Monday, July 7, 2008

Japanese magazine shop in Melbourne

Hey there, sorry about not blogging for a few days. My internet is FINALLY back up to normal speed so I can finally blog and comment and watch youtube Yay!

Here is a post that I have been working on for a while.

Recently I noticed a few bloggers talking about how hard it is to get Japanese magazines in their country. Well in Melbourne, Australia we are really lucky, its not that hard because we have a dedicated Japanese magazine store called Kanga Kanga.

Kanga Kanga is an amazing shop that sells every single Japanese magazine you have ever heard of here in Melbourne. The shop is on level 5 in this scary old building on Russell Street, but don't let that turn you off from going, its worth it.

The prices are standard for Japanese magazines here, about $16-$21 each depending. You can also subscribe to the magazines and get a discount of 10%. I haven't been able to buy any due to my pitiful student budget and also the fact that I know in Japan the mags are only $3-$6 each and I already have sooooo many at home so I can't justify buying them. However it is worth it if you buy 1 a month or less because every page in a Japanese magazine can inspire you for years to come.

My fave Japanese magazines are:


Bizarre and Yulia at their shop Candy in Shinjuku Ni-Chome.
They dj'd at my wedding :>

OMG I was looking through my Fruits mags just now and found Kati, the "Melbourne Spank Girl" who lived in Tokyo at the same time I did but we only met here in Melbourne on the train. Wowzers.

Everyone knows Fruits, the famous Harajuku street fashion magazine. I first discovered it at 16 and that is when I decided I wanted to move to Tokyo one day. When I did I ended up friends with the people who are in the magazine, my 16 year old self would be so amazed, lol.


Tune is the male Fruits magazine. Also features my friends, lol, and lots of "HOT J boys" as my Nova co-worker's would say.


I love this models pointy eyebrows. I met her at a party one night and she has them in real life too.

Shop staff who are kinda fashion celebrities in Tokyo. The bottom row is Bizarre, Roxy, Emiko from Candy and Maya from Spank.

I love Cutie. I love the chaotic page layouts, the fashion shoots, the street style shoots, the maps to cool shops and I love it when they feature my friends. In Japan the fashion celebrities are not models, or actresses, they are REGULAR people. The most famous of which are shop staff. There is a special edition of Fruits magazine once a year which showcases all the Shop staff of the cool boutiques (in Japan they say "select shop" which means its the owner and shop staffs selections of goods, which is why certain styles are named after shops and also why every shops is sooooo different) I can't find my copy of the special Fruits shop staff issue (Shit where is it?) but when I find it I will scan some pages for you to see. Cutie mag also does real people's bedroom photos in every issue and a once a year bedroom only special mag.


My friend is a stylist and model for this magazine. It has good ideas on how to wear something many different ways and really well styled shoots.


Showcases a lot of the goth lol and punky styles of Harajuku. Has 5 pages of street fashion too which my friends were often in.


Amazingly styled shoots. Unfortunately a very heavy magazine so I couldn't bring all my copies home with me from Japan. I have written on here before how I sent a suitcase full of magazines home to Australia for $200. I love them that much. I really miss my So-Ens. I had to give away 2 more LARGE suitcases FULL of magazines to my co-workers. I did 2 trips into work on the train with a heavy suitcase, so crazy, and sad. I hope when Nova closed they didn't just get thrown out.

Tokyo Graffiti

I am in the top right hand corner with BAD HAIR! Henry is in the bottom right. Look how chubby he was when he first came to Japan.

Henry is in the middle, look how skinny he got. He rode his bicycle to work every day. That doesn't seem that crazy but he actually did 2 shifts a day, a morning one then a night one. That means he rode his bike to work 30 mins, back home 30 mins, back to work 30 mins and then home again 30 mins. 2 hours every day. Crazy right? It's not like the trains were expensive, he just preferred to ride. Now that suit doesn't fit him anymore, but it used to hang off him.

A Tokyo mag that offers an insight into the life and minds of Tokyoites. Me and Henry were in the mag, me once Henry twice. It has street fashion, vox pop of foreigners and Japanese, photos of people who collect crazy things, photos re-created with the same people i.e a photo at a kindergarten of 3 friends is re-created with them as adults. Lots and lots of interesting stuff to look at.


Not really my style but it can still be interesting. More similar to western style magazine and fashion.


Only for a few laughs. I love Ganguro girls though, they are really gutsy and anti-establishment. If you look into how they came about its very interesting. Apparently one of my Nova co-workers girlfriends was an Egg model, lol he went out with a Ganguro. (I didn't like this particular co-worker very much, he was one of those guys who go over to Japan so they can just get laid as much as possible because no one back home would dare look at him...all he talked about in the staff room was who and how he had fucked some chick, such a total wanker)

It's also important to note that in Japan you only buy the magazine that belongs to your "group" or fashion tribe. Its really important. I went to a magazine shop with an OL friend of mine (OL is short for office lady which is a major social group of women in Japan) and she screamed at me for wanting to buy Zipper, she was like that's only for Harajuku teenagers you CAN'T buy it. (She only saw me in my work clothes mind you). Then the Spank girls didn't like So-En that much because it wasn't about their style, and they hate Egg and ViVi.

On the days that the magazines come out you will find all the cool Tokyo kids at Laforet department store in Harajuku or Tower Records in Shibuya checking out which of their friends is in what magazine. That's really important too.

Why are Japanese magazines so expensive here? Why doesn't Magnation sell them? Why are Asian magazines so hard to find in general when Australia, particularly Melbourne, is full of Asian International students?

You can also find some Japanese magazines and other Asian magazines in Chinatown at HaHa and 2 other shops that I don't know the name of. The problem is they are wrapped in plastic and you can't request to open them to "try before you buy". At Kanga Kanga however they wrap the mags in plastic too but they will happily unwrap them so you can browse and decide which mag you want to buy.

I wish I could scan more for you but it takes forever.


  1. I am in heaven Hayley. I often pick up Korean fashion mags in Box Hill - I love one just for its title: "Nana". I'll have to get down to Kanga Kanga for some inspirational reading. Given the rule about reading and tribes, which is the magazine for me in you opinion?

  2. Super Kawaii Mama: There is probably a specialist magazine just for your style (There are magazines for every style. There is 1 just for women who ride motorbikes in leather jackets with colourful high heels- a whole monthly magazine dedicated just to that) I think you would probably like Kera magazine, it has sorta rockabilly punky styles and features a lot of the brand "Super Lovers" which I think you would like (similar style to that punky skirt you wore kinda recently)

  3. Oh I love So-en. I got a copy when I was in Japan. I have been trying to find it in BKK with no luck, not even at Kinokuniya.

    Oh and side note: I hate those gross western guys who suddenly think they are sex gods when they go to Japan. I met this guy from the US at a bar in Kyoto who had the most beautiful girlfriend, Yuki. He spoke Japanese but she didn't speak English and he was saying all this gross, derogatory stuff about her right in her face but in English so she didn't understand. He was a death metal nerd and back in the US I don't think any woman in their right mind would have touched him with a 10 foot pole. BLECK!

  4. HA sweet! I love fruits and tune! I used to love cutie and zipper but lately not so much anymore.
    so-en is fucking great!

    It's so hard to find them in belgium though, not so long ago I found a second hand shop who sold them here in belgium but they don't anymore! GRRR!! When I'm in London I buy em at the Japan Center, but they are really expensive there! oh well, I think I should get a fruits or tune subscription.

    tokyo graffiti looks interesting, I never heard of it before!

    ^^ yay for internet speed back!

  5. Thanks for telling us about Kanga Kanga, I really need to go check it out. But I'll be in Japan again hopefully near then end of the year so maybe I'll wait till then to fule my mag habit.

  6. oh! I love Cutie and Zipper and So-en the most! I HATE Vivi and I have definitely outgrown the style of Kera( at least I think so)I really want to go to tokyo just to go to SPANK! especially, it is my dream. I love Japanese fashion, I wish we had more of variety of cute magazines in the U.S. The only ones I'll even pick up are Nylon,I.D, Lula, MissBehave, and the international Vogues if I'm really bored.

  7. Yay! I'm glad your internet is working again.

    The magazine scene over in Japan seems pretty hardcore. Like with all the cool style tribes and that. I'm not really familiar with any of the magazines you talked about, but So-En and Zipper look great. Awesome post.

  8. I'd love to be on the front cover of Egg and Cutie, can you make that happen???

  9. Agree with Mama, another great Hayley post!
    How fascinating, I would love to know what magazine I might buy.
    I'd also love to know more about the spank girls, you've mentioned them so much but they are still a bit of a mystery to me.
    Great afternoon reading Hayley, keep it up.

  10. Wow, this is so interesting! Thank you very much for this roundup Hayley!

    I hope you won't mind that I link back to your article on my fashion blog. It's about cute fashion and I write a lot about Japanese styles. :)

    I'm amazed at the array of magazines in Japan, there are so many of them and each has a pretty large circulation!

    It's also really fascinating that Japanese mags have their own "personality". Here in Russia we mostly have copies of Western fashion mags, although they are well styled and written.

    Speaking of Japan, of all Western editions of J-mags I really love Nippon Vogue.

    I guess OL style is Classy mag, isn't it? Have you also seen Koakuma Ageha and Sweet mags?

    By the way, my pal who is living in Tokyo told me about a popular style called "brando-hime", and she says that Ageha is probably the main magazine for that fashion group. Do you have any info about this style?

    Also, what do you think about Japanese beauty mags? Like Vici, Biteki, Maquia, etc.

  11. oh my gosh, thank you thank you for this tip on where to get asian mags.
    I've only ever seen some jap mags in chinatown shops and I get soo pissed that there arn't any in borders. I'm also pissed at the huge prices...

  12. Oh wow! I've always been a fan of Japanese fashion and have often lusted over the magazines (they are even more expensive and hard to find in Scotland than Australia, believe me! I couldn't even get Vogue Nippon anywhere!). Thanks for enlightening me further, although you may have made me want them even more, an impossible dream! I love your blog, would you like to swap links? Char (there's two of us on the blog lol)

  13. Yeah Kanga Kanga is great! I can't believe how jam packed the magazines are. I usually buy the guys fashion ones or design mags, but Takao opened up one of the girls magazines for me to have a look and I couldn't believe the amount of clothes options for girls!! hahaha

    Actually where does one get those clothes/accessories mentioned in the mens mags? Hmm too expensive to fly over. I guess I'll just stick to opshops, department store sales and any other random stuff I come upon ^^;

  14. hey there, thanks for sharing this info. it has definitely made my day :D. anyway, i'm new in melbourne. i wonder if there's any japanese clothing store around here. thanks again

  15. please e-mail me ASAP, i have an enquiry.


  16. Thanks for this awesome list mrs hayley!! :D

  17. Hi hayley~

    Your magazine collection is lovely..i love japanese fashion a lot. CAN-CAM and Luire have been my favourites throughout.

    Do you have or know about LUIRE?

  18. Hi ladies, does body knows where can i find CLASSY mag in melbourne?


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