What to see & things to do in Harajuku, Japan where teens congregate
Shibuya includes Harajuku and Omotesando, although as they are rather remote from the well-known Tokyo crossing region, not everyone will be familiar with them. If you decide to visit, you will discover a sizable park home to Japan’s most revered Shinto shrine and a neighborhood populated by teens dressed in the most lavish Japanese trends, such as gothic, lolita, and visual kei.
The crossroads area is better on weekdays; you will see hundreds of people passing from one side to the other every time the traffic light opens. We recommend visiting Harajuku on the weekend as this is when it is most interesting as both the park and the shopping area are full of Japanese enjoying their leisure hours.
Things to do in Harajuku
I suggest arriving late on a Sunday morning, walking through the woods to the Meiji Shrine, seeing the rockabillies, having a picnic in Yoyogi Park, and then spending the rest of the day shopping in Takesita-dori and Omotesando. I’ll go into more depth when I give you a map of the region.
Picnic in Yoyogi Park
The highlight of the day will be a stroll around beautiful park before lunch if you choose to explore things to do in Harajuku on a Sunday as we advise. It is one of the most significant buildings in Tokyo because of its size (54,000 m2) and because of its special location near the Meiji Shrine.
Every weekend, hundreds of families with children, groups of friends, couples, etc. congregate there for free admission. Some people choose to just take a stroll, but many others bring food and a blanket for a picnic.
The park’s plum and cherry trees are in blossom from the end of February to the end of April, which will make your stay even more pleasant. Yoyogi Park is a highly recommended location, however during that season I would say it is crucial for your trip across Tokyo. It was lovely to see how passionate he was about the first plum blossoms of the season because it was such a beautiful day when we there.
Walk through the forest to the Meiji Shrine
The most significant Shinto temple in Japan, the Meiji Shrine, is located in Harajuku. Because of its importance, even the Prime Minister makes an official annual visit. It was constructed in 1920, and over 100,000 trees were transported from various regions of the Japanese topography to fill the large forest that surrounds it. The primary polytheistic religion in Japan, Shintoism, emphasizes pursuing happiness in life. It is frequently combined by Japanese people—often without their knowledge—with Buddhism and, to a lesser extent, with Christianity and Confucianism.
The Torii at the forest’s entrance drew my attention the most probably because of its magnitude. In Japan, a structure of this type, constructed in this instance from a cypress tree that was more than 1,500 years old, marks the entry to a sacred location. Although we are encouraged to take part in the rites on this particular date, the temple itself is not among the most beautiful that we have seen in Japan. And it is because of this that you can tell you are in a place with a certain spirituality as soon as you pass under that large torii and enter the enclosure.
Walking on Takeshita Dori street among teens
Tokyo’s mecca for teen style is Takeshita Dori Street. There are numerous shops where you can purchase anything from everyday items or toys to accessories, makeup, or costumes that would enthrall any kind of otaku — admirers of a series or character who decide to dress up as their idol.
It was really intriguing to witness the type of leisure these young Japanese people engage in on Sundays after lunch when the area was teeming with teens dressed in fairly bizarre fashion.
In addition, the region is full of maid cafés, a kind of cosplay restaurant where the staff dresses in servant attire and treats you as if you are their master returning home. We also came across a number of cat cafés, as well as a pig café, where patrons may sip drinks while caressing cats or even pigs. You should think about if you agree with using animals—or, worse yet, young people—for this type of activity before visiting any of these locations.
Watch the rockabillies perform
Several rockabilly groups have been gathering at one of Yoyogi Park’s gates every Sunday for more than 50 years, going there to spend the morning in between dances and beverages. Going to Harajuku on a Sunday is worthwhile for this entire ritual in Tokyo.
Look at the map; you’ve pinpointed the precise location of the rockabillies. Regarding the precise time, we believe that it is best to go there between 12:30 and 1:00 p.m. because that is when you will see them dance. Around 13:30 when we passed, they were still there conversing in groups, but only one of them was dancing and listening to music.
Purchase clothing Omotesando for you
Even if you may have found some interesting items if you enjoy fashion, you would still need to eat the day’s major dishes. The Omotesando Shopping Center can be found if you keep going in the direction of Cat Street. The entrance of this recently constructed, futuristic skyscraper, which is covered in mirrors of all shapes and sizes, is quickly becoming one of the most well-known locations to take the standard Instagram photo. We don’t fight back.
Omotesando Hills, a sizable six-story shopping complex where you can get nearly anything related to Japanese fashion, is located along the same route. It is one of the top places and things to do in Harajuku, Japan to shop if you want to find something.
View the thrift shops on Cat Street
Don’t forget to take a stroll along Cat Street to end the day; it is a very beautiful street to stroll along and has numerous vintage shops on both sides. Although it’s not cheap, the environment is extremely pleasant. I should note out that following the unrest in the previous locations, it was nighttime when we were walking there, so we even chose to remain for supper at a street lined with bars that we had seen nearby.
Directions to Harajuku
Purchasing a metro card, which allows you to take as many trips as you need for 72 hours and only costs €12 provided you present your passport, is the best method to navigate around Tokyo. You can get to practically every part of the city using this method.
You must exit at the corresponding metro station in order to visit Harajuku. The park and the Meiji shrine are on one side, and Takesita-dori street, the starting point for the remaining locations discussed in this essay, is on the other.
The cuteness and fashion center of Japan, one of Tokyo’s quirkier and more vibrant neighborhoods, there are countless things to do in Harajuku. When we wish to see Tokyo’s entertaining side, Harajuku is always our first destination! Enjoy our list of the top 6 things to do in Harajuku, which we’ve put together based on our own favorites.