Travel | Dango and Harajuka Japan

Fairy-floss in rainbow colours, coloured cheese toasted sandwiches, cake pops, crepes, crazy drinks and more. Sugar rush guaranteed! 

Japan was like life as you know it, but on fast forward, with 10,000 extras and a technicolour filter on full bling mode, with a real dose of ‘having it both ways’ thrown in. Is Japan an organised, rule obedient, line up, don’t eat in public type country, or is it wild and free, full of myth, legend and multiple belief systems with a youth culture that celebrates the cute ugly of kawaii …

The Experience

  • $0 to wander
  • Open daily till late
  • Photo opps+++
  • Shopping
  • Low Risk
  • Mostly flat walking
  • Crowded all the time
  • Harajuka Station 50m
  • Ages: 4 to a fit 80+
  • Kid friendly
  • Not stroller friendly
  • Duration 3+ hours

Well Harajuka, it is the later, ground zero for kawaii, yet bang in the middle of youth culture on steriods, you find Dango. Dango is old world Japan. And they exist harmoniously side by side. This is the real Japan, culture next to technology, old world charm hand in hand with consumerism gone mad. We just let ourselves go with it.

We took the train from our AirBnb flat to Takeshita Dori, Takeshita Street. This name alone kept my eldest son laughing for ten minutes, such is the humour of a 15 year old. We met up with an AirBnb Experience Guide right outside the train station, Mayno, and you can find her tour here or follow her on insta. Being a 22 year old Tokyo native she was the perfect guide. You don’t need a guide for Harajuka, it’s as safe as anywhere, but we wanted to see some specific sites and having Mayno whizz us around the back alleys was great. We were joined by a lovely nurse from America and now we have a new friend, such was the bonding experience. So four of us, guided by Mayno, had a wonderful time.

My younger son was into squishies big time and Harajuka presented an absolute goldmine of the little cuties, including the very famous Mooosh Peach Pit. Famous if you are a squishy collector. You can actually get in the pit and squish around with all the squishies. What a treat for the young and young at heart. Also a great place to pick up cheap pressies for the fam back home. Very easy to transport, unbreakable and super light.

And after you have shopped and taken on board all manner of cuteness, then there is the food. Fairy-floss in rainbow colours, coloured cheese toasted sandwiches, cake pops, crepes, crazy drinks and more. Sugar rush guaranteed! We are all gluten free so fairy-floss was high on the want list. There is a McDonalds stuck in the corner if you really, really need it.

We loved Harajuka and we loved having a local show us around for 90 minutes. We stayed about another six hours and did not see it all. We also went to a Shiba-Inu dog cafe, but more on that later. Just expect Harajuka to be crowded, noisy, touristy and did I say crowded. But it’s a side of Japan, and an insight into Tokyo that you should not want to miss. Enjoy! Le

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