Exploring Harajuku is more than just walking down the famed Takeshita Dori Street. There are so many side alleys and hidden shops you need to explore to get a real sense of what Harajuku is all about and not just the touristy side of things. I’ve tried to make this list an easy to follow walking path from the station so you don’t have to backtrack too much!
Blocks away from Shinjuku Station, the busiest train station in Tokyo, you'll find Nakano. Nakano feels like the amalgamation of everything we dream about Japan being. You can find some of the best ramen shops, grandmothers dumplings, bustling Japanese shopping centers and the best in Japanese pop culture. And the best part about Nakano is that it's a low-rise neighbourhood, meaning that unlike Shinjuku with it's towering neon skyscrapers, this feels more like a quiet suburban community.
Nighttime in Akihabara for us went the same way every night. We would come home from a long day of walking around Tokyo, dump our stuff, and head out to find something delicious. We were never disappointed. We never lacked for options. And never lacking for excitement
Nakano Broadway is an indoor shopping complex with over five floors of anime, manga, figurines, rare toys and retro electronics along with lots of generic Japanese Pop Culture goodies. If you are into "otaku" (nerd) culture or want to get all nostalgic over retro toys or just are looking for a super neat place to wander on a rainy day you HAVE to check out Nakano Broadway.