50 Things to Do in Harajuku
What image do you have when you hear Harajuku? Fashion? Sub-culture? Here are some spots where you can enjoy the many faces of Harajuku culture to the fullest!
Mar 10 2015 (Feb 28 2020)
*Note: For the place that is introduced in this article, a map of it can be found at the end of the article. Please use it as a reference.
1. Harajuku Station [Sightseeing]
Harajuku Station is the gateway to Harajuku and is constantly overflowing with visitors. When you visit, first look at the building's facade. It was built in 1924 and is actually the oldest wooden building in Tokyo. It was also chosen as one of the hundred most recognized train stations in the Kanto area. This is where one's trip to Harajuku starts, so why don't you stop by at this Taisho era Western-style building?
2. Meiji Jingu Shrine [Sightseeing]
Right by Harajuku Station is Meiji Jingu Shrine, a holy area abundant in nature that you wouldn't believe sits inside this megalopolis. It's said they have the largest number of visitors in Japan for Hatsumode, the first shrine visit of the year. It's also the shrine where Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken are enshrined. It's also has become popular in recent years as place with power spots. Among them is the Kiyomasa no Ido, a water well, a rare site in the city. It's said that if you take a photo of this well with your phone and put it as your background, you will have good luck. Try it yourself!
English homepage: http://www.meijijingu.or.jp/english/index.html
If you're planning on visiting Meiji Jingu and you're also interested in seeing Tokyo's latest fashion trends, the Harajuku Kawaii Fashion Tour by Magical Trip is the perfect tour for you! This half-day tour takes you to Meiji Jingu and other must-visit places in Harajuku, so you'll be able to cross both places off your list! You're guaranteed all the best spots in the area with a local guide to lead you through the journey!
3. Jingu Bridge [Sightseeing]
Jingu Bridge, which connects Harajuku Station and Meiji Jingu, isn't just a regular pedestrian bridge, but is a place where Gothic Lolitas, cosplayers, and other people who partake in Harajuku fashion subcultures gather on the weekends. It might be good to visit in order to see the idiosyncratic personal styles with the verdant backdrop of Meiji Jingu.
4. Yoyogi National Gymnasium [Sightseeing]
Yoyogi National Gymnasium is a large stadium where various events like sports, concerts, and exhibitions are held. It was built for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics by the famous Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. Because of that, if you visit the Gymnasium, make sure you check out the unique design of the building.
5. Yoyogi Park [Sightseeing]
Cherry blossoms, greenery, foliage, snow - Yoyogi Park is the perfect place to enjoy the different appearances of the four seasons, and is perfect for walking or picnicking. There are also many events showcasing different cultures or music groups. This park is a popular place for a lot of people to spend their weekends.
English homepage: http://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/english/park/detail_03.html#yoyogi
6. Takeshita-dori [Shopping]
Right by Harajuku Station, Takeshita-dori is a fashion street full of shops offering cute goods, where Japanese people and of course tourists can enjoy shopping. This street is full of shops that carry the trendiest of items, so you can come here to find the Harajuku fashion style that suits you best!
Japanese homepage: http://www.takeshita-street.com/index.html
7. Daiso [Shopping]
Daiso is a beloved convenient Japanese 100-yen shop that is actually opening up stores in other parts of the world. Among them is the three-story Harajuku store that is full of items of different genres. It is a popular place for travelers to buy souvenirs.
Japanese homepage: http://www.daiso-sangyo.co.jp/shop/index.php?prc=detail&sid=7157
8. Marion Crêpes [Food & Drink]
This shop on Takeshita-dori has been beloved for so long, it can be said that if you talk about Takeshita-dori you mean Marion Crêpes. You can also say that the image of young people walking while eating delicious-looking crepes is one of Harajuku's representative sights.
Japanese homepage: http://www.marion.co.jp/
9. Paris Kid's [Shopping]
The magic words are "cute and cheap"! This popular accessories shop, Paris Kid's, offers a ton of adorable accessories for just 300 yen. Won't you go here to look for something that strikes your fancy?
Japanese homepage: http://www.pariskids.jp/
10. Purikura shop NOA [Activity]
Shop NOA is the first store in Japan to be dedicated solely to purikura, and it's beloved for many years as a purikura holy land thanks to its huge variety of machines. There are 17 of the latest machines available for use, and it's recommended as THE place to take purikura if you're in Harajuku.
Japanese homepage: http://www.printclub.jp/
11. Closet Child [Shopping]
Closet Child is a small franchise of used shops where you can find all sorts of clothes from the Lolita subculture, from sweet Loli to goth Loli to punk to aristocratic. Because of the huge variety offered, you can find anything you'd like, from reasonably-priced accessories to dresses from rare collections or top brands. If you have any interest in Lolita clothing, this is a must-see shop.
Japanese homepage: http://www.closetchildonlineshop.com/
12. Calbee PLUS [Food & Drink]
This is an antenna shop of the popular Japanese sweets brand, Calbee. This particular store offers ice cream made with Hokkaido milk with freshly fried potato chips. This treat has been beloved in Japan for many years, so try it if you get a chance.
Japanese homepage: http://www.calbee.co.jp/calbeeplus/index.html
13. WEGO [Shopping]
Among the many trendy shops in the area are a few used stores, and the best known of them is the popular WEGO. The store on Takeshita-dori is especially in the center of the trends, so if you want to easily get in on the latest fashions, definitely stop by this store.
Japanese homepage: http://www.wego.jp/
14. CANDY A☆GO☆GO! [Shopping]
Candy A☆Go☆Go sells cute treats from around the world in bulk. The interior of the store is full of multicolored candy lined up next to each other, and the store attendants are decked out in Harajuku-like adorable fashions. Check it out!
Japanese homepage: http://www.candyagogo.com/
15. Moshi Moshi Box
Moshi Moshi Box is an area in Harajuku that was created to help support tourists, whether foreign or Japanese. There's free Wi-Fi, money exchange and travel agency machines available to those who need it. Also, you can buy Japanese souvenirs or Harajuku-style items. Check this place out to make the best of your trip!
English homepage: http://moshimoshi-nippon.jp/
16. Laforet Harajuku [Shopping]
If you want to get the whole experience of Harajuku fashion, you can't miss Laforet. From casual clothing to Gothic Lolita, the latest fashions are all gathered in this building. There are also items that are limited to Laforet that can't be found anywhere else in the world!
English homepage: http://www.laforet.ne.jp/en/
17. Maison de Julietta [Shopping]
Do you know about the cute, doll-like sweet Lolita fashion style? On the 1.5th floor of Laforet, there's a store that allows you to experience dressing like a Lolita! Why don't you try transforming into the Lolita girl of your dreams?
English homepage: http://www.maison-de-julietta.net/english/
18. Metamorphose [Shopping]
Metamorphose is one of the leading brands of the Lolita subculture. In the Laforet store, you can find their latest collections from accessories to whole coordinates.
English homepage: https://www.metamorphose.gr.jp/shop/laforet?language=en
19. Sakura-tei [Food & Drink]
It's an all-you-can-eat at Sakura-tei, where you can make okonomiyaki and monjayaki yourself around a grill. This is definitely an enjoyable gourmet experience. The menu is packed full of different meals, and since it's a popular restaurant among tourists, there are English and Chinese menus available if you need them. Also, don't forget to check out the art personalizing the walls! It's definitely a restaurant where you can enjoy both the food and the atmosphere!
Japanese homepage: http://www.sakuratei.co.jp/
20. Harajuku Gyoza-rou [Food & Drink]
Situated 2 minutes from the Meiji Jingu Station, Gyoza-rou only serves gyoza dumplings, from yakigyoza with crunchy skin to the plump suigyoza. The prices are rather reasonable, so it's perfect for when you're feeling just a little peckish.
Japanese homepage: http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1306/A130601/13001284/
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.