Kawaii Things To Do in Tokyo: Harajuku, Shibuya, Nippori, Shimokitazawa and Ueno


Konnichiwa Kawaii Travelers!

Kaila here! I am currently on a blogging spree to make up for the months I went inactive last year. For this blog post, I will share some information about my favorite places in Tokyo: Harajuku, Shibuya, Nippori, Shimokitazawa and Ueno!

Please look forward to our “Kawaii Purikura Guide in Tokyo” that we will be sharing in the future as well! ^_^


FIRST STOP: HARAJUKU (原宿)

Harajuku
If you are a huge fan of kawaii culture like we do, a first stop in Harajuku is highly recommended! Don’t go to other places first, lololol. Just kidding! ; )

Whenever I would tour my friends around Harajuku, I’d bring them to purikura machines (neoprint / photo sticker booths), favorite kawaii boutiques, Harajuku crepe & tapioca shops, cutest cafes, and other colorful places (such as Design Festa Gallery).

If I want to be transported in another and more peaceful place, I would just go and walk to Meiji Shrine and enjoy the fresh air and lush green trees. Harajuku = Modern + traditional Japan mixed perfectly!

I love Harajuku because it’s such an inspiring place! Just seeing people pass by flaunting their colorful selves and chid-like beauty is already inspirational for me. Harajuku makes me want “to be me”.


SECOND STOP: SHIBUYA (渋谷)

shibuya

If you’re tired of Harajuku already (maybe after a week of visiting that place, or maybe never…. hahaha), you can just go walk to the Shibuya neighborhood / ward. I think that it’s good exercise after you much on the yummy Harajuku crepes / desserts. Just follow the JR Yamanote Line / rail tracks (Shibuya direction, of course) and enjoy the scenic view! You will be surprised to see a lot of hidden spots + cool graffiti along the way! :)

For my list of recommendations, here’s the list below! Many thanks to the kawaii buddy Ashley for the photos and help!

Things to do when in Shibuya:

  • Take a photo at Shibuya Crossing (only when the green light is on! Haha!)
  • Shibuya Center Gai
  • Take a photo with the iconic Hachiko statute
  • Shop at SHIBUYA 109
  • Tower Records (and Tower Records Cafe)
  • Dine at Genki Sushi for a fun sushi experience
  • Try the desserts at Fujiya Cafe (matcha parfait, strawberry shortcake, and so much more!)
  • Have dinner at “and people cafe” (a super cozy & whimsical cafe)
  • Visit Parco Art Museum (Shibuya Parco)
  • Have a memorable experience dining at Alice in Wonderland Restaurant
  • Recommend MALLS: Shibuya Hikarie, Shibuya Mark City, Parco, Seibu, etc.
  • For unique Japanese souvenirs, go to LoFT & Village Vanguard.
  • Take purikura with friends / family at CLUB SEGA. You can also try on kawaii costumes to level up your purikura game!
  • Walk around Koen Dori / Spain Slope (more info: www.japan-guide.com/e/e3007.html)

SPECIAL: Spend the Halloween with friends in Shibuya! It will be the most memorable / craziest Halloween experience you’ll ever have!


THIRD STOP: NIPPORI (日暮里)

Nippori

Nippori can be easily accessed using JR Yamanote Line. If you’re into creating, crafting, and designing, then this is indeed your fabric paradise. I used to do a lot of Kawaii D.I.Y. before so Nippori was my second favorite after Harajuku. :)

Dubbed as “Fabric / Textile Town of Tokyo”, this place will make you go crazy with all the cutest buttons, #OnlyInJapan fabric prints (lolita-themed, character patterns, wagara style, etc.), and everything you will need for your fashion design project.

Most students who attend fashion schools in Tokyo frequent this place because the stores have everything that they need. Let’s not forget the quaint streets and small cafes around the town that makes it more charming to visit.

Before visiting this place, make sure you bring enough money! You’ll never know the extent of your hoarding, haha!

For more info, you may read our separate article here.


FOURTH STOP: SHIMOKITAZAWA (下北沢)

Shimokitazawa

If you want to spend a quiet and relaxing afternoon in Tokyo, I highly recommend Shimokita. Lots of stylish & unique cafes, one-of-a-kind fashion boutiques and vintage shops, artsy corners and instagram-worthy sceneries.

I toured my friend Abbey here when she visited me and we dressed up in a schoolgirl-inspired #ootd. It was a fun day! :)

Read more about our Shimokitazawa adventure here.


FIFTH STOP: UENO (上野)

Ueno

Ueno is absolutely one of my favorite places in Tokyo because it has everything that I love: nature and trees, cheap food stalls, toy stores, museums, beautiful facade, kawaii panda-themed food / merchandise, purikura machines, UFO catchers, outlet stores, and more!

What makes it my instant to-go place when I just want to go out is that it’s a very interesting place to document / take photos of.

During summer / spring / special weekends, there are lots of food stalls where you can eat yakitori, matsuri food, crispy chicken karaage, watame (cotton candy in cute packaging!), kawaii character-shaped lollipops, jaga bata (grilled potato with lots of butter), and more!

Ueno park is one of the loveliest spots to visit when it’s the peak of Cherry Blossom blooming.

If you’d like to see more photos of Ueno, here’s my summer photoset from before.


If you enjoyed this kind of post, please do let us know! Do look forward to our next kawaii travel round-up series for Akihabara, Daikanyama, Shinjuku, Shin-okubo, Koenji, Nakano… and more!

Lots of love,

Kaila & Ashley




The Yamanote Line Tour


Yamanote Line Tour

Original image from TokyoMoob | Illustrations by ChiChi for JLM

“The Yamanote Line (山手線, Yamanote-sen) is Tokyo‘s most important train line. It is a circular line which connects Tokyo’s major city centers. A trip around the whole circle takes approximately one hour.”

(source: www.japan-guide.com)

 

If you’d like to have a no-hassle Kawaii tour around Tokyo, we recommend taking the Yamanote Line and use the train stops as your basis for your itinerary. Our favorite train stops are the following:

  • Shinjuku
    • For: Calico Cat Cafe, Kinokuniya Book Store, My Lord Shopping Mall, Takashimaya, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Alice’s (in Wonderland) Fantasy Restaurant, Ladurée, Bunka, Robot Restaurant, Kagurazaka, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office, Golden Gai, Fire Museum, Shinjuku West Exit Camera Town, Tokyo Toy Museum
  • Harajuku
    • For: Meiji Jingu Shrine, Yoyogi Park, La Foret, Takeshita Street, Vintage Harajuku shops at Ura-hara, Omotesando area, Famous crepes, Freshly-cooked Calbee potato snacks, Q~pot café, LINE store, Pierre Hermé café, Tokyu Plaza, Pompompurin café, Closet Child, Ota Memorial Museum of Art, Cat Street, Rocket, Onitsuka Tiger, KIDDYLAND Harajuku, Niko and ….
  • Shibuya
    • For: Hachiko Statue, Shibuya Crossing / Scramble, Shibuya 109, The Guest Café and Diner, Village Vanguard in Parco, And People Café, Tower Records, Alice (in Wonderland) Dance Land Café, Trump Room, Grimoire, Fake Tokyo, Disney Store, Fujiya Family Restaurant, Loft, Tokyu Hands, Don Quijote, Mugiwara Store, Ichiran Ramen
  • Tokyo
    • For: Beautiful Tokyo Station, Tokyo Imperial Palace, Ginza, Hama Rikyu Gardens, Tokyo Tower, Roppongi, Marunouchi, Daimaru Department Store, Nijubashi Bridge, International Forum, Nakadori Avenue, Kitte shopping complex, Marunouchi Brick Square, Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum
  • Akihabara
    • For: Tax-free Japanese gadgets / electronics, Maid cafés, Don Quijote, Anime merchandise, Otaku culture, Chuo Dori, Yodobashi electronics store, Akihabara Crossfield, Sofmap, Laox, Manga cafés, Anime center, Home Café, Mandarake, Akihabara Dai Building, Radio Kaikan
  • Ueno
    • For: National museums and parks, Ameyokocho, Kawaii pandas, Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo National Museum, Asakusa, Sensoji Temple, Edo-Tokyo Museum, Rikugien, Ueno Park, Tokyo Solamachi, Botanical Garden, Yanaka, Kappabashi, Ryogoku, Sugamo
  • Nippori
    • For: Nippori Fabric Town (Japanese textile, kawaii fabrics), Yanaka, Tennoji Temple, 10 manju shop
  • Ikebukuro
    • For: Sunshine City, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space, Electronic stores (Bic Camera, Yamada Denki), Shopping at (Tobu, Seibu, Marui) department stores Loft, Seibu, Otome Road, Namja Town, Sunshine 60 Observatory, J-World Tokyo
  • Shin-Okubo
    • For: Korean town, K-pop fans, Idol Park Cafe, Toppoki, Korean BBQ / yakiniku

For more info about each stop, click here.