What To Do in Harajuku: Fashion Paradise of Asia | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

What To Do in Harajuku: Fashion Paradise of Asia

By Guidable Writers Nov 5, 2020

Harajuku (原宿) is a station situated on the JR line across central Tokyo between Shibuya and Shinjuku.

What To Do in Harajuku?

So, what makes Harajuku so unique and what to do in Harajuku? To visit such iconic places as Yoyogi Park, Meiji Shrine, and Omotesando, a boulevard of luxury brands and other high-end shopping activities, millions of travelers get off the train at Harajuku Station when they come to Japan. 

Harajuku was originally a post town, a town where travelers can rest on their travels worldwide. This is reflected in the kanji characters that make up its name: “meadow lodging.” But Harajuku today has an entirely different and global appeal. 

A wooden structure dating from as far back as 1924 housed Harajuku Station until just recently. The old building is being demolished for preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, which has been postponed until 2011. And a newer building with cafes and shops has been constructed next to it.

Embrace Into World-Famous Harajuku Street Fashion!

The area is very well-known to just about everyone in Japan, particularly fashion-conscious teenagers, even adults. 

Harajuku styles vary from the cute and casual to the extreme. You might run into glamorous lolitas in skirts, heavily pierced goths with long hair, or fans of decora kei wearing colorful wigs on any given day here. Since Harajuku is considered the land of free-spirited fashion, you can also run into cosplayers! There will also be hardcore enthusiasts who bear the fashion spirit of Harajuku. Why not try getting yourself dressed up? Whether it’s tops, overcoats, or jerseys in various styles, you are not likely to find anywhere else. Check out a Harajuku makeup or nail salon if you’re looking for a very exclusive Harajuku experience. 

The Cosplay Culture of Street-Fashion Capital of Asia: Harajuku

Harajuku has long been a place where people meet in a comfortable and accepting atmosphere to share their unique fashion tastes. This region is one of the world’s best places to satisfy your love of an anime character by cosplay. You will not feel awkward when cosplaying on the streets of Harajuku, where stylish dressers wear all kinds of exclusive and trendy types of clothing you can not see anywhere else. 

You will see fashion trends emerging before your very eyes in Harajuku. For both budding and seasoned fashion-lovers.

What To Do in Harajuku: Shopping at thousands of unique fashion stores

Takeshita Street

A highly recommended spot on a trip to Harajuku is the famous Takeshita Street. This road situated just a few steps from Harajuku Station is usually crowded most days of the year (don’t forget to wear a mask and practice social distance during the Corona pandemic!)  

You can find some large-scale shops here, but the street is mostly lined with small, funky shops selling cheap clothes and accessories. It is a not-to-miss destination that is associated with Harajuku itself. If the main street is too busy for your taste, dive into a side street, which is much quieter and has just as many unique and exciting shops as with most anywhere in Harajuku.

Cat Street

Located between Shibuya and Harajuku, Cat Street is home to various stores ranging from small upscale boutiques to large global brands. You can find anything from a one-of-a-kind antique sweater to a pair of high-end designer shoes. But there are no cats to be seen here, unfortunately. 


Harajuku isn’t just about cheap branded clothes – there’s no lack of big-name global brands. In 2009, NIKE opened up its first Tokyo flagship store here. In Harajuku, other luxury foreign design icons include Vivienne Westwood, Gucci, Dior, etc. Even if subcultural fashion and Kawaii culture are not for you, high-end shopping is worth visiting the city!

What To Do in Harajuku: Must-try Street Food!

Harajuku has plenty of street food and other dining options for hungry shoppers. Traditionally, most Japanese identify a sweet crepe with a trip to Harajuku (chocolate banana is a long-time favorite!) Tapioca or boba tea has also been an enormous success in recent years. Hattogu, a distant Korean cousin of the American corndog, packed with lots of stretchy mozzarellas, is another current favorite.

Try some of Harajuku’s rainbow snacks, ranging from big cloud-like tufts of rainbow cotton candy to gooey rainbow grilled cheese. Take a photo and post it on Instagram, make your friends crazy jealous while enjoying the amazing taste of Harajuku street food!   

To Answer What To Do in Harajuku? Enjoy Your Own Way!

To answer the question: “what to do in Harajuku” to those who are planning to visit, alongside delicious street foods, Harajuku has long been a place where people meet in a comfortable and accepting atmosphere to share their unique fashion tastes! So, enjoy Harajuku your own way!