Resident Tokyo girl introduces a reliable route for knocking out your shopping trip in 3 hours!

Even though I was born and raised in Tokyo, I can honestly say there is nothing you can’t find here.

I think window shopping must be very difficult for those who are not sure what they want to buy. There are too many streets and shops to choose from.

For busy tourists who have a limited number of days, it must be even harder.

On the other hand, it’s hard to say the shopping information given in guide books is truly trustworthy, especially for girls looking for “kawaii” goods and other items they may want.

I’m going to introduce a “reliable route” for those who want to know an efficient way to stroll around the city and do some “kawaii” shopping.


When visiting Takeshita Street, go in the morning!

Go out the station exit for Takeshita Street, cross the road and there is the entrance.


I’ll be honest. For Tokyo residents, walking through Harajuku and Takeshita Street on the weekends is nothing but punishment. Domestic and foreign visitors alike fill the area, generally speaking there are just too many people! You can barely move forward. This is why adults usually don’t approach this area. However, this is a great spot to experience youth culture and the “TOKYO Kawaii” culture, etc. (The image of “TOKYO Kawaii” culture is often associated with the singer, Kyari Pamyu Pamyu. *But don’t get me wrong, there are not that many Japanese women over 30 that really appreciate this look).



Alright, the first place to visit in Takeshita Street is “Daiso”

In this shop, all items are basically 100 yen (there may be some exceptions with prices up to 300 yen, etc.). Honestly, not only are items “kawaii”, but you may find yourself asking is this all really only 100 yen, as there are many high quality goods. You can find anything, tableware, cookware, stationary, daily supplies, makeup, food, bath goods, and more!

certainly large-scale. A good place to look for small souvenirs to hand out to friends and family.



Next is the building that even looks “kawaii”, CUTE CUBE HARAJUKU


This is a small compact building with a basement and up to three floors, it hosts ten shops, mainly accessories and miscellaneous goods. We recommend “sanrio vivitix HARAJUKU”, a shop geared toward teenagers by Sanrio, the creators of Japan’s famous, HELLO KITTY. All items are equally cute, so even a dad looking to meet his daughter’s request for a Hello Kitty souvenir can feel at ease.

On the 3rd floor terrace there is artwork made by Sebastian Masuda, who is said to be a leader within “kawaii” culture. There is one on the 1st floor too, so be sure to take a picture



At last my favorite! Harajuku landmark, “Laforet HARAJUKU”


There is no one in Tokyo who doesn’t know Laforet. Roughly 100% of taxi drivers in Tokyo know it as Harajuku’s landmark shopping facility. Even so, for the average Tokyo girl, there is a surprisingly low selection to choose from at this particular building because the shops are just too fashionable with not so many mainstream brands. It’s because of this that Laforet has an unwavering place in Harajuku fashion. Casual, but unique, so if you’re looking for fashionable clothes or trinkets, this is the place to go. Think of it as a place to shop for yourself rather than for souvenirs and gifts.


Laforet is a great place to meet up with people. If it’s in front of Laforet, no one will get lost.


By the way, the pink “café crepe” shop on the first floor of the Laforet, is the first crepe shop to open in Harajuku. Their most popular menu item is “banana chocolate cream” crepe. Just watching them make each crepe is fun


Many tourists take pictures in front of the crepe shop



Last is “KIDDY LAND”, a stop made by many Hollywood celebrities!


Japan is character heaven; Doraemon, Hello Kitty, Pokemon, Totoro, Super Mario, etc. “KIDDY LAND” has rows of very famous characters, as well as ones that only true fans may know. Or at least I say there is, as I haven’t been there in about 30 years. If you like characters this is paradise. As for those not so interested, I wonder how they might like it. Either way anyone will definitely find this shop to be “amazing!” in various ways.


The store is marked by its red sign



To review our shopping route….


Route (1) “Daiso”

[Target: All ages, Budget: 100 yen, Estimated time needed: 40 minutes]



[Target: Elementary to Middle school (early teens) , Budget: 300 – 3,000 yen, Estimated time needed: 20 minutes]


Route (3) “Laforet HARAJUKU”

[Target: High School / University students (late teens) , Budget: 5,000 – 30,000 yen, Estimated time needed: 1 hour]


Route (4) “KIDDY LAND”

[Target: All ages, Budget: 500 – 5,000 yen, Estimated time needed: 1 hour]


the longer side.

“Daiso” and “KIDDY LAND” are not even 1 km apart, but there are many places in between that may be distracting, like global fast fashion brands such as “H&M”, “FOREVER21”, “AMERICAN EAGLE”, the young casual apparel of “WEGO”, and “New Balance” which just opened last year. While following the above-mentioned route, you may find some interesting looking shops along the way and if time allows have a quick look. After “KIDDY LAND” I personally like to walk along Meiji-dori toward Shibuya, I think it is the most efficient way to go from “Harajuku to Shibuya”.


Though it may depend on how many shopping bags you have accumulated.



Edit & Text: Tokyo Nadeshiko


Editor and writer. Writes lifestyle pieces centered on women’s fashion, and restaurant information, etc. A foodie born and raised in Tokyo

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