In 2006 the buildings were controversially destroyed by Mori Building and replaced with the "Omotesando Hills" shopping mall, designed by Tadao Ando. The area known as "Ura-Hara", back streets of Harajuku, is a center of Japanese fashion for younger people brands such as A Bathing Ape and Undercover have shops in the area.
Harajuku as it is now is traces its root to the end of World War II. U.S. soldiers and their families began to occupy the area known as Harajuku. It became an area where curious young people flocked to experience a different culture.
In 1958, Central Apartments were built in the area and were quickly occupied by fashion designers, models, and photographers. In 1964, when the Summer Olympics came to Tokyo the Harajuku area was further developed, and the idea of Harajuku slowly began to take a more concrete shape.
After the Olympics the young people who hung out in the area, frequently referred to as the Harajuku-zoku, or the Harajuku tribe, began to develop a distinct culture and style unique to different groups and the area. From this distinct style grew the culture of Harajuku as a gathering ground for youths and as a fashion mecca.
Three teens outside Harajuku Station cosplay members of the band Himitsu Kessha Kodomo A.
The term "Harajuku Girls" has been used by English-language media to describe teenagers dressed in any fashion style who are in the area of Harajuku. This fashion infuses multiple looks and styles to create a unique form of dress. One of these styles, Kawaii, came to fame in the 1990s. Kawaii became a popular phrase that meant something was cute or pretty. Kawaii was a form of resistance in that the style and culture associated with it were not seen as attractive by an older generation.  This idea of Kawaii was a distinc View More »