Close to Shinjuku and Yoyogi, there´s Harajuku. Actually, there are plenty of reasons why Harajuku is well known for and worth visiting. Its
- Harajuku Crepes
- NHK Television HQ
- Olympic Stadium (Olympic Summer Games 1964)
1. Harajuku Crepes
Harajuku Crepes are most delicious thus well known beyond the city limits. Certainly you can buy such crepes anywhere, but here you can get the real deal right on location.
Those crepes are being offered in a variety of styles, with many different fillings ranging from all sorts of icecream, fruits, whipped cream, chocolate to other calory magnets. Doesn´t really matter, it just tastes amazing. And if you worry about the calories too much, simply (yuck) choose crepes that come with some lettuce or tuna…
Typically, the shops have large displays in front of it where you can search for your favourite ingrediences and style by having a look at the almost real-looking crepe replicas. Simply tell them the number and have one on your own (a real one, not a replica). You definitely won´t regret it – unless you feel bad about the calories. But hey, this is Tokyo, you´ll burn a lot more calories from getting from A to B, so no problem at all.
The Takeshita Street in front of Harajuku station offers trendy fashion shops, cafés, crepe shops and all other kinds of shopping facilities. Just follow the crowd, enjoy the food and sensory overload 😉
2. NHK Television
There´s also the NHK TV HQ located at Harajuku.
3. Meiji Jingu
The Meiji-shrine is beautifully located, surrounded by trees and neighbouring Yoyogi park. An excellent choice for a peaceful stroll in contrast to the noisy and busy city streets.
Built to honour Emperor Meiji and Emperess Shoken, it was completed in 1920 but sharing the fate of so many historical buildings, it was destroyed within WWI and WWII and had to be rebuilt again afterwards.
The path to the Meiji shrine is seamed by trees, small rivers and countless plants being described on small plates to the left and right. Takes around 10 minutes, depending on how fast you are, to get to the shrine. Just pass the giant, wooden gate and follow the path to the shrine.
No worries, usually there are by far not this many people visiting, that´s just because I took the picture above on New Year´s day. However, there are several festivals held around the shrine throughout the year. If you´re lucky, you can even witness a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony.
Especially in the warmer months of the year, you can take a welcome break at the neighbouring Yoyogi park, where joggers, bands and couples meet to have a timeout. In contrast to many other parks (e.g. Shinjuku Gyoen), Yoyogi park won´t be closed in the evening, so even late at night it´s not only safe to walk around, but also a tranquil contrast to the busy daytime life that takes its toll sooner or later.
4. The Cosplayers
On Sunday mornings, cosplayers, gothics and all kinds of bands do gather in front of the station, having made this place popular amongst fans of the anime subculture and tourists as well.
5. The Yoyogi National Stadium / Kokuritsu Yoyogi Kyōgijō
The multi-purpose hall, designed by architect Kenzo Tange, was built due to the Olympic Summer Games in 1964. Still, many international contests are being held in there, ranging from Volleyball, Judo, Iceskating to Wrestling.
On the picture below you can see the station to the left, Takeshida Dori is to the right.