Spring has sprung in Tokyo! The winter weather isn’t completely gone as of yet, but it’s getting warmer every day. The cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and Japan’s famous hanami parties can be seen (and heard) in just about every park in the city. What do warm weather and a bunch of pretty trees have to do with Tokyo fashion? They signal the arrival of the first Spring 2010 fashion trends in Japan’s capital. So far, the biggest spring fashion trend we’re seeing involves hats – lots and lots of hats!
The single defining fashion trend of Spring 2010 in Tokyo so far is the appearance of girls in hats – and not just any hats. Last summer, we saw a big boom in fedoras for both guys and girls. This Spring, though, the one hat to rule them all is the boater – or, as it’s known in Japanese, the “bota” or “kankanbo”. The boater, according to Wikipedia, “is made of straw and has a stiff or soft flat crown and brim, typically with a ribbon around the crown”. That’s a pretty accurate description of the boaters that are at the heart of the hat trend right now in Tokyo.
There are a few variations, including boater-style hats made of materials other than straw (cloth boaters with a flower pattern is one popular variation we see a lot), and many of the hats have more decorations than just a simple ribbon (for example, ribbons with flowers or bows attached to them). We’ve also seen many girls wearing hats that are similar to the boater, but aren’t quite boaters – including straw fedoras, straw bowler hats, and larger straw beach-type hats covered in flowers. But there can be no doubt that the boater itself is the king of hats in Tokyo today.
To illustrate the extreme speed and force with which a trend like this can explode in Tokyo, we went out to Takeshita Dori and a few other popular shopping streets to take photos of the many Harajuku shops selling similar – if not identical – boaters. There are thirty pictures posted below of boater (and similar style) hats on sale around Harajuku (and maybe a couple of shots from Shibuya as well), but we could have just as easily posted 100 or 200 photos. We also included a few pictures of Japanese girls that we’ve seen on the street recently wearing these hats. We don’t want to overdose you on hats, but we’re sure you’ll be seeing plenty more of them as we continue to post our daily Japanese street fashion updates.
So, please enjoy these pictures of the hottest fashion trend for Japanese girls in Tokyo today – hats, hats, and more hats! All of the photos can be seen in high resolution by clicking on them.
Click any of our Japanese hat pictures to enlarge them!