Tokyo Guide: Harajuku
Tokyo Area Guide: Harajuku 原宿
Takeshita-dori Street, Harajuku, Tokyo
Green and pleasant Harajuku is Tokyo's most established center of street fashion. While other areas rival it in terms of hip, Harajuku still reigns when it comes to streetwise and cutting edge. Harajuku is flanked by Jingu Gaien/Yoyogi Park to the east and the elegant Aoyama district to the west.
Harajuku comes in two distinct flavors: trash and class.
Trashy Harajuku can be sampled by a walk down Takeshita-dori avenue (across from the north exit of JR Harajuku station on the Yamanote line). This street has it all in terms of variety, garishness, crowdedness, noise, and hustle.
Classier Harajuku can be experienced by, having traversed Takeshita-dori from Harajuku station, veering diagonally left down "Harajuku Street" (look out for signpost).
Quickly merging into Kumano-dori avenue, this is a kilometer (half mile) of alternative, and, by definition, quite expensive, street cred fashion, running all the way to Gaienmae Station (Hanzomon subway line) on Route 246.
Laforet Harajuku is a landmark department store cum museum in Harajuku district: a beacon of youth fashion. Laforet also has a museum in Tokyo's Roppongi. The Laforet store is located very near the Jingu-mae intersection with Omotesando Street, and is distinctive for the constant changes it undergoes in outward appearance.
La Floret, Harajuku, Tokyo
A little east of Harajuku, in adjacent Aoyama area is the tree-lined Omotesando boulevard (originally, Japan's first ever boulevard). a tree-lined slope of mainly fashion boutiques and other designer outlets offering a more mainstream experience of classy shopping, fashion and dining than Harajuku. Omotesando starts from the gates of the Meiji Jingu shrine. Omotesando extends west from just south of JR Harajuku station (or directly east from Jingu-mae subway station on the Chiyoda line), bisecting Meiji-dori avenue and then Aoyama-dori avenue.
Harajuku Access - Getting To Harajuku
Harajuku is accessible from Harajuku Station on the JR Yamanote Line.
Harajuku Station, JR Yamanote Line, Tokyo
Louis Vuitton Store, Harajuku, Tokyo
The Louis Vuitton store in Harajuku was designed by Jun Aoki and recently had its interior done by the peripatetic Takashi Murakami. At night, it literally stops traffic. The inside of the store is divided into five "volumes," each designed like Louis Vuitton trunks.
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