Some people say Harajuku is a movement, and some say it is a type of girl. Or, perhaps no one ever said any of those things. With fans like Gwen Stefani, I am not surprise if people have the impression that Harajuku is the area between Takeshita Street and where the cosplayers end. Plus, Google isn’t doing any good at dispelling such a perception either. But, for sure, Harajuku is one poorly defined district of Shibuya for tourists like me.
As an address, Harajuku doesn’t seemed to exist at all. Basically, it is described as an area in Shibuya between the Harajuku Station to Omotesando Station, specifically, Jingūmae 1 chōme to 4 chōme. That is one huge area to cover and where to start but Takeshita Street itself.
There are plenty of affordable fashion that both teenagers, and people who thinks they are still teenagers, love.
For those who enjoys deep fried snacks, Takeshita Street has one of the three Calbee Plus in Tokyo where you can find freshly fried Calbee potato chip. There are plenty of flavours, including ones with soft serve ice-cream, to choose from.
Harajuku is, of course, more than Takeshita Street, and the crazy goth and school kids who hang out around there. Along with Cat Street, certain areas such as Omotesando and Yogogi Park, overlap part of the Harajuku too.
One of my favourite retailers, Beams, a very popular Japanese multi-label retailer, originated in Harajuku. This explains why Beams have all their brands, such as Beams T, Beams Boys, etc, situated along Harajuku side of Meiji-Dori. Every time I am here, I will make sure I checked them out to see what is in season. They are one of the few places I know that stock Remi Relief, and I have, so far, four of their super comfy and fade-able basic pockets cotton t-shirt.
There are lot more to shop in the alleys behind all the Beams stores. Very much the rest of Shibuya, these alleys are filled with local and foreign cult brands that might be the next big thing and, as well as, other established local retailers like United Arrows, Atmos or Chrome Hearts.
Streamer Coffee Company
If you are around that area, make sure you give Streamer Coffee Company a try. This outlet is hard to miss; its a container-stacked building.
Watari Museum of Contemporary Art
In 2013, JR did a beautiful mural on the wall of Watari Museum of Contemporary Art and I just had to see it. Too bad the museum itself is closed on that the day I was there. Across the street, there were more street arts, presumably, in conjunction with the Watari showcase.