Translated by Satomi Ohba
What Is "Nipo-Kaji"? A Casual Fashion Trend From Nippori District
Written by IshizawaYoshinori
Nippori Fabric Town in Tokyo is a bargain hunter's delight! It is also where a casual fashion trend coined "Nipo-Kaji" originated. Read to learn more about this laidback, alternative style that rivals the hipster-cool aesthetic in the backstreets of Harajuku.
"Nipo-Kaji": A Fashion Style Distinct From Harajuku's "Urahara-Kei"
Have you ever heard of the word “Nipo-Kaji"? It is an abbreviation for a fashion trend called "Nippori casual" that started in the Nippori district of Tokyo.
In the 2000s, there was a fashion style called “Ura-Harajuku" that emerged from the back alleys of Harajuku. This trendy youth district is where many shops selling clothes reflecting various subcultures were established.
As a counter-style, Nippori Fabric Town was picked up by the media. In contrast to the hipster-cool boutiques of Ura-Harajuku, the shops here sell cheap, cute, and non-branded clothing—which likewise is a trend.
The clothing racks are stocked with everyday outfits at a bargain price. While they appear to be aimed at young women, you can find adorable baby clothes that are affordable for young mothers, too.
Unique Features of Nippori Fabric Town
The laidback style of Nipo-Kaji materialized in Nippori Fabric Town: a one-kilometer street selling any fabric imaginable for a bargain.
This area was once a wholesale district for clothing materials. Even today, there are many fashion-related shops.
For example, there is a shop that specializes in selling high-quality leather products.
Another handicraft store only carries buttons.
Some shops specifically handle textiles.
This is the essence of Nippori Fabric Town. While it continues to be a thriving wholesale district, many customers are regular people instead of craftspeople. Some of them simply come to purchase fabric for handmade garments.
Although it seems farfetched that Nipo-Kaji would become mainstream, you can enjoy its crafty aesthetic along this mom-and-pop retailers' street.
Address: Tokyo, Arakawa, Higashi-Nippori 5-33-10
Access: Five minutes on foot from the South Exit at Nippori Station along the JR Yamanote Line.