Harajuku District in Tokyo

Harajuku district in Tokyo

The Harajuku district is an unusual neighborhood that is a must-see for the tourist. It is located at the subway station of the same name. On weekends, the flow of people increases and the neighborhood becomes even busier because of the young people dressed up in extravagant costumes (comic book characters, hats with feathers, vampires) and walking around the streets.

Japanese fashion balances on the edge of extremity and surrealism. Older people can spend their time looking at the city’s sights.

History

During World War II, it was here that the American military settled. They brought the Western spirit to the Eastern civilization. For young people, something new was extremely interesting. It was a kind of innovation in the established traditions of Japan.

In the middle of the 20th century, fashion houses, agencies, and photo studios began to open here.

Harajuku today

Today the Harajuku district is located between Shinjuku and Shibuya. There are many green parks in this area, such as Jingu Gayen and Eegi. Even though there are only two streets in the area (Omotesando and Takeshita), it is still a fashion and style center due to its countless stylish clothing and shoe stores.

In Omotesando you can buy brand name clothing from Prada, D&G, Chanel and others. The restaurants located on this street are more for an adult and wealthy audience than for young people. The target audience of Omotesando is city dwellers from 30 to 50 years old.

The center of youth culture is Takeshita Dori Street. It sells multi-brand clothing as well as many “second hand” items. It also actively sells food for hungry tourists and local fashionistas. Stores are usually open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For those who want to see the sights and prefer a cultural vacation, you can go to the Tokyo Meiji Jingu Temple it is located in a quiet green area. Here you can admire ukiyo-e prints. The impressive collection of Asian art and the Japanese garden are definitely worth a look.

Attractions

Below we take a look at the main attractions that are worth a tourist’s visit.

Yehogi National Sports Hall. It was designed by the famous architect Kenzo Tange for the 1964 Olympic Games. It is a short walk from the subway station. There are also plans to hold Olympic competitions here in 2020.

Gyre Shopping Center. Remarkable for its architecture and interior. The building is designed in the form of a spiral.

Dior Omotesando brand clothing store. Architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa designed the house visually dressed in a skirt, which symbolizes femininity and elegance of Dior.

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Omotesando Hills. Despite the name, it is a shopping center. What makes it unusual is that it is more than half underground. Architect Tadao Ando thus decided to create a structure that does not spoil the view of the surrounding landscape with its height. There are not only stores, but also beauty salons, cafes and restaurants.

Prada Aoyama. A large fashion store that looks really luxurious because of the gold shiny finish of the building.

Nezu Museum. It contains masterpieces of Japanese art. The author of this project is Kengo Kuma. There is an open space of 17,000 square meters with a gorgeous view of the beautiful garden.

Department store Laforet Harajuku. This department store is well known to local fashionistas. Here on the 6th floor is an art museum of fashion history.

Boulevard Omotesando. Here is a very dense concentration of expensive boutiques and designer stores.

Louis Vuitton. The stylish building was designed by Jean Eocchi. It is said that to pass by the building and not stare at it is simply impossible.

Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku. One of the new shopping centers, opened in 2012. On the top floor is a green terrace.

Daiso Harajuku. A large center with 100 yen worth of merchandise. A wide variety of choices here: food, stationery, household goods, etc.

Oriental Bazaar. Big souvenir shop. There are always lots of tourists who want to buy souvenirs or souvenirs for their families. The building is made in Japanese tradition.

Kiddy Land. One of the most popular stores of children’s toys with 5 floors.

Meiji. Shinto temple dedicated to the Emperor and his wife.

Togo. Shinto temple dedicated to Admiral Togo. There used to be an antiques market here, but it was discontinued in 2009.

How to get to Harajuku . There’s a JR train on the Yamanote Line between Shinjuku and Shibuya stations.

We are also happy to offer you economy tours and a free plan – these trips give you the opportunity to visit Japan at a relatively inexpensive price.

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The tour includes Japan’s most popular attractions. The itinerary passes through major cities, including the multimillion-dollar Japanese capital. The tour program includes temples, beautiful gardens, castles, hot springs and cozy restaurants. Two weeks allow you to expand the travel program and visit Nara, Hiroshima, Yokohama, Osaka and other cities.

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The economy version of the trip to Japan allows you to see almost the same thing as the extended tour, but at a much lower cost. You will visit Tokyo, Kyoto, Yokohama, Kamakura and see with their own eyes how ancient history is harmoniously woven into the modernity, bordering on a fantastic future. The tour program includes the most popular tourist attractions in Japan.

Perhaps the best combination of Japanese design art and the amazing nature of the islands is the numerous gardens. In Tokyo it is Koishikawa Korakuen Landscape Park, Rikugien. A garden in Japan is not just paths and beautiful vegetation. The best illustration of Japanese “singularity” is Ryoanji, a complex of stones with a secret. The program includes visits to the parks of Kyoto, Nara, Okayama.

The tour demonstrates the multifaceted culture of Japan. The travel program includes a variety of attractions, together depicting the real face of the Land of the Rising Sun. The route will take you through the dazzling streets of Tokyo, sophisticated Kyoto with its ancient temples and pavilions, the Japanese capital of gold leaf Kanazawa, where you can make yourself a souvenir in a master class.

In Japan, not only national customs are unique – even the world holidays are held here in a special way. New Year’s Eve tour through the most popular Japanese cities transformed into a winter fairy tale. A highlight of the trip will be New Year’s Eve on a boat with a view of the exotic Tokyo.

What makes our tour different from other companies? We offer an unusual way to celebrate New Year in Japan and experience the colorful folk festivals, closely linked to the cultural and religious characteristics of this Eastern country!

A lot depends on the first impression. The tour includes the most popular attractions of Tokyo and plenty of free time. The program is prepared in cooperation with the hotel chain Villa Fontaine, which guarantees comfort during the trip. Japanese capital better than any guide will tell about the peculiarities of culture and national traditions of Japan.

The tour is focused on visits to the sights of Japan associated with the traditions of the Samurai era. Excursions will introduce you to the way of life of the Samurai, customs and objects that surrounded them. Itinerary goes through secluded villages, where you can clearly see the spirit of the era. You can feel yourself as one of the glorious class by staying in a traditional ryokan hotel.

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To better understand the Japanese soul tour will help at the most beautiful time for Japan – during the blooming sakura. In spring the whole country becomes like a postcard view. The tour will take you through all the major cities, where you will have the opportunity to see firsthand the mesmerizing landscapes, temples wrapped in a pink and white blanket and, of course, the famous Mount Fuji. A relaxing swim in a hot spring will complete the tranquil picture of the national holiday.

The tour is designed specifically for those who have decided to devote a trip exclusively to the Japanese capital. Tokyo will show how the Japanese know how to combine modernity and ancient heritage. Here harmoniously coexist ancient temples and tall buildings that prop up the sky, glass facades and wooden architectural monuments. The tour includes time for free excursions.

8 days in Tokyo – all at your disposal. There are modern skyscrapers Shinjuku, old streets Asakusa with rickshaws and shops, luxurious Ginza, Ueno Park with its magnificent museums and Tokyo’s oldest zoo, “city of the future” Odaiba with a cozy embankment, bustling malls, museums and exhibitions, the original youth Harajuku, and much more.

Tokyo and Kyoto are two facets of exotic Japanese culture. Economy version of the tour gives you the opportunity to explore both cities at a reduced price. The tour program includes all the main attractions of the cultural and modern capital cities: the modern streets of Tokyo with a harmonious neighboring temples and neon signs, the old streets of Kyoto and incomparable Japanese cuisine.

In addition to the cherry trees, Japanese gardens can surprise you with the extremely beautiful hydrangeas Ajisai. They bloom between May and July, which attracts an equal flow of tourists. The tour includes visits to the brightest gardens of Tokyo, Kyoto, Yokohama and Kamakura, decorated during this period with the full range of colors.

To see all facets of Japan, you can take a tour from Vladivostok on a liner. The heart of the trip is Tokyo, where the full range of Japanese culture is best revealed. Cutting-edge innovations of robotics, the old district of Asakusa, futuristic skyscrapers Marunouchi, a mini concert on the samisen in a traditional restaurant, visiting the onsen and Senso-ji will give an idea of this Japan.

The autumn tour will reveal romantic motifs in the mysterious Japanese culture. This is the time when the leaves of the Momiji maples turn bright red. In the adornment of variegated vegetation, the famous temples and gardens take on a whole new look. The tour will be of interest even to those who have already been to Japan, but in other seasons.

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We are also happy to offer you economy and free package tours, which allow you to visit Japan for a relatively low price.

Harajuku

Harajuku photo

Harajuku (原宿, Japan) is an unusual but very trendy district in Tokyo and you’ll find it near Harajuku Station (the Yamanote Circle Line connecting the Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ginza and Ikebukuro areas). Harajuku is especially interesting on Sundays as young people dress up in a variety of fashions and dress up as cosplayers to show themselves off to the city. Their traditional gathering place is the Jingu pedestrian bridge.

History

Harajuku owes its fashionable style to the events at the end of World War II. It was here that American soldiers and their families settled after defeating imperial Japan. As a result, Japanese youth had an opportunity to get closer to Western culture, fashion and customs of Americans, thereby creating their own fashionable world. Harajuku became a symbol of an unexpected introduction to Western civilization.

Fashionable Harajuku neighborhood

The consequences of this process were not long in coming – in 1958 the construction of fashion workshops for fashion designers, model agencies and photo studios began here. The Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 1964 gave Harajuku a new impetus in development. After the Games, the area’s fashionable youth received a new name, harajuku-zoki.

Today’s Harajuku neighborhood is a green neighborhood between the Shinjuku and Shibuya districts, dictating authoritative street fashion. On one side there’s Jingu Gaien Park and Yoyogi Park, and on the other side the elegant Aoyama district. There are only two streets in the area: Omotesando and Takeshita. Here you can buy the kind of stylish clothing and accessories that Japanese young people often wear.

Harajuku is also compared to the Champs-Élysées in Paris because it has all the same fashion stores – Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, etc. Another famous shopping center of the neighborhood among tourists is Omotesando Hills, below you will find photos of this architectural landmark of the area.

Attractions

Architecture

1. Yoyogi National Stadium, architect Kenzo Tange

Yogi National Sports Hall, Harajuku Tokyo

It can be seen within walking distance of Harajuku Station. It was designed by Kenzo Tange for the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 1964. The hall still serves sports and cultural events and is preparing to welcome the Olympic competition in 2020.

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2. the GYRE Shopping Center

GYRE mall in Harajuku

Designed by Dutch architects, the building has some resemblance to a spiral, each floor is somewhat “twisted” in relation to the previous one. However, consider the photo of this amazing decoration of the Tokyo waterfront yourself.

3. the Dior Omotesando fashion store

Dior, Harajuku

The project was designed by architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of the Japanese architectural bureau SANAA. The building looks as if it is dressed in a draped skirt reminding us that the world of Dior is multifaceted, classical, modern, elegant and feminine.

4: Omotesando Hills

Omotesando Hills, Harajuku Ward, Tokyo

An unusual shopping mall, most of which is hidden underground. Designed by the architect Tadao Ando, whose main idea was to blend the enormous building into the surrounding landscape, creating a harmonious combination of natural and human creation.

5. Prada Aoyama.

Prada Aoyama in the Harajuku Ward

The store of fashionable clothes, sparkling with shine and gilding, was constructed according to the project of the Swiss architectural bureau Herzog de Meuron. The diamond-shaped glazing works as a reflector of the sky and sunlight during the day and as a beautiful display window in the evening and at night.

6. Nezu Museum

The Nezu Museum and Japanese Garden in Harajuku

The Nezu Museum was established to house and exhibit an interesting collection of Japanese art by the great collector of fine arts, Kaichiro Nezu, and was reopened in 2009. It was designed by the architect Kengo Kuma. Not only the facade, but also a 17,000 square meter Japanese garden, which can be admired from the windows of the art gallery, is beautifully integrated into the outdoor space.

Sightseeing map of Harajuku in Tokyo

Shopping

1. Laforet Harajuku Department Store

An iconic department store, a beacon of youth fashion. On the 6th floor you will find an art museum dedicated to the changes in fashion.

2. boulevard Omotesando.

A little east of Harajuku, Aoyama District has a beautiful Omotesando Boulevard filled with fashion boutiques and designer stores. Omotesando begins at the Meiji Jingu Shrine Gate, continues to Harajuku JR Station, passes Meiji-dori Avenue, and then heads toward Aoyama-dori Avenue.

3. the Louis Vuitton store on Omotesando

Artistic Ideas of Takashi Murakami, Harajuku

The store was designed by Jun Aoki, and the interior design was done by Takashi Murakami who travels between Tokyo and New York. The glamorous look of the building at night literally stops the lines of cars driving along the nearby street.

How to get to Harajuku

Harajuku Hotels in Tokyo

The easiest way to get there is to take the JR Yamanote Line electric train and get off at the same Harajuku Station.

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