Why Don’t You Walk in Harajuku? -2(Omotesando)




-The main street of Harajuku-

Go straight along the street and go up slightly short slope, and you come to the sidewalk that faces Omotesando Street.

There are many well-known shopping facilities on Omotesando Street, as well as world-famous brand shops appearing on both sides of Omotesando.

Turn to the right at the cross point of the Cat street and walk toward Meiji Dori street, there are two famous shopping facilities at the Jingumae crossing of Meiji Dori and Omotesando.

(Laforet Harajuku)

Laforet Harajuku is the well-established shopping center of fashion related items. It opened in 1978. And it is known as the landmark of this district, of which stores have made the stylish fashion trend. A multipurpose hall “Laforet Museum” is on the sixth floor of the building.

  • Address: 1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan

(Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku)

Tokyu plaza Omotesando Harajuku opened in April 2012. There are refined stores of fashion items for the youth including the first shop of American Eagle Outfitters in Japan. And there is also a store of stylish miscellaneous goods or stationery, and so on. It has a rooftop garden for visitors.

  • Address: 4-30-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan

?Tokyoite’s Note?

Japanese people like to wait in line to shop or eat something topical, no matter how long it takes. There are topical shops of shaved ice and the ice cream in Omotesando. People wait in line at the shop under the hot weather of 35 degrees centigrade. For 15 minutes, 30 minutes or even one hour. Why do Japanese people wait? Do they like to eat or do they like to wait? One answer is that Japanese have curiosity very much for something new. Yet, another answer is that Japanese like to wait. They seem to believe that it may turn out good if they wait for it long. The people sometimes do not go to the nearby stores where they can buy the almost same thing without waiting.

(Omotesando Hills)

Turn to the left at the cross point of the Cat street and walk along Omotesando. Then you can see the Omotesando Hills on the left side.

Omotesando Hills was completed on February, 2006. It is a building for shopping mall. Full length of the building is approximately 250 meters. There are commercial facilities from the third floor under the ground to the third floor above the ground. It is very characteristic that the floors are inclined in accordance with slope of Omotesando Street. Inside the main building, the colonnade structure for six levels is adopted, and there is a spiral passage inside, which is called “the spiral slope.”

There are a lot of speciality stores of fashion related goods such as clothes, jewelry, and accessories. And also galleries, restaurants, and cafes are in the mall.

Omotesando Hills was constructed where there were the old apartments named “Dojunkai Apartments” which were small but had good atmosphere in its nostalgic shape. The apartments were completed in 1927, and were there in 80 years. Many people felt nostalgic for the buildings of apartments. So, when Omotesando Hills was constructed, one apartment building was also reproduced at the east end of Omotesando hills. And the apartment building is used by shops now. That is an example of remaining of old thing in a stream of time.

  • Address: 4-12-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan

A lot of outstanding stores are in Omotesando as well as the brand stores.

(Oriental Bazaar)

The building in red and green like a Shinto shrine can be seen in the opposite side of Omotesando Hills across the street. That is Oriental Bazaar.

Oriental bazaar is a souvenir shop in Omotesando Harajuku. It has a variety of traditional Japanese goods such as ceramic craft works, Japanese screens, furniture, Japanese clothes, and so on.

  • Address: 9-13-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan

(KIDDY LAND-Harajuku)

KIDDY LAND-Harajuku, which is the big store specializing in toys, is in the opposite side of Omotesando Hills. Goods of Japanese or American characters such as the characters of PEANUTS, Disney movies, Star Wars, and Hello Kitty are sold in the specialized sections. The white letters of KIDDY LAND on the red background are the mark for the store.

  • Address: 6-1-9 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan

?Tokyoite’s Note?

Japanese really like mascot characters. There are many mascot characters which corporations made mainly for their sales promotion. Besides them, there seem to be mascot characters for revitalization of local cities, towns, and villages all over Japan. Not only local governments but also central government offices have their mascots. The police departments and the Self-Defense Forces do, too.    

However, it is ironical that a mascot character named Funasshyi, which is unauthorized mascot of a city in Chiba prefecture, has the distinguished popularity above all. Funassyi runs around, hops and cries in a high tone voice. Freewheelingness of Funassyi attracts people very much. You can see the yellow body of Funassyi everywhere in Japan. I saw dolls of Funassyi were sold also in KIDDY LAND the other day.




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