Wandering Around: Harajuku
Walking for hours with no particular plan on a day off, seems the perfect plan to me. And the best part is that it will allow me to discover unexpected things.
If by any chance, you are considering taking the streets of Harajuku, and you are also open to find the unexpected, I will definitely recommend you to explore some of the many treasures that the trendy area offers. Of course, keep your agenda wide free and follow your own instincts.
If you like exercising (cycling, running, walking, doing yoga) start your day at Yoyogi Park. It is the perfect combination of training and contemplating the nature and the locals in a pure way. Groups of students, moms and their kids, lonely explorers, artists and even birdwatchers are some of the highlights.
Before reaching the streets, modern buildings and big crowds, please move from the Park to the Meiji Shrine. This famous and ancient Shinto Shrine will help you to relax and recharge energy after your work out. This is one of those special and unique places where you might feel in another world. Take a deep breath, move slowly, listen to the sounds of nature or even the silence and let the surroundings take you far away.
Once you are ready for your next move, stroll down Takeshita-dori, this street is famous for its wild teen trends. I am sure that after some minutes you will find yourself taking pictures of teenagers wearing particular outfits and make up. I would love to tell you more, but, like in the movies, it is not good to tell how stories end.
If you skipped breakfast, do as the 15 year-old girls do in Harajuku: try the sweet crêpes. My favorite: double chocolate ice cream, cream and custard. This is Takeshita’s official street food. Or, once you are in Omotesando street, stop by “Choco Cro Café” and buy one, or even two or three warm croissants with chocolate inside. I hope you love it as much as I do.
Omotesando is a beautiful boulevard full of green trees, high-end fashion stores, beautiful cafés and cool restaurants. It may remind you the Champs Elysees, but in Tokyo.
If you have kids, or your friends have kids, or there are kids in your family, it might be worth to stop by “Kiddy Land”. A whole world for kids under 12 years old. Five full floors for children. I can guarantee you that you won’t leave the shop with your hands empty.
Just next to Kiddy Land, there is a side street called Cats Street, it is a pedestrian narrow street full of new designer stores. If you walk for 15 to 20 minutes you will arrive at the famous, crowded, trendy and bright Shibuya. At this point, after so much walking and shopping, you might be considering taking a taxi back home. And I agree with you: you deserve it!
Last but not least, after arriving at the comfort of your home or hotel, you might start thinking that you need to go back. There is so much to discover, to see, to shop, to try on… so, a full day might not be enough.