May 16

Japan 2015: Harajuku at night — Takeshita Street

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.

Jingumae road Tokyo panorama

This is Jingumae Road, a major shopping hub in Omotesando. A lot of high end brands and shopping centers down this road.

Harajuku station evening Tokyo

That’s the classic exterior of Harajuku station

I was here mostly to check out Takeshita-dori (or Takeshita street).

Takeshita street Harajuku Tokyo Japan

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.

Takeshita street shops Tokyo Japan

It sure was colourful and bright

Kit Kat bags Tokyo Japan

This is the lowest price I found Kit Kat bags for. Most other shops sell them for 249 yen on average.

Takeshita street Harajuku at night

It was an eclectic mix of shops here

Disney store Aita Harajuku Tokyo

You have stores selling Disney merchandise…

Bpoint anime store Harajuku Tokyo

…to anime and manga…

Boyband idol shop Harajuku Tokyo

…to an entire shop selling nothing but photos of Japanese male idols and boybands

Idol postcard shop Harajuku Japan

Just one more of those “only in Japan” kind of stores

The World Connection shop Harajuku Tokyo

This shop was mostly filled with classic American pop-culture memorabilia

Coca Cola shop Harajuku Tokyo

Another one of those fascinating shops you don’t find a whole lot of

Takeshita street Harajuku at night-tokyo

There are a bunch of eateries as well

Crepe shop Harajuku Tokyo

This eatery specializes in only crepes

Harajuku street Omotesando Tokyo

At the end of Takeshita Street and across the road is Harajuku Street. I didn’t feel like checking it out for some reason.

Harajuku at night street Tokyo

I took a right to explore the shops on this street

Kicks Lab shop Harajuku Tokyo

An entire store for kicks — a slang word for sneakers

Barbie store Harajuku Tokyo Japan

An exclusive Barbie store. Eesh.

Ralph Lauren shop Jingumae road Harajuku

I was now on Jingumae road. This is the Ralph Lauren store.

Christian Dior Moma design store Tokyo Japan

The white building is the exclusive Christian Dior store

Oriental Bazaar Omotesando Harajuku Tokyo

This shop is the Oriental Bazaar, one of the oldest souvenir shops in Tokyo

Japanese dolls Oriental bazaar Tokyo

They sell a whole range of souvenirs popularly associated with Japan — like dolls…

Kimono shop Omotesando Tokyo

… kimonos and yukatas…

Sushi magnet souvenirs Japan

… 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.

Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku

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 store Omotesando Harajuku Tokyo

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.

Takeshita street crowded Tokyo night

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.

Maiko dolls Daiso Harajuku Tokyo

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.

Ramen shop payment vending machine

Dinner was back at Asakusa. I ordered a beef bowl and paid using the vending machine.

Noodle dinner miso soup Tokyo

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


May 16

My ideal Yatra – A luxurious flight to NYC followed by sightseeing on foot

If I had to plan a dream trip, it would be a mix of luxury and a trip itinerary that most follows the way I go about sightseeing — by foot. A city I have always wanted to visit is New York City. It’s a cliche by now, given how much it has been featured in Hollywood movies — especially romantic comedies. But still, I’m sure it would impress me and live up to the hype. The skyscrapers, Central Park, the choice when it comes to eateries — the whole world lives in New York City!

Continue reading “My ideal Yatra – A luxurious flight to NYC followed by sightseeing on foot” »

May 16

Japan 2015: Harajuku on a Sunday – Meiji shrine and Yoyogi Park

Date: 29th March 2015

My morning was spent sighting cherry blossoms aplenty — first at the East Gardens of the Tokyo Imperial Palace followed by a visit to the impressive Shunjuku Gyoen. From Shinjuku Gyoemmae station, I had to get to Harajuku station now.

Harajuku station Takeshita street

I could see the famous Takeshita street from the Harajuku station platform

Omotesando train station crowd Japan

I don’t know if it was because it was a Sunday or not, but it took a while to get out of the station. There was a whole swarm of people going in either direction.

Meiji shrine entrance Japan

First up, a quick visit to Meiji Shrine

Wine barrels Meiji shrine Japan

Along the way were these displays of wine barrels on one side

Sake barrels Meiji shrine Japan

… and barrels of sake on the other side. These barrels of sake and wine (from France) were all gifts to the emperor of the Meiji era

Old sake barrels Meiji shrine Tokyo

I’m sure they’re empty now, but they do make for an impressive display

Meiji shrine torii Japan

It’s nearly a kilometer before you get to Meiji Shrine

Continue reading “Japan 2015: Harajuku on a Sunday – Meiji shrine and Yoyogi Park” »

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