Harajuku is located in Shibuya-ku, north of the Shibuya shopping district and next to the entrance of the Meiji Shrine and the Yoyogi Park. The district became famous in the 1990s for a large number of street performers and outstandingly dressed teens, who gathered there on Sundays. Since the1990s, the number of street performers, dancers and punks has decreased, but the tradition of the district to serve teens has been preserved.
Harajuku's main attraction is the Takeshita Street, a narrow and busy pedestrian street, featuring various small stores. The street is lined with fashion boutiques and goods for young teenagers. Another street of Harajuku, Omotesando, starting outside the Harajuku Station, is a very long street with cafes and boutiques. From recently, the area, known as "Ura-Hara", has also gained much popularity for independent casual fashion designs, footwear and other outfits. It is vital to note that Harajuku is a birthplace of the street Japanese fashion and here you can see it in its full beauty.
It is recommended to visit Harajuku on Sundays, when Harajuku's teenage culture can be seen at its best, since the teens gather to shop and to hang out with their friends. Each group stakes out its territory around the Yoyogi Park. The Yoyogi Park is a nice place to take a stroll and it is especially appealing in spring, when the trees are in full cherry blossoms. The roads of Harajuku are closed to vehicles and opened to pedestrians and street performers at weekends; therefore, nothing will interfere with your walk through Harajuku.
However, only Harajuku entertainment and fashion make the district so famous both inside and outside Japan. The Tokyo's grandest shrine, Meiji Jingu, built in commemoration of Emperor Meiji in 1920, is located in the district. The Meiji Shrine is one of the largest shrines in the country, though simple in architecture. It is surrounded by one hundred and seventy five acres of woodland and is said to contain at least one example of each tree found in Japan. The entrance to the shrine is free and people come here to celebrate the New Year holiday, while on summer weekends you can catch here a Japanese wedding. The Meiji Jingu Gardens and the Meiji Jingu Treasure Museum are situated in the shrine grounds. The museum exhibits items that belonged to Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken.
While it is a necessity to visit Harajuku for teens, there is one more entertainment and shopping district in Tokyo, Ginza, appealing to people of all ages. Ginza is a popular destination at weekends, when the main north-south artery is closed to traffic, the same as the roads are closed in Harajuku. The district is famous as an up-market area of Tokyo with many department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffee shops. At the same time, Ginza is known as the most exquisite and expensive area, as you will encounter here top brand name stores and exclusive restaurants. Nevertheless, here you have an opportunity to enjoy a performance in the Kabuki-za Theater that take place everyday, as well as to see the latest displays of Sony electronics in the Sony Building and the Nakajin Capsule Apartment Building, the world's first attempt to live in a capsule or a cube.