Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tekshitadoori, Harajuku, a guide to my favorite places in Tokyo 「1」

Before I return to my country, I think I'd like to visit my favorite places in Tokyo, take pictures, and make a somewhat 'guide'-ish post about them. There'll be four places; Ikebukuro, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Harajuku. All of them are accessible by Yamanote Lines which is why I'd like to set Shinjuku Station as starting point. As the title said, this post will be covering Harajuku, this won't cover all Harajuku but more into Takeshita Doori and extending a little bit to La Foret.
There're two ways that I recommend to reach Harajuku:
  • JR Station Shinjuku Yamanote Lines Platform 14 (bounds for Shibuya, Shinagawa)
    Shinjuku - Yoyogi - Harajuku
    130 JPY
    4 minutes
  • On foot from Shibuya
    30 minutes

Whether you believe it or not, my favorite way is the second way; on foot from Shibuya. While some of my friend whine about it, I find the distant to be normal and not that painstakingly long (maybe it's because I'm used to walking here, I have to walk 20 minutes to the nearest Keio Station after all). The plus point is that there're many interesting shops along the way like JINs (glasses stores), Burberry Blue Label, Jill Stuart, Baby The Star Shines Bright, and some other shops, that sadly, is out of my budget lol. Beside, it's just a straight walk and does not require you to make confusing turns. But if you're from Shinjuku, then just take the train bounds for Shibuya/Shinagawa and hop down after Yoyogi.

Once you hopped down the train, there'll be two exits; Main Exit which welcomed you with GAP and an accessory store, and Takeshitadoori Exit which will greet you with views like these;
The entrance to Takeshitadoori. The two women on top are symbolic because it's basically what you'll do in Takeshitadoori; shop. Personally, I found clothes and items sold in Takeshitadoori to be cheaper than anywhere else you can find in Tokyo, of course the price differs according to the brands but I found the average of them to be cheaper than, say, Kichijouji or Shibuya. There are some items that you can only find here so this place is a must visit if you come to Tokyo to shop.
Because I came here on weekdays, the street was not as crowded. Yes, I said; this is not crowded. In weekends, it's like throwing yourself into the sea of humans and let the flow carry you. Honestly, I hate to visit Harajuku in weekends because of this sole reason. They have McDonalds and two cafes across, so if you're hungry and want to fill your belly first, you might make an early stop here at the entrance and eat. There's a stair leading to a basement room filled with purikura machines next by a crepe stand, the place was kind of hidden but if you want to take purikura, then just go down.
Walk a little bit more will lead you to this Harada Clothing Store. They have many good items and they're cheap! for Japanese clothing standard by the way. Also, this store have clothes for bot male and female. On its left side (unseen in the picture) is a stocking and socks store kutsuya and on the right is a shoe store (you have to go down the stairs) I visited this place once and they're kind of pricey but once they're on sale, they're no kidding. Next to the shoes store is a store called Lovx(?), they sold many vintage looking clothes and they have the cutest bags ever. Across Harada Store is Paris Kid, an all 315 JPY accessory store. They have so many beautiful accessories from headbands to piercings and they're all 315 JPY! Very cheap so it's a must go for me.
kWalk again from where we were and across Lovx is Wonder Rocket store. Wonder Rocket used to be my favorite store until their release started to go sour for me aka. they're disappointing. Still, I love the atmosphere of their store more than Liz Lisa's store. They have the best store layout with whimsical and forest theme, vintage interiors, white woods, the dreamy atmosphere, this is probably the only store that makes me visit just to adore the interiors than the clothes lol.
Walk again and I think we had MOMO store and a very nice store which name I don't remember before arriving in front of Tutuanna. I also recommend those two stores by the way. As for Tutuanna, please take my advice seriously; buy a pair of undergarment in Japan or you will regret it. I'm being serious. Tutuanna is my favorite place to buy socks, stockings, and sleepwear. They have these 3 items for 1050 JPY going around all year and it's a nice deal. Make sure that the item you purchase is included in this campaign. Underwear is not included tho.
There's a big underwear store after Tutuanna and walking a little bit more will lead you to these two crepe parlor. Personally, I do not get the crepe hype in Harajuku because they taste blah to me. But if you're a sucker for Harajuku Crepes, then you may join the line. They have menus and numbers on display and mention the number when the cashier asked you, not the name of item. They understand English too so you don't have to worry about it. I found they understand it better if you spoke in English than in sloppy Japanese lol. On the second floor of Marion Crepes is bodyline, the store for all lolita lover. They're cheaper than brands like, say, BTSSB or AP. They also have bigger size of shoes, I almost cried in joy when I found i fit into their shoes with no difficulty.
There's another crepes store called this Burlesque Crepes. Basically, there're three crepes store in a very close proximity and the choice is up to you. There's a convenience store right across this crepes store (a family mart, I think) and a accessory store which always have a wallet and pouch sale in front of the store.
Liz Lisa, I think the picture is self-explanatory. The second floor is JugETTA store and the coat rack on the right side is JugETTA's coats. I forgot to mention that all stores in Takeshitadoori is cramped. Walking inside the store is not an easy thing and for famous brand like Liz Lisa, walking inside is a little bit of hassle. The way is narrow and you have to either wait patiently until someone move away or just make your own way by pushing and pulling. I don't recommend the later anyways, just pray that there won't be many people when you come.
This candy store is a part of newly built store complex. The smell of candy is overflowing and it was too strong for me so I had to leave the store and wait outside for my friends who was buying candy inside. They're sold for 420 JPY per 100 g  and you shove many different kinds of candies into your plastic bag. The staff always have their recommended items for sampling (of course for free).
After the candy store, there are not many store that I particularly like and fond of so I just took random pictures. Walking from Candy Store will lead you to the biggest MOMO Store(5 stories high with Wonder Rocket in the basement) , Sango, No Fall (cheap shoes ahoy! Must visit for cheap shoes), Pink something store (it's a store targeting elementary and junior high students but they have nice items in there), Freegia, and a new store at the end of Takeshitadoori that sells many vintage looking items, the downside is they're kind of pricey. There's a loterria by the end of the street, a kebab parlor on its right and on its left side, there's a stairs downstairs leading to an all you can eat.

After exiting Takeshitadoori, you can either cross the street to Harajuku Street which has many good stores and while Takeshitadoori targets younger people, this street obviously have adult market to cater. The atmosphere is very different from Takeshitadoori and reminds me of Shimokitazawa a bit.

If you want to go to La Foret, H&M, or Forever 21, or just chilling in Starbucks, then do not cross the street and turn right, there's a Starbucks right on your side. Walk straight and you'll see H&M and Forever 21 side by side. If you don't feel like dropping here then waaaalk again and you'll see this on your right side;
Cafe Crepe of La Foret, and this on your left side;
Congratulation, you're now in front of La Foret! Wait no more and make your way inside the building. My friend always recommend La Foret for me and I had sky high hope but upon entering, I'm disappointed because they only store that make me stay for more than a minutes was the Laduree Beauty Store. I think the store inside suits the taste of lolita folks more than me (style indecisive folk lol). So if you're into lolita, then I think this place is a must visit for you!
If you cross the street to where Lotteria and Jonathan is, you will see the views above. The right path of where I was standing when I took this picture lead to Omotesando, it's pretty much like Ginza with all high end brands stores everywhere. You can make turn to the right if you wanted to visit Omotesando or turn 180 degrees and walk straight to Shibuya. Yes, walk all the way to Shibuya, just walk straight, follow the path and you'll eventually arrive at Shibuya. OR you can cross the street to your left side and follow the path until you arrive at Meiji Jinguu.

As for myself, that day, I return back to Takeshitadoori and go home because I still had class on Friday (I make a visit on Thursday). This conclude my Takeshitadoori-Harajuku post, next I'll be covering Shibuya. If you had any question, feel free to leave your question below!
7 comments on " Tekshitadoori, Harajuku, a guide to my favorite places in Tokyo 「1」 "
  1. I look forward to this series of posts!
    Last time I was in Japan, I was mainly in Kobe and only got to visit Tokyo for 2 days. The first day, I ventured out by myself (idk wtf) and caught the subway directly to Shibuya 109 from the hotel where I bought armfuls of bags of clothes, and then had to decide if I wanted to go straight to Takeshitadoori or back to the hotel to drop off and then back out. I decided to go straight and that was probably my mistake.
    It was really hard to navigate 1. by myself in a place I've never been before in a foreign country 2. with all of my purchases I already made 3. while it was raining, wtf. I got to the Liz Lisa (only the main floor because I was afraid of what was upstairs lol) and I think maybe tried on some clothes in ANAP and looked at a few more stores while trying not to knock anything over but didn't end up buying a lot because I was so exhausted + I was solo and couldn't remark about anything to anyone else lol. I also didn't want to get lost considering that no one had any way of reaching me and I was pretty far from anyone who might know that I was missing.
    I think I might have walked to the end of the street, but only to say that I did, and didn't even consider what was beyond it even though I was looking for the F21 lol. After that, I got back to the subway station and dragged my feet back to the hotel to rest my feet and realize how much I had spent lol.
    Anyway, I plan/hope to go back later this year and this post is really helpful because even though I've kind of been here before, due to my (shopping) fatigue and limited time, I didn't have a chance to really explore and actually see all that I could have or know what was beyond Takeshitadoori itself. Thanks :)

    1. Oh my...it sounds horrible....Takeshitadoori during rain is absolutely horrible, since everyone take Shelter everywhere, unless you're fast, you won't be able to find your own place, not to mention with the amount of people, trying to run to find a shelter is impossible --"
      You're welcome! The street itself is actually easy, just follow the main street (unlike Shibuya which could be quiet tricky if you're not used to it) and you'll eventually reach the end of the street (the norm is turn right for another stores). It's the mass of people, ugh, I hate going there on weekend and I really recommend you if you wanted to explore this street, it's better to do it on weekdays.

    2. Haha well luckily I had a small umbrella and since it was during rainy season, all of my shopping bags were either plastic or had its own plastic poncho + there was a warning drizzle at first so it's wasn't horrible, but still not the best. Hopefully when I go, I'll be able to spend more time in Tokyo shopping rather than the maybe 4 hours I did last time. *such regret*
      Thanks again for all the detail you included. I really can't wait for the other installments :)

  2. lovely pictures. you had a wonderful trip!
    I wish I could go to Tokyo too one day.


  3. I would love to shop there one day, most likely on a weekday. I can't believe that's not crowded! *_* I am looking forward to your next few post, I can't wait! :)

  4. This post is really handy with good instructions! My sister wants to go to Tokyo one day! I will show her this post! Good job :D

  5. Great Pictures ^_^ I'm bookmarking this for when I go to Tokyo...one day!!!