Themed cafes are popular in Tokyo, and it is no surprise that there is a cafe dedicated to a visually striking Japanese fashion style.
Gyaru is a word meaning ‘gal’ (girl) and is one of many fashion styles found in Japan. The style has been around for several decades, evolving into different shapes and forms since as far back as the 1970s. It continues to exist and evolve today, and there are various subsets to the style.
Tokyo Shibuya Gyaru Style
Although not as popular today, one of the more visually striking forms of gyaru is the ganguro look, characterised by dark fake tan along with heavy, colourful makeup, very long, decorated fingernails, and bleached or brightly coloured hair. The style reached its peak in the late 1990s.
Japanese Kuro Gyaru – Black Diamond (13)
For anyone hoping to catch a glimpse of a ganguro gyaru girl in Japan, this can be guaranteed with a trip to Tokyo’s gyaru themed cafe, Cafe & Bar Ganguro. The cafe is located in Shibuya, one of Tokyo’s major fashion and shopping districts, and the staff are all gyaru and ganguro gyaru girls.
Cafe & Bar Ganguro has a rule known as “No Keigo” which means, “no polite Japanese”. Manners are generally important in Japan, and most people are quite polite, especially in customer service. Cafe & Bar Ganguro’s attitude is more casual and fun, with the idea that staff and customers alike should interact more like friends than following the usual polite formalities. The cafe is very tourist-friendly, with some staff able to speak some English, and all staff known for being fun and friendly. In fact, the cafe markets itself as a “new tourist spot” which promises “a crazy experience”.
— ガングロカフェ GANGURO CAFE (@gangurojp) November 22, 2017
The fun, friendly and relaxed atmosphere is one of the cafe’s drawing cards, but the main feature of this venue is of course the ganguro gyaru staff. Not only do they look spectacular, but they even break out into dance routines from time to time. To top it all off, female customers have the option of a make-up and purikura (photo booth) session with the staff. This of course comes at an additional fee, and certainly makes for an unusual and memorable experience.