Cool Japan Part 2: Harajuku

Second part of our Cool Japan activities was a Google+ Photo Walk from Harajuku to Aoyama.

Harajuku, as you all might already know, is a fashion mecca where you can find the best street fashion and the most unorthodox items that are impossible to find anywhere else. I can’t think of any other place in the world that is on the same level as Harajuku! It definitely deserves its international recognition (special thanks to Lady Gaga and Gwen Stefani?).

My first ever experience with Japanese fashion (10 years ago?!) was discovering FRUiTS magazine scans at a Livejournal community. Most of the street snaps in the magazine were taken at Harajuku, so I made it a point to include the place in our itinerary the first time I visited Tokyo. I bought a lot of cutesy bows, colorful socks, and quirky character bags! (Come to think of it, my personal style changed so much in the past decade. Nowadays, I’m all about dressing up as simply and comfortably as possible, lol.)

We had the people from METI guide us through the tour, but we also had a special navigator with us. Her name was Rei Shito, a street style photographer for magazines like FRUiTS, STREET and TUNE. I died a little inside when I saw her in the flesh! /cry! My love for photography started when I was introduced to Japanese street style magazines. I live for moments like these. It was such a dream come true to meet an icon of Harajuku.

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Before anything else, how cute are these Sailor Moon goodies from SPINNS?

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It was raining so bad so it was hard to take pictures, but I did my best!

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First stop was Laforet Harajuku (ラフォーレ原宿).

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So lucky I was able to catch Disney Girls Project! The whole building had these cute Disney meets fashion type of displays, and everything was glorious. Leave it up to the Japanese to create the cutest collaboration items!

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Alice fever!

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Heart-shaped bag with Alice print. It can’t get any cuter than this.

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Frilly Alice tote bag.

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Colorful Baby-G and G-Shock watches! Reminded me so much of Time Depot!

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Would you wear these accessories? Apparently, these are made out of real popcorn! Of course, they’ve been treated to be as good as plastic.

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Retro look for summer!

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Sailor Moon altar?

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MALKOMALKA(マルコマルカ)iPhone cases. I love buying iPhone cases in Japan because you really can’t find the same designs being sold anywhere else!

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Minnie Mouse meets Harajuku street style.

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All things kawaii in one photo. Strawberries, polkadots and ribbons. <3

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On some floors in Laforet, you can find these kinds of clothes. Good for me!

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The best part about this place? Ladurée make-up!

You can only find these in Japan and France. Interestingly, they have more stores in Japan than in France, lol.

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THAT PACKAGING.

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Too pretty for words. I wish I had enough time to go shopping here!

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After Laforet, we braved the rain and went to other places in Harajuku for the Photo Walk.

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BUBBLES is a fashion boutique that sells both new and vintage items. A lot of their clothes are inspired by ‘70s, ’80s and ’90s fashion.

The owner of the store is a girl named Coi, another Harajuku fashion icon who always gets featured in street style magazines!

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Ice cream, anyone?

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Rei Shito on the left, a Japanese fashion blogger and icon Momo on the right.

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Next stop was 6%DOKIDOKI! This brand is one of the pioneers of kawaii culture and fashion.

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Japanese shop staff also serve as some sort of brand ambassadors, so it’s extra fun to go shopping and ogle at their fashion!

More often than not, people end up the buying items that the shop staff are wearing. Talk about being living mannequins!

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More Harajuku fashion icons. By now I think you can distinguish the differences between Harajuku fashion and Shibuya fashion!

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WUT BERLIN.

Yes, that is the name of the store.

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Mantra for some people, but not for me. I love my work! ^_^

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Funky prints everywhere. Laureen lost her mind here because everything was so her style!

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Harajuku is not only known for the fashion, but it also has its own foodie moments!

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More Japanese fashion icons/bloggers who were with us during the Photo Walk. Rainy days don’t get them down. It’s admirable how they still manage to look perfect after a whole afternoon’s worth of rain and humidity! I need to know what their secret is!

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The most important time of the day finally arrived… and it was at Google Japan’s office! This day couldn’t get any more awesome!

They held an intimate launch event for the 100Tokyo website, and we were there to experience the whole thing. “100Tokyo” is a new website which hopes to present Tokyo’s 100 best places and things to experience.

There is seriously no excuse not to go to Japan now that they’re opening their doors to more tourists! You can check out the 100Tokyo website if you have no idea how to start your itinerary, or if you just feel like dreaming about Japan.

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Snacks served during the event. SO MUCH NOM.

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Chocolate and matcha cake with sakura design! Congratulations Google Japan on successfully launching 100Tokyo and thank you to METI for sending us to Tokyo to witness the unveiling of this new campaign!

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