What to do in Harajuku – 23 fashion, fun, food locations
You have probably heard of the most trendy place to hang out in Japan for the hip and fashion conscious. Tokyo’s Harajuku area has been the centre for unconventional outfits and styles.
It is the mecca for fashion boutiques, souvenir shops and snacks, all of them mostly sweet and overly adorned. Harajuku is as kawaii as Japan gets.
Let’s recap the Harajuku tour which we did last week and visit the 23 sweetest places in the neighbourhood.
Equipped with treasure hunt instructions from the Meet The New Japan Campaign and pink eared guides, we wandered off to explore some fancy Harajuku shops.
1. DREAM STATION JOL HARAJUKU is the fortress for cutesiness. On Harajuku’s Takeshita Dori.
Young girls meet having a chat in the café about the newest chic of fashion subculture. They amend their make-over at the free beauty parlour in the adjacent room…
…munching on ice cream pancakes with colourful sprinkles and toppings.
Some might discuss the advantage of paper made deer antlers.
In the midst of all frilly – Tomek. He went along and was inspecting the playful aura of Japanese teenage dreams with me. He is such a sport.
JOL’s snow white Halloween parlour.
If you like Tim Burton’s kind of adorable creepiness then b/w cakes will be a hit.
Just as these b/w nasty cute characters coming from the vending machine.
At JOL we came across the most huggeable stuffie with a huge mouth. Fuzzy brown hair, likes meat stew and passes gas when he is excited. Domo, the Japanese monster or Tomek? I am not telling.
2. TAKESHITA DORI is the Harajuku street featuring most discount shops with a lot of kawaii fashion for beginners and great prices.
3. B-SIDE-LABEL. My favourite location. Full of over-cool stickers.
This one made it home with me. Upon purchase we were told that we could pick another one for free. That marketing strategy worked. I am going to be back soon.
B-Side Label had an impact on our electrical equipment.
4. Off it was to Lady Gaga’s shopping secret, called DOG. Location: B1F, 3-23-3 Jingumae
Self expression in street wear can be creepy.
A pink outfit for Hanami, maybe?
That vintage bag looked almost old fashioned considering all else that was in stock.
If I don’t turn into a J-Lolita, I will be back.
5. 6%DOKIDOKI. Doki doki is a Japanese onomatopoeia for rapid heart beat and with all the shockingly trippy kawaii it might make your heart jump. This store is where Japanese model-singer icon and Kawaii Harajuku Ambassador Kyary Pamyu Pamyu expands her wardrobe.
Location: 4-28-16 Jingumae
A 6%Dokidoki outfit and Kyary. Both are visual marvels.
6. CANDY STRIPPER. With Kyary’s crazy candied songs this is not surprisingly also one of her frequented shopping locations.
7. PUTUMAYO. The classic Goth-Lolita store. They are selling top Harajuku labels like Alice and the Pirates.
L0cation: you can visit them on this small side street but their main super store is at Laforet Mall, 1-11-6 Jingumae
8. NAOTO. Right next to Putumayo and very Harajuku. Serving classic, princess, punk and rock styles.
9. and 10. Two Harajuku stores that are offering more feminine romantic kawaii. Peach, lace, ruffle at LOMP HARAJUKU and ME-MENO.
11. LA FORET. The absolute kingdom of Harajuku fashion is the cylinder shaped mall. With about a hundred of kawaii Harajuku fashion boutiques it is the place to go to get a new image. Location: 1-11-6 Jingumae
12. Just opposite is the precursor to architecture of the 21st century. This futuristic mall houses all the regular high street fashion brands that are pushing into Harajuku these days.
13. OMOTESANDO HILLS is the top end area also located in Harajuku which specializes to please haute couture lovers.
14. JETOY JAPAN. We wandered along Harajuku’s Cat Street which has a matching store with awfully cute accessories – all decorated with this cat.
15. Harajuku for KIDS. Also on Cat Street is a fashion store for fashionate kiddos to match mum and dad. GRAND GROUND has a decorated wooden exterior and a large collection for children inside.
You can’t be young enough to make a fashion statement.
16. More for kids. KIDDY LAND. Despite the name, this is no land for kids if you are on a tight budget. All well known cartoon characters to purchase in and endless toy variety and an incredible amount of things to play with over five floors. Location: 6-1-9 Jingumae
17. Harajuku for PETS. PARIERO MART. If you love your dog you gotta dress it up in Japan.
Baby rompers for pets.
FUN FOOD LOCATIONS IN HARAJUKU
Apart from learning how to dress a dog appropriately, Harajuku will give you an insight to kawaii food. It is soft and sweet, of course.
18. CAFÉ CREPE was the first crepe shop in Harajuku.You can get crepe here in the most spectacular versions.
19. For awesome pancakes try PANCAKE DAYs and SUNDAY JAM. There will be a queue – not only on Pancake Day. Location: 4-28-27 Jingumae
20. CANDY ARTISANS. This shop showed the artistic competence of sweet superhuman candy staff. Location: 6-31-15 Jingumae
My man fed me hearts with a grin that reads: you are going to get caries.
Such is the ‘message of candy’. Sort of like written on their wall.
Eh, what the hell.
21. CALBEE PLUS. After you are done with your sweet tooth you can try the freshest potato snacks to treat the rest of your body. Crisps with chocolate topping for example. Why not. Location: 1-16-8 Jingumae
22. You can get an arty perspective at the little DESIGN FESTA GALLERY with works from many aspiring and established Japanese kawaii-style artists. You can also enjoy their café. We received a Harajuku map and integrated Kyary Pamyu Pamyu poster here (which is going to look great next to our Japanese blue cat Doraemon poster) Location: 3-20-18 Jingumae
Oh, and we did succeed to get all stamps in the treasure hunt.
This was the reward from the Meet The New Japan Campaign team for our hard work. The socks and the chocolate popcorn are totally kawaii.
But truthfully, Sakura was the winner. Escorting our sunny tour throughout the day.
23. One last location, to chill out and relax after you have passed hordes of Harajuku teenagers is TOGO JINJA SHRINE. The last thing you expect to find is this serene temple located about 800 feet north of the Meiji Dori and Omote Sando intersection.
It was very neat that we ended the frilly tour at this tranquil garden, an oasis just next to garish Harajuku.
I got so inspired by Harajuku and Japanese kois at the garden that I made this kawaii koi picture for you.
There were gorgeous rose flowers, too.
Pink and beautiful.
And I saw more gorgeous.
A last breath at the temple….
…and it was time to go back to Harajuku TAKESHITA DORI shopping street.
To do it all over again. Or to pop the PURIKURA cherry and adhere to Harajuku’s beauty archetype.
Happy Harajuku-Hanami everyone!