Translated by Adam Tuck
Shibuya, Omotesando And Harajuku - 11 Must See Spots
Written by Shinnosuke Saito
We gathered 11 spots in Shibuya, Omotesando, and Harajuku sure to delight anyone planning a visit to Tokyo! Enjoy anything from public art over shopping to all-you-can-eat sweets within a short distance from each other.
Shibuya, Omotesando, and Harajuku are some of the most popular areas in Tokyo. These places are known to be youthful and trendy and you can find public art alongside shopping spots and fancy cafes.
In this article, we introduce you to eleven spots in this area that offer something for everyone from public artwork, over shopping to dining. Let's have a look!
1. Shibuya Public Art - The "Myth of Tomorrow"
The "Myth of Tomorrow" can be found in the corridor connecting the JR Yamanote line and the Keio Inokashira line inside Shibuya station. The mural was originally painted in 1954 by Taro Okamoto and depicts the dropping of the atomic bomb during World War II. It is ironical that, because of the massive size of the mural, many people walk by it without ever noticing its presence. It is definitely worth checking out if you are already in Shibuya station.
2. Shibuya Shopping - Shibuya 109
The Shibuya 109 building, also called "Maru kyu" which means zero-nine in Japanese, is located close to the Hachiko exit of the Shibuya station. If you see the statue of Japan's favorite dog, Hachi, just make your way to the intersection to your right. You should be able to see the 109 building right in front of you.
Shibuya 109 was originally opened in 1980. To this day it continues to be a leading outlet for Japanese youth fashion. It houses a collection of shops offering the newest fashion of the season. They also offer new products catering to the many events that come up all year long. It is one of the number one fashion shopping spots in Tokyo.
The Men's 109 has been recently renewed and renamed Magnet by Shibuya109. It is located near the station, by the famous scramble crosing. It offers a rooftop from which you can view the scramble crossing for free.
3. Shibuya Shopping - TOKYU HANDS
Located just an 8-minute walk from the Hachiko exit of Shibuya station you can find the popular store Tokyu Hands. Tokyu Hands offers nearly everything you could ever need. Home decor, tools for DIY projects, fashion, cosmetics, stationery, and travel goods are just some of the items available. It is the perfect place to go if you are looking for souvenirs as well.
4. Shibuya Dining- Shibuya Niku Yokocho
Niku Yokocho is one of Japan's most high-class meat theme parks located just 5 minutes from JR Shibuya station. Yakitori, shabu-shabu, Thai food, and other kinds of meat have all been gathered into one quaint bistro.
This is a great place to go after a long day of shopping. It offers delicious meat dishes and an endless variety of ice cold beer. On Friday and Saturday nights the restaurant is open until 5 AM. A great place to spend a long night in the town with friends.
5. Shibuya and Harajuku Shopping - Cat Street
The road that connects Shibuya to Harajuku is known as Cat Street. It is lined with fashionable people and trendy shops.A great place for fashion lovers, and a well-loved shopping and fashion inspiration destination.
The name "Cat Street" has its origins in the modern lore of Tokyo. Some people claiming that it is called this way because the street is long and narrow. Others say that this name is used because it makes it sound friendly and inviting.
6. Harajuku Shopping - Laforet
Laforet is a haven for youth fashion since it opened in 1978. Separated into half floors by wide staircases, Laforet Harajuku goes from the B 1.5th up to the 6th floor. The 6th floor is home to the Laforet Museum, which is an event space.
While the boutiques at Laforet tend to be targeted towards women in their twenties and thirties, but there are many stores with men's fashion and unisex shops as well. It is one of the most popular places in Harajuku to shop.
7. Harajuku Dining - Gonpachi NORI-TEMAKI
Temaki is a kind of sushi. "Te" means "hand" in Japanese and "maki" refers to "roll". Usually, people make it at home but at Gonpachi NORI-TEMAKI you can enjoy the comfort food made with daily fresh delivered ingredients and highest grade nori seaweed. They also offer other fresh fish and seafood dishes for an affordable price. A great place for Japanese style lunch or dinner in the Harajuku area.
8. Harajuku Cafe - Cafe Ron Ron
You can not mention Harajuku without mentioning sweets. Cafe Ron Ron is an all-you-can-eat sweets and snack cafe. The available sweets are cutely presented on a conveyor belt which is normally only reserved for conveyor belt sushi restaurants.
9. Omotesando Cafe - bunbougu cafe
From Tokyo Metro Omotesando station it is only about a 4-minute walk to the bunbougu cafe. The cafe has a great relaxed environment making it a great place for a quick lunch or coffee. They also offer a great selection of wines and cocktails if you just want to enjoy a relaxing evening there.
Bunbougu means stationary in Japanese and the real treat of the cafe is the available stationery. For a small fee, you are given a key to unlock the drawers at your seat and you are free to use the stationery within during your stay. The stationery comes from Japan and all over the world, so if you want to send a letter to someone why not make a stop here?
10. Omotesando Dining - bills
Located on the 7th floor of the Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku building you can find bills. A popular restaurant and cafe that specializes in international breakfasts with organic eggs and unique items like ricotta pancakes.
They have a different menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Each item is carefully prepared with high-quality, mostly organic ingredients. They recently renewed their menu to offer a variety of international with a Japanese twist
11. Omotesando Shopping - Aoyama Farmer's Market
Every Saturday you will find the Aoyama Farmer's Market in front of the United Nations University and 3 minutes walk from Tokyo Metro Omotesando station. At this market, you can find a bounty of fresh, organic, pesticide-free products ready to be taken home.
Every week the Farmer's Market gets crowded with locals and visitors alike. If you love fruits and vegetables and want to try the freshest produce Tokyo has to offer, you should definitely give this marked a try.