Harajuku

Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan

Just north of Shibuya on the Yamanote Line lies Harajuku, the area around Tokyo's Harajuku Station that stretches from the south of the Sendagaya area to Jingumae-machi. Harajuku, renowned for its unique street fashion, is the center of Japan's most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles. Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street) and its side streets are lined by fashion boutiques and many trendy shops catering to trend conscious teens.

Harajuku also offers shopping for grown-ups with the fashion building Omotesando Hills and many famous brand name stores from around the world. There are also plenty of fashionable coffee shops and restaurants in the area.

Harajuku is not only about teenage culture and shopping. Other attractions include Meiji-jingu Shrine, one of Tokyo's major shrines, located just west of Harajuku Station in a forest shared with Yoyogi Park, a spacious public park.

Harajuku Attractions

Meiji-Jingu (Meiji Shrine)

Meiji-Jingu, Harajuku Attractions, Tokyo, Japan

Meiji-Jingu, Tokyo's most famous Shinto Shrine, was built in 1920 in commemoration of Emperor Meiji. Most of the major buildings of the shrine were burned down in 1945 due to air raids during World War II, but all were reconstructed in 1958. The buildings are surrounded by a beautiful, dense forest. Meiji Shrine, large in scale but simple in structure, is entered via a winding path and through a giant torii gate. Meiji-Jingu is just a 10 minute walk from Harajuku Station.

Address: 1-1, Kamizono-cho, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Harajuku Station on Yamanote Line or Meiji Jingu Mae Station on Chiyoda Line and Fukutoshin Line
Telephone: +81 3-3379-5511
Website: http://www.meijijingu.or.jp
Opening Hours: From sunrise to sunset, every day throughout the year
Admission: Free

Yoyogi-koen (Yoyogi Park)

Yoyogi-koen (Yoyogi Park), Harajuku Attractions, Tokyo, Japan

Yoyogi-koen is one of Tokyo's largest city parks, featuring wide lawns, ponds and forested areas. It is a great place for jogging, picnicking and other outdoor activities. The park is a popular hangout, especially on Sundays, when it is used as a gathering place for people to play music, dance, practice martial arts, etc. Yoyogi Park is located next to Meiji-Jingu shrine, just a 10 minute walk from Harajuku Station.

Nearest Station: Harajuku Station on Yamanote Line
Opening Hours: 05:00 to 20:00 daily (winter 05:00 to 17:00)
Admission: Free

Takeshita-dori (Takeshita Street)

Takeshita-dori, Harajuku Attractions, Tokyo, Japan

Takeshita-dori is the center of Harajuku's teenage culture. This bustling narrow street and its side streets are lined by fashion boutiques, trendy shops, used clothes stores, crepe stands, cafés and fast food outlets targeting Tokyo's teenagers. Takeshita Street is roughly 400 meter long and runs from the Takeshita exit of JR Harajuku to Meiji-dori.

Nearest Station: JR Harajuku Station

Omote-sando

Omote-sando, Harajuku Attractions, Tokyo, Japan

Omote-sando, the broad avenue leading downhill from the southern end of the JR Harajuku Station, is home to outlets of some of the world's chicest brands: Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Chanel, to name a few. Omote-sando is sometimes referred to as "Tokyo's Champs-Élysées". The avenue also features the very up market Omotesando Hills, a super-chic shopping mall that caters to those independent, style-conscious urbanites who couldn't possibly wear anything except the latest fashions.

Nearest Station: JR Harajuku Station

Prada Building

Prada Building, Harajuku Attractions, Tokyo, Japan

The Prada building in Aoyama designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron has become a tourist attraction itself, that draws as many amateur photographers as serious Prada shoppers. The Prada store is an architectural wonder, worth seeing even if you can't afford to shop here. The exterior is made from an interesting convex glass, looking like a giant bee hive, quite spectacular, especially at night when it's all lit up.

Address: 5-2-6 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Omotesando Station
Telephone: +81 3-6418-0400
Opening Hours: 11:00 to 20:00 daily

Design Festa Gallery

Design Festa Gallery, Harajuku Attractions, Tokyo, Japan

Design Festa Gallery is a unique world of artistic wonder, where one-of-a-kind artwork is displayed for anyone to see. You can meander about or stop and talk with the artists themselves. The West Gallery has 12 spaces of varying size, and its exterior is covered with murals. The East Gallery is composed of 17 spaces with more large-scale artwork. There is also a café where you can relax and have a bite or a drink and enjoy this creative enclave.

Address: 3-20-18 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: JR Harajuku Station (Takeshita Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-3479-1442
Website: http://www.designfestagallery.com
Opening Hours: 11:00 to 20:00 daily
Admission: Free

Ota Memorial Museum of Art

Ota Memorial Museum of Art, Harajuku Attractions, Tokyo, Japan

The small and elegant Ota Memorial Museum of Art exhibits selected ukiyo-e paintings and prints from the vast collection of the late Seizo Ota V, which comprises of more than 12,000 pieces of art. Exhibits are changed every month.

Address: 1-10-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Meiji Jingu Mae Station on Chiyoda Line and Fukutoshin Line
Telephone: +81 3-3403-0880
Website: http://www.ukiyoe-ota-muse.jp
Opening Hours: 10:30 to 17:30 (closed Mondays)
Admission: Depends on the exhibit, but typically 700 yen

Harajuku Shopping

Omotesando Hills

Omotesando Hills, Harajuku Shopping, Tokyo, Japan

The fashion building Omotesando Hills opened in 2006 and features brand name stores from around the world. The complex with six stories above the ground and six underground stories has approximately 100 shops, restaurants, cafés and beauty salons. This popular shopping mall is a premium destination for high-end fashion shopaholics. For the rest of us, it's still an interesting browse, and the restaurants on the top floor may be worth a splurge for a light lunch.

Address: 4-12-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Omotesando Station (Exit A2) or Meiji-Jingumae Station (Exit 5)
Telephone: +81 3-3497-0310
Website: http://www.omotesandohills.com
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11:00 to 21:00, Sun 11:00 to 20:00

Laforet Harajuku

Laforet Harajuku, Tokyo Shopping, Japan

Laforet Harajuku is a trend setting shopping complex, owned by the same company that runs Omotesando Hills, but targeting a decidedly younger audience with a focus on hip teen fashion. Laforet Harajuku, consisting of seven floors of fashion boutiques and shops, has a museum space on the sixth floor and HMV in the basement.

Address: 1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Meiji-Jingumae Station (Exit 5) on Chiyoda Line and Fukutoshin Line
Telephone: +81 3-3475-0411
Website: http://www.laforet.ne.jp
Opening Hours: 11:00 to 20:00 daily

Oriental Bazaar

Oriental Bazaar, Harajuku Shopping, Tokyo, Japan

A kitschy Tokyo institution for tourists and expats alike, with four floors of shopping stocking typical Japanese souvenirs, such as foreigner-sized kimonos, tableware, lamps, dolls, furniture and samurai related goods. The Oriental Bazaar is housed in an instantly recognizable building with a faux-Chinese temple roof.

Address: 5-9-13 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Meiji-Jingumae Station on Chiyoda Line and Fukutoshin Line
Telephone: +81 3-3400-3933
Website: http://www.orientalbazaar.co.jp
Opening Hours: 10:00 to 19:00 (closed Thursdays)

Loveless

Loveless, Harajuku Shopping, Tokyo, Japan

Looking unlike any shop you've seen before, Loveless has three floors of hip Japanese clothing and a basement decked out like the dungeon of some deranged medieval aristocrat. Free booze if you can afford to buy something.

Address: 3-17-11 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Omotesando Station (Exit A3)
Telephone: +81 3-3401-2301
Website: http://www.loveless-shop.jp
Opening Hours: 12:00 to 20:00 daily

Flair Aoyama

Flair Aoyama is located in the midst of Aoyama and is known for taking huge risks and creating new trends. Rather than carrying what is currently popular in the streets, Flair Aoyama will showcase whatever their designers and operators feel looks good and thus is not a highly visited location for teenagers.

Address: 1F Omote-sando Planet, 5-12-14 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Meiji-Jingumae Station

BEAMS

BEAMS, Harajuku Shopping, Tokyo, Japan

The BEAMS fashion empire occupies a chunk of Harajuku along Meiji Dori. This pricey, select shop stocks an eclectic mix of hand-picked designer goods. Don't miss BEAMS-T in the same building at the back.

Address: 1F, 3-25-15 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Meiji-Jingumae Station
Telephone: +81 3-3470-3948
Website: http://www.beams.co.jp
Opening Hours: 11:00 to 20:00 daily

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton, Harajuku Shopping, Tokyo, Japan

The Louis Vuitton Omotesando store was opened in autumn 2002 as the company's largest and also most beautiful store. The public store makes up five of the building's ten floors, which are designed as a stack of trunks rather than conventional floors.

Address: 5-7-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Omotesando Station
Telephone: +81 3-3478-2100
Website: http://www.louisvuitton.com
Opening Hours: 11:00 to 20:00 daily

Kiddy Land

Kiddy Land, Harajuku Shopping, Tokyo, Japan

Toys in Japan are certainly not just for children. This is one of Tokyo's most famous and popular toy stores, located on Omotesando, near the entrance to Cat Street. Kiddy Land offers six floors filled with all kinds of toys from electronic games to stuffed animals. Many major toy brands, including Hello Kitty, Barbie and Disney are present.

Address: 6-1-9 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Meiji-Jingumae Station (Exit 4) on Subway Chiyoda Line
Telephone: +81 3-3409-3431
Website: http://www.kiddyland.co.jp
Opening Hours: 10:30 to 21:00 daily

Crayon House

Crayon House, Harajuku Shopping, Tokyo, Japan

A shop for the whole family with books, toys and design, whose focus is health and ecology. They have a huge collection of children's picture books and literature from around the world. With 50,000 books, of which 10,000 are imported, Crayon House is widely regarded as the best collection of its kind in Japan. Children are welcome to roam around and read. Do not miss the restaurant in the basement that serves organic vegetarian food.

Address: 3-8-15 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Omotesando Station
Telephone: +81 3-3406-6308
Website: http://www.crayonhouse.co.jp (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: 11:00 to 19:00 daily

Harajuku Restaurants

Mominoki House

Mominoki House, Harajuku Restaurant, Tokyo, Japan

Harajuku's Mominoki House, which The New York Times called “in a category by itself”, goes back to the basics of the Japanese culinary tradition, creating with simple ingredients a cuisine that is timeless – not to mention supremely healthy and, more often than not, absolutely delicious. This little restaurant use organic foods and ingredients as well as electronically ionized water for all their selected dishes.

Address: 2-18-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Harajuku Station or Meiji-Jingumae Station
Telephone: +81 3-3405-9144
Website: http://www2.odn.ne.jp/mominoki_house/
Opening Hours: 12:00 to 22:30 daily

Darumaya

A good deal, one can get a satisfying bowl of noodles for quite a reasonable price. Darumaya serve excellent ramen, fried rice, and chilled noodles. Try hiyashi-soba which is chilled noodles with pork, egg, cucumber, seaweed, red ginger, and sesame. There is an English menu for convenience, and for those in a hurry, take-out is available.

Address: 1F Murayama Building, 5-9-5 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Omotesando Station
Telephone: +81 3-3499-6295
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11:00 to 22:00

Sakuratei

Sakuratei, Harajuku Restaurant, Tokyo, Japan

Sakuratei is an Okonomi-yaki and Monja-yaki restaurant located at the quiet back street of Harajuku. Okonomi-yaki is a Japanese pizza, or a pancake, made out of wheat flour and egg. Monja-yaki is similar to Okonomi-yaki, except the batter is more watery and does not use egg. Their extensive menu offers more than 100 unique and reasonably priced dishes, including their popular Sakura yaki and Sakura salad. The all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink courses are also very popular. Interesting works of art cover the walls of the first floor, and the atmosphere is very indie. The second floor is calmer in tone, and can be reserved for private parties.

Address: 3-20-1 Jingu-Mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Meiji-Jingumae Station (Exit 5) on Chiyoda Line and Fukutoshin Line
Telephone: +81 3-3479-0039
Website: http://www.sakuratei.co.jp
Opening Hours: 11:30 to 23:00 daily

Harajuku Nightlife

Den Aquaroom

Den Aquaroom, Harajuku Nightlife, Tokyo, Japan

Den Aquaroom is romantic, it's swanky, and it aims to make you feel like you're walked into Neptune's palace. It succeeds. While the whole place is dimly lit with glowing blue lights, the bar's claim to fame are the two wall-sized aquariums. They're truly spectacular. What could be more relaxing that watching fish drift above your head as you sip a drink? There's a wide selection of cocktails and an intriguing menu (in English) of good-value Asian-influenced food. Harajuku's Den Aquaroom is the kind of place to take a date or a small group of business friends.

Address: B1F FIK Building, 5-13-3 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Omotesando Station (Exit B1)
Telephone: +81 3-5778-2090
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 18:00 to 02:00, Sun 18:00 to 23:00

Bar Den Inmu

Bar Den Inmu, Harajuku Nightlife, Tokyo, Japan

Austin Powers-esque bar just off Aoyama Dori, with shagadelic purple carpets, white leather sofas and disco lighting deluxe. The music is loungey, the technicolor dimmed, and black is the dress code du jour. Bar Den Inmu is definitely worth a visit.

Address: B2 Aoyama KT Building, 5-50-8 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Omotesando Station (Exit B2)
Telephone: +81 3-5766-1616
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 19:00 to 05:00, Sun 19:00 to 02:00

Blue Note Tokyo

Blue Note Tokyo, Harajuku Nightlife, Tokyo, Japan

Jazz has a large and ever growing following in Tokyo and there are numerous venues offering excellent live jazz music. The best known is The Blue Note Tokyo featuring impressive artists and high prices. Like its sister jazz club in New York City, all intimate, deep velvet and dark wood. Top musicians play to sophisticated clientele. Well-stocked bar and strong wine list meets up with a menu full of steak and seafood. Better make your reservations early.

Address: Raika Building, 6-3-16 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Omotesando Station (Exit B3)
Telephone: +81 3-5485-0088
Website: http://www.bluenote.co.jp
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 17:30 to 01:00, Sun 17:00 to 00:30

Crocodile

Crocodile Live House, Harajuku Nightlife, Tokyo, Japan

The Crocodile Live House is a legendary venue, located on Meiji Dori halfway between Harajuku and Shibuya, where the Tokyo Comedy Store performs the Main Show on the fourth Friday of the month. Other nights it's a casual rock'n'roll club offering a wide range of live bands, check out their website for a schedule. The club has an interesting interior and a cool, laid-back atmosphere. Go to Meiji Dori from Shibuya Station and head towards Harajuku. It'll be on your right just before the tiny parking garage, with a big flashing crocodile sign - hard to miss!

Address: New Sekiguchi Building B1, 6-18-8 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Shibuya Station or Meiji-Jingumae Station
Telephone: +81 3-3499-5205
Website: http://www.crocodile-live.jp (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: 18:00 to 02:00 daily; Music starts at 20:00
Admission: ¥ 2,000 - ¥ 4,000, occasionally more for big acts

Velours

Velours, Harajuku Nightlife, Tokyo, Japan

Very bubble-era restaurant/bar/club with plush sofas, chandeliers, mirrors and lots of other things that glitter. It's like the Bubble never burst. Tokyo's extravagant '80s get a rerun at this new venue, where crystal chandeliers and antique French furnishings try to disguise the narrow dimensions. The swanky setting at Velours has made it a popular venue for unashamedly glitzy events by the likes of Dazed & Confused magazine and various fashion brands. The space operates as an unremarkable restaurant on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Address: Almost Blue B1, 6-4-6 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Omotesando Station
Telephone: +81 3-5778-4777
Website: http://www.velours.jp
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu 18:00 to 02:00, Fri-Sat 18:00 to 04:00