Japan History


Long before the 1970's and the platform shoes, Japanese women had been wearing Geta sandals or clogs.

The reason for wear these very high platform shoes was not for fashion, but for very practical reasons. If you are wearing a very expensive kimono that hangs all the way to your feet, you do not want to get mud on it when you walk outside. (A larger version of the picture can be seen by clicking on it).





Kogals (コギャル kogyaru, lit. "small/child girl") are a subculture of girls and young women in urban Japan, one of several types of so-called gals. They are characterized by conspicuously displaying their disposable incomes through unique tastes in fashion, music, and social activity. In general, the kogal "look" roughly approximates a sun-tanned California Valley girl, and indeed, the similarities between the two extend to the linguistic, for both subcultures have derived entire sets of slang terms (コギャル語 "ko-gyaru-go"). Kogals are not to be confused with the ganguro subculture, although they are similar.

Kogals are known for wearing platform boots, a miniskirt, copious amounts of makeup, hair coloring (usually blond), artificial suntans, and designer accessories. If in school uniform, the look typically includes skirts pinned very high and loose socks (large baggy socks that go up to the knee). Kogals' busy social lives and desire for new material goods leads them to be among the first consumers of Japanese cell phone technology, and their taste in clothes tends toward names such as Burberry scarves and Louis Vuitton handbags. Kogals spend much of their free time (and their father's income) shopping, and their culture centers around the Shibuya district of Tokyo, in particular the 109 building, although any major Japanese city is sure to have at least a small population. During the summer, kogals may sometimes be seen at the beach. They are generally not seen in high-end department stores.



Takeshita-dori represents the cutting edge of fashion in Tokyo where you can see all the latest in Japanese street fashion and then buy in the boutiques.


The broad, tree-lined avenue leading downhill from the southern end of the JR Harajuku station is Omotesandō (表参道). This is the other side to Harajuku Fashion and its challenge to Shibuya and Ginza. Not only is the street full of cafes and international brand clothing boutiques, but now features the very up market Omotesando Hills. If Paris or Milan is the center of the world of fashion design, then Omotesando is the center of world fashion consumption. This is the world of real brand names and no cheap copies here

Omotesando Hills
Omotesando Hills is a very stylish centre that is full of the who's who of the world fashion brands including:

Yves Saint Laurent

Dolce & Gabbana

Porsche Design


Jimmy Choo and Adore

The centre covers six floors and has a very fashionable (unusual) interior design.