How to Walk Around Omotesando, Harajuku Area
The area of Omotesando and Harajuku is where countless people come and go. However, one street behind those large main avenues, there is a number of small alleys and some hideout-like
restaurants and stores, which often are delicious and stylish. So much so that, there are many branches of popular stores, and some new stores opening in this area. Also, people often
see a queue in front of the popular stores.
The birthplace of the Japanese “KAWAII” (cute) culture, Omotesando has world’s eminent high-end brand shops, and is adjacent to Harajuku as well. However, it also gives a different
taste in the atmosphere of the city compared to Harajuku. This time, the article introduces this Omotesando, Harajuku area known as a “City of Adults” where it is visited by
foreigners from all of the world.
What is Omotesando?
Omotesando and around Aoyama area stretching from Omotesando Station to “Meiji-jingu Shrine” is gaining popularity as a forerunner of the Japanese fashion, where numerous fashion
stores and fashionable shops gather. The nearest station in the Omotesando area is the “Omotesando Station” of Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line, Ginza Line, and Hanzomon Line. Harajuku
Station of JR Yamanote Line is also within walking distance from the Omotesando area. As well as being a very fashionable and modern area, this place is also known for having a good
access from all over Tokyo as many train lines have stops around this area.
The name of the Omotesando came from the fact that it used to be a pathway to the “Meiji-jingu Shrine,” as “sando” means pathway in Japanese. In Meiji-jingu Shrine, there is the
largest torii (divine gateway of a shrine) in Japan. From that large torii, there are pathways lined from North and South. The street leading to this south entrance is “Omotesando.”
Along the street, there are zelkova trees and are regularly maintained. Although many of zelkova trees planted in the Taisho era were destroyed at the time of the Tokyo Air Raid, the
zelkova trees planted again after the war has grown dramatically and is still popular as a symbol of Omotesando.
Omotesando is famous as a fashionable town
Along the boulevard such as Kotto-dori street and Aoyama Street which stretches east from Meiji-jingu Shrine, several roadside shops of famous brands line up. Also, there is
Omotesando Hills and the streets are becoming one of Japan’s leading shopping streets. No matter the weekends or weekdays, various people come to visit shopping here at Omotesando.
The Omotesando area’s landmark “Omotesando Hills” is a commercial facility with stores of many popular brands and cafes. The residential area just behind Omotesando Hills also have
a number of little shops. Although Omotesando is the center of the city, its residential area is very quiet and peaceful. In addition, there are some unique stores where they utilize
a room in an apartment or the area of the first floor.
Also for being close to Harajuku, there are specialty boutiques and clothing stores targeting young women as well. It is an area for young ladies who are passionate in fashion and
like “kawaii” items.
Meeting places around Omotesando Station
● In front of Omotesando Koban (Police box)
It is also known to foreigners as Omotesando police box. This has been in this area for somewhat long time, and is also famous for having very kind policemen. Just in front of the A3
exit of Tokyo Metro Omotesando Station.
●Spiral Cafe Omotesando
Located in Aoyama, Spiral Cafe Omotesando has the distinguishing appearance. It is inside of Spiral building, and a casual cafe surrounded by art galleries, which is available all day
for lunch, tea time and dinner. The recommended menu is the freshly baked souffle pancake. Spiral Cafe Omotesando is 1 minute walk from Tokyo Metro Omotesando Station B1 exit or B3
●Oak Omotesando entrance
It is a complex which was built on the former site of Hanae Mori Building, which includes Emporio Armani, Coach, Three Dots and etc. There is also a cafe in the store of Armani. It is
in front of the Tokyo Metro Omotesando Station A1 exit.
How to walk around Omotesando
“Omotesando” is a street extending straight from the Jingu-bashi bridge intersection near Harajuku Station of JR Yamanote Line to Aoyama Street. It only Ginza and Omotesando where
there are such a number of stores with high-end brands in Tokyo. Many of those shops’ interior and exterior are designed by famous architects or designers. It is already enjoyable
just looking at those buildings. Also, by just going one street across the large streets, there are numerous stylish specialty boutiques, variety stores, and second handed clothing
stores which have been existing in this area for decades.
The classic ways to enjoy Omotesando area is first, to get off at Harajuku Station and take a walk around Meiji-jingu Shrine and Takeshita Street. Then start shopping down the slope
to the Omotesando / Aoyama area.
1. Shopping at Omotesando
Omotesando Hills is a complex facility which holds multiple fashionable shops and boutiques. The major example would be the headquarter of “shu uemura,” and Omotesando Hills is one
of the trademarks of Omotesando. Throughout the year, it holds several events as well.
●4-12-10, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
■La Foret Harajuku
Located at the intersection of Omotesando and Meiji-dori Street, “La foret Harajuku” is one of the major landmarks in this area for youths. Since it is open, it has been playing a
role to drive the fashion trends in Tokyo. Even now, it is gaining popularity as a fashion mecca that deals with various genres. “La Foret” means “forest” in French.
“La Foret Harajuku”
●1-11-6, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
A shop with a mysterious appearance that suddenly appears along Omotesando is “Oriental Bazaar.” Inside the shop, there are goods and items of what foreigners imagine about Japan.
As well as some Japanese style miscellaneous goods, there are some very interesting products made with very unique ideas. It is well known to foreigners and almost all the people from
abroad visit here when they come to Omotesando.
●5-9-13. Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
■Kiddy Land Harajuku Store
Kiddy Land Harajuku Store is a long-established toy specialty shop, which has a history of 70 years. It is a popular spot for foreign tourists. In addition to the abundant collection
of the character toys, the recommendation here is “Ninja umbrella.” This umbrella looks as if a katana that ninja holds when the umbrella is folded. It might be a good souvenir.
“Kiddy Land Harajuku Store”
●6-1-9, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
■Princess one Spoon TOKYO
When entering Meiji-dori Street from the side, there is a building like a castle. It is “Princess one Spoon TOKYO” where there are products such as princess theme accessories,
fashion products and sweets. There is a clock hanging in the gate of the building pointing “23:59,” which is the time right before the cinderella's magic dispels.
“Princess one Spoon TOKYO”
●Jingumae S Building, 4-27-4, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
■PICNIC Harajuku Store
The big attraction of “PICNIC Harajuku Store” is that there are plenty of kinds of toys and squeezes (* 1) that are very popular. Because they sell almost every kind of squeezes,
some people visit here just to get them. It is also popular as their products is usually around 500 yen which is very affordable.
(1 *) Squeeze: toys that stretches, with food or animals’ motif
“PICNIC Harajuku Store”
●Le Ponte Building 1st floor, 1-14-2, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
■AWESOME STORE Harajuku/Omotesando Store
“AWESOME STORE” is a household goods store selling interior, kitchens, dining, stationery, aroma goods and etc at very low prices. As the store's name suggests, this store’s
abundant inventory and the low price is “AWESOME!”
“AWESOME STORE Harajuku/Omotesando Store”
●Omotesando IIDA Building 1F / B1F, 5-8-7, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
■HYSTERIC MINI Harajuku main store
“HYSTERIC MINI Harajuku main store” was born as a kid’s version of the popular apparel brand “HYSTERIC GLAMOR.” This children’s clothing brand is popular for its colorful and
vivid design. The design with the concept of subculture from the 1960s to the 1980s and the trademark character “Mini” are very popular among mothers who would like their children
to have distinguishing clothing.
“HYSTERIC MINI Harajuku main store”
●6-15-17, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
■Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square
“Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square” is where traditional craft items all over Japan are gathered. It is Japan's only gallery & shop where traditional craft items are collected
from all over the country. Within the shop, there are around 3,500 traditional crafts and some are designated by the Minister of Economy as an important cultural craft.
“Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square”
●1F 8-1-22, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
2.Date spots in Omotesando
Yoyogi Park is one of the most spacious parks in Tokyo. You can enjoy cherry blossoms in spring, forest bathing in summer, and falling leaves in autumn. A date here would provide the
sensation of the different seasons in Japan.
■Meiji-jingu Shrine Imperial Garden
If you plan to visit Meiji-jingu Shrine, coming to Meiji-jingu Shrine Imperial Garden (gyoen) as well is recommended. It is inside the perimeter of the shrine. Especially in this
garden, “Kiyomasa no Ido” is a popular place as a power spot. It is a well that is known to have a positive effect on the ‘relationships.’ People often say that putting a picture
of the well to the wallpaper of your phone brings a good fortune. Don’t forget to take a picture when you visit!
■Ura- Harajuku & Cat Street
Ura-Harajuku & Cat street is a shopping area spreading in between Harajuku and Omotesando stations. Unlike lively Takeshita Street, this area is calm and quiet, and unique shops are
scattered around. It is a recommendation area that you can enjoy enough with window shopping.
Watarium Museum is a private museum that handles a lot of contemporary art founded in 1990. The eye-catching building of the museum is designed by a Swiss architect Mario Botta. The
museum is often hosting a number of exhibitions for internationally active artists. Its exhibition is based on their own concepts, and there are ones for contemporary arts,
architectures, pictures and designs.
■Aoyama Cemetery Garden
Aoyama Cemetery Garden has a vast site with the area of about 260,000 square meters. It is also famous as a viewing spot for cherry blossoms. Because it is a cemetery, its cherry
blossoms viewing is very quiet, which is very unique. However, since it is a cemetery after all, the manner here is exceptionally important.
3. Sightseeing in Omotesando
Meiji-jingu Shrine, celebrating the 100th anniversary in 2020 is a shrine that enshrines Emperor Meiji and his Empress dowager Shoken (Emperor Meiji's wife). It is also known as
having the largest number of visitors in Hatsumode (first shrine visits during the New Year). In the precincts of approximately 700,000 square meters, there is a rich nature even
though it is a middle of the city. People can even enjoy forest bathing here.
■Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum
Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum was opened as a memorial hall at a place where he once used as an atelier and residence for 50 years. Mr. Taro Okamoto, an abstract artist is known for
creations such as “The Tower of the Sun” produced for and at the Osaka Expo. There is a number of vivid and energetic art pieces lined up in the hall which reminds of Taro Okamoto’
It is an art museum exhibiting mainly specialized in antiques of Japan and Asia. Not to mention the wide range of the genre of exhibits, it also has a large garden that covers over
17,000 square meters. There are many sites such as tea room and bamboo grove in the garden. Also, there is a cafe, so people can have a relaxing time here.
It is a shrine dedicated to the famous Navy soldier, Togo Heihachiro in Meiji and Taisho era. Now he is known as “the god of victory,” and people who want to win something, such as
examinees come here to visit to get its benefits.
Takeshita Street is where there is a number of shops for youths with affordable price. It is also an origin of the word “KAWAII.” Not only Japanese teenagers, but also a number of
overseas tourists visit here as well as Harajuku and Omotesando. Takeshita Street is one of the places that represents Tokyo.
4. Meals at Omotesando
Based on medicinal cuisine for Cantonese cuisine, “Minami-Aoyama Essence” is popular for the healthy Chinese cuisine that does not use chemical seasoning at all. The root of
medicinal sauce has the idea that living according to the change of nature leads to curing. Also, there also is an idea that the first step to live healthy life is to eat seasonal
ingredients. Seafood is fresh from fish markets, and the meat is selected carefully for safety and security. Wines are purchased from the winery in Tochigi Prefecture, and old vintage
and other wines compatible with Chinese dishes are popular as well.
In the relaxing space of the restaurant, the elaborate Chinese cuisines that heal both your body and heart.
Sophisticated and calm atmosphere of the restaurant.
They put considerate effort on keeping the ingredients fresh and safe. Also, in order to emphasize the original tastes of the ingredients, no chemical ingredients or food additives
are used to cook it.
●1:30-16:00（L.O. 15:30）, 18:00-23:00（L.O. 22:00）
●No scheduled holidays
■Napule Minami-Aoyama main store
“Napule” is a restaurant where you can enjoy a variety of appetizers and dishes based on South Italian regional cuisine, including authentic Napoli pizza. Pizza has a well-balanced
among flavor, fragrance, sweetness and saltiness. It is famous that the dough is delicious enough to have it itself. Among all pizza, Margherita is crispy outside, rich in taste, and
is a menu that can enjoy the taste of wheat. A lunch menu with 10 different kinds of flavors of pizza is also popular.
“Napule” a restaurant where people can enjoy delicious pizzas right off of the Omotesando Station.
The interior of the restaurant which is based on a small trattoria in a port town in Italy.
The restaurant uses the original kiln made by one of the famous pizza kiln craftsmen in Naples, Ferrara family for two generations.
Have it warm! Delicious “Margherita of buffalo mozzarella cheese”
“Buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomato caprese”
“Tagliata with charcoal grilled beef” with arugula and Parmigiano.
Napule’s one of the popular menu, “Tagliatelle” with cream sauce using pesticide-free lemon. It is an exquisite dish with thick cream and the freshness of the lemon with al dente
“Napule Minami-Aoyama main store”
●Lunch: Monday-Friday 11:30-14:00 (L.O.), Saturday, Sunday and Holidays 11:30-14:30(L.O.) / Dinner: 17:30-22:00(L.O.)
Areas around Omotesando
Shibuya is a downtown area in the center of Japan's capital, Tokyo. It is the birthplace of youth culture in Japan. It is always at the forefront of fashion trends and also the center
of culture for young people. A lot of subcultures were born here from Shibuya.Harajuku
Harajuku is the birthplace of “Kawaii” culture unique to Japan. There are many products here that are only sold here. It is a city where young people gather together with very
unique styles of clothing.
Shinjuku is known as one of the leading entertainment areas in Japan, with large facilities. Shinjuku is different cities with different attractions at the day and night. Even the
different areas make a large difference on how to enjoy this city. This city’s charm is that only at this city, many can be experienced
How to get to Omotesando
It is convenient to use the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line and Hanzomon Line to reach Omotesando. In addition, in the neighbouring stations, there are JR Yamanote Line at Harajuku Station,
and Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line at Meiji Jingumae Station. It also has access to sightseeing spots such as Shinjuku and Tokyo station terminals, as well as downtown attractions such
as Asakusa, Oshiage and Ueno. Next to Omotesando, there is a Shibuya Station, which has a good access to some long-distance transportations including airport limousine buses that head
to Narita and Haneda. Also, in Shinjuku that is two stops away from Harajuku Station, there is a large-scale bus terminal where express/highway buses arrive and depart from all over
Summary of Omotesando
During the Edo period (1603 - 1868), around Omotesando was the place where the Daimyo Yashiki (residence of Japanese aristocrats) spread. Then “Meiji-jingu Shrine” was born. From
around 1960 it changed its appearance to fashion town, and now it has developed as an area with some strong impressions. Why do not you visit Omotesando where latest products in Tokyo
*This information was last updated on September 3, 2018. For details please contact store and facilities directly.
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