There is lots to see and do in Harajuku, especially if you’re into fashion, It’s also next to Yoyogi Park, the Meiji Jingu shrine and the NHK building. We’ll write separate posts on those later.
I would recommend going there twice; once on a Sunday when it’s the busiest as this is when you’re likely to see the most street fashion which is great for inspiration. If you want to see ‘Goth-Loli’ fashion and some of the more artistic costumes this is also the best day, but just remember to be polite and ask people before you take photos (“Shashin ga ii desu ka?”). Most people are happy to pose if it isn’t too crowded. Unfortunately it’s way to busy to do any real shopping, so try going on a weekday for quiet(er) time and be sure to check out the Meiji Jingu shrine as well.
When you get of the train, first you’ll want to head down the famous street Takeshita street.
You can see from the picture how busy it was, this was just the entrance on a weekday! It’s also Spring Break here in Japan so that doesn’t help.
Harajuku is a well known spot for new trends amongst young people, so it’s not unusual to see up and coming musicians doing signings and street performances, and there are plenty of snack shops and creperies.
I wanted to look at the cheap accessories shops but they were far to busy so I’ll probably go back early one morning. One of the shops I had a look around was Randa which is a shoe shop that sells cute shoes, including Hello Kitty ones.
Half way down the street I spotted Liz Lisa which I can never resist going in, as the clothes are so cute, but not the cheapest. I was very happy to find out they were selling lucky bags. I bought one for 5000 yen (about £35) which came in a rose tote bag and contained 2 jumpers, a cardigan and a top. These items normally cost around 7000 yen each, which makes lucky bags a great saving 🙂
When shopping in Harajuku remember to keeping looking up at there are so many different shops on the other floors.
If you are interested in cosplay check out Bodyline which sells cheap cosplay items, wigs, punk and lolita clothes.
Moving away from the crammed Takeshita Dori, you can head down the backstreets that are much less crowded towards Ometesando and see some of the more unique boutiques on the way.
On the corner you’ll find Laforet, a well known shopping centre for alternative girls fashion, lolita, gothic, visaul K, punk, gyaru to every day fashion. Spread across a number of floors and ‘half floors’ there is something for everyone here.
On each floor during March there was a special Disney background where you could take a photo. I liked the Alice in Wonderland background best. Which character would you want to pose with?
Heading down Ometesando a bit further you will find a number of western designer brands, but most people seem to be headed to only one place. There is a famous toy shop called Kiddy Land where you can find many different character goods, old and new.
Cute Ghibli characters
If you like Evangelion there is a shop in Harajuku which Ben has already posted about here.
I will add another post soon about the Meji Jingu shrine at Harakuju/ Yoyogi park for you to check out.
If you went on a Harajuku shopping spree what would you buy? Clothes? Toys? Let us know in the comments.