Fashion blogger profile on FashionOne TV! Tokyo’s Cutest Stores: Kokokim pastel goth, Harajuku girls.

cute japanese teen girls, harajuku twins

Tokyo remains the cutest place on Earth — and there’s no better place than Harajuku for fashion inspiration! 

Wouldn’t you like to follow along with me in Tokyo, and see what happens on a typical day? You can, thanks to the magic of television…

military gold brocade dress

I’m honored to be profiled by FashionOne, the international style TV network that broadcasts to 120 countries worldwide!

The “day in a life of La Carmina” episode first aired on June 15, but you can see it on repeat and online on FashionOne’s channel (or just click play below).

In this feature, you’ll catch glimpses of the Pokemon cafe, Line Friends store, and Odigo travel launch party — where I dressed as a Grand Budapest Lobby Girl.

Thank you to Stephanie and everyone at FashionOne TV, for letting me share my world with you. The video is created and produced by my travel filmmaking partners, Borderless Media.

tokyo airbnb apartment rental

In the video, you’ll notice that my team and I stayed at an AirBNB in Shibuya. We’re big fans of this short-term apartment rental site, which lets you live in comfort — as if you were a local — while spending less. Our apartment had two bedrooms and a kitchen, and was a five minute walk from the station. (Psst, here is my AirBNB discount link that gets you $31 off your first booking!)

A lot of people ask me where to stay in Tokyo. If you’re only visiting for a short time, I urge you to stay in one of the major districts (I prefer Shibuya or Shinjuku). This way, you won’t waste time and money on getting to the city every day. Also keep in mind that the trains stop running around 1am, so you might as well be in a neighborhood where you can party and then walk home.

harajuku punk clothing

But let’s go back to fashion blogging in Japan. To celebrate the release of the FashionOne episode, I thought I’d share photos of the best alternative shopping destinations in Tokyo.

Let’s start with Harajuku, since it was featured in the travel video. Over the years, Takeshita Doori has gotten more and more commercial. Nonethless, you can still find Goth, punk and metal fashion here.

goth harajuku boutiques

At AC/ DC, the clothes are inexpensive ($10-40 US per item), and have cute-Gothic prints you can’t easily find anywhere else.

cool harajuku tutus hoodies

Such as tutu-dresses and this Miffy-mouthed hoodie.

kera magazine lolita dessert dress

Many of Harajuku’s shops are quite mainstream now, but if you wander down the side-streets, you’ll find the gems. Here’s a sign for Kera Magazine, featuring a cute model in a dessert-pastry-print Lolita JSK.

stayreal japan shop, hello kitty

The StayReal brand is actually from Taiwan. The Heavy Metal Hello Kitty sign gives you a hint of the cute meets edgy fashion inside.

hyper core, japanese designer

It pains me to report that more punk and Gothic brands are closing doors. Sex Pot Revenge is now no more. On the bright side, Hyper Core and Listen Flavor are still around.

dog harajuku, punk store

And the experimental fashion boutique, Dog, is as madcap as ever. (Address: 3-23-3 Jingumae, Harajuku)

avantgarde harajuku clothing shop

Every time I go down these stairs, I’m astonished by their intricate, avantgarde designs. Dog’s pricetags are expensive — I’ve never bought anything here, but I love to loo.

famous japanese punk boutique

Lady Gaga and others go nuts for the various handmade garments, from Japan and all over.

mori girl clothes, vintage

For more affordable prices, stop by Kinji, the secondhandstore on Meiji-jingumae. Mori and dolly-vintage fashion is big here.

funny japanese graffiti

And if you have no money to spend at all… Well, Death Is Free!

shibuya crossing buildings

Onward to Shibuya, another favorite neighborhood for the young and trendy. There are endless restaurants and bars here.

black cherry jrock band

Inside Tsutaya (the music and DVD store), we saw these posters for the Jrock band Black Cherry. Looks like the two guys are giving some “fan service”…

kawaii statue japan

Everyone has a smartphone these days, even this cute bear sitting at the top of a skyscraper.

rainbow lights tokyo shibuya

Neon lights — Shibuya at night! (Photos by Borderless Media, using my Sony Alpha 7 (A7) mirrorless DSLR)

japanese flower manhole covers

Don’t forget to look down, or you’ll miss these Japanese manhole covers, decorated like flowers.

feather crown hat

High-quality images are important to me, so in recent years, my blog photos are all from DSLR cameras. However, there are times when I’m in a hurry, and simply use my iPhone to capture inspiration.

I usually share these snaps on my Instagram, but felt I should also put some in this post for you. Keep on reading for my Tokyo smartphone snaps…

fairy kei retro clothes

… including a peek at the Kokokim pastel goth boutique, which sells coffin purses in mint and lavender!

♡ Lots of photos below, click to see ♡
hello kitty narita airport shop

Let’s start from the moment I got off the plane. There’s a new Hello Kitty / Sanrio gift shop in Narita Airport, which tempts you into spending on cute goods the moment you arrive! Many items are special edition Narita goods, like keychains of Hello Kitty on a plane.

hatsune miku store tokyo

Next to it, there are stalls dedicated to other anime and kawaii characters. Hatsune Miku (the turquoise-haired vocaloid) has a booth with DVDs and other merchandise.

sakura ice cream, yuzu juice

I have my little rituals, upon landing at airports. At Narita or Haneda, I always look for onigiri (rice balls stuffed with fish) and yuzu drinks (flavored with “citron,” the Japanese citrus fruit). If I’m lucky, I’ll find special edition Haagen-Dazs ice cream flavors like sakura (cherry blossom).

kabukicho host boy clubs

Hello, Kabukicho host boys… Nice to see you again.

shibuya 109 girls

I’m always in Tokyo for work (TV shows or other jobs), so I often have very little time for shopping. If I’m in Shibuya, I’ll quickly duck into the gyaru department store Shibuya 109 to check out the latest trendy fashions.

honey bunch gyaru japan

Girly fashions never go out of season here. For a full overview of this famous mall, check out my guide to Shibuya 109.

rainbow pastel hair braids

Pastel rainbow colors are currently all the rage, and I’m loving this look. Love this soft multi-colored wig, styled in a fishtail braid.

kokokim Kimura u brand

She’s the sweetest model in Kera Magazine, and now Kera model Masaru Kimura has her own adorable fashion brand. Located on the sixth floor of Shibuya 109, Kokokim can be described as “Pastel Goth” or “Fairy Kei meets punk.”

kokokim fairy kei pastel goth fashion

The selection proves that Kimura-U is an official Japanese “kawaii ambassador” for a reason: her designs are on-trend, and designed for maximum cuteness.

pastel coffin purses tokyo kokokim

Kokokim’s sweet-dark style is summed up by these coffin purses, in pale pink and mint. Prices are quite high considering the quality: a lavender suspender dress with cut-out crosses was nearly 20,000 yen, and tshirts printed with “Lolita” were 6000 yen.

japanese cell accessories toys

Nearby, this pink boutique has every possible dangling accessory for your phone or hair.

cute animal books japan

Inside Kinokuniya bookstore, there is always a big selection of cute picture-books. Cats, dogs and bunnies are yesterday’s news. These books now feature more unexpected animals like lovebirds and lambs.

higuchi yuko cats

I love browsing the art book selection here. You can’t find most of these outside Japan, and even if you can’t read the language, you can admire the images (like Higuchi Yuko’s stylized cats).

snoopy peanuts clothing

Back to shopping. This time, I ducked into Shinjuku Lumine. (I had so little time to shop, I literally spent 15 minutes running around this department store before my next appointment.)

Lumine has a large selection of mid-priced streetwear, mostly Japanese brands. I saw this young woman carrying a Miffy bag, and Snoopy t-shirts on the mannequins.

frap bois zoo japan

The Frap Bois Zoo stands out with its strong graphic prints.

kiss metal hello kitty

Where else can you pick up a t-shirt of Hello Kitty, styled like the members of metal band KISS? Or get your nails done in a Little Twins Star salon?

casper friendly ghost shirt

Lots of accessories for mixing and matching. This is the first time I’ve seen a Casper the Friendly Ghost product.

nadia shoes lumine

I did a more extensive tour of Shinjuku Lumine in this post. It takes you inside my favorite stores — but note that Gladnews is no longer here (it’s only in Shibuya 109 now).

bettie boop clothing

Love these Bettie Boop “Be My Baby” candy purses. As you can tell, pastel colors and striking prints are in.

goth alice in wonderland

Emo Gothic Alice in Wonderland! With pink hair, arm fishnets and a dour expression. Now I’ve seen everything.

algonquins japan shop

One of my favorite boutiques, Algonquins. They combine kawaii, punk, rock and Goth so well. I would have gotten the cat shirt if it weren’t electric yellow.

weird asian face mask

I can’t resist taking photos of cute and bizarre items in stores, such as this Kabuki face mask, and My Melody dessert shop.

cute seal plush toys

How about these adorable stuffed toy seals? 

cat face shoes slip ons

Now, let’s shop in Laforet, the famous Harajuku department store. I spotted devil-kitty shoes at World Wide Love, and these disturbing finger-rings at an indie boutique.

hipster japan fashion

The two basement levels of Laforet remain some of the best places to see subculture fashion. These range from dreamy and vintage-style (I adore the grey-purple maxi dress) to poppy, hipster clothing.

purple gothic lolita dresses

Many of the top Gothic, Lolita and Punk brands have shops in Laforet. The kimono-style Lolita dress on the left is h.NAOTO.

japanese steampunk clothing

I’m seeing more Steampunk influences than ever. The “occult”, Nu-Goth style, which is quite popular in the US, is present here too.

teen stylish harajuku girls

At the end of the day, it’s the young Harajuku girls who keep this district alive. If this photo is any indication, they’re as well-dressed and willing to experiment than ever.

sweet lolita store, dresses

Looks like they’re having fun trying on a cherry-print dress, in this Sweet Lolita store!

tokyo street lights night

I leave you with this neon snapshot, of Shinjuku streets at night. Note the smiling panda bear. (I previously did a photo diary of a stroll in Shinjuku that many of you enjoyed.) Did you enjoy this casual iPhone travel diary?

Don’t forget to watch my FashionOne profile to see my “day in the life” in Tokyo!



  1. MelissaR
    Posted June 16, 2015 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    Lovely, colorful post! Must go back and shop till I drop!!! Hee hee :)

  2. Toyoko
    Posted June 16, 2015 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Thanks for visiting!

  3. Arnold
    Posted June 16, 2015 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    I love the TV show! Do more pls

  4. Valeria
    Posted June 16, 2015 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Those girls :<3
    one day I will shop in Tokyo.

  5. yukiro
    Posted June 16, 2015 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    If you have no money… Death is FREE! :D <3 Finally an explaination for my morbid fashion deviations!

  6. Lauren
    Posted June 16, 2015 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Love all this fashion <3

  7. Tom Hull
    Posted June 16, 2015 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Last August there was this “Club Hello Kitty” boutique on the top floor of Shibuya 109. :-)

  8. Alice Hab
    Posted June 17, 2015 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    All cute photos!

  9. Dramac
    Posted June 17, 2015 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    I saw you on the TV show <3

  10. Truffle
    Posted June 19, 2015 at 2:11 am | Permalink


  11. Heart me
    Posted June 19, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Oh so much to like in this post.

  12. Victoria
    Posted June 19, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink


  13. Raw
    Posted June 19, 2015 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    love this on so many levels

  14. Jose
    Posted June 20, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink


  15. hearme
    Posted June 20, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    i want the green coffin purseeeee

  16. Infinity10
    Posted June 20, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    absolutely drop dead cool

  17. Dead Ringer
    Posted June 20, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    ohhhhh I love those little coffin bags

  18. Garu
    Posted June 20, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    very exciting!

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