Harajuku (原宿) is the name of the area right outside Shibuya (渋谷) around Harajuku Station (原宿駅). Let’s see what it is all about:
Similar to Shibuya itself, this place is heavily oriented towards teenagers and young adults. There are stores for older audiences as well.
As such, many teenage fashion trends originate here, mainly in the popular shopping street called Takeshita Dori.
Harajuku offers a wide variety in fashion boutiques and stores, everyone should be able to find their style here. Apart from that, there are also a good number of dining opportunities, as well as cultural aspects such as the Meiji Shrine.
Now let me tell you the highlights of this dynamic area:
1. Takeshita Dori
The center of Harajuku. This street is what makes it the fashionable area everyone knows.
Nearly 400 meters of fashion boutiques and shops left and right.
As mentioned before, many teenage fashion trends are born here, this street is mainly geared towards teenagers and young adults.
Aside from shopping, food stands and restaurants are also housed here.
Takeshita Dori is only a 2-minute walk from Harajuku Station.
Omotesando (表参道) is with one kilometer a little longer than the aforementioned Takeshita Dori and is not specially geared towards teenagers, it’s more oriented towards older and wealthier people.
The street leads up to Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi Park.
With its trees along the street, it is quite a beautiful area to look at.
Here, besides many restaurants and food stands like Takoyaki (たこ焼き) or crepe, you can find lots of big brand shops like Louis Vuitton, Adidas, Nike or Puma.
Same as Takeshita Dori, just a 2-minute walk from Harajuku Station.
3. Nezu Museum
Hours: 10am – 5pm (last entry at 4:30pm)
Closed on Mondays and on New Years
Admission Fee: 1,100 Yen (8,46€/$10; exchange rate as of July 2018)
This museum houses artworks from all of Eastern Asia including South Korea, China and of course Japan (日本).
Outside of it there is a large Japanese Garden you can enter as well.
You can walk to Meiji-jingumae <Harajuku> Station for 6 minutes, take the Chiyoda Line (Green) for 1 minute and 170 Yen (1,31€/$1.55) to Omote-sando Station and then walk 6 minutes again to the museum.
Alternatively, you can just walk along Omotesando Street for about 20 minutes. I recommend this route, as you can enjoy the area much better this way.
4. Yoyogi Park
Hours: 5am – 8pm (5pm during winter)
Yoyogi Park is one of Tokyo’s (東京) biggest parks and surrounds the famous Meiji Shrine. The spacious lawns, ponds and forest areas allow for nice outdoor activities such as picnicking or jogging.
Around April, Cherry blossoms can also be enjoyed here.
Yoyogi Park lies just west of Harajuku Station, so a quick 2-3 minute walk will get you there.
5. Meiji Shrine
Meiji Jingu is a Shinto Shrine named after the popular emperor Meiji who reigned from 1867 to 1912. This shrine is dedicated to him and his wife, Empress Shoken.
The premise of the shrine is surrounded by the vast Yoyogi Park and a dense forest, which can be explored on nicely laid out walking paths.
Meiji Shrine is located just beside Yoyogi Park and therefore Harajuku Station as well.
Access for Harajuku
Harajuku Station is a major destination of the JR Yamanote Line. As such, it can be reached by any of its other stations.
It’s just a 2-minute train ride from Shibuya Station for 140 Yen (1,08€/$1.27).
From Tokyo Station you’ll reach it in about 26 minutes for 200 Yen (1,54€/$1.81).
Harajuku is your best bet if you are in search of a certain brand, food or just want to relax in a wonderful park. I highly recommend coming here but be reminded that it can get pretty crowded, especially on weekends.
I hope you found my top 5 useful and check some of the things out.
There are of course other things to enjoy as well, such as Daiso Harajuku, one of Tokyo’s biggest 100 Yen (0,77€/$0.91) shops or NHK Studio park, which is open to the public.
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