Harajuku and Aoyama-Area Overview


It’s impossible to say you’ve been to Tokyo without exploring the legendary fashion, design, and subculture hub that spreads throughout the Harajuku and Aoyama areas. Not only is there something for everyone here, but each small neighborhood that makes up the area has its own distinct character, so you’ll notice the changes as you walk around.

Harajuku, like much of Tokyo, was originally a quiet suburb, but with the postwar period it began with an entire city for American military families (now Yoyogi Park), became a hub for the 1964 Olympic Games, and then a capital of youth culture and fashion. The “Harajuku girls” of global fame are long gone, but there’s always something new happening.

Starting at Harajuku Station and walking towards Aoyama you’ll notice the changes in style, design, and certainly price point. Harajuku is youth-oriented, and thus rather cheap, but the more expensive street-style fashion backstreets of Ura-hara then begin to give way to high-end flagship stores designed by famous architects, Omotesando Hills, and finally finishing at the iconic Prada building in Aoyama.

You can easily spend a full day or two in the area, but it takes a lifetime to get to know the intricacies, backstreets, and hidden gems of these world-famous neighborhoods.