Translated by MATCHA_En
Shibuya 109: Sacred Ground For Japanese Fashion
Written by Momota Yokomori
Want to find out what's happening in the Japanese mainstream fashion scene? Then head to Shibuya 109, the sacred ground of Japanese fashion in Shibuya!
When people think of mainstream Japanese fashion, they immediately picture the newest trends and items sold at Shibuya 109. This is the sacred ground of Japanese fashion, and one that is overflowing with an energetic vibe that will make you feel like a fashion icon yourself just shopping there.
At the front of the building is a giant column which houses the elevators for the building.
Thanks to its prominent location, this tower is used to display advertisements for anything from fashion items, to new CDs, and more. A single advertisement, which is 12mx8.9m, costs around 13 million yen for just two weeks (as of 2014). The ads that are posted here often reflect and symbolizes current trends of the society.
The Fashion Hub
Shibuya 109 is a shopping mall that houses 124 clothing stores for youth aged between 17 and 25. Small stores pack each floor, all showing off their very best styles in displays that can change in as little as a week. It was here that fashion trends like loose socks, leg warmers, “hesodashi look” (a style that features cropped tops with one’s belly button exposed), and thick sole shoes were born.
Most shop staffs are in their teens and 20s and they are dressed in clothes that are sold at the storefront. They dress in such ways that they inspire young girls to dress similarly.
The Place where Celebrities are Born
Approximately 35,000 people, mostly women in their teens and twenties, visits here every weekend. Talent agents often come here to look for young girls who aspire to be stars in various fields. The famous model and actress, Nana Eikura, was found by a model agent here in Shibuya.
The Place for Seasonal Events
Some of the most popular seasonal events that take place at Shibuya 109 include New-Year’s sale, Summer sale, and Halloween. Check out their event schedule on Shibuya 109 website. The URL is posted below.
Lucky Bag Feud
New-year sales customarily begin on January 2nd. One of the most popular items at this time of the year is a “Lucky Bag”. A lucky bag is filled with unknown items and is sold for a heavily discounted price. Customers often wait in a long line for the store to open to purchase the bag before 6 o’clock in the morning - this line is sometimes over 200 meters long!
On Halloween, shop staffs will be dressed in a variety of costumes, there are talk panels, music performances, and even make-up or costume events too.
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Dogenzaka, 2-29-1
Hours: 10:00-21:00, Café/Restaurants: 11:00-22:00