- Encounters with locals
Harajuku is mostly known for Takeshita Dori and its gaily coloured shops. If I enjoyed going up and down the aisles collapsing under the weight of Lady Gaga T-shirts or handbags with unlikely shapes, what appealed to me especially was the other face of this sometimes badly known area.
I recommend that you push on as far as Harajuku Street and Cat Street. Here, as if by magic, the crowd seems to vanish and you enjoy the secluded charm of these quiet and welcoming streets. You can discover other treasures in a vintage secondhand clothes shop or a Hawaiian fashion shop, but my favourite was my visit to Design Festa, an unusual place in which artists' studios, a bar and an exhibition room are gathered together.
For a last change of atmosphere, I suggest you take away one of those improved pancakes for which the Japanese have the knack, to Yoyogi park, opposite Takeshita dori, for a peaceful green bath.