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Japan: Tokyo, Harajuku (Takeshita dori)

Takeshita dori

Takeshita dori

Takeshita street map

Takeshita street map

Located within the Harajuku district in Tokyo, Takeshita-dori is a narrow, 0.2 mile pedestrian only street (between the hours of 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM) lined with a wide variety of trendy shops, crepe stands, fast food outlets, used clothing stores and fashion boutiques featuring the latest visual kei, gothic and lolita fashions. It is also home to Daiso Harajuku, one of the largest ¥100 shops in Tokyo!

Situated directly across from JR East’s Harajuku Station, Takeshita Street is very popular with teenagers visiting Tokyo during school excursions and local young people shopping for small kawaii (cute) goods. Harajuku itself is the center of Japan’s most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles therefore, it does not come as a surprise to see many of the fashion and trend conscious teens wondering the street dressed up in eccentric costumes to resemble anime characters, punk musicians, etc.

Shops along Takeshita-dori tend to stay open daily from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM and it isn’t uncommon to find aggressive store clerks who call out to lure customers into their shops. The area is also famous for what is known as nama shashin (unofficial or paparazzi photos) of popular idols such as AKB48, Arashi, etc.

Takeshita-dori also draws many tourists who view it as a fun place to look around the many reasonably priced, one-of-a-kind shops.

Just south of Takeshita-dori is Omotesando, a broad, tree lined avenue sometimes referred to as Tokyo’s Champs-Elysees. Here you can find famous brand name shops, cafes and restaurants catering to the fashion conscious urbanites in their 30s and 40s. Not too far away is the Ota Memorial Museum of Art (http://www.ukiyoe-ota-muse.jp/index-E.html ) featuring amazing ukiyo-e paintings from Seizo Ota’s personal collection. To the west of the railway tracks lies Meiji Jingu, one of Tokyo’s major shrines.

Centrally located and easy to access, Harajuku provides many options to help plan your day and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Daiso Harajuku

Daiso Harajuku

Inside Daiso

Inside Daiso

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Luring customers into their shop

Luring customers into their shop

Shop selling "nama sashin"

Shop selling “nama sashin”

Music Shop

Music Shop

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Santa Monica Crepes

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Marion Crepes

Marion Crepes

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Ota Memorial Museum of Art

Ota Memorial Museum of Art

Ukiyoe

Ukiyoe

Meiji Jingu Gate

Meiji Jingu Gate

 

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