I’m sure you’ve heard of Harajuku — it’s a shopping district in Tokyo that’s also referred as the center of Japanese teenage street style and culture, highly popular among the Japanese youth. You don’t go to Tokyo and not go to Harajuku! Although we weren’t looking for anything in particular, Reza and I made it a point to bring my brother there, to let him experience Harajuku.
How does one go to Harajuku? Just buy a ticket to the Harajuku station. Once you’ve arrived at the station, you’ll spot two exits, which are (1) the Takeshita exit and (2) the Omotesando exit. I prefer using the Takeshita exit to get around Harajuku.
The Takeshita exit leads you to Takeshita Street, a paved pedestrian street which hosts many stores focusing on current street fashion, quirky goods and eateries. You can say it’s the landmark of Harajuku.
I read somewhere that this area rose to fame decades ago, when it became the place for buying counterfeit American and Japanese fashion items, but that has stopped (or lessened to a degree) once the authority had taken measures to combat the sale of counterfeit goods.
Today, Takeshita Street remains an important territory when it comes to fashion.
Whether you’re a guy or a girl, if you’re into Japanese street style (… or Lolita or Goth), this is the place for you. Many of the shops there are owned by independent Japanese labels, selling goods at a relatively affordable price. There are also a couple of discount shops selling discounted fragrances, makeup, jewelry and watches. Then, there are shops for kids, like Tamagotchi and Barbie stores.
The Harajuku station and Takeshita street can get extremely busy and flooded with people, especially on Sundays — reportedly the time when teenagers dress up in outrageous current fashion (though I think this has subsided over the years). If you’re going with friends, I urge you to go to Takeshita Street on Sunday noon, just to get a glimpse. But if your parents or kids are tagging along, the traffic can be a bit too much for them to handle.
Read what else I’ve done at Takeshita Street here.
These kids saw me snapping their pictures, made a gesture and said “Namaste” WTF HAHA.
As we reached the end of Takeshita Street, we turned right walked along Meiji Street, a major road which links several notable districts like Shinjuku, Harajuku and Shibuya.
That’s where the flagship stores of high street fashion labels like Forever 21, H&M, Topshop and Topman are located. Sure, you’ve got these names in KL and the same things may be a lot more expensive there compared to buying at home, but just walk along. It’s really a different experience!
The further we walked, the bigger and more modern the buildings get. Soon, we reached the Jingumae crossing, the intersection which connects Harajuku and Omotesando. Malls situated at the intersection include La Foret and the recently erected, state-of-the-art Tokyu Plaza. These malls host more upmarket names I’d never heard of, but I made amazing discoveries, like this jeweler called Yoshiko Creation Paris at La Foret, whose designs are worn by Lady Gaga.
Across the street from where I stood when I was taking the picture above, is Omotesando, the avenue lined with lush trees and surrounded by major fashion labels and beautiful modern architecture.
I’ve basically shared my usual route when I’m at Harajuku. What’s yours?