Harajuku – the Fashion Capital

Harajuku (原宿) is renowned for its unique street fashion.  Every Sunday, lots of young people dressed in a variety of styles spend the day there socialising, gathering on Jingu Bridge that connects Harajuku to the nearby Meiji Shrine area (which I wrote about in my previous post).

We were at Harajuku on a Saturday & not a Sunday, but it was very crowded with young people all dressed up.  Upon arrival at the Harajuku Station, we could already feel the hype haha.

The design of the station is a stark contrast for the hip location!

Harajuku has 2 main shopping streets, Omotesandō and Takeshita Street (Takeshita-dōri). Omotesandō is a 1km long, tree-lined avenue, & has many upmarket fashion brand shops such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel & Prada.  This area generally caters to an older & wealthier clientele than Takeshita Dori. We did not really cover this whole street because we focused our energy on Takeshita-dōri since we don’t fall into the Omotesandō clientele group lol.  Along this street, we only browsed 2 shops: Agnes B & LeSportsac, before we decided to move on.

On the other hand, Takeshita-dōri is a narrow, roughly 400m long street lined by shops, boutiques, cafes & fast food outlets targeting Tokyo’s teenagers.  This street is the birthplace of many of Japan’s fashion trends & it gets extremely busy & crowded on weekends.

Entering Takeshita-dōri

Along this street, we found more affordable fashion accessories and clothing to shop for.  The Daiso store, Japan’s largest 100-yen discount store, has its flagship store located here since 2004.  We did walk pass but did not go in as there were simply too many other shops to divert our attention to!  It was a tiring yet enjoyable walk along this street, tiring because you had to constantly jostle through the crowd, but enjoyable because there were always interesting finds in the numerous little shops offering unique fashion styles.

There is this particular boutique called Momo which sells affordable & trendy young fashion wear, many items JPY 3,000 & below (which is not easy to find in Japan haha).  I even managed to buy a dress at just JPY 1,900 (about S$30).  Their business is so brisk that they have 2 outlets along this street!

The back streets of Harajuku, is a centre of Japanese fashion for younger people—brands such as A Bathing Ape and Undercover have shops in the area.  We also found more tastefully decorated cafes along the back streets, & almost everyone of them had super long queues waiting to enter the cafes!

The long q outside Eggs ‘n Things Cafe!

OK I admit, my picture wasn’t well-taken at all.  I simply couldn’t take a full picture of the long snaking queue outside Eggs ‘n Things Cafe together with the cafe main entrance, so I had to do some “patchwork”.  The queue you see in the picture above is just the front part, “tip of the iceberg”.  Just wondering is this cafe really good or people have too much time & patience? 😛

As we turned back to walk along Omotesandō & head back to Harajuku Station, we again saw long queues at almost every other eatery.  While I was taking a breather under the bridge near to Accessorize, I spotted this eatery that looks very familiar:

The Gindaco

I know the Gindaco outlet at Ion Orchard always has long queues for its yummy Tako-yaki, but gosh, the queue at its Harajuku outlet is unbelievable! It’s not that cheap, 4 pieces for JPY 400, that’s more than S$6!  Oh & if you haven’t already noticed, the Gindaco has a second level here, wow!

Oh & I must not forget to mention that although it was Saturday when we visited Harajuku, we still spotted some interesting characters.  There was one whom left a deep impression on me as he (I think should be a “he”) dressed as a cop, Robocop type. Haha…… too bad I didn’t dare to ask to take a picture with him. 😛

If you do not have much time in Tokyo & want to check out Japanese street fashion & culture, don’t forget to come to Harajuku, you will have fun! 🙂

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