No matter how many times you visit Tokyo, Japan, Harajuku is always one of the best places to explore. Why? Harajuku is the most trendy place in all Tokyo, maybe even Japan! From the most classic to the most trendy, here is a list of things to do in Harajuku!
Harajuku is located in the central Tokyo and is always crowded with tourists and young people.
In order to get to Harajuku, you can ride on the JR Yamanote line to the JR Harajuku Station or take Chiyoda line or Fukutoshin line to the Meijijingumae Station.
If you are want to visit the super-famous Takeshita street first, JR Harajuku Station will a better choice. Once you get out of the station, the entrance of Takeshita street is right in front of you! If you want to go shopping first, Meijijingumae Station will take you to the area where all the shops are concentrated.
15 BEST things to do in Harajuku
I can understand that you want to start your Harajuku adventure right away, the moment you get off the train, but hold on. How about taking a picture in front of the historical Harajuku Station, the oldest wooden Station in Tokyo. This is one of the historical places in Tokyo, so it would be a great place to take a picture. This is the JR Harajuku station, so it is a good idea to use the Yamanote line to take a picture.
This is one of the most famous and the most crowded place in Tokyo. Takeshita street is simply a place crowded with the "Harajuku culture". So many food stalls, creperies, and cute things! The gate at the entrance of Takeshita street has a big screen on top and display people walking through the gate. Many people take pictures of themselves displayed on that screen.
It can even be said that you can't leave Takeshita street without grabbing a crepe at a crepe stand! Usually, people are making long lines to enjoy this classic Harajuku food. You can get everything from the ordinary sweet crepe to a brulee style crepe! Try many crepes and find your favorite one.
The flavors differ by the crepe shops, so you should go find your best crepe place by checking the website. Any of the shops are delicious. Enjoy a Takeshita style crepe!
Another cute looking sweet from Takeshita street is found at Coisof. Their name "Coisof" came from the combination of the Japanese words "Coi" (means both thick and love) and "Softcream" (soft-twist). Coisoft serves a special kind of ice cream made from sesame oil with oiri, a traditional Japanese puff! That is why it is so rich and has a deep taste.
GOMAYA KUKI is another ice cream shop to stop at Harajuku. This is definitely a good one to try because this ice cream is super rich and creamy. The additional sesame on top of the ice cream makes the delicious flavor of sesame.
Harajuku or the Omotesando is one of the hottest spots where you can eat some great fluffy pancakes. Many people make astounding long lines and wait for hours just to eat them! Are they worth waiting in lines? Absolutely YES! The pancakes in Harajuku are especially tall and thick, and super fluffy! You must try it!
Get in touch with the "kawaii" culture!
This cafe is in a category of its own. Colorful, crazy, fashion… Harajuku is the place of “Kawaii”, and there is a cafe where you can have a crazy and fun Harajuku experience, called Kawaii Monster Cafe!
They have so many different dish options to choose from! They also offer non-alcohol drinks. This place turns into a nightclub at night, so you might want to check that out too.
From household goods to toys, everything here in DAISO is sold at 100 yen (plus tax)! Kitchen goods, glasses, toys, snacks, and even drinks are only 100 yen. If you are looking for some Japanese souvenirs, DAISO is the place to visit.
Take a break at an animal cafe
After exploring Takeshita street, go take a coffee break with some cute animals! Around Harajuku, there are many animal cafes which have specialized in cats, owls, and even hedgehogs. They are all super cute and the animals will definitely relax you.
Wandering around Harajuku or heading to Meijijingu is one of the activities you can do. Kimono Tokyo Harajuku offers rental kimono from 3,800 yen. (This is super cheap! Definitely worth a try!) You get to choose your favorite design from various kinds of kimono. They also have ninja costumes for the ones who want to sneak around Harajuku!
Harajuku is not a place just with pop culture. 5 minutes walk from Harajuku Station, at Ota memorial museum of art you can see some Traditional Japanese Ukiyoe arts mainly from the Edo period. The exhibition changes periodically, so you can enjoy the museum anytime.
On the opposite side of the noisy crowded Takeshita street is where the steady quiet Meiji-Jingu Shrine is located. It is also one of the most popular relaxing tourist sites around central Tokyo.
At shrines, Japanese people hope for happiness. You can also try some fortune lotteries to see how lucky you will be!
In the upcoming Spring season, you can visit Yoyogi park to enjoy some "hanami" (flower watching). The beautiful cherry blossoms are one of the seasonal sigths you can only see in Japan.
In Autumn, leaves will turn red and that makes a beautiful view. I highly recommend walking around Yoyogi park with some coffee and Harajuku sweets in hand.
Harajuku, especially the Urahara Area which is between Harajuku and Omotesando is known as a street fashion area. Many street brand shops are concentrated in this small district. You can find some rare vintage stuff or new designer clothes. Kick Lab is probably one of the hottest places for all sneakerheads! Go check'em out!
Try some great ramens!
Afuri is a popular Ramen shop located 3 minutes’ walk from JR Harajuku Station, where waiting in a line is inevitable. The distinctive feature of their Ramen is the golden soup made with natural water. In the simple-tasting soup seasoned with citron salt or soy sauce, you can enjoy the flavors of thin noodles and quality ingredients.
Right by Meijjingu-Mae station, this hole in the wall serves simple, yet delicious gyoza. This place is unpretentious and authentic; there are two types of gyoza to choose from: steamed or fried. For a few more coins, get a beer, it's the perfect accompaniment! Some say they're the best dumplings not only in Tokyo, but in Japan!