Translated by Dan
Cat Street: Fresh Boutique Fashions
Written by Takuro Komatsuzaki
Want to walk from Shibuya to Harajuku, but don't want to suffer through the crowds? Head to Cat Street where you can shop as you walk at some amazing boutiques.
If you are walking from Shibuya to Harajuku, then you may see lots of stylish people suddenly breaking away from the main road and heading down a narrower, more crowded street. If you are feeling brave enough to head down that way too, you will find yourself on a street full of amazing boutiques and gorgeous cafes - a purr-fect place to shop.
Cat Street is the nickname for the road connecting Shibuya and Harajuku; this road takes one towards Miyashita Park on Meiji Street and near the Shibuya Welfare Center for the Disabled.
This street is the perfect segue from the bright lights of Shibuya to the fashion-forward, individualistic shops of Harajuku. It has been constantly adapted and is now a rather upmarket home to some of the best Japanese and international brands that cater to fashion-conscious youth.
Origin of Cat Street
There isn't an easy answer to this question as theories abound as to its origins. Some popular theories to the name's origin are: because there are stray cats everywhere, because the street is as narrow as a cat's forehead, or even because there are an unusually high number of black cats in this area.
Whatever the case, this street was consolidated in 1964 in time with the first Tokyo Olympics and has been a hotspot ever since.
Enjoying Japanese fashion in Cat Street!
Another name for Cat Street is Ura-Harajuku, 'ura' meaning back or behind. A perfect description as Cat Street runs parallel to the main streets and as a result is slightly less crowded (except on weekends and holidays) and not as well-known to those from outside the Tokyo area.
If you are interested in Japanese fashion of any style, it is definitely worth going here because there are just too many flagship stores and individual boutiques to mention in a single article. You just have to see Cat Street for yourself to believe it.
And when you find yourself tired from all the shopping, there are plenty of delicious cafes, bars and restaurants tucked throughout the area to take a break at. You might even discover a truly unique dining experience to match your shopping.
Address: Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Nearest station: Shibuya Station (渋谷駅) or Harajuku Station (原宿駅), most lines
Access: 5 minute walk from Shibuya station, begins near Miyashita park on Meiji street to near Shibuya Welfare Facility for the Disabled.