After a while back in Europe, I realized we were missing a post on Shibuya 109 - the institution for Japanese gals and teenage shopping and must visit for anyone interested in fashion. Regardless you like it or not, it is the perfect introduction to the Japanese Teen scene (aka Junior High School) that beats at the very heart of my beloved Shibuya.
When you enter the building, it is an almost immediate overwhelming feeling. Everything is too cute, too pastel, too made up and too loud, in terms of the welcoming shout of irasshaimase 「いらしゃいませ」that is a pre-condition to get a job there. So you will feel this is not the place for you, but trust me, there is hope in spots like INGNI - just by the entrance, EMODA, MURUA and even the Adidas Originals store, where I caught a last number of Rita Ora's Stan Smiths during my walk around.
Still, it is very fun to wander around stores like Liz Lisa or Samatha Thavasa, that should be in court by dragging so many little girls into a candylike existence that sometimes, they get hooked into until adult age.
This is the kind of stuff brought in by EMODA (above) and MURUA (below), less gyaru, more cool Tokyo gurl.
INGNI (below) sometimes has one or two nice things, like this one piece or the matching culottes, which are much cheaper than the ones in ZARA (at least in Tokyo) but of matching fit and colors.
The fact that Miranda Kerr is endorsing this brand is something that remains overly shocking to me. I mean, I get she is a model and all that, but her style is so sleek... Why promoting something you are not at all identified with? Don't get me wrong, some bags are OK but others - like the one pictured - feel a bit too much for my taste.
It's very easy to get there, just walk straight through the scramble from Hachiko exit, leaving the Starbucks to your left until you arrive to the cylinder like building with the 109. Still wondering why that name?? 109 = 10 - 9 = tō (meaning 10) and kyū (meaning 9) that sound like Tōkyō. While it opened in 1979, targeting women on their 30s it later moved to more of a teenage group, which remains the main customer today.