Straw Handbags – Tokyo Summer Fashion Trend

Everyone loves Tokyo’s fast moving fashion trends, so we do our best to let you know when we spot a hot one. This time, we’re going to take a look at a major purse/bag trend that started in the spring of 2010, but has reached full-burn with the arrival of the hot Tokyo summer. The trend item? Straw handbags (“kagobagu” in Japanese)!

Japanese Straw Handbags

Straw handbags aren’t a new item. They make an appearance to some degree every summer, but this year they are everywhere and being carried by everyone in Tokyo. From Omotesando to Shibuya’s Gyaru to cute Harajuku Girls to older women and younger teens, everyone seems to love their straw bags this summer. Just about the only people not carrying straw bags right now are Japanese guys, and that could change any moment!

This summer’s straw bag could be linked with the straw boater hat trend that we reported on in the spring, and many of the bags also match nicely with all of the floral patterned dresses and floral rompers that are all over the streets of Tokyo right now. To show you a few of the bags actually being carried on the streets of Tokyo, we grabbed our cameras and headed for Harajuku. These pictures are just a tiny sample of the hundreds of straw-bag-carrying girls we see pass by every hour on popular shopping streets like Takeshita Dori, Cat Street, and Omotesando Dori.

Japanese Girl & Cute Straw Purse

Cute Straw Bag in Harajuku

Straw Handbag in Tokyo

Straw Handbag in Japan

Japanese Girl's Flowery Straw Handbag

Mickey Mouse Straw Purse

Vintage Heart Straw Handbag

Straw Handbags in Harajuku

Many of the straw bags we’re seeing this year in Tokyo are not your typical “picnic basket” or “beach bag” type. Instead, the bags often feature lots of bright colors, embroidery, decorations, dangling charms, and, of course, cute characters. In fact, in some cases the straw is hidden under so many flowers, bows, and decorations you can’t really tell right away that they are straw/wicker bags at all. But, if you look around at the shops in Shibuya and Harajuku, these bags are being advertised as “kagobagu” (literally “box bag”), no matter how crazy their decora.

Cute Japanese Straw Handbag

Happy Face Straw Handbags

Straw Handbag With Candy Decora

Purple Straw Handbag

Skull Straw Handbags

Pink Bears Kawaii Straw Handbag

Straw Handbag With Large Bow

Ethnic Inspired Straw Handbags

Flower-covered Straw Handbags

Cute Bows on Straw Purses

Besides the above street snaps and bag pictures, we also went out to Harajuku and Shibuya and took a walk down Takeshita Dori, Cat Street, Meiji Dori, Center Gai, and Spain Zaka so that we could show you pictures of straw bags that some of the shops are actually stocking. You can also get an idea of prices from some of these pictures. For the most part, like the boater hats that we reported on previously, straw bags are not an expensive trend. You can walk away with many of these bags for under US$20. With that low of a price point, and with all of the different colors and designs, it means that this trend spread very quickly to girls of all different fashion tastes, ages, and income levels.

Pink Straw Handbag in a Harajuku Shop

Straw Handbags on Sale in Tokyo

Cute Bear Straw Handbag

Straw Handbags on Sale in Harajuku

Straw Handbags on Sale in Harajuku

Straw Handbags on Sale in Harajuku

Straw Handbags on Sale on Takeshita Dori

Straw Handbags on Sale in Harajuku

Straw Handbags on Sale in Harajuku

Straw Handbags on Sale in Harajuku

Straw Handbag on Sale in Shibuya

Straw Handbags on Sale in Shibuya

Kagobagu on Sale in Shibuya

Straw Handbag on Sale in Shibuya

Large Straw Handbag on Sale in Shibuya

Straw Handbag in Harajuku Store

Many of the pictures above can be clicked on if you want to see high resolution images of the bags, girls, and shops.

Some of the straw bags featured in this article are from the following brands/shops: Jupiter & Juno, Bragla, SBY, Cherry Pink, Mark Style, Etokeiya, Ingni, Cache Cache, Le Soleil, and Curvy’s. The photos of shops are all stores located in either Shibuya or Harajuku, with a large number of them being shops on Takeshita Dori in Harajuku.

26 Comments

  1. 1.

    Hannah (July 19, 2010)

    Omg those bags are so cute!!:) I want one!!!

  2. 2.

    Chii (July 19, 2010)

    I love the ones with bows on them!

  3. 3.

    Caroline (July 19, 2010)

    very cut ….For these packages, really want to feel fascinated with such a bag ^ _ ^…

  4. 4.

    Kitty Girl (July 19, 2010)

    Those bags are the too cute ;) Loooove them!!

  5. 5.

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  6. 6.

    mai (July 20, 2010)

    god i cannot wait until i go to japan! i am loosing weight for this so i can go shopping with no problems, saving money for the enormous ammounts of crap i am going to buy…i think i might have to check like 10 bags on my way back.

  7. 7.

    Carol (July 22, 2010)

    Aww.. those bags are so cute and pretty! I love it so much!!
    I want one!!!!!!! ;D

  8. 8.

    Julianne (July 29, 2010)

    adorei, aqui no Brasil, nem todo mundo pode atrovar, porém por mim, usaria.

  9. 9.

    Julianne (July 29, 2010)

    I loved it here in Brazil, not everyone can atrovar, but for me, would use.

  10. 10.

    Nessa (July 29, 2010)

    way too much!!! I can’t decide wich one I would want to buy but I loooove straw handbags ;_; Want to have a cute one too!!

  11. 11.

    RedRose (July 30, 2010)

    Wow! all of those straw bag are terribly adorable! ><!!

  12. 12.

    Isabela (July 30, 2010)

    In Brazil we , usually use!
    And we love it!

  13. 13.

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  14. 14.

    Liz (August 13, 2010)

    They’re so cute!! I love the flowery one :D

  15. 15.

    tim (August 15, 2010)

    This may be the oddest url I have stumbled across today… but then not really. I like the bags in natural materials very much – nice timing,

  16. 16.

    beatrix (August 21, 2010)

    amazing !!! nice inspiration !!! xoxo

  17. 17.

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  18. 18.

    sarah (September 1, 2010)

    i love japan and i love every thing about japan

    I’m from saudia arabia

    i wish go to japan soon

    thanks =D

  19. 19.

    Cristina (September 2, 2010)

    I love Japan too!!! Amazing!! I love the bags in natural materials, in Brazil, is the best….very hot! I am brazilian….
    Kisses and thanks

  20. 20.

    Susanne (September 12, 2010)

    I love this trend. So much that I have 2 bag myself. and want more!

  21. 21.

    Minmin Chez (September 18, 2010)

    Oh My God! I’ve got the exact same straw hand bag with the First photo!!!
    Only mine is in purple :)

  22. 22.

    lamees oglow (June 15, 2011)

    Bellissima and very cuteeeeeeeee..i miss you tokyo…….

  23. 23.

    Hezty (June 15, 2011)

    In Indonesia, we have some like that, and we usually export that to Japan hahaha ^_^V

  24. 24.

    Princess MOMOY (June 22, 2011)

    wow… cute
    i love all the bow type

  25. 25.

    bethany (August 25, 2011)

    I picked up a second hand kagubagu in Tokyo this summer & re-vamped it! Thanks for the inspiration! http://bethanyeowyn.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/my-re-vamped-kagobagu-japanese-straw-handbag/

  26. 26.

    winne (October 18, 2012)

    where can i get straw bag in Malaysia?!?!?!?!?!

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