Wednesday, December 26, 2007


This is a shop in Ura-harajuku (literally meaning the flip side of Harajuku). Looks like a traditional Japanese cafe or sweet store. No, it sells jewellery. But the name of each piece of jewellery is a Japanese word.

Ura-harajuku is probably Tokyo's most edgy area for making you look stylish. It's full of small, independent boutiques, and, interestingly enough, these stores are mostly for young men. When they sell both women's and men's, the ground floor is devoted for men: women should go upstairs. Unlike Marui Men in Shinjuku, which houses tons of men's boutiques in the 7-story building and follows each season's trend more or less (but still sells clothes unseen anywhere else in the world), each shop in Ura-harajuku offers its own style of gear. I manage to find a lot of clothes that I won't be able to find anywhere else in the world.

The area is also famous for hair salons. I have my hair cut at Coup de Vent. The hair stylist not only cuts my hair but also trims my eyebrows. She also massages my head and shoulders. My hair style catches up with young fashion-conscious men in Tokyo, where there are several hair catalogues for men on sale.

One more thing that deserves mention. Ura-harajuku has some kimono stores. Banjiro sells bespoke kimonos with contemporary patterns while Tokyo135 stocks more affordable ready-made and second-hand kimonos. Both of them kindly tell me what kimonos men can wear. Next time I will try to buy my first kimono.

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