Enjoy the Fascinating Hub of Japan's Pop-Culture: 10 Best Tours of Harajuku to Explore Its Quirkiness at Close Quarters

Enjoy the Fascinating Hub of Japan's Pop-Culture: 10 Best Tours of Harajuku to Explore Its Quirkiness at Close Quarters

Tokyo’s Harajuku district is known the world over for the youthful crowds that gather there to flaunt their wild fashions. Although there might be more tourists than teens there these days, there are still plenty of local curiosities to discover, so take to Harajuku’s quirky streets with this guide. We have put together this list of amazing tours, so read on.

What is Harajuku Famous for in Japan?

Japanese dictionary Jisho explains Harajuku as “meadow lodging” and as a town or village, it dates to 12th century.

Today Harajuku is a popular destination among Tokyo visitors known for its cutting-edge fashion and unique culinary scene. It is a centre of fashion and attracts those who are interested in the industry. Its streets serve as a catwalk for displaying bold and out-of-the-ordinary styles. The place has got a vibe of its own with some of the most popular sites such as Takeshita Street which is a must-see one a trip to Harajuku. From their delicacies to fashion, Harajuku has everything that makes it an interesting place to explore and visit in Tokyo.

Things To Do in Harajuku: Don't Miss Their Experiences

1. Visit Takeshita Street

The 350-meter Takeshita-dori Street, which is just across from JR Harajuku Station, is a destination for those interested in fashion and trends in Tokyo. It's a spot where you can find a variety of shops offering kawaii cute and edgy grunge and goth fashion styles. Also, it's known that Lady Gaga likes to shop there.

For a true Japanese experience, one can also go to the purikura photo booths where they can capture, customize and decorate images with their friends and get them printed on the spot. It would not be wrong to say that Takeshita street is the hub for the youth and teenagers. Shop, eat and experience the colourful life of Japan in Takeshita street.

2. Try the Harajuku Street Food

Talking about the specialty, Harajuku street is famous for its crepes and you definitely need to try. From the chocolate crepes to the cream-filled ones there is a crepe for everyone on this street. However, if you are looking to have something that is not crepe then head to the Omotesando side and munch on the exotic food items available.

Try various dishes such as gourmet popcorn, noodles, burgers and more. Some of the foods that you should try on the Harajuku Street is Croquant Chou ZakuZaku, Gindaco Takoyaki, Pablo Cheese Tart and Cheese Sticks. That’s not end of the list though as you can savour some of the best street foods on this street.

3. Be Amazed by the Tokyu Plaza

Source whenin.tokyo

Tōkyū Plaza is a shopping center located in the Harajuku district of Tokyo, Japan. It was opened in 2006 and is known for its distinctive architectural design, which features a curved glass façade and a spiral staircase connecting the different floors. The mall features a wide variety of shops and restaurants, as well as a rooftop terrace with views of the surrounding city.

Tōkyū Plaza is also known for its focus on fashion and lifestyle brands, particularly those with a contemporary or avant-garde aesthetic. It is considered a trendy spot for many tourists and locals alike and it's a perfect stop for those looking for a unique shopping and lifestyle experience

4. Relax at One of the Cat Cafes in Harajuku

Japanese bond greatly with the cats giving the world some of the most adorable cat cafes. Harajuku has various cat cafes that have been around for some time now. If you are a pet lover and a food lover then these cat cafes are the best places for you to hang out.

Top 10 Harajuku Tours to Help You Savour Its Vibe

Let is go through some of the most popular Harajuku tours

1. Harajuku Kawaii Fashion & Pop-Culture Tour

From visiting Meiji shrine to exploring Kawaii fashion and pop culture, the Harajuku Kawaii Fashion and pop culture tour has everything. What makes this tour even more enjoyable is the local tour guide who accompanies you throughout the tour helping you to enjoy Harajuku like a local. After a nice stroll through the Meiji shrine, indulge in the lavish lunch in the Monster Café.

Talking about the package, includes 1 drink and 1 food item in the Monster café along with the admission fee of the Monster café. You will also get to enjoy the purikura photo experience and get your photos. The total duration of this tour would be around 3 hours with the local guide. You would not have any language barrier issues as the guide would be well-versed in English. If interested, you can book tickets for this tour starting at US$87 per person on Magical-Trip.

2. Tokyo: Go-Kart Tour and Photoshoot

Go Karting is an interesting activity on its own and when you can roam around the city go-karting in a unique costume, it becomes the experience of a lifetime. The Go-kart tour and photoshoot take you through the roads of Harajuku Shinjuku and Shibuya crossing making it a ride through the city of a lifetime. Not just that, the guide will also take some of your most iconic photos. This tour includes a tour guide, photoshoot, costume, and go-karting.

There are certain prerequisites before going on this tour such as an international driving permit is required as you would be required to drive on the real streets in Tokyo in a custom-built go-kart. Further, the tour suggests that if there is rain, rescheduling to a new date and time would be a good option. The cost per person is roughly USD 145 but you can also book the tour and pay later. Check it out on Get Your Guide!

3. Crazy Cute & Kawaii Harajuku Food Tour

One of the coolest tours is this Crazy Cute & Kawaii Harajuku Food Tour is a perfect idea to experience Harajuku like an experienced one. Harajuku is a perfect blend of international and local designers along with artists, chefs, and fashionistas with just the right amount of colour and chaos. One of the many attractions is Japan’s antenna shops which let you enjoy all the flavours of the 47 districts of Tokyo. Apart from food, you can also experience the great food and pop culture in Harajuku.

Spend the crazy colourful “only in Japan” lunch inside a work of pop culture art. With the local guide, you will truly feel like a native enjoying the local food gems of Harajuku and the fashion. The tour includes 5 food stops and a dessert. This highly recommended family tour is perfect for kids and adults alike. However, make sure that all the participants who are above 10 years of age have passport information handy. The cost per person of this tour is around USD 190 and you can make your booking on Get Your Guide.

4. Harajuku Omotesando Architecture Tour

Private Harajuku Omotesando Architecture Tour is facilitated by Showcase Tokyo Architecture Tours and is designed for those who are interested in knowing about contemporary Japanese architecture. The tour will take you through the architectural marvels of several renowned and celebrated architects such as Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma, and Kenzo Tange. Since your tour guide would be English-speaking, the entire experience would be even more enjoyable without any language barriers. All you need is just 3 hours to cover all the magnificent architecture and the works of the great designers that you have always wanted to witness.

Moreover, you will also get an opportunity to delve into the fact that why over time Omotesando has become a hub of designer stores and famous architects. The tour starts from the Jingu Bashi bridge in front of the Meiji shrine and covers Yoyogi Gymnasium along with big brand stores such as Prada, Sunny hills, Louis Vuitton, and Dior. The cost per person for this tour starts at around USD 187 with the option of booking now and paying later. Check out more details on Get Your Guide

5. Half Day Kawaii Tour in Harajuku

This half-day fun-filled Kawaii tour is facilitated by the provider Omakase and designed with special consideration toward Muslim travelers. This tour is designed for Muslim travelers, showcasing the dynamic Harajuku district of Tokyo. From its eye-catching fashion to its quirky cafes and pop culture, you'll visit family-friendly spots, cafes with halal options, and places with prayer rooms. Discover the vibrant atmosphere of Takeshita Street, shop for charming souvenirs, visit an Owl Cafe and a café with 3D latte art, and take in the local street art.

The tour will start at the Harajuku tourist information center and will take you through H.I.S tourist information center, Takeshita street, Totti Candy factory, Café reissue, B-side label Harajuku, Line Friends flagship store, Owl café and Bar Owl Village and then circle back to the starting point. The cost per person of this tour available on Trip Advisor starts at somewhere around USD 96.

6. Kawaii Food Tour of Harajuku Tokyo

Apart from architecture and fashion, Harajuku is also known for its colourful and flavourful food that you should not miss. If you are foody and want to try the unique food of Harajuku then this Kawaii Food Tour of Harajuku Tokyo is just for you. Provided by Arigato Japan Food Tours, this is a 3-hour food tour of Harajuku and Omotesando. The tour is limited to 10 people and takes you through the back streets of the districts and stopping by to sample the creative pastries, local specialties, and vibrant candies. Along with food samples, the tour will also be inclusive of lunch.

The tour includes a local guide, 5 local food stops, 1 drink, and 1 dessert. If you have a baby or old-aged tourists with you then stroller and wheelchair facilities are also provided in this tour. The tour starts at Jingūmae and ends at Harajuku station. The price of this tour per person starts at USD 182. Find it on Trip Advisor.

7. Harajuku - Shibuya Private Walking Tour

This is a combined tour of Harajuku and Shibuya where you can enjoy the experience of both iconic places. Explore the bustling and iconic Shibuya district, the epicentre of youth culture in Tokyo and home to the world's busiest metro station, on a walking tour. Apart from that the guide will also take you through the iconic Harajuku streets known for their fast fashion and vibrant culture.

The three main streets that would be covered in this tour are Takeshita st., Harajuku st. and cat street between Harajuku and Shibuya. Last but not the least, enjoy the never before experience of ordering Sushi via automation ending a great day with an incredible sushi experience. You can book this tour at the cost of around USD 40 on Rakuten Travel.

8. Vegan Ramen Tour of Harajuku

If a vegan diet is your thing but does not want to miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of having a ramen experience in Japan, then lose yourself to this vegan ramen tour experience in Harajuku. Throughout the tour, you will get a chance to enjoy a variety of vegan treats such as ice creams, local snacks, and ramen, all while exploring the vibrant neighbourhood in Harajuku. Skin the hassle of finding vegan eateries that cater to your taste as the guide on this tour will take you through the best-rated shops to enjoy vegan food.

The tour includes food tastings and is limited to a small group of 6 people, ensuring an intimate and hassle-free experience. Lunch, snacks, and the vibrant Japanese experience are included in this tour. However, you would need to arrange the pick-and-drop facility to the starting point on your own. Coming to the price, the tour per person cost is around USD 130, and it is available on Viator.

9. Harajuku Kawaii Takeshita Street Tour

This two-hour tour hosted by Devine is perfect for those who want to experience the fashion district of Harajuku. Stroll through Takeshita Street and its hidden gems. Thereafter, take a trip to a secret and traditional Japanese high school uniform shop, and discover the fun and vibrant clothing stores. Indulge in the experience of visiting animal and other themed cafes. On your way discover affordable and cute Japanese souvenirs for friends and family back home. Make sure that you have some cash on you because some stores do not have a credit card system. The price of this Air Bnb experience per person is around USD 45.

10. Architechtours Tokyo– Aoyama, Harajuku and Omotesando

If you have a deep interest in architecture then this custom tour is for you. The trio areas of Aoyama-Harajuku-Omotesando are a hub of culture, cutting-edge architecture, and high-end fashion. On this tour experience the high-end boutiques, upscale restaurants, and swanky jazz clubs. The building's frosted glass elevation exemplifies the minimalist style of Sejima. The translucent facade creates a unique ambiance of light within the interior.

Apart from the famous places in Harajuku, you will also visit some nice places in Aoyama and Omotesando. The recommended group size per guide is 25 and will last for 4-8 hours. You would need to connect with the team that arrange the tour to get the quote on an individual as well as a group tour. Check out more details on artchitectours.com.

From our editorial team

Silence is Golden

Tokyo can be noisy with background noises such as advertising screens blaring and vendors yelling deals in front of shops, but it can be quiet, especially on trains, buses and other public places. Japanese people are aware that they are sharing space with other people, so keeping all noise quiet is considered etiquette, such as turning off the sound of your smartphone or not answering the phone on the plane. .