|Forty years of deliciousness.|
|The modest Harajuku Station.|
|Map of Harajuku — click to englarge|
As it was rainy, cold, and not peak tourist season, Takeshita Street wasn't unbearably crowded, though there were quite a few people. There are several shops on the street where you can buy some of the latest Japanese fashions for cheap, or eat a yummy meal.
|Part of the yummy sweet and savory selections.|
Although there is a wide variety of cute, interesting eateries on Takeshita Street, a stroll down Harajuku's most popular lane would arguably be incomplete without a visit to the well-known Marion Crepe, which has been in business for nearly 40 years—quite impressive!
Unlike Western-style crepes, Japanese crepes (which, in terms of style and fillings, are more or less identical to Taiwanese crepes often seen in night markets) are hand-held, cone shaped treats. Like their Western counterparts, Japanese crepes can be sweet or savory, but the combinations solidly deviate from the original treat (i.e., pizza and cheesecake...yes, a crepe with a piece of cheesecake in it!)
I visited Marion Crepe for lunch a few hours after a small breakfast, so I was hungry by the time I made my way there. At any given time, they offer tens of flavors, some of which are limited or seasonal. Generally, I don't like super sweet food—especially on an empty stomach—so I choose one of their snack crepes, which are savory and perfect for a lunch on the go.
Without expecting much, I ordered a tuna curry crepe. It may sound off-putting, but it was absolutely delicious, and I highly recommend it! Granted, it was the only crepe I tried there, and with so many options, I feel Marion Crepe could potentially be a "hit-or-miss" type of place, but I think it's worth the try.
|Nope, no shortage of sweets here!|
Since I'm not crazy about sweets, I seldom find myself visiting candy stores. Nevertheless, while I was strolling around Cute Cube Harajuku, a small mall on Takeshita Street, the crowded Candy A Go-Go attracted my attention.
What makes Candy A Go-Go stand out from other candy stores? The variety! Candy A Go-Go features candies from all over the world. Each container of candy is conveniently labeled with the name and country of origin.
As majority of the candy and snacks are sold by weight, Candy A Go-Go could get a bit expensive. However, the experience of having so many choices as well as interacting with the super adorable shop staff make it a worthy stop while visiting Harajuku.
|Since used to love coated pretzels when I was younger,|
I couldn't help but buy these.
|It was early February so there were lots of|
Valentine's Day themed selections.
|Daiso, Takeshita Street|
After purchasing sweets, I did some shopping around the area. The first stop on my list was the large Daiso store on Takeshita street. Daiso is basically a dollar store when you can find anything from snacks to toiletries to stationary. I suppose matcha flavored snacks were trending at the time, so I bought quite a few of those.
I also went thrift shopping at Kinji (I don't have pictures of the store since they aren't allowed). If you like clothes from the 70s, 80s, and 90s—and don't want to break the bank—I highly suggest you visit Kinji. Their inventory is massive, and it's organized by style (i.e., rocker, super girly, sporty, etc.) Even if you don't buy anything, you'll have fun looking through and trying on the clothes.
All in all, although Harajuku is billed as a place for the young and trendy, I imagine anyone of any age would enjoy the area. It's a stimulating place that's generally easy on the wallet and is also next to several tourist spots, so don't miss it!