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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan. Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan.
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare. An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare.
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife. Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife.
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan. Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan.
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara. The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara.
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower. Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower.
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving. Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving.
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky. The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky.
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Two sides of Tokyo's fashion world

The districts of Harajuku and Omotesando might be next door, but they're also worlds apart.

Both are hubs of Japanese and international fashion, packed with clothing stores, trendy cafes, design houses and fashionable locals strolling the maze of streets. However, their aesthetics couldn't be more opposed.

Don't Miss

  • Harajuku's extravagant streetside sweets like cheesecake-filled crepes and unique themed cafes
  • Espace Louis Vuitton, a gallery hidden on the top floor of the Louis Vuitton Building
  • The ultimate luxury shopping experience in Omotesando Hills

How to Get There

Harajuku and Omotesando are both easily accessible by train.

Take the JR Yamanote Line to Harajuku Station for Harajuku's Takeshita Street or the Metro Chiyoda Line to Meiji Jingumae for Omotesando. Both areas are connected by a main boulevard, so the best way to travel around is by foot.

Quick Facts

Takeshita Street in Harajuku is the center of Tokyo's street fashion scene

Omotesando is the approach to the Meiji Shrine, opened in 1920

The bridge by Harajuku Station is a popular spot for cosplayers and rockabilly dancers

Opposites Attract

While Harajuku is always on the forefront of the next big local trend, Omotesando focuses on the international and timeless. While Omotesando is all about luxury brands, the streets of Harajuku are overflowing with thrift store jackets and novel accessories.

Though their attitudes can contrast at times, these two Tokyo hotspots share a unique sense of cultural harmony and mutual appreciation that you won't find anywhere else. If Harajuku is the cool teenager, then Omotesando is the more mature and sophisticated older sibling.

Tokyo's Street Fashion Mecca

For cheap, fun trends, make your way to Takeshita Street in Harajuku . Here you'll find upcoming trendsetting boutiques like Nadia Flores en el Corazon sharing walls with more iconic long-term staples like Dog, known to be frequented by fashion icons like Lady Gaga. Keep an eye out for deals as you dig through the shelves, and don't forget Daiso and Thank You Mart, Takeshita's two big discount stores.

Weave your way through the back streets that shoot off Takeshita to uncover a variety of tiny shops and at the end cross the main road to find Harajuku's sneaker district (look for the small alleyway to the right of Murasaki Sports). For the ultimate in "kawaii" fashion, be sure to stop by 6% Dokidoki, located near Meiji Jingumae station behind the Kawaii Monster Cafe.

Designer labels and cat streets

Over the past few years, Omotesando has become Japan's home of modern high-end fashion, with many designer labels setting up stores along the lavish and spacious boulevards that line the area. The second biggest upscale shopping neighborhood after Ginza, Omotesando differs from Ginza by focusing on more contemporary names like Maison Margiela, H&M, and MVRDV over classics like Dior and Prada (although both have locations in the area). Head to the iconic Omotesando Hills mall for seven floors of high-end fashion.

Physically and aesthetically between Harajuku and Omotesando lies Cat Street. A little more upmarket than Takeshita Street's offerings and less expensive than Omotesando, this popular local shopping destination is filled with some of the best variety of stores and cafes in Tokyo.

Where the future and past collide

In addition to high-end upscale shopping and cutting-edge trends, the corners of these two neighborhoods are filled with rich history. Harajuku is home to Meiji Jingu Shrine , one of the city's most famous and well-trodden spiritual sites, and one of the area's largest green spaces. Originally completed in 1920, the shrine was destroyed during the Second World War, but was rebuilt not long after.

Omotesando is the front approach leading to Meiji Shrine , with the Japanese "omote" meaning "front" and "sando" meaning "approach."

Galleries galore

If there's one thing that connects the Omotesando and Harajuku areas, it's a love of art. Both neighborhoods are filled with mainstream and independent galleries displaying works from both local and international artists.

Be sure to visit Design Festa Gallery in Harajuku and Espace Louis Vuitton in Omotesando to get a broad overview of what the area has to offer, or hit the backstreets for the cozy Nezu Museum .

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