Harajuku is known for its extreme fashion and eccentric youth who stroll through the district. But more than its mission to explore the new trends in stores. Many people are simply there to enjoy the crepe stalls and cheap restaurants to have fun with their friends. But make no mistake, regardless of your age or interests, Harajuku is always fun to stroll, and exploring it will give you a good idea of the rebellious side of Japanese youth.
Most stores are dazzling establishments selling clothes with a permanent discount, while others cater to a Japanese street fashion more alternative than the usual alternative. Sunday morning is an excellent time to visit the place and see the cosplay girls and boys around Harajuku Station, with leather boots customized to doll-like attire. You will see everything.
The truth is that the trendy districts of northeast Shibuya are difficult to separate into distinct areas because they are all connected by one of the most famous streets of Tokyo: Omotesando Dori.
So perhaps one of the best places to start your tour is at Takeshita Dori. Harajuku’s most famous (and possibly Tokyo’s busiest) shopping street. Descending 400 meters east of Harajuku Station, it has played an important role in the direction and influence of youth culture in the last few decades. Famous Japanese stylists shops in the area actually put Harajuku on the map and make it famous not only in Japan but also abroad. Foreign television crews and documentary directors regularly broadcast footage of Harajuku to millions in an attempt to understand and dissect Japanese youth culture. A photograph of the elevated entrance to Takeshita Dori near the station is a must for your photo album, and getting stuck in the flow of people as you make your way to the calmer environments of Omotesando and Aoyama, an experience you will not forget.
Address: 1 Chome-19 Jingūmae, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0001
Access: Harajuku JR Station or Meiji-Jingumae Station
Ota Museum of Art
In the heart of Harajuku, the exquisite Ota memorial art museum is a worthwhile passageway for all art and history lovers. The museum’s collection consists of about 14,000 pieces of ukiyo-e works, including 12,000 works collected by the late Seizō Ota Ⅴ, formerly chairman of the Tōhō Insurance Company. His collection was open to the public after his death in 1977. The collection contains both nikuhitsu-ga painting masterpieces and impressions of ukiyo-e wooden blocks – two substantial portions of ukiyo-e – and is one of the main private collections of the world of ukiyo-e art.
Access: From JR Yamanote Station “Harajuku”: Take the Omotesandoguchi exit and go down Omotesando Street to Meiji Street for a few minutes. Take a left turn just after the Softbank mobile store. You will see the sign on the corner. From the Chiyoda and Fukutoshin subway line “Meiji Jingu mae”: Station: Take exit # 5 and go straight on Omotesando Street. Make a curve before the Softbank mobile store. You will see the sign on the corner.
Days and times: 10h30-17h30 (last admission at 17h). Closed on Mondays, unless this is a public holiday, in which case it is opened and closed the following day.
Admission: ¥ 700 for regular exhibitions; ¥ 1,000 for special exhibitions.
It is said that Harajuku is where kawaii (cute) culture was born. The artistic scene in general is very active in Harajuku and evocative works of art are created every day. On the other hand, Harajuku has beautiful natural areas such as Meiji-jingu Shrine and Yoyogi Park just nearby, so you can enjoy both Japanese pop culture and peaceful nature at the same time if you desire a bit of both worlds. So don’t miss out and definitely explore Harajuku if you get the chance!