Crashing Japan

by Bamboo Dong,

If hip and fashionable are what you're looking for, then Shibuya is your place. With expensive fashion around every corner, gorgeous people everywhere, this is the place to come to see what's hot in terms of clothes, trends, and hairstyles.

Step out of Shibuya station and the first thing you'll see is Hachiko, a statue of a dog. Legend has it, this dog used to come to the station every day to wait for his master. One day, his master died, but the dog continued to go to the station each evening. In his memoriam, this statue was made. Now it's a very popular meeting spot, and you'll often hear girls say on their cell phones, “Hachiko's too crowded; let's meet somewhere else.”

There's two main shopping towers that you'll see on opposite ends of an intersection (the huge intersection that's featured in the movie, Lost in Translation)—Shibuya 109, and Shibuya 109-2. The first is for women's fashion only, and contains plenty of boutiques filled with the trendiest clothes. Men thought that was pretty unfair, so in response, Shibuya 109-2 was created, stocked only with men's stores.

If you happen to be in Shibuya at night, you'll see a lot of gyarus, or gals, as seen in shows like Super GALS (those who have seen the series will remember all the scenes of her standing next to Hachiko). You'll also see quite a few ganguro girls, noticeable by their incredibly tanned faces, extreme makeup, and flashy clothing.

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