STORY Harajuku Shopping Guide A guide to navigating Harajuku's fashion streets
Harajuku is the fun and quirky center of fashion, food and youth culture
Harajuku is a lively shopping district around Harajuku Station, next to Shibuya Station on the Yamanote Line. Teens flock from all over Japan to check the latest trends, street food and pop culture. Takeshita Street (Takeshita Dori) is its center, and the place to see the newest trends and buy ultra cute “only in Japan” souvenirs. Explore the maze of side streets to find unique boutiques and themed cafes. Just a short walk away, Omotesando Street is the more grown-up shopping district, home to international flagship stores like Gucci and Louis Vuitton. When you need a break from the cuteness, head to nearby Meiji-jingu Shrine for its calm gardens.
- Check store hours online before going; many don't open until 11:00 a.m. or 11:30 a.m.
- Visit on weekdays to avoid extreme crowds, or visit on weekends to see more Harajuku fashion
- Be prepared to line up for popular cafes and restaurants
Takeshita Street, center of Harajuku Style
Harajuku is considered by some the home of Tokyo street style, with new trends appearing all the time. One of the first places to explore is Takeshita Street. Directly across from Harajuku Station, this pedestrian street is the star of the show for many visitors to the area. Lined with small fashion boutiques that sell all kinds of clothing, from Cosplay and Lolita fashion to reworked vintage clothing, you'll find all the latest trends here. Don't miss the legendary street food, from the Korean snacks to long-time favorite creperies like Marion Crepes.
Meanwhile, Omotesando is home to high-end stores and gourmet restaurants geared toward more mature clientele. It's also home to Kiddy Land, a must-visit for toy lovers of all ages, and the newish Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku, full of fashion stores and cafes. A popular shopping mall in this area is Omotesando Hills, designed by architect Tadao Ando. Omotesando is popularly known as the Champs-Elysees of Tokyo, you can also find the flagship stores of many international brands here.
Nearby you'll find Cat Street, which meanders between Omotesando and Shibuya. Located in Ura-harajuku, or Urahara for short, this area has both small boutiques and international brands, with an emphasis on streetwear and outdoor brands like Converse, Helly Hansen, and Burton. In contrast to Takeshita's young and kawaii (cute) vibe, the street style here is edgier.
Other great finds
In addition to fashion finds, you can also score some amazing souvenirs in Harajuku .
Just across from Harajuku Station, renovated in 2020, there is a new Uniqlo flagship store offers exclusive T-shirts and lifestyle goods. On Takeshita Street, popular discount store Daiso sells a large variety of goods, from plastic sushi to sheet masks. Best of all, everything is only 100 yen (unless otherwise noted). Located along Omotesando, Kiddy Land is one of Tokyo's most famous toy stores. Here you'll find five floors of goods including Snoopy and Hello Kitty memorabilia.
And if you're looking for other Japanese goods, try the Oriental Bazaar down the road. This souvenir shop sells uniquely Japanese products, different from the trendy fashions and cute sundries that you'll otherwise find in this area.
From crepes to cafes
Harajuku is famous for its trendy cafes and super kawaii sweets, from giant rainbow candy floss to fancily decorated ice cream. New shops are popping up all the time, so keep your eye out for the latest hotspots (you'll see a line outside). On Takeshita Street, you can try dessert-style Japanese crepes at Marion Crepes.
The latest information may differ, so please check the official website
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