Harajuku; fashion, crowds & chaos

Looking for something to do on a lazy Sunday morning in Tokyo? Jump on a train and head for Harajuku which is very close to the upmarket area of Omotosando.

Harajuku Station is on the JR Yamanote Line which is an easy way to get to there. My favourite place to stay in Tokyo is the Granbell Hotel in Shibuya, which is only about a 20 minute walk to Harajuku.

Both Omotosando and Harajuka are well known fashion shopping districts.  Takeshita Street in Harajuku is 400 meters long and rather narrow, lined with shops, boutiques & cafes it is frequented by thousands of Tokyo’s teenagers.  Check out the photos below and you will see what I mean, it gets very busy indeed on weekends.

Of course the “Harajuko Girls” are rather famous, partly due to Gwen Stefani’s music videos. It’s very much like a teenage cult, young girls (and some boys) dress up in various fashion forms called Gothic Lolita, Decora, Ganguro, Kogal, Wanomo etc. Just Google those names to see the fascinating “way out” individual styles. 

They gather around the station Sunday mornings and offer a fantastic photo opportunity. I believe however the police have been cracking down on loitering recently so they may not be as prevalent as before, which is a real shame as they certainly are a unique and interesting example of Japanese teenage culture.

Close by is the Togo shrine named after Admiral Togo who defeated the Russian fleet in 1905. It’s very popular for traditional Japanese weddings, I so so lucky on my first trip there in 2007 to be able to witness one of these beautiful ceremonies.

There are also parks plazas, museums & other shrines in Harajuko, put it on your Tokyo bucket list for an experience that will stay with you forever.

Here is my “Harajuko Girls” photo blog,

Granbell Hotel Shibuya, a perfect location,

Review by David Herd,



Photos from Harajuku; fashion, crowds & chaos