Shibuya 109 is a giant shopping mall, and it’s one of the monoliths of the fashion culture in Shibuya, especially for young women.
cover photo credit:Aimaimyi
Shibuya109 opened its doors in 1979, and it always wasn’t geared towards young women. Originally, it was aimed at older women. The building was designed to go in a loop, exploring each of the 10 floors with ease, and making it quite the experience for shoppers. Sometime around the 1990s, the store became more geared towards the gyaru, or gal, subculture. These tend to be young women in their teens and early 20s. Since then, it’s become a haven for young girls of a certain fashion style, and just girls who want to have fun.
There are other 109 shops as well in Japan, with some that opened as recent as 2011, but the 109 in Shibuya has been going on for almost 40 years strong, and for good reason. If you’re a young woman, or just a curious tourist, you have to visit 109 to see what the fashion is about.
If you’re going to shop there, you better come prepared. 109 is 10 floors, so it’s not for those who are in a rush. You’ll really want to go on a day where you can take your time and see what all it has to offer. It’s not your ordinary American mall that has the same old clothes you come to expect. It’s quite an experience for those who are visiting it the first time. Especially foreigners who are so used to malls that are more laid back.
Shibuya 109 has a large collection of shoes for you to choose from, as you probably expect. From the weird shoes to the fashionable ones, you can typically find shoes in the first basement floor you find. One shoe store to check out is Esperanza XYZ. The shoes are made locally and has a variety of sizes. You won’t have to worry about the shoes not being in your size, because odds are, they will be.
When you shop for clothes, you may run into a problem. See, the store is marketed towards young Japanese women, and their sizes don’t tend to be flexible. They’re for petite women, so if you’re taller or bigger, you need to be prepared for disappointment. There are exceptions, however, and you should definitely talk to the employees and see what sizes they carry.
If you do have the figure, you can check out some shops, preferably on the fourth, fifth, and six floor.
In America, you may find costume shops that pop up every Halloween season, or hit up your local Party City. In Japan, everyone loves to dress up, so there are costume shops that are always available. These stores include Sadististic Action, which is on the basement floor. You can find it all, from cosplays to wigs to risque outfits. If you like to dress up, you’ll be in for a treat.
What about accessories? Well, Shibuya 109 of course has a bunch of accessories for you to choose from, encluding bands, clips, socks, tights, and, of course, bling. If any of this interests you, a few stores to check out include floor 2’s Sarah Zodiaqure and floor 6’s Ruby Rose
Makeup and Beauty Products
If you’re in the basement, check out Voeux. They carry tons of colored contact lenses of any color possible. Unlike in America, where you may have to jump through hoops to get colored contacts, here you can buy them. Great for mixing up your eye color, or for cosplay.
Also, the top floor is great for makeup. Here, you can find a lot of accessories, beauty products, and makeup. If you ever wanted to explore the world of alternative fashion, now you can.
So what are the top shops in Shibuya 109? Well, here are my top five stores, and why they are my top five.
1) Liz Lisa
I love pastels, but I don’t want to go full lolita. The clothes fit great, and they often are the perfect mixture of pastels and femininity.
2) Cecil McBee
This store has a ton of great frilly dresses, and if you want to just wear a few of them to dress up, this is definitely the go-to store.
This is a store that involves clothing with wild and crazy patterns. It might sound like the clothes are ugly, but they’re actually at the pinnacle of Japanese fashion.
If you love colored contacts, this is definitely the store to check out. They have so many, that you’ll probably end up buying some in all different colors.
5) Rodeo Crowns
This is a store that combines typical American fashion, with almost a boyish look to it. If you’re looking for a more androgynous style, this is the way to go.
These stores are must-visit ones, and definitely worth checking out.
Shibuya 109 has a lot to offer, and as you can see from this, there are so many stores that you’ll practically get lost in here once you step on in.
Name: Shibuya 109
Address: 2-29-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya 150-0043, Tokyo, Japan
Business hour: Open daily 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Phone number:+81 3-3477-5111
Official website: https://www.shibuya109.jp/SHIBUYA/
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