street. And a break for lunch at a cheerful café, where we managed to get a table by an upstairs window, gave us a great vantage point from which to watch the passing crowds.
So let’s go for a walk …
I hope you enjoyed this wander down one of Tokyo’s most colourful streets, shared for Becky’s Bright Squares.
I visited Tokyo in 2013
I’d love to visit Tokyo
Wow, the crowd, colors, displays… It look very busy there. I guess we missed this part of Tokyo. 🙂
We might have done if left to ourselves. But we were on a fairly informal tour, where the guide just made suggestions about what the group might like to do rather than a fixed itinerary. He proposed coming here where we could see young Tokyo at play on a Sunday and then visit the Meiji Shrine in the park opposite to see a very different side to a Tokyo Sunday. It was a wonderful contrast – I’ll post about the shrine one day soon 🙂
What an interesting street to visit! I’m sure I’d enjoy doing some people watching on this street. I’ve seen some people dressed in cosplay not only in NYC but also in Amsterdam. But in my mind, I think Tokyo is the epicenter of young people trends.
Thank you Sylvia 🙂 Yes, the young people of Tokyo are very fashion-conscious for sure and this is the place to see that!
So much colour to capture in one street! It was great walking with you through Takeshita Street 👍🏻.
Thank you, I’m happy to have taken you along on this little walk 🙂
This is an amazing neighborhood and your images capture its vibrancy, Sarah. It feels odd to see the crowds. Hopefully, we will get back to normal someday.
Thank you so much Jane 😀 Yes, let’s hope there will be a time again when being in a crowd seems normal!
Looks a fun place to be 🙂 🙂
It was – thanks Jo 🙂
This brought back a lot of memories from living there, and visiting in recent years. I love the “lost in translation” t-shirts and advertising! That last photo is my favorite!
Thank you Tracey 🙂 Somehow the more you read it, the less sense it makes 😆
Wow these are very colorful photos. I’m curious to know the purpose of the giant Lego octopus?
I really don’t know, other than to draw attention to the shop it was on top of! It wasn’t a Lego shop, I am sure 😆
oh this is just fabulous – what fun. So much colour. I guess are Carnaby Street was once as fabulous as this
Thank you Becky 🙂 I’m sorry to be so slow in replying – your comment got buried in my spam for some reason. And you’re right, this is in a way very much as I remember Carnaby Street when I was young!!
No worries, I often get lost in spam during a challenge month – I think because I am leaving so many comments on so many blogs. Simply glad you found me 🙂
This looks a fun street to people watch. 😀
It was great fun, even if it did make us feel rather old 😆
What an amazing walk, Sarah. Wow! The colors are vivid as one might expect, but the hair bows – delightful. The serious expressions, shopping is serious business! I love the crush of people in the narrow streets and your birds-eye-view is perfect. Love this!
Thanks so much Marsha, I’m glad you enjoyed this 😀 It was a crush, which made it a bit harder to take photos, so finding that birds-eye-view was a real bonus!
Sarah, do I have your email? I would love to explore some collaborative efforts.
I prefer not to put it in a public comment like this but would love to hear from you. There’s a ‘contact me’ form under ‘About me’ in the top menu 🙂
Yes, I get that. I have a page called Contact Me. https://tchistorygal.net/contact/
One of the fun things about being abroad is spotting T shirt captions, allegedly in English, and wondering what on earth they mean!
Indeed 😆 We had fun ‘collecting’ them a couple of years ago in Beijing too!
Just in photos, that is – we didn’t come home with a pile of t-shirts 😆
Of course not! That would be tragic!
Bright scenes indeed, Sarah. Especially love the shot looking down on the street.
Thanks Tish 🙂 That’s a favourite of mine too – I love the girls’ outfits!
We never got time to visit this street so it has been nice to see your gallery and read your post. Looks fascinating, but then Tokyo was fascinating in all its aspects.
Glad to have taken you to a part of the city you didn’t get the chance to visit 🙂 I also found Tokyo fascinating, such a city of contrasts, and I know we only saw a fraction of it. I’d love to go back!