I thought Harajuku was the name of a market or something, but it turned out to be a whole district. There are two iconic shopping “dori”s (streets) in Harajuku, Takeshita and Omotesando. They’re only 10 minutes apart by walk.
Takeshita street is where all the youngsters go. This street is filled with pre-teens and teenagers getting their fashionable outfits and accessories for reasonable prices. You won’t find any fancy brand names here. You’ll also see a lot of desserts here; there are like, eight different crepe cafes, probably more, there’s the famous Zaku Zaku chou sticks, and cotton candy as big as your upper body. Also, student-budget cheap eats, like Lotteria, McDonald’s Yoshinoya, etc.
I saw this while I was walking from Takeshita to Omotesando on my second Harajuku visit. This kinda sums up what Takeshita is like. A lil kitsch, a lil lovable, and kawaii as fuck.
Omotesando street is where the adults go. Adults with money, anyway. You’ll find all the brand names and glitzy department stores. Similar to Ginza. A shopaholic’s dream come true. Also nicknamed the Champs-Élysées of Tokyo.
I found that with many famous streets in Japan, it’s not just that certain street that has good shopping. There are tons of interesting stores on the side streets that branch out of the main street.
I walked to Harakuju, but you can easily get here by metro.
Welcome to Takeshita Dori!
Cat Cafe in Takeshita dori
A cat & owl cafe, above a kawaii dress store, above a Korean-brand accessories store. Floors and floors of interesting stuff.
Crepe cafes all over the place
Crepes, crepes, crepes!
Huge ass cotton candy flowers from Totti Candy Factory
I didn’t see the neon-green hair and straight-out-of-anime fashionistas like I had hoped to see, but these specialty stores exist, so they must be out there.
Really cheap and cute earrings at this store, Paris Kids.
Cute shoes for cheap
Interesting looking stores
There is always a line up for Zaku Zaku’s croquant chou stick and their soft serve ice cream. The 2nd time I went to Takeshita, I lined up and got some. It was basically a good cream puff, but it was a stick instead of a puff, and there were crunchy bits on top. The milk custard cream inside was extra milky, and yes, it was “so fresh”. A bit disappointing though…
Gets very busy on weekends
After Takeshita, I went to Omotesando. It was a completely different atmosphere.
The glamorous Tokyo Plaza on Omotesando
Went off to a seemingly boring looking side street and stumped upon a B Side Label store! The staff were super passionate and friendly.
The famous Omotesando Hills shopping mall. All the luxury brands. I ventured in on my second Omotesando walk, and I felt like a peasant.
After spending a total of 3 weeks in Tokyo, I had run out of things to do. So I went back to Harajuku, and had a peaceful character cafe experience at Pompompurin Cafe…