March 23, 2012

The Magical Witches of Shibuya 109

Sorry kids, yet another post about shopping. Which, strangely, I have been doing very little of. Maybe it’s because I’ve been saving for this trip to Japan for so long that I’ve conditioned myself to become a perpetual cheapskate. But more likely, it’s because shopping in Tokyo is the single-most overwhelming shopping experience that you will ever have. You are a small, vulnerable caterpillar – and every shop in sight is vying to turn you into a butterfly.

The minute I stepped into the giant hairspray can-shaped department store that is Shibuya 109, it became clear that while I might be the only blonde in Osaka, I definitely wasn’t the only blonde in Tokyo. Sales assistants with fake golden tresses as shiny as My Little Pony tails strutted outside of each shop, every few seconds pausing to invite you inside, with a loud, screechy ‘irashimaseeeee’. With their spidery black eyelashes, bronzed faces, and candy pink lips, the girls took on an almost witchy appearance – like Glinda from The Wizard of Oz on crack.

At the same time as your eyes are assaulted by all the sparkles, bright colours, and frothy pastels, the platform boots and fishnets, your nose is overpowered by the sweetest scents wafting from every store. For some reason, all 8 floors of Shibuya 109 smell like a combination of fizzy fruit lollies, bubble bath, candy-floss and maple syrup. I don’t know where it comes from - is it just that everyone wears insane amounts of perfume? Do they put something in the air conditioning vents? I like to think that it was a magic potion concocted by the witches of 109, designed to lure you into their lairs to sell your soul and spend all of your yen…

Even if shopping ain’t your thing (or if you’re a helpless male who has been dragged along against your will – sorry Ryan) – Shibuya 109 is worth exploring. Really, it’s worth it just to have a giggle at some of the names of the stores – ‘Titty & Co’, ‘Peach John’, and ‘tutuHA’ were my personal favourites. Tomorrow, we’re going to 109 Mens… it will be interesting to see if it’s just as spell-binding as its female counterpart.


  1. Titty and Co.
    ... you used to be classy.

  2. siob you are hilarious! your blog is also awesome.

  3. I had the misfortune to step in to Shibuya 109 with a female friend during their New Year sale. As a man, it was hands down the most terrifying experience of my life!