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)

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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




Gotemba Premium Outlets


What is a visit to Tokyo without dropping by or seeing the most famous symbol of Japan, Mt. Fuji? Probably not complete. If you’re on the lookout for a place to shop (within the budget) and at the same time a spot for sight-seeing, we totally recommend a trip to Gotemba Premium Outlets in Hakone.

gotemba-premium-outlet.jpgMost (if not all) my favourite brands are there, let me drop some names: Adidas, Balenciaga, Cath Kidston, Chloe, Dior, Disney, Francfranc, Furla, Gelato Pique, Harrods, Havaianas, Isetan, Jill Stuart, Kate Spade New York, Lowrys Farm, Moussy, Nike, Nikon, Petit Bateau, Saint Laurent, Sly, Snidel, Tory Burch, Valentino and many more. -Ashley

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How to get there?

From Tokyo, take the JR Shinkansen to Mishima Station, transfer trains to Numazu, and transfer again to Gotemba. From Gotemba, there’s a free shuttle bus directly to Gotemba Premium Outlet.

From Shinjuku, take the Odakyu Limited Express “Romance Car Asagiri” to Gotemba. Again from Gotemba, there’s a free shuttle bus directly to Gotemba Premium Outlet. (Source)

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Aside from shopping tax free, Gotemba Premium Outlet offers a wide variation of restaurants, kiosks, and cafes such as Haagen-Dazs (our personal favourite!), Crazy Crepes, Gelato Pique Cafe Creperie, Godiva (must try!), Tully’s Coffee and more.

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List of shops / brands

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You can follow Premium Outlets on instagram, Facebook and google plus for more updates!




Arts & Crafts Hoarding Guide in Tokyo


Konnichiwa Kawaii Artsy Travelers! :)

Some people have been asking us where to shop art & craft materials in Tokyo, so here is the much-awaited post!

While going around Tokyo with my creative friend Abbey, we visited a lot of “yabai” (dangerous lol) stores that offered a lot of #OnlyInJapan art materials! Abbey’s reaction every time we would go to a store / “art mall” (store is an understatement lololols) = priceless! Just a precaution before you decide to add these places to your itinerary… make sure you have extra funds because you might be hoarding more than the usual, haha. When I first went to these places, I was sooo dumbstruck. I didn’t know where to start, haha! :))


YUZAWAYA: Art materials, kawaii fabrics, craft kits and more!

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The Yuzawaya branch that we visited is Yuzawa Parco Urawa branch. This is the only branch I would visit because it’s convenient (I’m from Saitama! :D). Yuzawaya offers a wide range of art materials and fashion-related materials (from pens, craft kits, resin materials, fabric textiles, etc.). I think that it is safe to say that this is like a mini “Nippori” too (extra trivia: Nippori is dubbed as the Fabric Town in Tokyo).

I haven’t been to the Shinjuku branch but here are the access details based on their website.

YUZAWAYA Shinjuku Branch: Takashimaya Times Square 11F

TEL.03-5367-4141 (representative)
FAX.03-5369-8686
Business hours: 10 AM  – 8PM

Click here for the available list of branches (in Japanese).

 


SEKAIDO Shinjuku: The Ultimate Art Store in Tokyo 

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For those of you who are particular with the materials and brands you need (aka looking for a National Bookstore meets Fully Booked in Japan), Sekaido is a must visit. A building located roughly a few meters away from Shinjuku station houses 6 floors full of art materials you can only imagine – paper, paint, ink, notebooks etc. – See more at: artistic-dreams.com

 

SEKAIDO Shinjuku Head Store: Click here for the Google Maps


LoFT Shibuya: Muji + Stationery & Paper Goods + Lifestyle / Travel + Kawaii

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“Located in busy shopping ward Shibuya, Loft is a gem to art lovers, stationery hoarders, travelers – you name it. In general though, it would be similar to a department store sans the clothes and shoes. Of course, my priority was visiting the LG floor for all the stationery items and a few art materials.” – See more at: artistic-dreams.com

 

LoFT Shibuya: Click here for the Google Maps

(Loft, 21-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0042)


Check out Abbey’s Art Hoarding in Tokyo blog post for more info.


Other places you can visit for more artsy goodness:

  • Daiso Store in Takeshita Dori (100 yen store!!)
  • Tokyu Hands (in Takashimaya Times Square / Shibuya)
  • Nippori Fabric Town

 

Enjoy the art hoarding! :)

Love, Kaila & Ashley