Takeshita Dori and Shopping | Harajuku Tokyo (Part 2)
Harajuku Tokyo (原宿) lies between Shinjuku and Shibuya on the Yamanote Line. If you’re all excited about the shopping in Harajuku, you’re at the right place! Other than joining the young crowd at Takeshita Dori and the mature one in Omotesando Hills, there are many other options for you: Cat Street, LaForet, Tokyu Plaza, and other interesting shops as Oriental Bazaar, Porter Bag and Line Friends.
If shopping is not your thing or you can’t stand the crowd, you might find respite at Meiji Jingu (one of Tokyo’s major shrines), Yoyogi Park or Ota Memorial Museum of Art (where beautiful ukiyo-e paintings are exhibited). >> Read about these three places in Harajuku Tokyo (Part 1). After all the walking, replenish yourself with delicious food in Harajuku! Find out what you can eat at ‘What to Eat in Harajuku and Shibuya Tokyo?‘.
The above is a quick snapshot of what you might find at Harajuku. To know more details and the best way to explore Harajuku, follow our trail from Part 1 and continue on here:
If you think Singapore is crowded, wait till you hit Harajuku on a Sunday! The streets are packed to the brim with people. After you have walked around Meiji Jingu, Yoyogi Park or Ota Memorial Museum of Art, you can start your Harajuku “shopping” journey from Takeshita Dori. This is where you get to witness Japan’s teenage scene and eccentric fashion
Even though we have heard about the loud fashion at Harajuku, we were still shocked at what greeted us: the man in ritualistic make up and costume, the man from ancient past, and the apple head. Excited to witness such fashion, I find it a pity that there were far fewer around than expected.
Takeshita Street is about 400m long and lined with fashion boutiques, purikura (Japanese photo booth) shops, cafes and food stalls to target the teenage crowd. The shops tend to open from 11:00am to 8:00pm.
Directions: If you are coming from Meiji Jingu’s South shrine gate (main gate), walk towards the direction of JR Harajuku Station. Then, cross the street in front of the station, turn left and walk on. Takeshita street will be on your right side.
Along Takeshita street, you will find Daiso’s biggest shop in central Tokyo spanning across three floors. I assume all Singaporeans are familiar with Daiso, the discount chain store. If you love to shop at Daiso Singapore, be sure to come here and grab goodies for ¥105 (S$1.30) per item, much cheaper than the S$2 in Singapore! It opens from 10:00am to 9:00pm daily.
Love Calbee potato chips? Be sure to pop by Calbee+ (Calbee Plus) for potato chips fried on the spot in front of you. You can choose the cut of the chips and the toppings you want on them.
Fresh and crisp out from the deep fryer, our order was drizzled with Royce Chocolate sauce for ¥250 (S$3.20). Other Calbee toppings include Salt & Butter, Double Cheese and Maple Syrup & Cream Cheese.
More about our experience with Calbee+ in “What to Eat in Harajuku and Shibuya Tokyo?”.
Most of Harajuku’s crêperies are located on Takeshita Street. The classic sweet crepes of fruit and airy whipped cream are more popular than savoury wraps of egg, tuna, pork cutlets, hot dogs, etc. Prices start from ¥350 (S$4.40).
Based on online research, we were about to queue at the supposedly famous Marion Crepes when we saw a longer queue forming at Angel’s Heart that’s right opposite. So being Singaporeans, we trust the long queue syndrome as an indication of good food. Moreover, the pinkish shopfront attracted me! (P.s. if you don’t know I wrote a novella years ago called ‘Love, Pinkie’!)
We ordered a crepe of berries and ice cream for ¥440 (S$5.50). Interested in trying too? More about it in “What to Eat in Harajuku and Shibuya Tokyo?”.
p.s. There’s a toilet near to Angel’s Heart and Marion Crepes. Be warned it’s unlike normal Japanese toilets, it’s dirty.
Gigantic Candy Floss
Walking along Takeshita street, we noticed gigantic candy flosses among groups of young girls. Looking up, we saw more coming down from the 2nd floor of Totti Candy Factory! More about it in “What to Eat in Harajuku and Shibuya Tokyo?”.
Shopping around Harajuku
Head Porter Tokyo
Directions: For Porter bag fans, continue to walk straight as you exit Takeshita Dori. You’ll arrive at Head Porter Tokyo soon enough.
- 3-21-12 Jingumae Shibuya-ku Tokyo Japan 150-0001
- 12:00pm – 7:00pm
Line Friends Store
Directions: If you’re not a Porter fan, instead of walking straight, turn right at the end of Takeshita Street at the intersection with Meiji Dori. Keep walking and Line Friends Store will be on your left.
We were so excited to visit the Line Friends Store! We first passed by their pop up store in Taiwan back in 2014. Line Friends was significant to my hubby and me — being the messaging APP during our dating journey.
With cute stickers peppering our conversation, my hubby was slowly projected in Brown, the male bear who is silent and calm. Moreover, hubby looked so much like Brown when he doesn’t smile! Hee. According to Line Wiki, he is a caring and gentle spouse of Cony (true of hubby!). And so I am Cony, Brown’s wife! :)
There are many photo-taking spots in the shop, along with many cute and lovely merchandise I want to fill my house with. But considering the price tag, we didn’t get much. :P
- 11:00am – 9:00pm (Weekdays); 10:00am – 9:00pm (Weekends and Holidays)
- JPR Jingumae 432 / 4-32-13 Jingumae Shibuya-ku Tokyo (Opposite Forever 21)
Shopping Malls: LaForet Harajuku and Tokyu Plaza
Directions: If you’re not a Line fan, then continue to walk straight along Meiji Dori after you turn right at the end of Takeshita Street. You can make a small detour to Ota Memorial Museum of Art on the right. But if you keep walking straight, you will see Tokyu Plaza and LaForet Harajuku on your left and right.
Enter Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku through a spectacular wall of mirrors. Here you can find American Eagle Outfitters, The Shel’tter Tokyo and Tommy Hilfiger spanning across three floors of the 8-storey Tokyu Plaza of fashion shops and cafes. You can also enjoy Starbucks and a green space at the terrace on 6th floor. Free WiFi available.
- 11:00am – 9:00pm (Shops), 8:30am – 11:00pm (Restaurants)
- 4-30-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0001
- Meiji-Jingumae Metro Station (Chiyoda, Fukutoshin lines); Harajuku Station (JR Yamanote Line)
LaForet Harajuku is a multi-storey shopping mall comprising of numerous small fashion boutiques. They’re mainly selling to young female patrons. This is also a place with trendsetting influence and a good venue to buy loud and eccentric fashion. Exhibitions and multimedia events are also held at its event space anchored by the Laforet Museum. Free WiFi available at food section.
- 11:00am – 9:00pm
- 1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
- Meiji-Jingumae Metro Station, Exit 5 (Chiyoda, Fukutoshin lines); Harajuku Station, Omotesando Exit (JR Yamanote Line)
Directions: After shopping at LaForet or Tokyu Plaza, walk towards Meiji-Jingumae Metro Station, cross the road and turn left. Kiddy Land is about 300m away.
For the young at heart, make your way to Kiddy Land! Step into the land and allow kawaii-ness to explode on you with your favourite characters: Sanrio, Rilakkuma, Disney, Doraemon, etc. The store, including its stairs and escalators, is wholly designed and decorated with these characters.
Shop a wide selection of toys, from character items to the limited to the Japan-exclusive editions! There’s something for everyone here–young and old. Their range is constantly updated with newer products and carries seasonal toys such as Halloween-themed items.
p.s. if you are a Doraemon fan, you might want to stop by Doraemon Museum in Tokyo.
p.s. p.s. if you are are looking for Cat Street’s main entrance, it’s at the road intersection right next to Kiddy Land. Cat Street is a vibrant but less crowded place to buy your clothes in trendy shops and drink coffee in a cafe.
- 11:00am – 9:00pm (Weekdays); 10:30am – 9:00pm (Weekend & PH);
- 6-1-9 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
- Meiji-Jingumae Metro Station (Chiyoda, Fukutoshin lines)
On the same stretch as Kiddy Land, Oriental Bazaar is where you can find typical Japanese souvenirs, such as magnets, t-shirts, samurai related goods, etc. It’s also a good place to get reasonably priced Kimonos as compared to departmental stores. With its exterior mimicking traditional Japanese architecture, it’s hard to miss the shop.
I only wished it doesn’t close that early! It’s such a good stop to get all your souveniers for family and friends. We had to rushed around the 3 floors to grab all we can within the last 15 minutes of closing time. For those buying much, look out for JCB promotions or tourist booklet’s discount coupon.
- 10:00am – 7:00pm (Closed on Thurs);
- 5-9-13 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
- Meiji-Jingumae Metro Station (Chiyoda, Fukutoshin lines)
Omotesando & Omotesando Hills
If you haven’t realised by now, the road you’re on is lined with trees on both sides. It is also known as Omotesando Road, a one-kilometer long avenue that stretches from the entrance of Meiji Jingu (Shrine) to Omotesando metro station.
Along this avenue are many fashion flagship stores of international brands which include Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Zara, Apple, etc. There are also numerous cafes and restaurants found along this stretch. This place generally caters to a older and wealthier crowd than Takeshita Dori.
Across the road from Kiddy Land and Oriental Bazaar, you can find Omotesando Hills, a shopping complex that caters to clientele in their 30s to 40s. This complex doesn’t have many good reviews. However it recently underwent a renovation in 2016 and probably has a better offering mix now.
- Opens at 11:00am
- Shops Closing: 9:00 pm (Mon – Sat, PH); 10:00 pm (Sun, Post-PH); some store hours may vary.
- Food Closing: 9:30pm – 10:30pm (Mon – Sat, PH); 8:30pm – 9:30pm (Sun, Post-PH)
- Omotesando Metro Station Exit A2 (Ginza, Chiyoda, Hanzomon Lines); Meiji-Jingumae Metro Station Exit 5 (Chiyoda, Fukutoshin lines); Harajuku JR Station, Omotesando Exit (JR Yamanote Line)
Hope on to my next post to know more about Cat street and Shibuya: ‘From Harajuku’s Cat Street to Shibuya‘.
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