Why Don’t You Walk in Harajuku?(Takeshita-Dori, Harajuku-Dori, and Cat Street)


Harajuku is the most favorite town of Japanese youths. In the town of Harajuku, you can see a lot of stores and shops selling stylish items that young people long for. Trendy stores form lines in Omotesando Street and in bystreets that lead to it. There are boutiques, galleries, art museums, hair salons, etc. However, it is not merely a town with many fashion-related stores. It is a town where you feel art in the whole.



?Takeshita Dori?

-A sacred place for teenagers-


The main street of Harajuku is Omotesando Street, which leads to Meiji shrine with a row of zelkova trees. But, for teenagers who visit Harajuku, mainly Takeshita Dori Street is their favorite. It is a part of fashionable and artistic Harajuku town. And it is known widely as the place where the unique fashion is created.

So, start from Takeshita Dori at first. The entrance of Takeshita Dori is just in front of Tkakeshita-guchi exit of JR Harajuku Station. There is a sign board at the entrance, displaying the current time and the words of “welcome” in some languages.

Takeshita Dori is a street of 350 meters in total length that slopes down gradually to Meiji Dori. In Takeshita Dori and bystreets, you will see many boutiques, accessories shops, cafe bars and ice creams, or crapes shops. Most of stores facing the streets are small fashion boutiques for youths. A lot of students on school excursion visit there from all over Japan. It is the place always full of teenagers.

The street turns into the vehicle-free promenade where a vehicle cannot come in every day from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

?Tokyoite’s Note?

There is a Japanese word “kawaii,” that means cute, cool or heartwarming. In Harajuku you are going to encounter many “kawaii” things, especially on Takeshita Dori. Harajuku, there are shops selling such kind of very cute design accessories and colorful clothes. And some girls actually in such clothes are walking there. In some shops, many visitors come to see the charisma salesclerks, all the way from local districts and from foreign countries. It may be possible to say that those shops are sending a kind of new Japanese culture to the world.

In Harajuku, besides Takeshita Dori, there are stores of higher fashionable items, galleries, and art museums. It makes Harajuku more stylish.

Now, leave the Takeshita Dori and see other places of Harajuku. Before leaving Takeshita Dori, how about eating crape that is the specialty of Harajuku? Or why don’t you try a Purikikura in the photo booth, the printed picture sticker of you, as souvenir picture?

 ?Harajuku Dori and Cat Street?


You will come to Meiji Dori after walking through Takeshita Dori. Then cross Meiji Dori, and go into the bystreet called the Harajuku Dori. Go straight along the Harajuku Dori, and turn to the right at the corner of the first crossing, and go along the street called Cat Street.

Those are famous shopping streets in Harajuku as well, which have the unique characteristics differentiating other streets. There are boutiques and restaurants on these streets in common cityscape. Some shops are not recognized easily from outside, because there are not signboards of the shops.

?Tokyoite’s Note?

Cat Street was constructed on covers of culverted Shibuya River in 1964 when the first Olympic Games were held in Tokyo. It is said that there are some reasons why it was named as Cat Street. One reason is because it is small like the forehead of cat, which is the way to explain narrow space in Japanese.  Another reason is merely because there were many cats there.

From “Why Don’t You Walk in Tokyo?”

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