TOKYO - APRIL 1 2012: People, mostly youngsters, walk through Takeshita Dori near Harajuku train station on Sunday April 1 2012. Takeshita Dori is considered a birthplace of Japan's fashion trends.; Shutterstock ID 113994796; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; Project no. or GL code: 56530; Network activity no. or Cost Centre: Online-Design; Product or Project: 65050/7529/Josh Vogel/ Destination Galleries

Shutterstock / Perati Komson


Harajuku & Aoyama

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 of decades of subcultures past (plaid and safety pins for the punks; colourful tutus for the decora; Victorian dresses for the Gothic Lolitas). Be warned: this pedestrian alley is a pilgrimage site for teens from all over Japan, which means it can be packed.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Harajuku & Aoyama attractions

1. Ukiyo-e Ōta Memorial Museum of Art

0.14 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…

2. Kawaii Monster Cafe


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

3. Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku

0.23 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.

4. Design Festa

0.27 MILES

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…

5. Yoyogi National Stadium

0.32 MILES

This early masterpiece by architect Tange Kenzō was built for the 1964 Olympics (and will be used again in the 2020 games for the handball event). The…

6. Dior Omote-sandō

0.34 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…

7. Meiji-jingū

0.36 MILES

Tokyo’s grandest Shintō shrine is dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken, whose reign (1868–1912) coincided with Japan's transformation from…

8. Cat Street

0.36 MILES

Had enough of the Harajuku crowds? Exit, stage right, for Cat Street, a meandering car-free road with a mishmash of boutiques and a little more breathing…