Harajuku (原宿) refers to the area around Tokyo’s Harajuku Station, which is between Shinjuku and Shibuya on the Yamanote Line. It is the center of Japan’s most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles, but also offers shopping for adults and some historic sights.
The focal point of Harajuku’s teenage culture is Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street) and its side streets, which are lined by many trendy shops, fashion boutiques, used clothes stores, crepe stands and fast food outlets geared towards the fashion and trend conscious teens.
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Right by Harajuku Station is Meiji Jingu Shrine, a holy area abundant in nature that you wouldn’t believe sits inside this megalopolis. It’s also the shrine where Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken are enshrined. Among them is the Kiyomasa no Ido, a water well, a rare site in the city. It’s said that if you take a photo of this well with your phone and put it as your background, you will have good luck.
Cherry blossoms, greenery, foliage, snow – Yoyogi Park is the perfect place to enjoy the different appearances of the four seasons, and is perfect for walking or picnicking. There are also many events showcasing different cultures or music groups. This park is a popular place for a lot of people to spend their weekends.
The symbol of Harajuku and birthplace of many of Japan’s fashion trends, Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street) is a narrow, roughly 400 meter long street lined by shops, boutiques, cafes and fast food outlets targeting Tokyo’s teenagers. Because of the street’s popularity, it becomes extremely busy and crowded on the weekends.
Marion Crêpes [Food & Drink]
This shop on Takeshita-dori has been beloved for so long, it can be said that if you talk about Takeshita-dori you mean Marion Crêpes.
Calbee PLUS [Food & Drink]
This is an antenna shop of the popular Japanese sweets brand, Calbee. This particular store offers ice cream made with Hokkaido milk with freshly fried potato chips. This treat has been beloved in Japan for many years, so try it if you get a chance.
Line Friend Store Harajuku
THE ‘KAWAII’-EST SOUVENIRS EVER
Weekdays 11 am – 9 pm
Weekends & Holidays 10 am – 9 pm
(Opening Day 9 am – 9 pm)
Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingu-mae 4-32-13
Harajuku Gyoza-rou (原宿餃子楼) [Food & Drink]
Situated 2 minutes from the Meiji Jingu Station, Gyoza-rou only serves gyoza dumplings, from yakigyoza with crunchy skin to the plump suigyoza. The prices are rather reasonable, so it’s perfect for when you’re feeling just a little peckish.
Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingumae, 6 Chome−2−4, 岡島ビル
Opening hours: 11:30AM–4:30AM
Kyushu Jangara [Food & Drink]
Right in front of Harajuku Station, Kyushu Jangara opened in 1986 and has been loved by everybody ever since for its traditional, delicious Kyushu tonkotsu ramen. Why not try their superb Kyushu ramen?
Ichiran Ramen Tokyo 一蘭
Ichiran Ramen 一蘭 is known as one of the best ramen in Japan, if not the best – mass market wise. Not exaggerating, but my friends would get the urge to fly to Tokyo just have a bowl of this rich Tonkotsu soup based noodles.
The shop was founded in Hakata Fukuoka way back in the 1960s. Hakata ramen is characterised by its thin, long, firm noodles, usually whiter in colour.
Its winning formula can be attributed to the creamy smooth classic pork-based tonkotsu soup, topped with Ichiran’s original red pepper sauced mixed with 3 type of spices.
Address: Sanpo Sogo Building 2F 6-5-6 Jingumae Sibuya-ku Tokyo-to 150-0001 (3 minute walk from JR Harajuku Station Omotesando Exit)
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm
The flashy store that sits at the Meiji-Jingumae crossing is Condomania, a store that offers various made in Japan condoms and party gifts. You can definitely find some interesting stuff here! It has the atmosphere of a miscellaneous goods shop, making it easy for females to enter.
The Kawaii Monster Cafe
Daiso is a beloved convenient Japanese 100-yen shop that is actually opening up stores in other parts of the world. Among them is the three-story Harajuku store that is full of items of different genres. It is a popular place for travelers to buy souvenirs.
O M O T E S A N D O
Our favourite neighbourhood is Omotesando, the Champs-Élysées of Tokyo. From shopping, to nice cafes and coffee places, to lifestyle concept shops – Omotesando has surprises at every corner, and we can easily spend a whole day wandering around.
Omotesando reminds us of Venice. There are many small streets waiting for you to explore, discover, and to get lost, in a good way of course.
There are many famous tonkatsu restaurants in Tokyo, but the place that everyone seems to agree is the best place to head to is Maisen Tonkatsu. Maisen has been known for serving tonkatsu since 1965, located in a former World War II public bathhouse, thus you can still appreciate some of the original design details and high ceilings which stand through the test of time.
Maisen Tonkatsu とんかつ まい泉
4-8-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (Omotesando Exit A2)
〒150-0001 東京都渋谷区 神宮前4−8−5
Opening Hours 11:00am-10:00pm
Housed in a machiya (traditional wooden house), it is a small and simple space, very minimalistic, and it feels as though you are having a good cuppa at a neighbour’s house.
Tel: +81 03 5413 9422
Daily: 10pm – 7pm
Nearest Station: Omotesando Exit A2/Meiji-Jingumae