The toilet seats are heated, the subways are actually clean, they sell condoms with anime bears on them, and the men carry hand bags. Japan is definitely different from the U.S., and honestly in a lot of ways I found it to be superior. As far as street style goes, I can’t imagine there would be a better place to shoot than Tokyo. Street style photography is huge in Tokyo, especially in the Harajuku area which is where I spent most of my time. Street style photographers actually roam these streets daily snapping photos for various websites and local magazines. When I’m in Austin trying to take street style pics I feel like I’m doing something unique, whereas in Tokyo I felt like I was just part of the regular scene. However, I didn’t speak hardly a word of Japanese so I definitely felt awkward trying to ask people if I could take their photo (imagine me saying the Japanese word for “excuse me” spoken very poorly and pointing to my camera.)
Japanese people are very polite though, and since street style photography is so common there, most people were willing to let me take their photo and many struck poses without even thinking about it as if getting their photo taken on the street was part of their daily routine. This is the thing that makes Tokyo street style so special. When I was in New York for fashion week I got a strong sense that the people I photographed had planned their outfits for weeks in hopes to have their photo taken. In Tokyo, there’s no need for an event. People walk the streets every day on their way to work dressed in a well styled outfit. The street style in Tokyo is authentic, and the fashion there isn’t ruled by industry standards.
Some common trends I saw during my short trip to Tokyo were beanies, berets, New Balance sneakers, oversized coats, and pants cuffed high with socks showing. Menswear seems to be a big influence right now in what the ladies are wearing, and overall the style in Japan is always playful.