Where are we now in Harajuku culture?
If I had to simply explain where Harajuku culture currently is at in it’s life-cycle I would say a rainbow. Like you’ve literally walked into a rainbow of cats, unicorns and kawaii things that are all smooshed together and the these bright pretty things will cost you a pretty penny. This area isn’t for the bargain shopper at all. The clothes, the food, even at 7-11 ATM will smack you with extra fees. This area has fastly become a cash cow. Which is causing some cultural issues, such as a high turn over of stores. High rents, fickle shoppers and really a lot of noisy folks, who aren’t spending money, is resulting in shop owners unable to fund their little kawaii ventures.
NSFW and a child warning – Harajuku is an area of Tokyo that is opened minded and liberated in many ways. The usual meek Japanese personality isn’t found here at all. There are many shops that are very niche specific and many more that are very adult in nature. These are on the streets, on the second floor and aren’t hidden away at all. So if you do have younger children just be aware that such outfits are on display. Also with the old school Harajuku punk stores, the stores owners and workers have been there for a long time. These people are exceptionally passionate about their own little piece of subculture and really don’t appreciate being made into a tourist hot spot. Don’t be surprised if you see a sign using some very clear language expressing their displeasure at you looking in their store and taking photos.
Fun fact – Takeshita-dori has been designated an adult entertainment-free district. So you won’t see any pachinko parlors or “fuzoku” sex shops nearby.