Before I go down the Otona Kawaii trends road and talk about trends I have to shout out Emi x Lea’s blogpost for their excellent description of Ane Agejo. Oneegyaru was a mixed and murky world and putting out Ane Agejo as a definition to discuss how Oneegyaru is melding with Agejo and how Agejo as we once knew it is disappearing.

I’ve talked about Otona Kawaii style before in during my Sweet magazine talk and also throughout blog posts to see shop staffs dressing in it. This season I thought it’d be fun to break up trend talks into genres and not just an all encompassing one. Since Larme takes cues from Otona Kawaii of course some of the trend talk may be similar, but I think there’s some good differences to point out.

Otona Kawaii is also known as Sweet-kei because of the popular Sweet magazine.

I’ll be talking about Otona Kawaii brands: Snidel, Lily Brown, Mercury Duo, Lodispotto, Rirantrue, Dazzlin, Misch Masch, Titty & Co and Royal Party

Otona Kawaii trend One – Knit Top and Flare Skirt


Lily Brown | Mercury Duo

No simple scoop neckline for Otona Kawaii this season. Instead the flare skirt in lace, retro print or big floral (all trends) gets dressed up with either off-shoulder (like in the Larme trends), or a v-cut or sweatheart cut.

Now this is a common look for Otona Kawaii, the knit-skirt combination. But instead of a scoop neckline or a cardigan with a tight neck, the neckline change is the big point of note for this season. Retro short cardigans seem to be not as popular this season.

Otona Kawaii trend Two – Trench Coats


Misch Masch | Royal Party | Lily Brown

This is an early Spring trend that may drop off when the heat and humidity lead to summer, but girly colors of trench coats are a big commodity for Otona Kawaii brands. Most brands I looked for were doing this coat in one pastel or another.

Otona Kawaii trend Three – Girly Denim


Lodispotto | Snidel | Titty & Co

Now Otona Kawaii magazines seem to be pushing this wide leg denim pant. And it’s cute. But I can’t see it being as popular as denim done girly ways. Case in point the Snidel denim dress is sold out but not the pants.

Otona Kawaii trend Four – Gown Coats


Diecy | Snidel | Lily Brown

Trench coats will give way to gown coats. Perfect for that UV protection during Spring/Summer without overheating. Long lengths are popular now, but maybe they’ll give way to short when it gets warmer? Lots of ways to style these but they look best with similar numbers like the denims and not the lace embroidery.

This is my most questionable trend forecast. Larme brands tried this last summer without much success, but maybe it was just the first push. Gaucho pants needed that before they were everywhere. Aomojikei brands also seem to be picking this up for the Spring.

Otona Kawaii trend Five – Big Floral


Royal Party | Mercury Duo | Miia

Big Floral sounds too close to Big Oil, like it’s some monster set of corporations taking over Otona Kawaii fashion. Big Floral… well florals are a cornerstone of Otona Kawaii so it kind of is. Brainwashed by BIG FLORAL!


Snidel | Rirantrue | Mercury Duo

In this case big floral is really popping up in mini dresses, set-ups and long dresses. I love those cute and casual floral set-ups. So perfect to transition to summer. Great for Spring dates and casual strolls.

other trends of note: lace-up oxfords, silver shoes

Onee-Gyaru doing Otona Kawaii trends

Something I’d like to point out is a lot of the Onee-gyaru brands are doing a lot of these trends but a touch different. I’d like to show them below to show how you could use them in an Otona Kawaii wardrobe, but how they are Onee-gyaru as they are. I think it’s a good visual to see how trends may be the same, but style tribes interpret them differently.


 Resexxxy | Rady

From the recent Onee-gyaru spring collections. The trench coat, girly denim and big floral trends all will be popular with Onee-gyaru but in a definite Onee-gyaru style.

Rienda – The Otona Kawaii and Onee-Gyaru bridge


Lately it seems Rienda is doing a much more adult style, and not in the way that Rady is doing or other Onee-gyaru brands. It seems their style is a bit more simple and not as flashy as Onee-gyaru brands. For that reason they are a bridge between Onee-Gyaru and Otona Kawaii. They fit both categories.

Past trends for Spring 2016: Larme trends for Spring

I will probably wrap this up with an Aomojikei trends for Spring and then shut down trend forecasting to focus on other trends that pop up through the season or back to brand spotlights.

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It’s just starting to get hot but this is the season for Fall exhibitions or tenjikai/展示会 as they are known and I really liked what I saw of Rienda, Duras and Mercury Duo so I thought I’d show them.

Just when I said I wouldn’t do this kind of thing, I do it… typical blogger.

I think summer is the worst thing ever, I fear it. Let it snowwwww, let it snoowwwww!!! Looking forward to Fall fashion (aka my favorite time of year and styles) makes me happy and I’m happy to report about it.

Rienda – Fall 2015 – Modern Glamour

Lots of traditional popular Fall themes such as pinstripe and houndstooth. Mixed with rich items such as jewel tones and fur coats along with floral onepieces.

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Their popular floral dress using an beveled weave for the Spring done in a more Fall palette

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Houndstooth and pointy shoes.

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Pinstripe and light tweeds.

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Transitional outfit but denim jackets are still alive for Fall.

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Floppy hats and mustard.

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Love this lady simple houndstooth.

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Rare all black coordinate by Rienda and floral bottoms.

source: Rienda girls insta and ameblo


Duras – Fall 2015 – Radiant Muse

A continuation of their Spring line with lots of kadeliscope (Persian inspired?) prints, restrained bodycon (tight but not often short) and a swingy bohemian style.

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That print dress is everything and I really want to buy it.

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The A-line dress trend and layered stripes are Spring trends done in autumn colors for Fall.

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Jeweled cardigan trend for Spring making a more subdued trend with pearls. Lots of light colored outers mixed with darker dresses.

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Extremely typical Duras styles. I bought the left dress in Spring in almost the exact same cut. More Fall hat trends.

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Such a cute bustier that could be done Larme or Agejo style. Lavender for Fall I have doubts on but this transitional coordinate makes it work. Duras wants to do a few lavender pieces so we’ll see!

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More tweed set-ups to come out.

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Trying to tell myself I don’t need this dress, but I love the color choices.

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The full collection looking fabulous. I love that they had a selfie mirror as their press advertisement.

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Pointy shoes again! Clutches are big as well as lady-like totes and 2-way bags (top handle + shoulder strap).

source: Select shop Rougefeel ameblo and Duras instagram

Mercury Duo – Fall 2015

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Just like Rienda, a mustard lace overlay item.

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A lot of brands may be trying to make fringe work. Unsure the inroads it’ll make this Fall.

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Boxy cropped blouses continue, and yes there’s mustard!

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A-line floral dress? A-line floral dress. Pick your brand you’ll probably find one.

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This hidden pleats look has been a small summer trend and could be a larger Fall one.

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In Fall skirts. Oh black you hide everything.

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A trend look for Mercury Duo fall. Earth mustard brown, and a floral long skirt, with fringe bag. The bucket bag style is becoming popular (vintage influences). Check all the prints with mustard options. Mustard will be so big!

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Toggle coats in pastels. Light outers will be very popular.

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Welcome back floppy hats.

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Floral sweater set-ups should be big with otona kawaii crowd, a trend from last Fall.

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Earthy mustard browns.

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Chunky heel + pointed toe. There will be so many colors and prints to choose from in this look for Fall.

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Their Fall transitional look.

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I think some brands will try to push culottes. I have doubts they will be successful, but hey mustard!

source: All Mercury Duo photos thanks to trefle select shop’s exhibition report check out their Ungrid report too if interested!

Check for these trends!

BIG Trends: FLORALS, browns, mustards, pointy shoes, light colored outers, A-line dresses, floppy hats

Medium trends: traditional prints such as pinstripes and stripes and houndstooth, pastels mixed with darker colors or browns, fringe, bucket bags, 2-way bags.

Florals for Winter? Moderately groundbreaking….

I actually am really excited for Fall and a lot of these trends seem shop-worthy now. A bit shocked by the complete lack of pants. I know Otona Kawaii and Oneegyaru brands don’t do them often but it definitely seems they’re not in style right now. It’s always cheaper to shop off season so maybe you can find some cute used or vintage pieces that reflect these looks for cheap!

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I had a big post on Larme magazine that got erased by wordpress being a butt and realized part of the post was trying to break down modern Japanese female fashion styles that I don’t usually talk about on the Doll.

I’m going to take about mostly mainstream trends and the building blocks modern fashion came to be, so if you are waiting for subculture trends like decora or v-kei boom or such it’s not going to happen in this post.

Japanese fashion has moved to be much more fluid recently.

The problem is…

1. Internet. We’re so much more global. Street fashion grows better locally before it can be diluted by outside influences. Also internet is where people can look for free without magazines, making magazines close down.

2. Economy. The big one. The booms of street fashion have happened with the booms of economy. The bubble era really grew the original gyaru. The strong economy in Japan under Koizumi grew it again in 2007-2009. The economy is hurting right now and that trickles down quickly to teenagers. Less pocket money, less opportunities for fashion. Magazines close that promote that fashion. Less brands open. Every style I’ll talk about in this post happened during a period of economic prosperity.

3. Fashion can create an equal reaction. The physics of fashion create reactions. Akamoji and Aomoji or Hime Gyaru growing from the dark Kogyaru look. Currently the reaction to the wild pop feeling of 2008-2010 (WC boom) is a softer look.

So for all these reasons, especially number 1, the codification of style is breaking down. But there was a time when they weren’t and it helps connect with current fashion. I’m going to discuss some terms and style crazes from Japanese female fashion you may come across and break them down and discuss how they’re all related or have spawned from each other.


New Traditional ニュートラ

Hamatora ハマトラ Kobe-kei 神戸系 and Nagoya-kei 名古屋系 - 1975 – mid 1980s


Kobejou brands such as Vicky along with Nagoyajou brands like Knit Kitchen and Dear Princess in an old CanCam from the 1980/90s


Nagoya based Dears Princess in 2013-2014 runway shows. Check the similarities from 1980s.

The history:

Stemming from the 1970s and into the 1980s port cities in Japan a lot of wealth and manufacturing in that area. Manufacturing allowed quality craftsmanship and goods to come from the region and the wealth that flowed allowed women who shopped there to look elegant and stylish but conservative. It’s the beginning of the “Ojousama” look. Or little rich girl look, the girls in Kobe being known as Kobejou. Most of the women making New Tora (New Traditional) a fashion were college girls. There were a lot of these college girls in the area and this created a sense of competition that made the fashion. The trend also moved to Nagoya and created Nagoyajou.

The look:

New traditional: Magazine of the time “an – an” coined the term New Tora (Nyu-Tora ニュートラ) or New Tradtional to describe the boom first and JJ magazine codified the look especially in Yokohama (coining the term Hama Tora). The look was a simple color palette and very feminine. As were sweater sets (see above). The look was conservative however it wasn’t traditional colors fully like navy or blacks only. Instead it was pinks and other feminine colors. This is not a work look, it was made by the girls who don’t have to work and spawned the look for those who did have to work to replicate on their off days.

The look is compared to the Ivy League preppy style boom in the United States. Kobe’s NewTora was a very overly adult look with suit jackets and knee-length skits. Yokohama’s Hamatora was more of a childlike preppy with plaids and sweaters.


Early 1981 Kobe-kei New Tora


The child-like Yokohama centric Hamatora style.

Branded bags, scarves and jewelry were a signature of this look. Louis Vuitton, Fendi, YSL, and Celine brands made inroads into Japan and all became popular bags and accessories in Japan during this time. Showing off with a large flashy scarf over a conservative blazer was a strong point of New Tora. Emilio Pucci and her Pucci pattern scarves became popular during this time.

Magazines during this time focused on overseas brand items along with rich hobbies such as tennis, skiing and golfing. Furthering the little rich girl “Ojousama” wave.

Brands such as Vicky and Aquagirl which still exist were created in Kobe around this time. Dear Princess (above) from Nagoya is still around.


Kobe based Vicky shop staff in their current Fall collection. Still imprints of their older look.


Kobe based Aquagirl, founded in the Kobe-kei era has gone more modern.

New Tora decline:

Although New Tora, HamaTora and Kobe-kei are outdated terms, many of the brands are still in existence. Kobe-kei style hasn’t much changed (comparisons above). However looking at Kobe, Yokohama and Nagoya as fashion heads has. Cities were battling to create their own version of this style and the look became more of an entire country style.

The wealth of both Kobe and Nagoya have taken hits with the Japanese economy and localized manufacturing isn’t as prided. Also magazines in the mid 80s to early 90s stopped focusing on rich-girl campus life as much instead focusing on work life. The bubble also burst in 1991 and its affects afterwards in the early 90s made the rich-girl image not as palatable.

New Tora Kobe-kei legacy:

Akamojikei magazines stem from this look. Hime Gyaru and Agejo are often thought to be influenced by this popular fashion as well, because of the little rich girl mentality and look. Pucci prints still remain popular with Agejo and Agejo-adult brands like Rady. Hime Gyaru brands Jesus Diamante and La Parfait are founded from this region.


Kansai-based now defunct “Honey Girls” magazine in mid to late 2000s shows origins in Kobe-kei fashion. The first issue says “Ojousama Snap” and the look is “Gorgeous”. The party look of the first issue shows how hairset and dresses moved to Agejo.

The popular runway show “Kobe Collection” founded in 2002 grew from this fashion craze.

source: livedoor | kansai blog | wiki | fashion-j | neojapanisme

Bodycon ボディコン – mid 1980s – 1994


Early bodycon shows evidence of NewTora trends: such as branded bags and scarves as accessories.


newtora-bodycon oneline-bodyconLooks from the Kobe-kei style started moving to One-Line BodyCon

BodyCon of the 1980-90s wasn’t all miniskirts and spandex.

Known as BodyCon but more formally as One-Line Body Con (ワンレン・ボディコン) and could be somewhat conservative. The one-line meant hair was all one length and stopped all together and the dressing was all one line as well. One color dressing with a scarf as a pop of color was en vogue. The styling was meant to be close to the body showing off a waist and slimmed to the leg, but outside of the club the look could be very conservative mix. The kitten heel to mid-level pump were very popular during this time.

Let’s get physical, physical. Sexy bodycon

This Sexy Bodycon look was furthered by the popular club in Minato, Tokyo Juliana’s (ジュリアナ東京) that operated from 1991 to 1994.

Club going bodycon was definitely more sexy and the look spiraled to extremes.


Super Sexy Juliana’s bodycon.


From that time period girls competed to be the best gogo dancers at Julianas. The look was extra-straps with t-back stage bikinis. The early “kogyaru” got their nickname sneaking into these clubs and wearing provocative items.

Bodycon the legacy:

Bodycon will always live on, but in Japan it produced the original gyaru of the early to mid 90s. It also can seen with EroKawaii of the 2000s.

sources: sappukei | wiki | alfa


Akamoji-kei 赤文字系 – 1990s-?


Akamojikei magazines through the years (clockwise): JJ in 2006, CanCam in 2006, CanCam in 1991, JJ in 1980

Why Akamojikei?

As I’ve talked about in the Aomoji-kei post, Akamojikei is less a look and more a lifestyle. Akamoji literally “red character” was termed so because magazines like CanCam and Ray would always choose a red colored font for their magazine titles (see above). So it was the “red colored magazines”. This was a term coined in the 90s and feels a bit outdated.

What makes Akamojikei magazines a genre?

Most of these magazines were started before the 1990s but grew especially in the mid-80s to become more lifestyle magazines and focus on more OL life than campus times. Akamoji-kei is a lifestyle magazine genre that celebrates independence as well as responsibility. Akamojikei magazines are for women in their 20s and early OL (Office Ladies). Akamojikei magazine shots would show women drinking coffee alone enjoying themselves (independence) and then picking out date outfits that would appeal (responsibility). Many magazines of the time would have a section on OL suits (responsibility) along with a vacation section (independence). Nowadays there’s more of an independence focus and casual lean since a lot of styles have relaxed and office wear has relaxed as well.


July issue of “Ray” magazine suggests what to wear and do on your off days of OL life.

Akamojikei history:

The big four Akamojikei magazines were Ray, CanCam, Vivi and JJ. The original Akamojikei magazines all had significant readership booms during the 1990s. In early 2000s all saw a dip in readership and have made different moves away from conservative and New Tora style.

JJ magazine (originally known as Joshei Jishin) started in 1975 and supported this college girl Yokohama Hama Tora trend. Can Cam magazine (origin “I can campus”) was started in 1980 to focus on the Nagoyajou trend and stylish college girls. Vivi followed in 1983 and Ray in 1988. Now defunct 2004-2009 Pinky was considered the second wave of Akamoji magazine.

Akamojikei magazines currently:

Akamojikei is nowadays used to describe Ray and CanCam and the models within it. Vivi and JJ have both moved away from conservative and OL bases into more trend-mode-girly style. The term itself is usually just to say “Akamojikei magazine” not in combination with fashion or trends, instead it’s a genre of magazine.

CanCam had a spike in 2006-2008 and was the best selling women’s magazine in Japan selling about 600,000 copies yearly. With senzoku models (exclusive models) such as Yamada Yu and Ebihara Yuri (Ebi-chan). They moved from a conservative to a motekei style and before Ebi-chan quit,  CanCam was the taste maker of mainstream female fashion. Ray, Vivi and JJ all took sales drops during this time.


The decline of the Akamoji magazines (source)

According to Japanese magazine 2013 half-year sales reports former Akamojikei magazine Vivi ranks 8th in sales (211,351) with their casual trend style, while Akamojikei head CanCam has fallen to 24th in sales (106,939). Ray and JJ didn’t crack the top 30. If you extrapolate from a half year and say CanCam sold 200,000 issues in 2013, they dropped 400,000 from 2009.


Akamojikei magazine “CanCam” sets out what to wear on a drive with your friends. Such independence and fun.

  sources: wiki | fashionmarketingjournal |

Motekei モテ系 – Current


July issue of Akamojikei “Ray” magazine suggests coordinates to wear to get him to like you.

“The best MOTE wardrobe”

What’s Motekei?

Motekei is a term used by the editor-in-chief of Larme magazine so it’s a term I’d like to bring up before the big Larme posts. Motekei is taken from the slang term moteru (モテる) meaning to appeal to the opposite sex. Motekei a clothing style that is meant to be appealing to guys, meaning you don’t look a type just cute and appealing. Nothing to cutesy, overly sexy, or flashy. It’s not a codified style because it’s meant to describe mainstream current appeal from any time period.

I like to think of Motekei as the machine gun of attractiveness. It gives off a lot of appealing vibes so it’ll most likely hit someone.

How is one Motekei?

Often you’ll see it if a magazine or website wants to discuss date coordinates. Or for women (and men) to discuss what they think is attractive on the opposite sex. If you’re going to a wedding you want to dress very motekei. A first date is a definitely motekei time. Group data (goukon)? Motekei yourself, wear a moteru coordinate. But there is no motekei lifestyle. Many magazines promote motekei from Sweet to JJ and Vivi. Old Popteen and other gyaru magazines had sections on what are cute date coordinates and used the term Motekei.

CanCam in 2007 saw its reboom for capturing the motekei style of that decade with Ebihara Yuri.


Yuri Ebihara in CanCam in the late 2000s showing off full motekei look. Not too much make-up, effortless hair, clean skin, welcoming not sexy glance.

Motekei examples:

Mercury Duo, Snidel, Fabulous by Cecil McBee, CocoDeal, Lily Brown could all be considered brands that support the Motekei look. Mainly because these brands make date outfits, party dresses, and dresses for weddings and formal events i.e. all motekei dressing times.


Mercury Duo shop staff in a Fall trend yet motekei outfit. Sweet flowing dress with adult accessories doesn’t make her look too childlike or adult. Loose tendrils of hair compliment the effortless yet appealing look.


Snidel shop staff in their current Fall fashions. Date appropriate attire with matching natural-ish hair and soft make-up.


I’ll probably flip back and forth between terms and styles and dates, but I’d like to show some roots of current fashion. Man this post was long enough that it should’ve been several. Oh well that’s several weeks worth so if you wondered other than kittens why I’ve been slow, it’s this.

Upcoming terms and trends: Shibukaji, DCBrand, Oneegyaru, Onee-kei, Seiso, Conservative, EroKawaii, Otona Kawaii, possible Yamanba and Kogyaru talk.


This was a Japanese Fashion University post. Want to learn more in depth about Japanese fashion? Click here.

Two shop staff snaps today from two adult brands: Laguna Moon and Mercury Duo. Both owned by Runway Channel. Laguna Moon often goes for the classic cool girly look, while Mercury Duo is often full out girly.

Laguna Moon has a set style that revolves around flowy mini dresses, denim, knits, and button ups. Think girlier Madewell. Their creative director Nao Nakaba (直 中場) is a big long-time style idol of mine.
Mercury Duo is known its girly style and it’s extremely popular and in most malls across Japan. It’s also known for offering a selection of dresses for wedding guests year around. Both aim for the woman around 24-34 and have been very successful.

Mercury Duo – Shinjuku Lumine EST in Tokyo





Such a soft casual summer style. She kept hiding her nails but her orange nails matched wonderfully with her flowy top. I like her relaxed yet girly look and her soft flowing hair that looks effortless.

Laguna Moon – Machida 109

I was there to hunt down more of my favorite body soap





I actually took a picture of another Laguna Moon shop staff in the same romper! Check out how differently she styled it.


Watches are so popular with shop staff again! Laguna Moon did their series of watches a few seasons back so now a lot of Laguna Moon shop staff wear their brand.

I love how the mint suits her complexion so well. I was also a little taken aback by her more heavy gyaru make-up. I really like how her lashes suit her. Laguna Moon shop staff often aren’t as heavy with their make-up, but she went her own way.
Need more Mercury Duo? Well I haven’t actually talked about them much only side mentions, so I’ll try to fix that when their Fall style comes out. :lovecat:
Need more Laguna Moon? Check out best pictures of their store here or browse all Laguna Moon posts.

Need more Japanese Shop Staff Snaps? Over 100 all across Japan Shop Staff Snaps to view here

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