Along with Akihabara, Shibuya, and Shinjuku, Harajuku (原宿) is one of the most popular spots to visit in Tokyo, and for good reason: there is no shortage of things to do and check out―from crêpes, idol shops, and purikura, to Meiji Jingū, Yoyogi Park, and cat cafes. It’s generally known as the Lolita fashion capital of Japan. The most popular area is Takeshita Street (竹下通り; Takeshita-dōri), where you will find tons of stores selling super kawaii fashion. But there’s plenty more to see and do in Harajuku that will have you passing those crêpe stands in search of these other awesome destinations!
[CAUTION: We’re pretty sure that most of the below-linked websites will totally cause seizures and/or head explosions. You’ve been warned.―ed.]
If you head down Takeshita Street, you’ll undoubtedly come across tons of people standing around with this Instagram-worthy giant rainbow cotton candy! The shop sells candy, adorable cake pops, and colorful cotton candy. Candy sells for 4.5 yen (roughly 4 cents) a gram and includes gummies, hard candies, chocolates, and marshmallows. Cake pops are handmade and 400 yen ($3.50US) a piece. The cotton candy is 300 yen for single-color and up to 900 yen for the Harajuku Special (approx. $2.60 and $7.80US, respectively). You can choose either a cone or heart shape. The best thing about the Totti Candy Factory is that you can enjoy it even if you’re not in Tokyo, as it also has locations in Osaka and Nagoya!
2. Kawaii Monster Café
Tokyo is known to have tons of special cafes, and the Kawaii Monster Café is every bit Harajuku-bright-colors-and-cuteness as possible, and is themed around monsters. It’s designed by Sebastian Masuda, the man behind the whimsical visuals in Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s music videos. There are several different areas where you can purchase food and drink―Mushroom Disco, Milk Stand, Mel-Tea Room, and Bar Experiment―and you can get a Harajuku-worthy photo in front of a giant “sweets-go-round” cake. The cafe definitely does not disappoint with the décor: giant macaroons, glowing jellyfish, rainbow mushrooms, baby milk bottles, and giant rabbit, sheep, and unicorn heads. You will feel like you fell down the rabbit hole into Wonderland! The waitresses are also dressed as monsters and will interact with you. The cafe is 500 yen to enter, and food and drinks range from 720 to 2800 yen (approx. $6~25US).
3. 6%DOKIDOKI (６％ドキドキ)
Also by Sebastian Masuda is 6%DOKIDOKI (“Roku-percent doki-doki”), which opened in 1995 and is considered to be the pioneer of the “sensational kawaii” movement. True to his style and the spirit of Harajuku, you’ll find a brightly-colored selection of Harajuku fashion, including both crazy and super-cute designs, and even $166 unicorn scarves! The shop sells unique products that can also be purchased online.
4. Laser Trap (超密室レーザートラップ)
Located at the entrance of Takeshita Street is Chō-misshitsu Laser Trap, a fun laser-based game. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get around the lasers to touch various buttons and score points―but touch one of the lasers, and game over, man! There are various difficulty levels, plus a board which displays high scores to beat. Prices start from 300 yen per “mission”. Fifteen minutes of unlimited play is priced at 2400 yen, while 25 minutes is 4000 yen (online reservations only), so you can chose how much you want to spend.
5. Condomania (コンドマニア)
If you’re into collecting wacky souvenirs, look no further than Condomania―which may seem a bit strange being in the middle of the cute capital of Tokyo. You can stock up on condoms as well as hilarious toys to bring along to your next bachelor party. But it’s not all fun and games: the shop also advocates against the spread of STDs and encourages you to be safe with its condom mascots.
Other fun places to check out include the LINE Friends Store, selling products of your favorite LINE characters; Calbee Plus Chips, which sells unique flavors of chips like maple syrup and cream cheese; and Body Line, a costume and cosplay fashion store. Of course the fun doesn’t stop there―there’s always something to do in Harajuku. If you’re looking for even more fun and exciting things to do in and around Harajuku, try out the Izanau Concierge service!
Use the Izanau Concierge service – Japanese “omotenashi” at its finest!
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