Hands down, Japan was by far the most brilliant, bewildering and beautiful destination for studying fashion during my 12 month adventure around Asia. Aside from the fantastic food, majestic monuments and interesting etiquette, there was a conglomerate of contemporary and cultural fashion around almost every corner!
Gorgeous Geisha, pretty kimono’s, surreal street styles and traditional textiles are just some of the material motives that make Japan a MUST SEE destination for anyone interested in fashion and style around the world. Here’s my top 9 reasons why every fashion lover should visit Japan!
Pretty, precise and poised to perfection, nothing comes close to the wonder of watching a Geisha perform a 400 year old dance in a $15,000 kimono.
The traditional dress of Japan can be seen on a daily basis in places like Tokyo and Kyoto. You can hire, buy or even make your own colorful Kimono in Kyoto.
3. Sensational Shopping
Tokyo puts London and New York to shame for originality, quirkiness and absolute fabulous fun. What ever you do, don’t miss Harajuku!
4. Lolita ᵒᴥᵒ
The Lolita look is one of the original and still most popular styles amongst teenage girls in Japan today as it symbolises everything sweet and “kawaii” (cute) that Japanese culture obsess over.
5. Subculture Street Styles
Japan is probably one of the most fascinating places to people watch for fashion in the world.
6. Traditional Textiles
The kimono industry has produced some of the most exquisite and expensive fabrics in the world. Examples of Indigo, shibori tie dyeing and hand painted techniques can be seen in most museums across Japan.
7. Ridiculous Robots!
Ok, not strictly fashion! But honestly there is no where is madder than the Robot Restaurant in Shinkjuku, Tokyo, for understanding just how nuts Japanese visual culture can get!
8. The Theatre
I was super disappointed that the Kabuki theatre was not showing whilst I was staying in Japan, but there were plenty of other worth while productions full of amazing costumes to drop my jaw.
9. Temple Ceremonies
Visiting temples and shrines in Japan can offer more than just ancient architecture, at peak seasons or times in the day you might get the opportunity to learn more about ceremonial dress and customs.
NOTE: Avoid the Maid Cafes
Maid cafes are restaurants that employ teenage girls to dress up as cute sexy French maids, thus to provide entertainment and service to their customers. The derogatory attraction is marketed towards tourists and adult Japanese men who have unhealthy sexual fantasies surrounding school girl culture. Read more in my previous article here SCHOOL GIRLS IN SEXY COSTUMES: WHY TOKYO’S MAID CAFE’S SHOULD BE AVOIDED! I naively went there because I was not made aware in advance.