Neighbourhood Guide: Harajuku, Tokyo

Neighbourhood Guides May 22, 2023

From Harajuku fashion to Harajuku food that you’ve got to try, here’s everything you need to know when planning your trip to Harajuku, Tokyo.

Dating back to the 1940s, Harajuku was Japan's first sophisticated international district. After World War 2, Washington Heights, an apartment complex was built and known for introducing foreign families to the area. This led to cultural integration between the locals and foreign youths, gradually influencing fashion trends.

Today, the streets of Harajuku continues to be a vibrant and bustling neighbourhood, making it one of the must-visit spots in Japan. Here are some of our top picks on what to do, where to visit and what to eat when visiting Harajuku.

What to do at Harajuku

  1. Discover contemporary art
  2. Taste Michelin-rated soba noodles
  3. Stroll through a serene shrine
  4. Snap an iconic Harajuku shot
  5. Snack on a freshly-made crepe

Must visit in Harajuku

Meiji Shrine

1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-8557, Japan

Known as a shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his consort Empress Shoken, this famous landmark is perfect for visitors interested in learning the rich cultural and historical heritage Japan has to offer. Today, the shrine welcomes millions of local and international visitors annually and often hosts Shinto weddings — if you’re lucky, you could even witness a wedding procession during your visit!

Meiji Shrine

Takeshita Street

1 Chome Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

There’s perhaps no other shopping street in Tokyo quite like Takeshita Street. Lively and colourful, this 400 metre long street is lined with endless restaurants, animal cafes, neoprint shops, and fashion boutiques of niche fashion trends and style.

Takeshita Street

Yoyogi Park

2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-0052, Japan

A short five-minute walk from Harajuku Station (right next to the Meiji Shrine), is where you will find Yoyogi Park. Featuring scenic views of wide green lawns, ponds and forested areas, it is great for an after-work job or picnics with family and friends.

If you find yourself in Tokyo during late-November to early-December, you’ll definitely want to make a trip here to catch a glimpse of the park’s ginkgo trees’ in their beautiful autumn hues.

Yoyogi Park

Hedgehog Cafe & Pet Store HARRY Harajuku

4th Floor, 1-13-21 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Calling all animal lovers! Located in Harajuku Tokyo, this is the first animal cafe in Japan dedicated to 9 different types of hedgehogs. Spend a quiet afternoon to learn more about these spiky little friends and even get to pat them. If you are feeling a little less adventurous, you can request for a pair of gloves to avoid their prickly quills.

Watari Museum of Contemporary Art

3 Chome-7-6 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

Designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, the museum is known for its minimal and geometric buildings inspired by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Italy’s Casino di Campione. Today, it continues to be an international stage for both local and foreign artists alike to nurture contemporary art in Japan.

Must eat in Harajuku

Marion crepes

1-6-15 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

For a quick snack in the midst of shopping, Marion crepes is the perfect street food choice when in Harajuku. Starting as a food truck in 1976, the country’s longest running crepe shop has called Harajuku’s Takeshita-dori home since 1977. From sweet to savoury and everything in between, they’ve got it all!

Harajuku Gyozarou

6 Chome-2-4 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

A walking distance from the Meiji-Jingumae Station, indulge in one of Harajuku’s most iconic foods at this no-frills eatery. Be delighted by juicy pork fillings as you bite your way through these freshly made and piping hot dumplings.

Sahsya Kanetanaka

Oak Omotesando 2F, Kita-Aoyama 3-6-1, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Hidden from the usual crowds, spend a peaceful afternoon at this Japanese cafe that offers Kanetanaka — traditional Japanese tea and sweets, representative of the country’s seasons and distinct flavours. But if you prefer something more savoury or substantial, then consider their wholesome Kaiseki meals that include soups and sashimi.

Sahsya Kanetanaka

Kaitensushi Ginza Onodera

1F, 5-1-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Run by The Onodera Group, this Michelin-starred conveyor belt sushi restaurant serves up a plethora of high quality premium seafood at reasonable prices. Taste the freshest cuts of tuna, ranging from lean to fatty, without burning a hole in your pocket.

Gyukatsu Motomura Harajuku

3-23-2 Jingumae Jingumae NS Bldg. B1, Shibuya 150-0001 Tokyo Prefecture

One of Harajuku’s most popular food spots to visit, this restaurant is famously known for its Gyukatsu (beef cutlet) placed on a sizzling hot stone grill. With its tender red meat cooked to perfection and locked in with juiciness as you bite into a slice, your taste buds would be in for a treat.

Hmlet Harajuku

House hunting in Harajuku, Tokyo? If you are, consider Hmlet Harajuku, a fully-furnished quaint home that’s a short walking distance from Kitasando and Harajuku Station. But if it isn’t, not to worry, we’ve got a tonne of their cosy options for you to choose from here.