5. Harajuku / Omotesando
Harajuku is the most fashionable place to be. The place, where young Japanese designers open up their little shops, and fashionistas meet up for the Fashion Walk. If you’ve ever heard of “Kawaii“, this is where the Kawaii culture is beeing embraced to the fullest. (Harajuku is home to the Kawaii Monster Café for a good reason)
The “Takeshita Dori” – Takeshita Street is a shop filled little street right in front of the Harajuku station. If you pass the street, you will soon arrive in Omotesando. A quiet bigger street with lots of Luxury Brands at the main street, but if you just walk through side passages & through the neighbourhoods, you can explore many little shops. Take the chance to get a piece there, because it probably exists only once! (Takeshita see above!)
Of course there are many other shops like H&M etc. Definitely take a look at one of many thrift shops. Japanese take very good care of their clothes, they might look like they were never worn! And if you’re lucky, you’ll even find a cheap, second-hand Dior Dress! (Honestly, you can!)
If you’re done shopping and need to relax, you can take a break in one of many Cat Cafés. In case you’re not into cats, you can try the Dog, Hedgehog, Bunny or Owl Café (& Many more).
Ginza is a place to go, if you have money – there are lots of department & foreign luxury brand stores, luxury restaurants and car shops (more like car ‘showrooms‘). If you don’t like that “high fashion”-thing like I do, I’d still recommend you to go! In some department stores, you can go up to the rooftop and have a crazy amazing view over Tokyo, without having to buy something. I even found a shrine once on top of a building! (Ginza SIX GARDEN)
You can also find some very luxurious Japanese Brands, decoration their stores in a very beautiful traditional Japanese way.
Anime fans may already know this place – Akihabara is the Anime – and electronic district of Tokyo. You can find all the nerdy stuff here. If you’re a gamer, this is also the place to go. There is a huge amount of electronic stores, enough to build your own computer! And also, of course anime & manga stores and even a couple of cosplay stores.
The famous Maid Café’s which are always a big thing in TV documentarys about how crazy Japan is, this is where they are located. If you’re looking for a culture shock, definitely come here! (I’m a huge Anime fan, so this was more like heaven to me than anything near a “shock”)
My actual favorite district of Tokyo since it has a little bit of everything. But especially known for it’s nightlife and entertainment. Lots of karaoke bars, clubs, restaurants and bars. People will tell women to “Take Care” there at night, since there are many outgoing people. But it’s also a nice place for shopping, during the daytime. The station is said to be the biggest train station in Japan.
I always recommend this district, if someone would ask me where to stay in Tokyo. Since the station is so big, you have many entrances to enter all around the station and of course very good train connections. Furthermore, there are many shops that are open 24/7, good restaurants and a shopping district, and it’s all close to the station.
One famous restaurant around the area is The Robot Restaurant. You can pre-order the tickets, or just go there and ask for availability in front of it, since it’s more like a ‘Robot Show’ than a restaurant.
Besides the nightlife (Kabukicho area), Shinjuku also offers a skyscraper area, including the Metropolitan Government Building. A nice place to have a free & nice view over Tokyo. There’s an elevator bringing you to the observation deck on the 45th floor – for free!
Shibuya is probably one of Tokyo’s most well known districts and home to the infamous Shibuya Crossing. The crossing is known to be the busiest crossing in the world, with over 2.4 Million people crossing this street every day. It is also a famous Movie Scenery spot (such as seen in “Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift“, “Lost in Translation“, “Resident Evil“. The crossing, right at the “Hachiko Exit” of the station, is surrounded by big colorful screens, which look amazing day & night.
Shibuya is also a nice spot for shopping and many restaurants. Especially theme resaurants or theme café’s with extravagant interiors are located in this area. There are also a couple of night clubs around.
You probably saw the movie, or know the true story of the dog Hachiko, who waited at the station everyday, even after his owner has passed away. That’s right, this is the station where that famous dog has waited. They made a tribute in form of a Statue of Hachiko at the station, make sure to not miss it!