Date: 29th March 2015
The final post in a series of four on this one day! My day began at the East Gardens of the Tokyo Imperial Palace followed by a visit to the impressive Shunjuku Gyoen for more cherry blossom sightings and then to Harajuku/Yoyogi Park to check out the Sunday scene there.
To end my day of sightseeing, I next walked to the shopping streets of Harajuku.
This is Jingumae Road, a major shopping hub in Omotesando. A lot of high end brands and shopping centers down this road.
That’s the classic exterior of Harajuku station
I was here mostly to check out Takeshita-dori (or Takeshita street).
Takeshita street is the main attraction in Harajuku’s shopping scene
Takeshita is a pedestrian-only street which has a mix of independent fashion store, bigger brands and the odd “wow, an entire shop for just this stuff?” Like the stores around Shibuya crossing, Takeshita-dori is another spot where a lot of Japanese youth fashion trends emerge.
It sure was colourful and bright
This is the lowest price I found Kit Kat bags for. Most other shops sell them for 249 yen on average.
It was an eclectic mix of shops here
You have stores selling Disney merchandise…
…to anime and manga…
…to an entire shop selling nothing but photos of Japanese male idols and boybands
Just one more of those “only in Japan” kind of stores
This shop was mostly filled with classic American pop-culture memorabilia
Another one of those fascinating shops you don’t find a whole lot of
There are a bunch of eateries as well
This eatery specializes in only crepes
At the end of Takeshita Street and across the road is Harajuku Street. I didn’t feel like checking it out for some reason.
I took a right to explore the shops on this street
An entire store for kicks — a slang word for sneakers
An exclusive Barbie store. Eesh.
I was now on Jingumae road. This is the Ralph Lauren store.
The white building is the exclusive Christian Dior store
This shop is the Oriental Bazaar, one of the oldest souvenir shops in Tokyo
They sell a whole range of souvenirs popularly associated with Japan — like dolls…
… kimonos and yukatas…
… to magnets of all kinds. They had some interesting magnet designs I didn’t really find elsewhere around Tokyo. So I ended up buying some.
There aren’t many large shopping malls in Tokyo, mostly due to how expensive land is in the city. So most shopping centers are mid-sized, like this one.
LINE is the most widely used messaging app in Japan. Its mascots and stickers are so popular that they have shops selling merchandise featuring them.
I walked back to Takeshita street and ended up buying a shark hat at another of those store selling quirky items
I then walked to the Daiso store, which I planned to visit last. The Daiso in Harajuku is the largest in Tokyo. It’s three floors of mostly 100 yen goodness. I bought a bunch of stuff, some useful and some not so much — but I couldn’t resist the prices.
I had seen these Maiko dolls without boxes on display at many souvenir stores across Tokyo and Kyoto. I had seen prices go as high up as 5000 yen! Daiso had a bunch of them (not in every colour) for a 1000 yen. I had to buy one.
I planned to pick up some of those Kit Kat bags (mostly the green tea and cheesecake flavours) and guess what — all sold out! It was only an hour before I saw it first and now, all gone. Ugh.
Dinner was back at Asakusa. I ordered a beef bowl and paid using the vending machine.
It wasn’t the best meal I had. I should have had ramen instead.
And that’s the end of this rather long and hectic day. It was a lot but I saw and went around quite a bit. Just two more days to write about. For now, I had to give my feet some rest!
Previous posts in this series:
Japan 2015: Harajuku on a Sunday – Meiji shrine and Yoyogi Park
Japan 2015: Cherry blossom sightings at Shinjuku Gyoen
Japan 2015: Boat ride to Odaiba; giant Gundam statue at DiverCity Mall
Japan 2015: Cherry blossom celebrations by Sumida River
Japan 2015: Denboin garden, near Sensoji Temple
Japan 2015: Shopping in Shinjuku, and exploring Kabukicho
Japan 2015: Nishi-Shinjuku — views from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building sky deck
Japan 2015: Shibuya – the busiest crossing in the world, and home to a loyal dog
Japan 2015: Ueno Zoo – pandas, a lonely polar bear, and more
Japan 2015: Nakamise street, Senso-ji temple, and Ueno Park sakura at half-bloom
Japan 2015: Nadagiku Shuzo Sake Brewery, leaving Himeji for Tokyo — and my last bullet train ride
Japan 2015: Himeji Castle, and the unexpected air show
Japan 2015: Kyoto Station, and arriving at Himeji by shinkansen
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Monkey Park in Arashiyama
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Gion Corner Cultural Show
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Kinkaku-ji and Kiyomizu Dera temple
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Fushimi Inari-taisha, and climbing to the mountain top
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishiki market and Teramachi
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishi & Higashi Honganji, Shijo street, and Gion
Japan 2015: Riding a bullet train for the first time, Tokyo to Kyoto
Japan 2015: Walking around Akihabara and Ginza
Japan 2015: Going to Akihabara, and spending way too much time in Yodobashi Akiba
Japan 2015: Landing in Tokyo… and using a communal bath for the first time