Where: Harajuku Station on the
Duration: 3 hours-6 hours
A Brief History: Harajuku’s popularity rose in the 1980s with street performers and fashion-interested teenagers, then in the 90s became a place for art and punk music. The punk influences have worn off a bit, giving rise to the Lolita fashion. Perhaps in the U.S. and other western countries, the area became popular after Gwen Stefani of No Doubt went to Japan and fell in love with the area–creating a whole fashion label based on her experience there.
Point of Interest: You could literally spend an entire day just going into the vintage clothing shops in the area. Perhaps because I was so used to Korea’s lack of interest in vintage clothing, I spent most of my time popping in and out of these stores looking for vintage band tees (which were wildly expensive). Spend time wandering the back streets, and you’re sure to come across some shops that interest you. Also be on the look out for girls who dress in the Lolita fashion. It’s such a breakaway from usual clothing and ornate in detail–you could also visit some of the Lolita stores in the area, though be warned you are not allowed to take pictures!
Recommendation: 5/5. This is where the shopping happens. If you want to shop, then spend some time in this area. It’s more fashion-based in the Omotesando area, but you can find cheaper things in the Takeshita market. On the weekends, both areas are heavily crowded. During the weekdays, Omotesando tends to be more walkable, but Takeshita is busy basically always.