Harajuku is a small district in Shibuya, in the area surrounding the train station, and is internationally known as the centre of Japanese youth culture and fashion and is Tokyo’s ‘Kawaii’ capital. This hub has all of your shopping needs, with famous brand names down along Omotesando (sometimes referred to as Harajuku’s Champs-Elysees) and then Takeshita and it’s side streets, which are lined with trendy stores and boutiques offering up youth fashion, tasty crepe stands and even stores dedicated to clothing and accessories for your furry friends!
This spot is also where you can catch a glimpse of the ‘Harajuku Girls’.The term ‘Harajuku Girls’ isn’t one used by the Japanese people themselves, but instead came to popular use after Gwen Stefani’s release of her infectious Love.Angel.Music.Baby album. These women and girls wear clothing that originated in the street culture of Japans major cities, including Tokyo. The Harajuku style combines a wide range of diverse influences, from bright, cute and colourful to gothic.
This electric district is also home to some unique little places to eat. We stopped in for lunch at Wired Café 360°, which sat opposite Takeshita Street. With drinks in jars (before it was insanely popular), a deliciously light menu, high ceilings, exposed brick walls and a round space surrounded by floor to ceiling windows looking out at gorgeous greenery, this spot was made even better by the use of iPads with free wifi! (Sadly, since our visit, this sweet little spot has closed after 10 years of operation.) You can check out some of the many other dining options here.
A visit to this small area of Tokyo really throws you in amongst it all, with so many people, colours and food. There’s a buzz in the air that’s so infectious and with so many unique buys on offer it will drive the savviest of shoppers into overdrive!