Harajuku, the center of kawaii and teen fashion in Tokyo, is known for its vibrant landmark – Takeshita Street. Takeshita Street, the heart of all things trendy and weird, is a must visit in Tokyo that’s featured in every guidebook. There are plenty of fun things to do at Takeshita Street (or Takeshita Dori) from fashion boutiques and cosmetic shops to awesome eateries.
Due to its quirkiness and popularity, Takeshita Street is incredibly crowded during weekend. To better enjoy it and avoid crowds, we suggest to visit it on a weekday or in the morning (please note that most of shops open at 11:00AM) and follow this list of things to do in Takeshita Street.
Take a photo at the gate
The first stop at Takeshita Street is at its iconic entrance gate that’s filled with colorful balloons. The design is not always the same, so even if you’ve already been there before, it’s worth to have another look. This is also a classic photospot because the entrance is located on a slight slope where you have a nice shot of the crowd of Takeshita Street.
Eat Harajuku crepes
Harajuku is known for its crepes, which is soft and has fruits, ice cream made with Hokkaido milk, or other filling inside of it. These crepe kiosks have stunning displays of crepe samples, artificial replicas, to help you choose which crepe to order and gorge on. Despite the decreasing number of crepes shops on Takeshita Street to free up space to new trends, eating Harajuku crepes is still a must while visiting Takeshita Street.
Taste rainbow food
Takeshita Street is home to many quirky shops that sell colorful food from rainbow cotton candy to animal-shaped ice cream.
Totti Candy Factory is a testament to Harajuku’s whimsical side. This shop sells a huge collection of sweets in a neon-lit candy room, but the item they’re most known for is their giant cotton candy called Totti Harajuku Special. It’s so big that it’s probably the size of three heads combined; with its four-color streaks, it definitely feels like you’re munching on rainbow clouds.
Try Purikura photobooth
Purikura is a popular photo booth in Japan that allows you to edit your photo in various ways. You can choose beauty effects and mimic the suggested cute poses before decorating it with hearts, stickers, panda faces and literally anything you could ever imagine in stamp form. The booths cost 400 yen and you can choose a variety of layouts depending on how many people you have in the group. There are even mini tables with scissors to cut and split the photos before you go.
100yen shopping at Daiso
Daiso is the largest 100-yen chain store in Japan. The three-story Harajuku store at Takeshita Street is one of the most prominent outlets where other than household goods, gardening equipment, toys, and snacks, you can also find many souvenirs.
Most of the items are indeed priced at only 100 JPY, however, there are some things sold at slightly higher prices between 150-200 JPY. These higher-priced items are clearly marked with price tags. If you need to buy souvenirs for all your friend as well as useless-but-cute things for yourself, this is the place to do some massive shopping while saving your wallet!
Note that the listed prices in the shop don’t include the 10% consumption tax.
If you want to witness the original Tokyo Kawaii Culture, there is nowhere better than Takeshita Street. Several famous pop stars have been reported to shop here and there are multiple shops where shoppers can buy the most exciting and trendy fashion items.
There are also many shops dedicated to a specific fashion style such as Liz Liza, a boutique that sells the classic “Sweet Lolita” style clothes. Besides clothes, there are also cute shoes and accessories to match with your regular wardrobe. Another store, ACDC Rag, offers more extreme styles like Gothic Lolita and punk. There’s also Takenoko, a shop formed by dance groups known as takenoko-zoku that flocked to Harajuku in the mid-’70s and early-’80s to find ’80s dance fashion.
Crisps paradise: Calbee+
Calbee is a famous snack food company that’s known mainly for their potato chips. At their Calbee Plus shop, you can try freshly fried potato chips that are still warm! They also have a fresh made-to-order fried snack called “poterico”. It’s derived from their other snack line called “jagarico”, a crunchy potato snack that looks like a long macaroni without the hole in the middle. The freshly fried poterico has roughly the same shape, but it’s a bit thicker. Instead of being crunchy, it’s softer like the inside of a baked potato. Special flavor and limited edition chips can be purchased here as well.
Take a break in a unique café
On Takeshita Street, there are several types of animal cafés: cat, mameshiba, owl, hedgehog and the newest, minipig.You can try this popular experience that originates in Japan to allow people to cuddle pets that aren’t allowed as pets in tiny apartments.
If animal cafés are not exactly your thing, on Takeshita Street, you can also find cute and unique cafés like Pompompurin Café, a café dedicated to the yellow Sanrio character where you can eat cute food with its shape.