Design Festa

Harajuku & Aoyama

Design Festa has long been a champion of Tokyo’s DIY art scene and its maze-like building is a Harajuku landmark. Inside there are dozens of small galleries rented by the day. More often than not, the artists themselves are hanging around, too.

Okonomiyaki restaurant Sakura-tei is here and there's a coffee shop, too. Design Festa also sponsors a twice-yearly exhibition – Asia’s largest art fair.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Harajuku & Aoyama attractions

1. Kawaii Monster Cafe

0.08 MILES

Artist and stylist Sebastian Masuda is behind the lurid colours, surrealist installations and other-worldly outfits of this darkly cute cafe. In the…

2. Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku

0.21 MILES

The entrance to this castle-like structure by Nakamura Hiroshi is a dizzying hall of mirrors (which makes for a great photo); there’s a roof garden on top.

3. Ukiyo-e Ōta Memorial Museum of Art

0.21 MILES

This small museum (where you swap your shoes for slippers) is the best place in Tokyo to see ukiyo-e. Each month it presents a seasonal, thematic…

4. Omotesandō Hills

0.22 MILES

This deceptively deep concrete mall (2003), designed by Tadao Ando, spirals around a sunken atrium. Andō’s architecture utilises materials such as…

5. Dior Omote-sandō

0.23 MILES

This five-storey glass building (2003) uses clever lighting and acrylic screens to pull off the effortlessly chic look of a breezy tiered skirt. Pritzker…

6. Watari Museum of Contemporary Art

0.25 MILES

In a building (1990) by Swiss architect Mario Botta, Watari-Um stages exhibits that range from retrospectives of established art-world figures (such as…

7. Takeshita-dōri

0.27 MILES

This is Tokyo’s famous fashion bazaar. It's an odd mixed bag: newer shops selling trendy, youthful styles alongside stores still invested in the trappings…

8. Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo

0.28 MILES

On the top floor of Aoki Jun's Louis Vuitton boutique, this light-filled gallery hosts contemporary exhibitions backed by the luxury brand's well-endowed…