Omotesando (表参道) is a tree-lined avenue located between Shibuya and Harajuku, and best known for luxury goods store’s and high quality products.
Omotesando is considered one of the most beautiful streets in Tokyo, because of stunning architectural buildings on both sides of the avenue. Originally Omotesando was build as approach to the Meji Shrine, Omote(表) meaning front and Sando (参道) approach or way, thus meaning frontal approach. While technically the name refers to the street only, it is also used for the wider area in the near vicinity.
These days the street is lined with luxury brand stores, that for the majority are fashion and jewellery related. These include Louis Vuitton, Dior, Omotesandō Hills, Ralph Lauren and many others.
What to do in Omotesando
Because of its location, Omotesando can easily be added to any visit to Harajuku, Shibuya or Yoyogi park. A visit can be as short as walking up and down the avenue or as long as half a day exploring the area, marvelling at the architecture and enjoying the rich shopping variety. No matter how long your visit may be, here are our top recommendations for Omotesando.
If you’re in the market for the latest fashion then you’ll love Omotesando. Think of international brands like Gucci, Chanel, Dior, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, TOD’S. Armani. Each has its own brand store. There are also plenty of smaller boutique stores in the side streets of Omotesando for even more variety.
Enjoy the modern architecture
Modern architecture is at the heart of Omotesando, the single neighbourhood has more buildings by great modern architects than any other part of Tokyo. Walking down the street you’ll encounter buildings like the Audi Forum Tokyo, Tokyu Plaza, Dior Omotesando, Prada Building, Omotesando Hills, Gyre and many more. Most buildings are open to the public and can be explored from the inside too.
Omotesando Hills is a large and luxurious shopping complex with about 130 shops. Unlike larger brand shops close by, shops in Omotesando hills are smaller and sell a wider range of brands and items. The complex is also special in that has 12 stories but 6 of them are build below ground. Omotesando Hills is also a great place to pick-up a cool souvenir.
Talking about souvenirs, Oriental Bazaar in Omotesando has everything Japanese you may want, and is probably the best-known gift shop in Tokyo. Products are genuine and not just aimed at tourists. Think about antiques, dolls, furniture, kimonos, yukata and much more. A must-visit if you plan to bring something home from your Japan trip.
How to access Omotesando
Omotesando can be reached easily on foot from Harajuku JR station. Simply take the JR Yamanote line and get out at Harajuku. Take the front entrance of the station, go right and walk from 2-3 minutes and there is the start of Omotesando. The Yamanote line is covered by the Japan Rail Pass.