Ground zero for fan girls in Harajuku

I have a sixth sense for fan girl devotion. Approaching a restaurant for a work lunch, I realized that I was at ground zero for Japanese and Japanophile fangirls, the official store of Johnny’s, the mastermind of dozens of boy bands, some now in their 40s, others barely 10 years old.

Thanks to Kathryn from Australia for telling me about its central role in fan girl culture back in December.

What’s amazing is how closely Johnny’s controls images of their male stars. They have somehow kept it off the internet, except for illegal sharing by Chinese fans. And so fan girls come to this store in a back alley of Harajuku to get their fix. Apparently the line up super early in the morning to get a number and time to return later in the day. That’s devotion!

(If you’re waiting for your appointed time, I highly recommend the chic Japanese restaurant upstairs. Lunch is very reasonable and tasty).

UPDATE: I forgot to add this funny detail. The afternoon I was there, unbeknownst to me, there was a “mass panic and crushing incident.” Initial media reports and Twitter accounts said that a rumor of a Hey! Say! Jump! appearance or impromptu concert propelled swarms of teen girls on Takeshita-dori. According to cnnGo, the media quickly changed the story to blame an Akihabara-type otaku women’s band AKB48. The change is again attributed to the enormous power of Johnny as a media shaper.

6 comments

  1. How the hell did you get a photo of that? I’ve seen the Johnnys staff go totally ninja on ppl trying to take photos.

    You can get fake JE merchandise on Takeshita Dori but it’s the same price or more expensive than the real stuff (and looks like someone did it out the back on their dot matrix printer).

    I think we all know how Johnny controls it 😉

  2. I saw some American tourists outside once. They weren’t even taking photos, just had cameras in their hand and were all looking around like what the hell is going on here and the staff came out and started yelling that them!

    I have EXTREME paranoia about anything Johnny’s related in case I get my fan girl rights taken away!

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