A fashion analyst living in Tokyo will introduce Tokyo's fashion, food, art, design, nature, etc. from the perspective of locals.

A tour of classic thrift stores in Harajuku, the town of vintage clothing, and delicious Asian noodles in the quiet back alleys of Takeshita-dori.

Hello. My name is Koji Yamada


I have been working in the fashion industry in Tokyo for many years, and recently I have been working as a fashion analyst, mainly on my blog. 

For my job, I have visited countless fashion-related stores and continue to research regularly and explore new stores. 

In this blog, I would like to introduce some of the fashion stores I have found during my research, as well as some of the delicious and reasonably priced restaurants I have visited during my research.

The locations that appear in this article are shared here on Google My Map.


A small street where the bustle of Takeshita-dori is not heard at all

Come to think of it, I have not yet introduced Harajuku, the most well-known town in Japan as a fashion center.

So, in this issue, I will introduce you to some thrift stores in Harajuku, also known as the town of secondhand clothes, with a focus on reasonably priced secondhand stores.

I headed to Harajuku in mid-August during the still hot daytime.

First, lunch. I don't often eat in Harajuku.

So, this time I went to a restaurant I found on the way to Harajuku by searching with my smart phone. I headed there with the help of Google Maps. Enter Takeshita-dori from the Takeshita Exit of Harajuku Station, and turn right at the intersection with Daiso.

Enter a small street, walk a short distance, and you will find an even narrower street on your left. This street is called Brahms' Lane, and here you will find a quiet atmosphere that belies the bustle of Takeshita-dori.

Incidentally, there is an episode that explains the origin of the name Brahms' Lane.

An old Western-style house stands on Brahms' Lane. There was a French writer who was a close friend of the first owner of this Western-style house, and he was the godfather of "Brahms' Lane. This French writer, whose name was Françoise Sagan, is said to have named the street after her own book, "Brahms Loves.

Walk for a few dozen seconds along the Brahms path and you will see Bassanova Harajuku on your right.

The signature menu item here is green curry buckwheat noodles. At the storefront is a poster of cold green curry noodles, which is probably a new menu item for the summer.

In addition to Thai green curry, the ramen seems to be inspired by other Asian cuisines, such as Vietnamese tom yum kung and Singaporean laksa.

In addition to various credit cards, payment can be made with transportation system IC cards such as Suica.

Ticket vending machine.

Water is self-service. Aprons and wet wipes are provided.

I ordered the green curry soba (1,000 yen).

The taste and flavor of green curry was properly arranged to suit the ramen broth and noodles, and was better than expected.

I used to like green curry, but I don't like it too spicy. However, this green curry noodles was moderately spicy and even I could enjoy eating all of the soup.

I also love Tom Yam Kung and Laksa and would like to revisit and try them.


Harajuku Chicago, my standard for thrift stores in Tokyo.

Now that we are full, let's walk.

Return to Takeshita-dori and walk toward Meiji-dori.

In the basement of a complex containing several stores is the Harajuku Chicago Takeshita Store.

Harajuku Chicago is a pioneer of thrift stores in Tokyo.

It has numerous stores in Tokyo, which we have introduced in previous articles on Kichijoji and Shimokitazawa.

Like other stores, the spacious store is lined with basic American vintage clothing!

The prices are reasonable.

For me, Harajuku Chicago is the standard for thrift stores in Tokyo.

I think Harajuku Chicago is probably the thrift store where I have shopped the most in Tokyo.


Spins on thrift store regression

Well, I left Harajuku Chicago and was about to head to the next store...but then I saw the word "thrift store" on the second floor of the building that houses the Harajuku Chicago Takeshita store. Hey, was there such a thing as a thrift store here?

There used to be a Spinns

Like WEGO introduced in the Shimokitazawa article, Spinns was originally a thrift store.

Gradually, the number of original products increased, but due to the recent popularity of vintage clothing, both WIGO and Spinns are going back to their roots, and the number of stores that carry vintage clothing is increasing.

Harajuku Takeshita-dori store here, but they seem to have changed their product lineup to mainly used clothing, which they did not carry before.

Like WEGO introduced in the Shimokitazawa article, Spinns was originally a thrift store.

Gradually, the number of original products increased, but due to the recent popularity of vintage clothing, both WIGO and Spinns are going back to their roots, and the number of stores that carry vintage clothing is increasing.


Kinji, where you can enjoy the sensation of a treasure hunt

Exit Takeshita-dori to Meiji-dori and turn right. Kinji Harajuku is located in the basement of the building where Kura Sushi recently opened.

This is another thrift store that appeared in our Shimokitazawa article.

Not only do they buy items from the U.S., but they also buy in-store, so they have a large selection of Japanese vintage clothing. So, although there is a high level of junk, you can also enjoy finding bargains.


My best purchase of the summer, Harajuku Chicago Jingumae store.

It is a short walk from Kinji. Harajuku Chicago Jingumae store is located along Cat Street, Harajuku's promenade.

Like other Harajuku Chicago stores, this one also offers a selection of standard American casual vintage clothing.

I immediately bought a pair of Polo Ralph Lauren's classic Tyler shorts in linen. The perfect material, color, and size, and was quite excited when I found them. They were my favorite pair of shorts to wear this summer.


Expanded and relocated West Coast Anchor Harajuku

Returning to Meiji-dori Avenue and turning your feet toward Shibuya, the West Coast Anchor Harajuku store is on your left.

This is another thrift store that also operates in Shimokitazawa.

It recently moved from a one-floor store nearby to this location and now has two floors.


My precious toilet spot.

Next is not a thrift store.

This is niko and Tokyo, the flagship store of niko and, a brand operated by major apparel company ADASTORIA Holdings, Inc.

Niko and is a familiar low-priced brand in shopping centers, but this store has a large selection of non-apparel items. The store offers a wide variety of goods, including furniture, plants, and outdoor goods, as well as sundries.

And the reason why I introduced this store is because it is my precious restroom spot.

In fact, there are not many restrooms around this area of Meiji-dori, and I often use the restroom located outside on the second floor of niko and Tokyo.


Thrift store Jam from Osaka

After exiting niko and Tokyo, cross Meiji Street and on your right you will see the thrift store Jam Harajuku.

This is the first Tokyo branch of Jam, a thrift store from Osaka. The store is located in the basement and is quite spacious. The prices are slightly higher than those of Harajuku Chicago and West Coast, but the selection is more vintage-oriented and you can feel the attention to detail.


Relaxed choice Harajuku Chicago Harajuku 

Now, it is time for me to head for Harajuku Station as I am getting tired of walking.

On the way up the Omotesando slope from Meiji-dori is the Harajuku Chicago Harajuku store.

The previous store was located near the Jingumae intersection, but was relocated here due to redevelopment. Walking up the stairs, you will find yourself in a spacious store. As with the other Harajuku Chicago stores, the merchandise selection is centered on reasonably priced classic American casual wear.


Still more thrift stores in Harajuku

Although we have introduced only affordable thrift stores, Harajuku is dotted with many other thrift stores, including well-known stores that carry valuable vintage items and up-and-coming stores that offer a fresh sense of style.

We hope to introduce you to more vintage clothing shops when we have a chance, so please look forward to it.