Harajuku Girls Spotted in San Francisco: Shopping in Union Square


I’ve long been interested in Japanese culture and one aspect of it called Harajuku, which takes its name from the Tokyo neighborhood that is ground-zero for teen culture and for dressing up in a costume-like mash-up of styles based on pop culture, anime characters, musicians, storybook characters, and others.

Harajuku is fun. It’s dress-up for young adults and a display of world culture as seen through the prism of young Japanese people. Imagine, then, my delight upon seeing Harajuku girls, right in San Francisco’s Union Square, where I had taken my daughter to do some back-to-school shopping. I talked to these young women, and they said they were from the Bay Area. Harajuku is apparently quite alive far from its main district.


Following are some other sights from our shopping day in Union Square. Window display:



Street signs and mixed architecture styles, in this old neighborhood:




Local color:



And racks of clothes that begged the question, “What year is this?”, as we browsed through Forever 21 (Forever 41, anyone?) while Soft Cell kept repeating on the store’s soundtrack.







Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman

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5 responses to “Harajuku Girls Spotted in San Francisco: Shopping in Union Square

  1. Just an All-Around GREAT post!

  2. Thank you, Dear! It was a great day.

  3. What would Forever 41 sell? Mom jeans and sweatpants? :)

  4. Yes, totally!

    Great to see you here, Linda.

    • My LO is a skater girl, but I can’t stand thigns with words printed everywhere- like those jackets. I also don’t like those connected shirt/dress skirt thigns. She’s tall and skinny and those thigns never fit right.I love the boys jeans and wonder if they would fit her? Those are cute! She likes a lot of boys clothes anyway. The plaid dress is cute too. I love moto jackets, but I can’t tell what those button thigns are on it or what they say.I’m not a big fan of tons of words on clothes unless it’s a shirt with a saying on front and that’s it.

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