Believe me, shopping in Tokyo can be cheap and affordable too if you visit Harajuku Takeshita Street, the trademark shopping street in Harajuku! Similarly to other Asia’s famous shopping districts such as Xi-Meng-Ding in Taipei and Myeong Dong in Seoul, Harajuku Takeshita Street is the hang-out place in Tokyo for price-conscious Japanese teens. It is also my highly-recommended paradise for low range shopping where you can witness the latest Japanese street fashion, pop-culture and even cosplay!
Located directly adjacent to JR Harajuku Station’s Takeshita Exit, it is no-brainer locating Harajuku Takeshita Street. You just have to “follow the crowd” as everyone typically heads toward this 400 metres shopping street, which is lined with fashion boutiques, trendy shops, second-hand shops, accessories shops, cafes, crepe stands and fast food. It is busiest during weekend, especially on Sunday late morning and afternoon with the spill-over crowd from Tokyo cosplayers at nearby Yoyogi park.
The directory of shops is indicated here: http://www.takeshita-street.com/map.html
Follow me on a short tour as I walk you down my favourite street…
LET’S GO! ???
The street welcomes you with a fun and entertaining electronic signage board where you can locate your own reflection! ?
Enjoy the bustling atmosphere! This is a popular hang-out venue for students and tourists.
WEGO is a popular fashion brand with many outlets in Japan, (slightly similar to our 77th Street in the past.) They sell trendy and cheap accessories and clothes at affordable pricing. Their merchandise tend to be very colourful and loud, and appeal to the younger crowd – similar to what you can find at Far East and Bugis Street.
Opposite to WEGO is a socks-speciality store – Tabio. Tabio is an established Japanese manufacturer and retailer of socks. You will be able to find an extensive range of formal, informal, colourful and fanciful socks for both adults and children. Especially popular is their rainbow toe-socks and they sometimes collaborate with famous artistes on limited edition designs. Because of its high quality, Tabio socks are priced higher than other competitor brands. Price usually starts from 800yen – approximately SGD10 a pair.
Miwa says: Tabio socks make a good choice of gift for family and friends from Japan!
PARIS KID’S is my No 1 earrings paradise in Japan, well-known for their extensive collection of trendy ear and hair accessories at an unbelievably low price of only 324yen per piece storewide! (approximately only SGD4 and it’s STOREWIDE!!!!!!). ? ? ? ?
Miwa says: Their huge collection of clip-on earrings has made them a popular hunt for young ladies, especially for those with non-pierced ears. I’m also impressed by how frequently they release new designs in line with the market trends and seasons. At only SGD4, I personally feel that the quality is way above what you pay! A great lobang place that is highly recommended to earrings lovers….just be prepared to arm yourself with a little patience to brave through the crowd! ?
D’or is a 1-stop shop for eye and nail accessories, particularly in coloured and circle contact lens. A friendly shop where you can also test selected sale items in their make-up room before buying.
Coin lockers to store your luggage if you are coming directly from airport or your loots. Money exchange machines available to encourage more spending! ?
A 2-storey DIASO selling all items at 100yen each, which is cheaper than in Singapore at approximately SGD1.35 before taxes. With a similar selection of items to the Singapore’s outlets, it is a good place for you to buy travel necessities which you have forgotten to bring over to Japan.
Miwa says: During winter, you can lighten your luggage load by buying heat pads from DIASO in Japan instead of lugging them from Singapore! Moreover, they are cheaper than in Singapore!
Sweetie sells a wide range of fashionable ladies shoes at affordable pricing, from SGD25 onwards; this shoe pricing is considered cheap in Japan. ?
Miwa says: The shoes sold in Sweetie are all Made in China, which could be the reason for the low pricing. Do note that the synthetic leather material might “peel” under our Singapore summer weather conditions. As such, I would recommend you to get those with patent leather instead.
WONDER ROCKET sells ladies fashionable wear of all styles and a small selection of accessories too. Their clothes style are more feminine casual and the price range are higher than WEGO. They have 2 other bigger outlets further down Harajuku Takeshita Street, but I personally prefer this particular one opposite Diaso as it is smaller and less crowded.
Miwa says: There is a small section of off-season clothing on sale and sometimes, you can find really great buy at below SGD20. If you can’t find your preferred colour and sizes, you can go to the other WONDER ROCKET outlets down the street.
THE SiLHOUETTE sells cute casual ladies wear in their two-storey shop, that is very representative of the kawaii Harajuku culture. They have a good selection of wacky graphic T-shirts from private labels such as “”Crazy about Stippy” (trademark: a black cat called Stippy), “Gloomy Bear” (trademark: a pink bear. Website: http://www.chax.cc/), “Up!Smile” (trademark: Smiling face with sideway stick-out tongue. Website: http://www.upsmile.jp/), “ScoLar” (Trademark: a lady with permed hair. Website: http://www.scolar.jp/) and t-shirts distributed under the label “Magic mind”.
Miwa says: Ghibli’s lovers should not miss their wide selection of Ghibli merchandise on the second level!
This is the second outlet of WONDER ROCKET. There is a wider selection of shoes and accessories compared to the first smaller store.
tutu anna is my favourite socks retail shop. The difference between tutu anna and Tabio is that tutu anna focuses on the ladies market only with a small selection of children socks. They sell trendy and feminine ladies socks, stockings, leggings as well as lingerie and home wear. Their socks are typically priced at 3 for 1000 yen, approximately SGD4.50 per pair, which is considered a cheap deal compared to the pricing you pay in Singapore for a simple boring design.
Miwa says: tutu anna’s socks are priced cheaper than Tabio as they are designed in Japan but manufactured in China. Nevertheless, the quality definitely surpass the low pricing you are paying.
A US brand of accessories and jewellery, claire’s merchandise appeals to young teens and girls. You can find a neat selection of western influenced designs, as well as Disney’s trademarked accessories.
joli is your answer to budget fashion wear in Tokyo! They are like the Japanese version of “This Fashion” (which has already ceased operations in Singapore) and you can easily find affordable ladies fashion at approximately SGD10 per piece.
Miwa says: Do note that the quality may be a little inferior (for the price you are paying) but if you search carefully, you still can find some good buys for example on their cardigans and knitted wear.
ALTA is a 4-storey shopping complex that houses a few shops and a Disney Store. A place where I tend to spend a long time and lots of money! ?
The first store located on the right of ground floor ALTA, INGNI is a popular fashion brand with many outlets all over Japan. They sell trendy ladies wear and is one of the most popular shop in Harajuku Takeshita Street.
Miwa says: Beware of the crowd in the shop! You may need a little patience to queue and try your clothes in their 3 small changing makeshift- rooms. ?
Also located on the ground floor of ALTA, PONEYCOMB carries a unique range of Disney princess products and clothings for adults. These products are privately distributed under the Disney trademark, which you will not find them in a typical Disney Store.
Miwa says: The Disney merchandise are not cheap but are unique and highly recommended to all Disney lovers! ?
pink lemontree is one of my favourite shops in Harajuku Takeshita Street where you can find a wide range of very pretty and sweet-looking pouches, umbrellas, accessories and handphone casings. Especially popular is their initial printed pouches and accessories of the following selected range of alphabets only: A, E, H, K, M, N, R, S, T, Y.
Miwa says: Recommended to check out their initial pouches and accessories (especially if your initial is one of the above-mentioned alphabets), as well as their very pretty hand phone casings mainly for iPhone 6, iPhone 7. Note that Japanese do not seem to fancy the bigger iPhone 6 plus, or 7 plus series.
If you are not planning to visit Tokyo Disneyland, you can still shop for the latest official Disney merchandise at the Disney Store on level 2 of ALTA. Do note that the Disney Store do not sell any Disneyland tickets.
Miwa says: The Disney Store carries a cute range for Disney accessories at affordable pricing! ?
Happy Hearts is a shop that sells cute lingerie and homewear, as well as swim wear during Summer. Do note that Japanese lingerie have somehow different styles, cuttings and size measurement from European and Asian brands. Japanese lingerie are mostly of kawaii style, with lots of laces, frills and ribbons, in pastel colours and are heavily padded. ?
Miwa says: Japanese lingerie have a wide range of sizes and measurements starting from size 65, and cup size from A to G. For example, it is common to find a size 65, cup D. ? Ladies who are petite and not so voluptuous will be pleasantly delighted by the small sizes available.
Snoberry sells ladies wear and carries a neat range of cute animals graphic t-shirts. They are not the cheapest around but are of decent pricing that’s worth exploring.
Crepe is a type of very thin pancake that is served with a variety of fillings such as ice-cream, cakes, cream and fruits. The crepe culture is especially dominant at Harajuku Takeshita Street and in fact, having a crepe becomes one of the recommended activities when you visit Harajuku Takeshita Street.
Located directly opposite each other are Angels Heart Crepe and Marion Crepes. These two are the most established brands and both brands are equally popular. I guess it all boils down to individual preferences.
Let’s take a short break and enjoy a crepe before we continue with Part 2 of our walk!
My all-time favourite crepe no 79 from Angels Heart.