Japan is a small archipelago country which has just 20 percent of Indonesia’s wide region. However, this country has beautiful scenery and unique culture. That’s why Japan has a lot of attractive places in almost areas of its country, such as Harajuku which is famous with its extreme fashion street. Harajuku is part of Tokyo’s area that can be found around Tokyo’s Harajuku Station in one station north of Shibuya on the Yamanote Line. Harajuku is good place to go and has more attractive characteristic than other districts in Japan because of three reasons such as having ancient buildings, attractive streets, and interesting shops.
Here are the ancient buildings which have attractive buildings structure. First, shrines which are the place for praying to their God. There are two shrines which are located in Harajuku district: Meiji Shrine and Togo Shrine. Meiji shrine known as Meiji Jingu, is a Shinto Shrine dedicated to the sacred spirits of Emperor Meiji and his spouse, Empress Shoken. This big shrine is surrounded by a beautiful dense forest and a numerous animals. It was built in 1920 and was renovated in 1958. Different from Meiji Shrine, Togo Shrine is a small shrine uses to devote Admiral Togo Heihachiro, who defeated the Russian colonialism in the Russo–Japanese War in 1905. Togo shrine was built in 1940. Both of them have a lot of events, especially events related with honoring their Gods.
Second, Ota memorial museum of art is located near Omotesando Street. It has lots of ukiyo-e from the vast collection of the late Mr. Ota Seizo. Mr. Ota Seizo is collector and preservers Ukiyo-e form. Ota Seizo has desire for showing his collections for contributing the protection of ancient culture to public. For this reason, his family made a museum for him after Ota Seizo passed away. This museum collects 1,200 pieces of Ukiyo-e. Ukiyo-e is a Japanese woodblock prints produced between the 17th and the 20th century in Edo period, featuring motifs of landscapes, the theater and pleasure quarters.
(Omotesando Street) (Takeshita Street)
Harajuku also have two popular streets: Takeshita Street and Omotesando Street. Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street) is the central point of Harajuku’s teenage culture, the symbol of Harajuku and birthplace of many of Japan’s fashion trends. It has more or less 400 meter long and lined with fashion boutiques and various goods mostly for young teenagers, especially small cute goods. Takeshita Street was a reliable place to go and purchase fake Japanese and American street brand goods from the early nineties to 2006.
(Harajuku Fashion Street)
Different from Takeshita Dori, Omotesando Street is a one kilometer long with cafes and upscale fashion boutiques popular with residents and tourists alike. Omotesando Street has Ura-Hara and weekly event that make it dissimilar from others streets. Ura-Hara means backstreet Harajuku. It can be found around Omotesando Street. On the weekend Omotesando Street is heavily crowded when teens gather to shop and hang out with their friends. Ura-Hara has become well-known for independent casual fashion designs, footwear and so on. Ura-Hara’s products have a good quality almost equal with American products. That’s why many teenagers in Tokyo choose Ura-Hara as their shopping place. Besides Ura-Hara, Ometesando Street is popular with its weekly street event which held every Sunday to perform teenagers’ creativity in fashion. As a result, Omotesando Street was closed to traffic every Sunday. In this event, many teenagers dressed with their own visual key, such as gothic, punk, retro, lolita and many more. They perform their suit by walking in the road like a model in the cat walks. Because of this street event, they make Omotesando Street as their hang out place every day. They not only come from Tokyo but also from Saitama, Chiba, and other areas outside of Tokyo.
Besides of the ancient buildings and the streets, Harajuku has interesting shops for example Snoopy Town, Daiso Harajuku, Oriental Bazaar, and Kiddy Land. Snoopy Town is a shop sells large number of Snoopy collection goods and only sells Snoopy goods. Snoopy Town can be found directly across Harajuku Station. Daiso Harajuku is a shop sells a wide range of products for 105 Yen per item (100 Yen plus 5 percent consumption tax). Daiso Harajuku is one of the largest 100 Yen shops in central Tokyo. This shop can be reached just a few steps from Harajuku Station along Takeshita Dori. Oriental Bazaar is one of Tokyo‘s largest souvenir shops. Oriental Bazaar very popular among foreign travelers in search of typical Japanese souvenirs, such as kimono, dolls, and samurai related goods. This Shop is located in Omotesando Street. Kiddy Land is one of Tokyo’s most famous and popular toy stores. It is located along the Omotesando Street; it has six floors filled with all kinds of toys from electronic games to stuffed animals. Many toy brands, including Disney, Barbie and Hello Kitty are sold in this store.
In conclusion, Harajuku is an interesting place to visit because of the ancient buildings that has extended history and attractive structural design. Harajuku also has two popular streets which are places for hanging out and having extreme fashion street. Besides that, Harajuku has lots of shops whose architecture is unique and have characteristics in each shop.