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Harajuku Neighborhood, Harajuku

Metro: Harajuku's insider take:

On weekends, this district of street fashion is crowded with wildly dressed kids who congregate near the entrance to the beautiful Meiji Shrine. Expect goths, cybergeishas, and "Lolitas" in mini-crinis. Rockers—top-to-toe in black and sporting serious hairdos—gather at the entrance to Yoyogi Park and dance for hours on end, even in the searing summer heat. The main drag is Takeshita Dori, a road that slopes down from the park and is lined with a carnival of teenybopper boutiques. If the "cosplay" shops don't appeal, wander up Meiji Dori for the row of stores overseen by the Japanese clothing brand Beams (there are 11 total), which range from a record shop to a high-end accessories space. The backstreets (a.k.a. Urahara) are where the sneaker, T-shirt, and street-fashion stores are found (Addition Adelaide, in particular, is worth a visit for its edgy-but-chic pieces from up-and-coming Japanese designers), as well as Vacant, a tucked-away gallery/performance space/café that opened in mid-2009—order a vegetarian curry and a beer to help you feel grounded after experiencing the Harajuku bedlam.—Updated by Rebecca Willa Davis

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.