Omotesando

A trendy area. A neighborhood where you can encounter cutting-edge fashion and various other items

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A sophisticated sense of high class engulfs the pedestrians walking there. From the main street to the back streets, there is a variety of shops. Even walking through the back alleys brings an air of celebrity
Address
3 Kitaaoyama Minato-ku Tokyo

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About

How Omotesando developed into a trendy area

Its origins lay in the opening of an avenue leading to Meiji-Jingu Shrine in 1920. There are a number of reasons behind its birth as a trendy area. One reason is the appearance of the Doujunkai Aoyama Apartments where high-ranking officials and people of culture had resided and the Washington Heights (the facility that housed GHQ officers) that was constructed after the 2nd World War. The Washington Heights was then opened as the Athletes’ Village at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and for other reasons, Omotesando developed into an area rich with international flavor. Along with the postwar recovery, it transformed into a fashionable district.

High-class brands and cool fashion & miscellaneous goods abound

Omotesando Hills was built on the site of the former Doujunkai Apartments in 2006. With 6 floors above ground and 6 floors underground, about 100 branches of specialty shops exist. High-quality and individualistic fashion styles that don’t fade in or out are introduced. The fashion theme park, Tokyu Plaza Omotesando-Harajuku was opened in 2012. In the park there is Omohara Station, a space that exhibits brands that are arriving in Japan for the first time and seasonal shops along with a café that produces its own sweets, and on the roof, there is Omohara-no-Mori, a place of relaxation. A new type of interaction is happening as a shopping area for the next generation. Also, adjacent Harajuku has a strong image for being lively but when you enter its back streets, the stores lined up there are quiet and have their own character, and you can come across clothing and other items that are quite chic.

The return of the Christmas lights

From 1991to 1998 in December, there was Christmas illumination on a large scale through bulbs intertwined in the zelkova trees lining the main avenue. People everywhere gathered in Omotesando and it became very popular, but it was eventually cancelled due to dissatisfaction with the spectators and the large burden on the trees. However, there were voices among the local citizens who wanted to bring out some cheer from Omotesando so the lights returned in 2009, the first time in 11 years. LED lights were placed on roughly 100 of the zelkovas. A way to put the lights on has been devised so that there is little burden on the trees. Even after the return, it has been bringing about a bold character as a pioneer in Japanese illumination.

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Access

From Shinjuku Station to Omotesando Station:
Take the Marunouchi Line to Akasakamitsuke Station, change trains to the Ginza Line to Omotesando Station (15 minutes, ¥170)

From Tokyo Station to Omotesando Station:
Take the Marunouchi Line to Otemachi Station, change trains to the Hanzomon Line to Omotesando Station (16 minutes, ¥200)

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Reviews

a year ago
stylish area
Omotesando is a very sophisticated area with many luxury brands shops. The designs of the buildings are modern and stylish. Stroll into the alleys though! It's my fave part.
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2 years ago
Fashion area
Omotesando is a fashion area. I prefer Omotesando to Harajuku. Harajuku is more popular among young girls. You can find many shops, luxury brands as well, and cafes. It's somewhat like Champs-Élysées in Paris. At night, illuminated trees along the street are so gorgeous. If you want to go shopping in Tokyo, I recommend Omotesando!
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2 years ago
Lovely atmosphere!
I love Omotesando! You can find all international fashion brands as well as some very fashionable & good looking people! Great for a shopping spree~ Omotesando is also a grate place to eat and hang out with friends, they have nice restaurants and cafes as well as limited pop up shops with interesting items and foods! Its only 15 minutes walking from Shibuya, a pleasant walk if I may add! If you are going to Shibuya or Harajuku, definitively check Omotesando out!
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3 years ago
Posh!
I love to stroll around the area. It's near Harajuku, but more sophisticated and chic. There are many stylish shops and nice cafes. And if you go down to the end of the street, you can get to Nezu museum which has a lovely Japanese garden. You can enjoy both of shopping and Japanese ancient art in the area!
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3 years ago
Too trendy for my wallet
Omotesando is expensive. Lets start with that. Nestled next (within walking distance) to Harajuku is its big sister Omotesando, who caters for a slightly older crowd, who generally has more money than they know what to do with. While not all of Omotesando is expensive, it caters for those with money. There are many high end brand-name stores in Omotesando, where all the stars (apparently) pick up the latest look. Even if this is not quite your scene (Like me) Omotesando has plenty of quality coffee shops hidden in its alleyways. Prices may be slightly higher than other places, but it makes up for this fact with quality. I personally recommend "Omotesando Koffee" Oh yeah. Once again, bring money!
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