The fashion Mecca of Tokyo
Tokyo is famously one of the most expensive cities in the world. In my experience some things aren't as expensive as the West; such as eating out, all-night-drinking and public transport, however some things are absurdly expensive! Namely fresh fruits, movie tickets and jewelry. A nice pair of earrings that aren't even precious stones or metal can easily set you back around 4,000 yen (37 dollars). There are ways around this though, if you know where to look. My absolute favorite accessory store is nestled cozily in the bustling hub of Takeshita dori, within a two minute walking distance of JR Harajuku station and is easily recognized by its obnoxiously large bubblegum-pink "Paris Kids" sign.
I'm a huge fan of Japanese and Harajuku style fashion but this huge store actually does a well balanced mix of "kawaii" accessories as well as casual, formal and bohemian style pieces to fit every style and whim. The kicker? Every single item is exactly 300 yen including tax! (3 dollars!)
Time is money, baby
One thing I miss about living in the UK is "The Pound shop" where everything was literally one pound, my friends similarly reminisce about the dollar stores back in America, so just the fixed price alone has a feeling of nostalgia in a country where the prices can be pretty random sometimes. The name is slightly weird, I'll give it that, but I just assumed it was tied to Japan's long-lived love affair with all things France.
Tokyo's popular trends
My personal favorite aisle inside is the ribbon section, stocked with oodles and oodles of hair ribbons and barrettes in every color, size, shape and texture. Girly and soft styles are incredibly popular in Japan right now, particularly Larme, running alongside a magazine of the same name and based around the idea of a "cute, but shy girl who spends her time at art galleries and libraries." Luckily Paris Kids sells a ribbon for every outfit and occasion. I find clipping one of these bad boys in my hair even jazzes up my dullest work outfit and adds a splash of color to the most mundane of hair styles.
For people with holes and without
It's always an exciting shopping experience because of course there are tons of teenage girls picking out ribbons and scrunchies, but there's also office women picking out dainty little jewelry pieces for work, men picking up presents for their girlfriends and tourists picking out wacky sunglasses and animal ears. This store represents my favorite aspect of Harauku - how it brings so many kinds of people together and how normalized it is for everyone to wear their own individual styles.
Keeping it fresh
Another plus point of this particular store is that the stock changes frequently and seasonally. One gripe I do have with Harajuku is that because it is essentially a huge market place that sells mostly to overseas tourists, the stock doesn't change so often and I honestly see the same items being sold in some stores that were there over five years ago when I first arrived in Japan. Due to the popularity of Paris Kids at least they can switch up their styles often and even release seasonal collections. Right now it is Halloween season and Paris Kids is debuting a spooky range of pumpkin-plastered jewelry, little ghost pins and of course a wide array of animal ears and masquerade-style eye masks.
The 3,000 yen challenge
I challenged myself to spend under 3,000 yen, which I thought would be a huge feat for me because in Tokyo every time I pop outside for more than an hour I feel like I drop 10,000 yen at least and have nothing to show for it, but weighing up my options I noticed that my basket became pretty full quickly and I didn't feel like I was losing an arm and a leg.
Thar be treasure
I ended up with a rather impressive pile of booty and it only set me back 2,400 yen! (22 dollars!)
Most of the items are in my signature color scheme of pink and black and are suited to my more flamboyant styles, but I did pick up a somewhat sensible constellation printed scrunchy for work with an adorable little dangling pearl. Right now chunky hair clips are very much "in" among the Tokyo fashion crowd and luckily they had an incredibly array of sizes and designs.
I was surprised because I saw a similar style of pearl bow-style ribbon being sold in some of the more expensive accessory stores in LaForet for a pretty penny so I snapped this one up immediately.
I really recommend this place for people on a budget, anyone who wants to "try" Japanese fashion but doesn't know where to start, people who want to take a snazzy souvenir home or anyone who just likes pretty things.
Maybe if you're bold enough, you can see if you can top my haul with a 3,000 yen challenge!
If you're hungry for more cute and affordable jewelry stores around Tokyo, please check out this article by Datumou recipe!