4 Hours in Harajuku: 10 Popular Spots to Visit
4 Hours in Harajuku: 10 Popular Spots to Visit
Harajuku is on everyone’s to-do list while traveling Japan, dazzling visitors with its colorful street art, trendy shops, and quirky cosplayers milling about. This fun and ever-bustling area has become iconic for Japan that no visit to Tokyo is complete without some snaps in its IG-worthy streets.
However, there is so much more to do in Harajuku than the famous Takeshita Street. Known as the heart of kawaii culture, vibrant Harajuku offers you a wide range of experiences including good coffee, vintage shopping and classic crepe to list a few.
Check out Travelr’s Harajuku guide and be ready to explore Harajuku like a local!
10 Awesome Spots to See in Harajuku — Our Picks!
1. Takeshita Street
Any Harajuku adventure starts at Takeshita Street. This busy street is full of kawaii items you never expected to exist and unique drool-worthy eats such as rainbow-colored cotton candy, bubble tea, and “Melon Pan Ice Cream”.
Craving some crepes? Established in 1976, Marion’s Crepes is one of the longest-running shops in the street and is a must-check because of their utterly delicious crepe selection. Make sure to track your time; otherwise, you might end up spending all day here.
2. Big Love Records (Tokyo independent record shop)
One of the popular but still hidden places is BIG LOVE RECORDS. Their own merch is a perfect souvenir you’d be happy to bring home. A lot of famous artists have also dropped by at this record shop, such as The XX. They also serve amazing beer and coffee, so if you want to hide away from the insane Harajuku crowds and just enjoy a mug of booze or cup of joe all afternoon, this place sure hits the spot.
3.PIN NAP (Kawaii Vintage shop)
It is impossible to cover all the vintage shops in Harajuku, so if you need to pick just one, PIN NAP is definitely worth a stop. Full of carefully-selected items from the American 80’s culture, this kawaii fashion store is sure to spark your joy of digging out authentic items.
4. Design Festa Gallery West
Art lovers will be happy to explore Design Festa Gallery West. This art space features lots of local artists and several exhibits on photography, fashion, illustration, and more. Visitors get to enjoy indie films too. There’s even a bar and a restaurant behind the gallery with a unique hip ambiance if you want to take a break. To top it off, admission is free!
5. Gonpachi Nori-Temaki Harajuku
Looking for affordable yet delicious sushi? Look no further than Gonpachi Nori-Temaki. Located only 2 minutes away from Harajuku station, this sushi restaurant’s creations are a fusion of modern and traditional Japanese cuisine. You can expect the usual sushi ingredients, but be ready for a twist, like cauliflower rice replacing traditional sushi rice.
Be sure to fill up on their temaki sushi (hand-rolled sushi) which comes with a variety of fillings, such as uni (sea urchin), avocado salmon, and natto (fermented beans) which is a must-try in Japan! You can order by piece (price starting at 180 yen/piece), so it’s a good place to stop by for a quick bite. The menu has vegetarian options, too!
6. Chicago Omotesando
Chicago is another vintage shop in the Harajuku area offering decent quality and price range. This warehouse-looking shop owns tons of vintage items, including Kimonos which you can bag for a reasonable price! Whether for your friends or yourself, you will end up with big shopping bags when you walk away from the shop!
7. Tokyu Rooftop Starbucks
Even Starbucks evolved in its own way in Japan. This Tokyu Rooftop Starbucks is a perfect spot to rest your legs after wandering around Harajuku. Nurse your coffee and unwind surrounded by a little green oasis.
8. Kawaii Monster Cafe
Considered as the town’s newest cultural landmark, the Kawaii Monster Cafe purely represents kawaii essence. Even the Fab 5 from the Netflix series Queer Eye visited this quaint shop. Different menus are available be it day or night, and you can even customize your own kawaii meal here.
9. Laforet Harajuku
Harajuku's biggest shopping Laforet is a perfect destination for your next wardrobe needs and whims. Dress yourself up in Harajuku style and experience the lively Tokyo night-life! From high street brands to cheap kawaii T-shirts, everything is up for grabs in Laforet.
10. Cat Street
Despite the name, you won’t find cats in Cat Street. This hippy street instead plays host to numerous vintage shops, local designer brands, international fashion stores, and countless hole-in-the-wall restos and cafes.
Don’t miss The Roastery by Nozy Coffee. This chic coffee shop has a cozy atmosphere and serves great single-origin coffee and soft-serve ice cream.
There are many other cool places to check out in Harajuku, so don’t let this list stop you from exploring on your own and venturing into alleys and shops that caught your attention. Cafes, chic shops, fashion stores, food joints, and thousands of locals and travelers make Harajuku’s exciting scene.
So, let your feet take you from street to street and trust wanderlust to guide you. After all, Harajuku is best discovered by getting lost.
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