Omotesando was planned in the Taishō era of the early 20th century and designed as an entranceway to the Meiji Shrine, Tokyo’s most prominent Shinto shrine, dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. With fashion stores all close to one another, it is a great place for window shopping on the way to the more affordable and youthful neighborhood of Harajuku, at the western end of the avenue. There are also lots of restaurants and bars along the way.
Some sightseeing tours of Tokyo visit Omotesando, which gives you an opportunity to learn more about the history of the area. If you are interested in architecture, you can also take a dedicated architecture tour for insights into the notable buildings on and around Omotesando, such as Omotesando Hills, designed by Tadao Ando, and Herzog & de Meuron’s Prada building.
Things to know before you go
- Omotesando is a must-visit for shoppers.
- For Japanese souvenirs, visit the 3-story Oriental Bazaar, in business for more than 60 years.
- Smoking is banned on the street, and eating while walking is frowned upon.
How to get there
Omotesando Station is on Tokyo Metro’s Chiyoda, Ginza, and Hanzomon lines. It’s a 10-minute walk from Shibuya and a 30-minute walk from Roppongi.
When to get there
Omotesando is at its prettiest after dark, particularly around Christmastime when the trees are decorated with lights. It’s also a popular place in March when the St. Patrick’s Parade marches down the avenue.
Modeled after the nearby Roppongi Hills, the sprawling Omotesando Hills shopping center opened in 2005. There are around 75 stores inside for men's, women's, and kids' fashion, as well as jewelry, watches, bags, shoes, and cosmetics. You’ll also find dozens of restaurants, cafés, and salons.
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