Japan is home to some unique subcultures. We are all familiar with the anime, manga, and idol crowd, but what about people who dress up like The Fonz or deck out big rig trucks?

Here are some of the most unique Japanese subcultures.

1. Kogal

Kogal is a popular subculture among high school girls in the Shibuya and Harajuku districs in Tokyo. The style is noticable for a deep tan, shortened school skirts, loose socks, dyed hair, and large scarves.

Photo booths, mobile phones, and flashy accesories (can be fake) are also a big part of the Kogal culture.


2. Dekotora

Most people around the world would not associated truck drivers with extravagantly decorated big rigs. This subculture became popular in Japan due to 1975’s Torakku Yarō (Truck Guys) movie.

Dekotora involves tricking out a big rig in neon lights, stainless steel or gold parts, and elaborate murals. These rigs could be currently used for work or as a hobby, and can be really catchy during night events.


Image via Voyapon

3. Lolita

Lolita is one of the more popular and diverse subcultures on the streets of Japan. The fashion is based on Victorian styles, and has slowly made its way to other parts around the world.

There are different flavors of lolita style – gothic, sweet, decora, classic, punk, wa, and old-school. Each subsection uses a variety of colors, fabrics, and dress styles.


4. Bosozoku and Hashiriya

These two groups are motorcylce (bosozoku) and car (Hashiriya) enthusiasts who love street racing and illegal modifications. One of the most popular racing destinations is the Shuto Expressway in Tokyo.

However, the subculture has been shrinking due to law enforcement and heavier punishments.

Initial D

5. Rockabilly

You know who loves 1950s Americana? Japan! Rockabilly is one of the biggest subcultures in Japan, with groups meeting up in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park.

The look is characterized with large pompadours, leather jackets, and tight shirts. Just image The Fonz if he lived in Japan.


Image via Messy Nessy Chic

6. Visual Kei

Visual Kei is a unique blend of music (ranging from heavy metal to power pop), and a flashy but androgynous style.

Some people debate if Visual Kei is a subculture in the traditional sense (hobbyists) or a musical genre. However, there are a lot of fans who partake in the Visual Kei look without being in a band.

Visual Kei

7. Gyaru and Gyaru-O

Gyaru and Gyaru-O are the adult equivalents to Kogal. Both subcultures are noticeable for deep tans, blonde hair, and expensive fashion labels.

Gyaru has various subsects, like ganguro and yamanba,


Image via Tokyo Fashion

What do you think are the most interesting Japanese subcultures?

I love all things that are cute, magic-based, and easy going! My biggest obsessions of all time are Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches and Fairy Tail. Let's go shipping!
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