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Harajuku Bridge

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Harajuku bridge

Harajuku bridge

We were in Tokyo, it was a Sunday, and we had an appointment to keep with Gothlolis on the Harajuku bridge. Yes, even in the rain.

On Sundays Harajuku bridge becomes a promenade with variously dressed cosplayers arrayed along its length. Cosplayers is a combination of costume and roleplay, and essentially means dressing up as your favorite anime/manga/videogame character. But the facile description of cosplay belies the effort they put into both creating their costumes and playing their chosen roles. At least for the time they are on the bridge they seem to inhabit their roles quite thoroughly. When the metaverse finally arrives, they will be its first avatars.

The innocent description of cosplay also elides some rather uncomfortable undercurrents. The schoolgirl fetish, Japan’s inadvertent contribution to global culture, probably arose from cosplay.

On the day we were there, a few braved the rain to show up in their finery. Some were with friends, others alone. Some posed for pictures, others politely objected. They may be dressed up in Goth makeup but all were polite and courteous to a fault.

Regardless of the reasons why people dress up as kawaii, gothlolis, or victorian damsels, one must tip one’s hat to their sense of style. Precise, fastidious, and visually arresting. Perhaps one of them will inspire or indeed will grow up to be a Rei Kawakubo.

Or you can just stroll across to Omotesando street and walk into Rei Kawakubo’s store Comme des Garçon itself. Very chic, avant garde, and expensive. If you are more of a street style aficionado walk over to Takeshita street. The lanes of Takeshita Dori are full of small, quirky boutique stores which features Tokyo’s justly celebrated street fashion. Stock up on clothes, if that’s your thing, and head to Shibuya for some dinner and neon madness.

The Park The Shop The Nap
Harajuku street

Harajuku street

Written by Ankur

September 10, 2009 at 11:20 am

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