Sharing my experience of going to Goro's sliver store in Harajuku, Tokyo

Introduction

That was the third time that I traveled to Japan, but going to visit the most fashionable district called Omotesando where stores like Supreme and Goro's located in Tokyo was definitely the first time.  Because I can finally travel on my own and have chances to discover this huge and wonderful city in Asia, which means I can walk in street and literally feel and experience what Japanese do in the same time and location. Alright, going back to the main topic.

Located in Sinjuku

    I've allocated two days for visiting Omotendando during my three-day Tokyo trip, and I was living in Gracery Hotel in Shinjuku all the way due to its excellent services and good location for me to reach any places of interest conveniently.You can easily access any restaurants or shops here.
There is a huge Godzilla at the lounge and reception of the hotel on level 8.
The view from my room is very cool and you can see most of the face of Tokyo from this height.
 

Heading to the famous Goro's store

 In the first day, I got up at about 9:00 and set out at 9:20 after a very quick breakfast in the hotel (it was a bit expensive like 2000 yen but it worth cause for me I can hardly find places to do breakfast in Tokyo). Then I took a train going to the Yoyogi park which is right next to Omotensando, it took me like 20 minutes I guess and it was pretty smooth, no delay at all and people in the train were extremely quiet so taking a train is not a bad thing in Tokyo.
This is front entrance of the Goro's store, and it is a very small one, the store is on the second floor. Picture credit to <https://twitter.com/gorosfan>
 I was aiming to the Goro's store, because as you know, the handmade sliver jewelries that produced by Goro's are currently the most anticipated items all over the fashion area, and what is more, everyone has to purchase the items like the gold-silver feathers or necklaces by cash only. Not to mention, you have to generally wait for a queue for about an hour to "sign up" for the draw. Once you got a small number like 3 or 20, which represent the order going into the tiny store (I will talk about the whole process later and give you some advice about how to get one). At about 10:00 am, I walked out one of the gate of Meiji jingu, and Omotensando is right in front of the gate when you cross and brigdet after two crossing, and there were already a lot people wearing goro’s waiting in the line along the greenbelt. Then I decide to queue in, it was ridiculously cold, but I have been waiting for about an hour before I can truly draw the tickets. During the waiting, the staffs working in the store will come and to make sure if you are coming on your own or with others, normally 2 people per time is the most, but you only get one chance to draw as a group. And you are required to show the them ID (passport is OK) to prove you are legit…. It was not that tough but cold, and you can communicate with the staffs with Japanese or English. Just follow the line and the guiding of the staff and you’ll be fine. In addition, it is inevitable that you might have to go to the toilet during the waiting, just let the people next you know and ask them to hold the position for you, but don't be too long!!! (there are toilets in the fancy mirror shopping mall that right next to the queue). Finally, I can draw the ticket, and you just need to tap the bottom on the iPad they shown to you, and a number will pop out. I was unlucky getting a 185 at the first day, while I saw people drew a small number and he was given a color hand wrist (hand band) with the number writing on it, and you will queue again according to the number to get in the store.
Super easy to find the store if you walk out the gate of Meiji jinghu
The Goro's store generally open at 1:00 p.m. every day except Wednesday, so make sure you have a suitable schedule that would not crash before you go. 
But, what is the most important is that the draw starts at about 11:00 am so you have to get to the spot and queue early to make sure you can draw. Once the number of people has reached what those staffs expect, they will let one person stand at the end of the line with a billboard saying, "the end of the line", and people can't get in the queue anymore after that. I recommend that you can go visit places near the Omotensando like Yoyogi park and Meiji Jingū before doing the Goro's queue. It is because it doesn't matter how much you behind as long as you can get in the line, and everyone has the same possibility to get a small number and get in the store early. So, it will be obviously a waste of time if you go too early and to make full use of time you can go to these interesting places before doing the goro's stuff. The products in-store are limited every day, and they sold out fast with no doubt. If you luckily get a number that is less than 40 (the least but not guaranteed No.), you might have a chance to purchase those items in-store. How many pieces of slivers or leather you can buy is often depends on the staffs, it is up to them. For a new person who never buy Goro’s sliver before, I totally advise you to dress properly, no fancy stuff like a supreme astronomy puffy jacket which would definitely give bad impression to the stuff. They would be nice if you show full respect to them and even sell you more items, however, if they think you are not respectful, the staffs have rights to not selling you anything and kick you out of the store. This little store is run by a small group that has close relationship with Goro Takahashi--the founder of the craft shop, and it is not only its marvelous handmade quality, but also the unique characteristic of maverick and being itself that attract me to visit them. The Goro’s never advertise but only get reputation from customers including massive of celebrities and friends. Hence, no matter you can buy one or not, check the store out and it would a very unique experience in Tokyo in your life. 


A close look at one of my friends's goro's pieces, which represents the superb craftmanship of Goro's. 

Summary

And to sum up, here are some useful suggestion for who want to buy a Goro:
1.     Get up early and get to the spot as soon as you can, if you are going early enough, try to visit other places near the store. But make sure line up at least before 10 am. 
2.     Draw started at 11 am, and prepare your ID early for the verifying, the number that you get stands for the order of the queue. 
3.     Dress properly, better no fancy dress. Be polite, and staffs will decide whether the sliver piece fits you or not, then you’ll if you can get one. 
4.     Normally one item limit per person, but as you get familiar with the staffs, you can buy more and even have chances to get rare thing. 
5.     Once you luckily get one of their items, wear them when you back to the store next time. Because the staffs would remember you, and if you don't wear them, which would be a disrespect behaviour to the Goro’s. 
   Good luck to everyone’s trip to Japan and Tokyo, this is an awesome country with incredible things waiting you to explore them!! 


Jinming Xie