Shortly after catching the Narita Express to Shibuya Station, I soon realized we would barely scratch Tokyo’s surface. I quickly made the decision to plot out a few key neighbourhoods worth visiting during our short stay. I knew we’d hit a few popular attractions, see beautiful temples and palaces, and spend a lot of time in parks gazing at cherry blossoms. Much to my delight, we managed to time our trip perfectly with sakura season!
With only four days in Tokyo, I knew I’d have to be strategic about where I’d spend my time and Harajuku topped the list! If you’re heading to Tokyo, make sure to spend at least a few hours exploring this vibrant, fashionable district!
During the day, much of Tokyo can feel quite pared back and greige, (beige and grey) but Harajuku is full of colour. There’s so much to take in and I felt like my senses were working overtime! We were lucky to spot a few Harajuku Girls (you know, like the ones from Gwen Stefani’s music videos!) If you’re on the hunt for any piece of clothing that is particularly trendy, Harajuku’s multitude of shops are your best bet! If you’re a makeup lover, Harajuku’s beauty shops are a great place to get inspired and learn about the latest makeup trends. You’ll see packs of school girls stocking up on coloured contacts and hair bows. If you’re visiting Harajuku on a Sunday, get ready for Lolita-land.
I noticed that pastel hair is still all the rage and pink eyeshadow is making a comeback. Platform shoes are preferred as well as lace and full hemlines. Let’s just say, I’m even more tempted to dye my hair lavender now…
You’ll need fuel for all the people-watching and shopping you’ll be doing. Try Tokyo’s best soft serve at Zaku Zaku or a cotton candy bigger than your head at Totti Candy Factory. We tried both and experienced an extreme sugar rush, which could only be counteracted with ramen. As we wandered around Harajuku in a dream-like trance, we even discovered a Cookie Time karaoke bar! All the way from Christchurch to Harajuku, I suppose.
The myriad of crepe stands in Harajuku are works of art. There are dozens upon dozens of stalls, so take your pick. You can order crepes of all variations, strawberry, blueberry, matcha, the list goes on. Some even feature whole slices of cake!
Next up, I’ll be showcasing another favourite Tokyo neighbourhood. Can you guess which one?