Harajuku is colourful and crazy. It’s Takeshita-dori and its side streets is the epitome of Japanese teenage culture and lined with trendy shops and restaurants just waiting to be discovered. Omotesando caters for more adult clientele with luxury brand shops sitting along the broad tree-lined street. I did a (shopping) walk from Harajuku to Omotesando to Shibuya and this was one of my favourite excursions in Tokyo. There are so many side streets and small boutique shops to discover.
I started off the morning early visiting the Meiji Shrine just behind Harajuku station. Harajuku and Omotesando is sandwiched between Shinjuku and Shibuya stations and can easily be explored on foot or you can move around using the Tokyo Metro.
My recommendation is to stroll down Takeshita-dori, crepe in hand and spend all your money at one of the biggest 100 Yen stores in Tokyo, Daiso. Afterwards you can have a drink at the Kawaii Monster Café or continue shopping at the LaForet Harajuku department store.
If luxury brands are your thing, you’ll enjoy this street and the Omotesando Hills complex immensely. I discovered Shu Uemura Cosmetics while in Japan and a visit to the flagship store in Omotesando is a must. You’re also allowed to be a kid again and go crazy in the massive toy store, Kiddy Land and Snoopy Town. The smaller pedestrian streets behind Kiddy Land boasts with small restaurants and artisan shops which is my personal preference. I had amazing crispy gyoza at the famous Gyoza Lou before I headed off to Cat Street.
Cat Street is another shopping street lined with trendy clothing stores, much of them selling second-hand luxury brands, like the Ragtag store. I absolutely loved the indie vibe of the area. I stopped by an artisan roastery for a quick breather. When you follow Cat Street you’ll eventually find yourself in Shibuya. Just look for the Tower Records tower and usher yourself in that general way.
The area is full of dining options and I really enjoyed my gyoza meal at Gyoza Lou where I got to chat to some local Japanese students. I also liked Commune 264 and Maisen, though.
Commune 264 – It’s a space filled with trendy food stalls and food trucks selling deliciousness. It’s close to Omotesando Metro station.
Maisen – Selling soft juicy tonkatsu made from black pork. I had a bit of trouble finding the place but eventually stumbled upon it between Shibuya and Omotesando.
Transport to Harajuku and Omotesando: Harajuku station is on the JR Yamamote Line or Meiji-Jingumae metro station on the Chiyoda line. Omotesando is served by the Ginza metro line, Chiyoda metro line and Hanzomon metro line.
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See also: My Asakusa Guide