Harajuku is best known as the neighborhood where teenagers go to hang out and strut their street style. The neighborhood offers an enormous range of shops that cater for the conventional to the adventurous. Walk along the streets to glimpse the future of fashion.
The general principle of Harajuku style is to wear whatever you believe looks good, without worrying about what other people might think. Notice teenagers combining clothing styles in unique ways, with inspirations ranging from gothic to punk, steampunk and rockabilly.
Many of Harajuku’s most interesting shops are clustered along Takeshita Street and its side streets. Wander down this narrow street, which is always buzzing with trendy teens and tourists browsing the mix of used clothing stores, boutiques and fast-food shops.
Take a snack break and sample Japanese crêpes at the well-known Marion Crêpes. In contrast to French crêpes, Japanese crêpes are usually filled with fresh ingredients, such as fruit, and wrapped into a cone, making them an easy on-the-go food.
South of Takeshita Street, find Omotesando, which is often described as Tokyo’s Champs-Élysées. In contrast to teenager-focused Takeshita Street, this upmarket street targets a slightly older crowd. Browse through its high-end boutiques, cafés and designer stores, including one of the world’s largest Louis Vuitton stores.
Check out the budget-friendly items for sale at the massive Daiso Harajuku 100 Yen Shop, which sells everything from kitchenware to stationery. Despite the very low “dollar-store” prices, Japanese 100 yen shops are known for offering surprisingly high-quality products.
Don’t miss the Oriental Bazaar, one of Tokyo’s largest souvenir shops. This three-floor emporium is a popular place for international visitors to pick up kimonos, furniture, samurai-related collectibles, dolls and other traditional Japanese products.
Visit Harajuku on Sundays when teenagers gather around Harajuku Station to enjoy “cosplay,” dressing up as characters from anime, comic books, films or video games. Find Harajuku Station on the Yamanote train line, between Shinjuku and Shibuya stations.