Don't just dismiss Harajuku as cutesy, brash and kitschy. Take a chance on this pop culture hub and venture down its less-trodden streets – you'll discover many secret shops that are cool, stylish and sophisticated. There's a hidden florist, a sneaker specialist, a furoshiki wrapping cloth gallery, and more. Want to explore the best of Harajuku? Don't forget to add these places to your list the next time you're in the area.
Best hidden shops in Harajuku
Beyond the cute and the kitschy, Harajuku also has a host of shops and businesses that are cool, stylish and more grown-up
Check out these hidden spots
You would hardly think anything, let alone a flower shop, exists at this peculiar location. Hidden behind a building next to a restaurant there’s a stone path that leads to a sunny enclave adorned with overhanging trees and colourful florals. The florist has called this obscure Harajuku spot home for the last seven years and continues to turn out gorgeous bouquets and made-to-order arrangements. The indoor space is where the arrangements are made while the adjoining outdoor space centres around a tree that displays other items for sale including candle holders, nabe pots, small items of stationery and floral books. This secluded shop also has a sister store on Cat Street, where you can purchase both fresh and dry flowers.
Located down the backstreets of Takashita-dori, this shop houses over 400 different mugs and cups made by craftsmen and artisans from around Japan. On each shelf you’ll find a short description of where the mug is from and the artisan who made it – so you know you’re getting a work of art instead of a generic mug. At a corner, you’ll also find a small café stand where you can order coffee served in the mug of your choice. Best of all, a cup of coffee starts from just ¥100 — the cheapest caffeine hit in the ’hood.
This lifestyle shop-meets-café in Sendagaya seeks to 'straddle the boundary between work and life' – we hope that means a better work-life balance, but you can never be sure in this city; it might just mean 'turning your office into your apartment'. Indeed, they focus on items that are supposed to be useful for both your working and private life, such as selected stationery, furniture and other originals. The café is on the ground floor, where you'll find coffee made with Obscura beans, as well as cut sandwiches with freshly fried croquettes. Maybe work and life can get along after all.
More from Harajuku
Where to go for coffee, cakes and light meals in Shibuya, Harajuku and Omotesando