LaForet (sometimes spelled La Foret) (ラフォーレ原宿) is a popular and iconic Japanese department store in the Harajuku area of Tokyo, Japan. LaForet is home to the shops of many cool Japanese clothing brands which appear to young fashion conscious Japanese consumers. The shops include both the most established Japanese clothing companies and up and coming young Japanese brands. LaForet also has a museum, restaurants, and hosts some performances and special events.
The shops at LaForet are constantly changing, but there are some shops that have been in the building for many years, including Hysteric Glamour, Lazy Hazy Planet, World Wide Love, and others. Some of the floors feature shops that meet a certain theme, like Gothic Lolita or rocker style, but many of the floors are just filled with a variety of shops catering to any number of different Japanese styles.
In front of LaForet, just to the right of the entrance, there is a special shop that changes every few days. LaForet calls this show the "Entrance Booth" and lists the shop's current occupants on their website. The special shop has windows facing onto the street, making it very appealing to brands for new releases or special projects. Over the years, the shop has featured many special projects and limited edition collaborations, including clothing and handbags from Mark Ryden and Nagi Noda, a giant robot by Mastermind Japan, and limited edition sneaker and other items from KIKS TYO.
The LaForet building was completed in 1978 and is an iconic structure in Harajuku, instantly recognizable to millions of Japanese fashion fans. The building is 10 stories tall and also includes some floors underground. Similar to Tokyu Hands Shibuya, the floors of LaForet are numbered in half numbers (1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, etc.) which can cause a little confusion for first time visitors, but the strange half floor layout also adds to the uniqueness of the LaForet shopping experience.
LaForet is located at the intersection of Omotesando Dori and Meiji Dori in Harajuku. It is about a 5 minute walk from the JR Harajuku Station (Omotesando exit) and the Meiji-jingu-mae Station or a 10 minute walk from Omotesando Station. When the new Fukutoshin Line opens in June of 2008, there will be an entrance to Meiji-jingu-mae Station just outside of LaForet.