Harajuku: 17 Best Things to Do in 2021

From Kawaii Fashion to Meiji Shrine, Best Things to Do in Harajuku Tokyo

Harajuku (原宿) is one of must-visit districts in Tokyo for every tourits along with its neighbouring districts: Shinjuku and Shibuya.

Harajuku is best known as the Mecca of Tokyo Kawaii culture, and it’s the center of young fashion in Tokyo. The ultimate shopping paradise offers colourful and trendy fashion items as well as unique attractions and entertainments such as eye-popping instagram-worthy street food, unique themed cafes and cool streetscape.

Besides shopping, fashion and eat-out options, Harajuku is home to one of the most important shrines in Japan, Meiji Shrine.

From the latest fashion trend to the magnificent historic monument, here are the best things to do in Harajuku, Tokyo in 2021!

1. Meiji Shrine

The torii gate of Meiji Shrine

Dedicated to the deity of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, Meiji Shrine or Meiji Jingu (明治神宮) is the most visited shrine in Japan and one of the most popular landmarks in Tokyo. The shrine is located on the west of Harajuku Station and it’s adjacent to Yoyogi Park.

More info ▶ Meiji Shrine: Most Popular Landmark in Harajuku

2. Takeshita Street

Takeshita Street in Harajuku is filled with tourists

Feel the real vibe of Harajuku! Takeshita Dori or Takeshita Street (竹下通り) is a pedestrian street known as the center of Tokyo’s teenage culture. The lively shopping street is filled with hundreds of shops and eateries offering a wide variety of products including trendy boutiques, unique souvenirs, delicious crepes, Purikura (photobooths), 100 yen shop, idol merchandise, cosplay items and more.

More info ▶ Best Things to Do in Takeshita Street, Harajuku

3. Shopping

Kawaii fashion store at Takeshita Street, Harajuku

Most of people visit Harajuku for shopping as it’s the center of the latest trends and fashion in Tokyo! Not only clothes, but you can find a wide variety of products in Harajuku with a wide price range.

If you with to hunt for very Harajuku style clothing items like Kawaii, Lolita, Goth and Cosplay, there are several related shops on Takeshita Street. For more hipster style and cool trainers, Ura Harajuku is the place to shop. For fast-fashion retailers and trendy brands, you should visit Meiji Street including Laforet Harajuku. For fancy and high-end shops are also available in Harajuku, especially around Omotesando area.

More info ▶ Harajuku Shopping Guide: 10 Best Shops in Harajuku

4. Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi Park

Oasis in the concrete jungle! Yoyogi Park (代々木公園) is one of the largest city parks in Tokyo which is situated next to Meiji Shrine. Although its location is in the heart of the city, the park offers rich nature and serene atmosphere in a vast space. Numbers of seasonal events and festivals are held at the park through the year. It’s also a highly popular place for cherry blossoms and autumn leaves viewing.

Related articles:
▶ Up-coming events and festivals at Yoyogi Park
▶ Cherry Blossoms in Yoyogi Park

5. Omotesando

The entrance of Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku

A trendy shopping high-street. Omotesando (表参道) originally served as the main approach to Meiji Shrine, and also now it’s lined by numbers of trendy and sophisticated stores. The iconic shopping complex Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku Store is situated on the corner of Omotedando and Meiji Streets, and it’s a popular landmark with the picturesque entrance looks like a kaleidoscope.

Omotedando is a popular venue for autumn leaves viewing as the streets are lined by zelkova trees. In winter, the trees are decorated with champagne gold LED lights which offers a romantic winter illumination.

More info ▶ Best Things to Do in Omotesando

6. Cat Street

Cat Street (キャットストリート) is a backstreet of Harajuku which stretches to Shibuya Districts. The pedestrian street is filled with numbers of small independent stores, restaurants and cafes. It’s a popular place to hang out among hipsters in Tokyo. If wanna go off the mainstream of Harajuku fashion, you can meet the real street fashion culture on  this street.

More info ▶ Cat Street: Tokyo Hipsters’ Paradise

7. UNIQLO Harajuku Store

The popular Japanese fast fashion retailer, UNIQLO opened a new branch in Harajuku in 2020 summer, on 1F and B1F of WITH HARAJUKU, a newly opened 13-story shopping complex situated in front of Harajuku Station. UNIQLO Harajuku store has a dedicated sales and exhibition space for UT (UNIQLO T-shirts) called UT POP OUT. The store also offers Style Hint Harajuku, an outfit discovery app that allows you to style yourself and be matched with UNIQLO apparel.

8. Kawaii Monster Cafe <<Permanently Closed>>

Kawaii fashion at Kawaii Monster Cafe in Harajuku
© 2019 Voyagin, Inc.

 Kawaii Monster Cafe is an unique theme cafe designed by the famous designer and a pioneer of Kawaii culture, Sebastian Masuda. The cafe represents Harajuku’s iconic Kawaii culture as the whole venue is decorated in colourful and cute themes. The cafe also offers eye-popping food and beverage such as rainbow spaghetti and unicorn colour desserts.

【Important Notice: Kawaii Monster Cafe is permanently closed】

More info ▶ Kawaii Monster Cafe: Iconic Cafe in Tokyo

Ticket info ▶ Reservation for Kawaii Monster Cafe (Official Partner)


LINE FRIENDS FLAGSHIP STORE HARAJUKU is a 100th LINE FRIENDS store in the world, which is located along Meiji Dori Street. The shop is dedicated to characters created by a messaging app LINE such as FRIENDS (Brown, Conny, etc) and Usamaru. It’s a must-visit spot especially if you are a BTS fan as the store offers a wide range of character merchandise of BT21, a group of characters that are designed by BTS members themselves. The shop has character statues which are popular photo spots.

Related article: LINE FRIENDS STORE in Harajuku, Tokyo

10. Ura Harajuku

Ura Harajuku (裏原宿) or often called Ura Hara (which means the back Harajuku in Japanese) is a small area in Harajuku District, formed with small backstreets. In contrast to the main streets of Harajuku, which is filled with retail franchises and the core target is teenagers and Kawaii style, Ura Hara offers more small and independent shops with cooler and more hip designer brands. You can also find some street graffiti arts on the streets of Ura Hara.

Together with Cat Street, Ura Harajuku is the best destination for hipsters and to explore the cool street trends in Tokyo.

10. Kiddy Land

Kiddy Land (キディランド) is a popular toy/variety store, offering a huge variety of character goods including Snoopy, Disney, Hello Kitty, Studio Ghibli, Pokemon, Rilakkuma and many more, and there are dedicated floors and sections for each characters. It’s the best place to shop character items in Tokyo where both adults and kids can enjoy shopping.

12. Animal Cafes

Harajuku is home to even cute animals as there are several kinds of animal cafes within the area. You may be able to find a cafe featuring your favourite animals where you can sit back and relax with them 😉 Let’s find out what animal cafes you can visit in Harajuku today.

-Owl Cafe

At the Owl Cafe in Harajuku, guests can spend precious time with cute owls by touching, holding and taking picture with them.

-Hedgehog Cafe

© 2020 Voyagin, Inc.

Hedgehog cafe offers the unique experience for visitors to interact with cute little hedgehogs! It’s one of the rarest place on earth where you can touch, hold and play with little hedgehogs and take pictures with them. There are currently two hedgehog cafes in Tokyo: Harajuku and Roppongi. Don’t miss a chance to visit one of the most popular animal cafes in Tokyo!

-Snake Cafe

Cute animals like owls and hedgehogs are not for you?? Then how about snakes? Tokyo Snake Center in Harajuku is the first cafe in Japan where guests can enjoy drinking coffee with snakes!

The cafe is home to various kinds of colourful snakes and guests can actually touch them or put them around necks and take photos!

13. Instagram Worthy Spots/Food

Photo shooting at Takeshita Street, Harajuku

The biggest trend in the latest years, “Instagram-Worthy” which refer to taking photos of artistic objects, townscape and food. And Harajuku is definitely the best spot to hunt Instagram Worthy things/photo spots in Tokyo.

More info ▶ Harajuku Kawaii Photogenic Spots

14. Harajuku Fashion & Pop-culture Tour

People enjoy eating colorful kawaii food in Harajuku

Hit the trending spots and have the best Kawaii experience in one day! “Harajuku Fashion & Pop-culture” Tour by Magical Trip is a popular local guide tour in Harajuku area that you can experience the best highlights of Harajuku in a half day! Check the link below for more details and book the tour with a discount!

More info ▶ Harajuku Kawaii Fashion & Pop-culture Tour

15. Nezu Museum

Enjoy the marvelous collection of Japanese and East Asian art at Nezu Museum (根津美術館) with authentic Japanese garden.

More info ▶ Nezu Museum: Feel the Beauty of Japanese Art

16. Meiji Jingu Gaien

A large park located in Aoyama area, Meiji Jingu Gaien (明治神宮外苑) is famous for the Ginkgo Festival in autumn. It’s also a home field of one of Japanese baseball team Tokyo Yakult Swallows, and numbers of baseball games are held through the season.

Related articles
▶ Meiji Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Festival

▶︎ How Can You Enjoy Watching Japanese Baseball Games in Tokyo?

17. Photo Worthy Architecture

Harajuku is lately known as the kingdom of Instagram-Worthy spots where numbers of cool street arts, trendy shops and cafes with colourful food and drinks can be found, and they are extremely popular among young girls. But Harajuku is also home to many cool buildings which are designed by famous architects and designers, and fascinate eager photographers.

This walking tour allows you to explore the hidden side of Harajuku with the most modern and cool designed architect existing in Harajuku area, today!

If you are wondering what to do in Tokyo, check this article below!

▶︎Things to Do in Tokyo

Are you also looking for the things to do in the areas near Harajuku?
▶︎Best Things to Do in Shibuya
▶︎Best Things to Do in Shinjuku

For more information about Harajuku area, please check out these articles, too!

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