Harajuku is one of the most visited fashion and shopping districts of Tokyo. Epitomizing Tokyo’s famous street fashion, Harajuku and its small streets continue to attract young Japanese girls as well as an increasing number of foreign tourists. Now we have one more reason to go to Harajuku – Dream Station JOL – A Girl’s Heaven in Harajuku. Read on to find out about this girl’s dream paradise.
What’s Dream Station JOL? JOL stands for “Joy of Life”. Located on Harajuku’s most famous shopping street, Takeshita-Dori, Dream Station JOL is a mall housing everything from clothing and cosmetics brands to food outlets to live performance.
There are 230 seats available in the food court, from which live performance on the stage can be enjoyed. Radio programs are recorded on the stage and internet TV is being broadcast from there, too.
Live performance while having good food and drinks is great, but the reason why Dream Station JOL has been a great hit as an after-school hangout is the JOL Studio. It’s a space where girls can get changed after school and try out the latest beauty products and hair straighteners called ‘kote’. Depending on the day of your visit, there are free give-away samples of make-up products at the JOL Studio.
To be able to use the JOL Studio, you need to register first. If you can’t read Japanese, you might have to ask for help with a Japanese speaking friend.
In the food court, there are a number of cool cafes and eat-ins, including “Pearl Lady” (famous for its tapioca drinks) and the “collaboration cafe space” offering the Japanese-style fast food “bakudan grill main office”.
Harajuku has changed quite a lot over time. Back in the 80s, I was visiting the district to see “Takenoko-Zoku” dancing their hearts out on “Hokoten” (short for “Hokosha “pedestrians” Tengoku “Heaven”)”.
According to Wikipedia, Takenoko-Zoku was:
“a type of dance group active from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s in Tokyo, especially in Harajuku. The teenagers, mainly girls but often with one boy leading, were colorfully dressed and danced in a distinctive style on the sidewalk to music from stereos. To an extent, they were precursors to the gyaru groups that would eventually arise in the 90s.”
The phenomena of Takenoko-Zoku impacted on all teenagers’ lives back then, from the concept of dance, fashion to the notion of nakama or in-group friends. Their fashion was often designed and produced by themselves and at the same time there were shops that started to specialize in Takenoko fashion.
Unlike today’s corporate-fueled fashion trend, Takenoko-zoku emerged from Japan’s youth who wasn’t happy to go with the ready-made fashion and culture. In a sense, they were truly street. No one organised a venue for them.
Dream Station JOL provides a unique opportunity for today’s Japan’s youth. It’s up to them how they make use of the organized space to be unique and subservient, just like their predecessors.
BUSINESS HOURS: Weekdays 10:30 to 20:30 | Weekends 10:30 to 21:00, PHONE: 03-6438-9860
ADDRESS: 〒150-0001 1-8-2, Jinguumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo sorado Takeshita Street 2F
HOW TO GET THERE: Get off at either JR Harajuku Station, Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line, or Fukutoshin Line “Meiji Jingumae <Harajuku>” and head for the Takeshita-Dori Exit. Walk down on Takeshita Dori for five minutes and Dream Station JOL is located on the right hand side.