Tokyo: As a Fashion City

Tokyo is a veritable sanctuary for fashionistas, as it is one of the world’s most fashionable cities. The city is home to many diverse subcultures with eclectic looks, including punk, cosplay, Mori Kei, Lolita, and Gyaru. It is known for its outrageous style and distinctive trends. Tokyo is recognised as the fashion capital of Asia and has given rise to numerous businesses that are well-known around the world. It is also the second-largest luxury market in the world, trailing only the United States.

Why is Tokyo known as a fashion capital?

Tokyo is the most populous city in the world and the capital of Japan. There is no shortage of excitement in the city, from the neon lights of Shibuya to the mediaeval temples of Taito to the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Sumida, which is home to Tokyo’s most significant sumo stadium.

The term “street fashion” is used to describe the unique looks that can be found on the streets of global cities like Tokyo, Paris, New York, Hong Kong, and others. In Tokyo, Harajuku, Omotesando, Shibuya, Ginza, Shinjuku, and Shimokitazawa are the greatest areas for finding street fashion. The city is well renowned for its expressive and cartoonish fashion, and the most outgoing and diverse young people congregate in the Harajuku neighborhood. It was immortalised in the monthly print publication FRUiTS, which was founded and produced by the renowned Aoki and is considered the bible of avant-garde, outrageous personal style.

Japanese street style is a phenomenon that has grown as a result of mass media. Previously conservative and traditional, Japanese style has advanced in its use of Western cultural allusions. Extremely customised attire and a reckless acceptance of daring, statement-making fashion are characteristics of Japanese street style. The well-known Lolita style is an illustration of this; it embraces Victorian, doll-like fashions as a protest against the sexualized portrayals of women in the media. The secret to Japanese street style is creative self-expression, not luxury or status symbols, which have gained international appeal. The newest trends are now often sourced from Japanese street style, which has encouraged street style cultures worldwide to become more expressive and innovative.

Important fashion events and attractions

Tokyo Fashion Week

Tokyo Fashion Week is unlike any other, and the surrounding community of fashion enthusiasts is the most diverse and inventive. In addition, designer fashion collections can be equally extreme, pushing the boundaries of fashion while not always being commercially wearable outside of Japan, much like the subcultures that emerge through youth culture. Fashion Week in Tokyo takes place each March and October. Tokyo Fashion Week honours elite fashion talent from Japan as well as international designers and has grown to challenge some of the industry’s biggest players.


Named after the Tokyo neighbourhood that blossomed into a hub for Japanese youth culture and fashion in the early 1980s, “Harajuku” style is also known as “Japanese street style.” If you’re looking for truly distinctive style, head to this area or the red-light district near Shinjuku Station.

Harajuku, where the Harajuku ladies are from, is famous throughout the world for its outrageous dresses, youthful subculture, and over-the-top feminine identity. A closer look reveals a city where women have a long history of using fashion to express their distinct personalities. At first glance, overt cuteness rules over everything. Tokyo girls are fierce, whether they are dressed in elaborate kimonos, frilly petticoats, or leather bondage masks.

Costume Museum at Bunka Gakuen

20,000 historical costumes and related crafts from Japan and the rest of the globe are housed in this tiny museum. One of the few clothing-focused museums in Japan Kosode (short sleeves), Noh costumes, modern court dress, dresses, and accessories from the 18th to 20th centuries in Europe, as well as creations by haute couture designers, are among the core holdings of the museum. The museum also houses a collection of textiles and ethnic clothing from all over the world, including Central and South America, Asia, and Africa. The museum presents a wide range of clothing-related documents from Japan and other countries around the world through themed exhibitions four times a year. Visitors can gain a deeper understanding of Japanese and other world cultures through clothing.

Elite fashion institute

Bunka Fashion College, widely recognised as the most prestigious fashion school in Asia, offers a wide range of degrees in fashion design, marketing, and technology. Kenzo Takada, Hiroko Koshino, and Yohji Yamamoto are a few notable former students.


The word “kawaii,” which roughly translates to “cute,” is used frequently in Japan and can allude to the cuteness culture that has dominated Japanese fashion and society for decades. Imagine Hello Kitty, bold bracelets, and voluminous hair bows. Then, click your heels three times to arrive in Harajuku. Takeshita-dori’s gift shops and cat cafes can be explored at your own pace, or you can join a Harajuku Kawaii Tour to learn more about the origins of the Harajuku look. Your tour guide will be dressed like a porcelain doll from the Victorian era, and she will tell you all about her signature Lolita style while twirling her frilly pink petticoat.

Chuo-dori Street cosplay

Akihabara, also referred to as “Electric City,” is the heart of the Japanese manga and anime industry. Manga is the second most well-known modern fashion trend in Japan after kawaii, and it has come to represent Japanese culture as a whole. On Sundays, when the countless gift and electronics stores are closed, go down central Chuo-dori street to see cosplayers costumed as their favourite manga characters. If you’re feeling creative, visit Cospa or ACOS, which both carry an endless selection of anime costumes, and try on a pink wig or Sailor Moon dress.


In Tokyo, there are no regulations governing fashion codes. Current trends have little to no bearing, and you don’t necessarily need to work in the fashion industry to put on some serious style. Today, one will come upon the Tokyo Fashion Tumblr, which has faithfully captured Japanese street style. There is something for everyone, from Lolita to Steampunk to Ziggy Stardust resurrected. The most striking aspect of the futuristic Tokyo fashion scene is how much more effect vintage cultural references and antique apparel seem to have than the newest runway trends from Paris, Milan, or London. People also adore how dedicated they are to each appearance, frequently going above.

Updated on: 20-Dec-2022

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