A few blocks past the high end shopping streets, a giant silver arch decorated in flowers and balloons welcomes visitors to Takeshita Street. Harajuku is known for teenagers showing off their unique fashions. Don’t plan to eat breakfast surrounded by Hello Kitty and Line Friends too early, the pink, cartoon, cotton candy scented wonderland with animated characters and bubbly writing doesn’t open until 11:00am.
We order breakfast from one of the few restaurants open before 11:00am, Noa Café. The cheese omelette sandwich was a little different than in the United States, consisting of fried egg, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, and mayonnaise on white bread.
Among the bustling street of cafés and boutiques selling clothes, makeup, French fries, ice cream, shoes, frilly lingerie, backpacks, and costumes, there are a few unique places to visit:
- Have a drink and pet an owl at the Owl Café.
- Cat Café Mocha is a coffee shop filled with cats to keep visitors company while enjoying a cup of coffee, chatting, or working remotely.
- Totti Candy Factory Shop sells the world’s largest cotton candy.
- Carts selling more than 100 varieties of crepes are on every street corner.
Kawaii Monster Café
Kawaii Monster Cafe is known as the cute cafe in Harajuku. Kawaii translates to tiny, cuddly, or sweet in English. Visitors take an elevator to the third floor and exit into Choppy’s pink and purple lair. Choppy is a fuzzy, purple, one horned monster representing the crazy Harajuku culture taking over Japan.
Guests pass under 2 large eyes and follow Choppy’s tongue, a red carpet, into his belly, the Kawaii Monster Cafe dining room. While waiting to be seated an IPad is available to browse the available dining rooms: Sweets Go Round, Mushroom Disco, Milk Stand, Bar Experiment, or Mel-tea Room.
- Milk Stand, located behind the merry go round, is a dining room with colorful animal heads hanging from the ceiling around a circle of giant baby bottles. A pink unicorn head, purple rabbit head, and green lamb head with glowing yellow eyes connect to the baby bottles by a strand of white lights. The outside of the booths are decorated in wavy pink, blue, and purple stripes.
- In the back of the cafe is Mel-tea Room. Stacks of huge pink, green, and purple macaroons are stacked from the floor to the ceiling along the walls. A trail of giant ants weave through the yellow, pink, and green melting ice cream cones dripping down the walls. Giant forks stick out of the strawberries floating in the stream of yellow ice cream. The booths are colorful, pastel tea cups.
- In Mushroom Disco, poisonous multicolored mushrooms, Venus flytraps, and flowers tower above the tables. Booths are decorated with wavy blue and yellow stripes, matching the weeds sprouting from the floor.
- The side of French fries arrive on a plate outlined in blobs of colorful sauces. The Colorful Rainbow Pasta Painter consists of flavorful, colorful rainbow pasta and pork on a painter’s palette surrounded by brush strokes of red marinara, yellow sauce, green pesto, orange cheese, and a blue garlic sauce.
Sweets Go Round
- Sweets Go Round is a frosted pink birthday cake carousel slowly spinning in a circle. A white unicorn, melty yellow dripping bunny, purple and pink striped top hat, and frosting topped cherries surround the cake as they bob up and down.
- The cafe servers are referred to as Monster Girls. Throughout the day, the Monster Girls perform to Japanese Music at Sweets Go Round.
- Each Monster Girl has a unique style. One wears a fluffy lavender wig with a white and blush tattered tutu. Another wears long, blue, braided hair in pigtails with an orange plastic dress and knee high socks. The third girl wears a small black top adorned with a black monster arm on her shoulder, black puffy skirt, and short bubble gum pink braided hair.
- Purple, pink, and green polka dot walls surround green cacti with yellow and pink thorns sprouting from the floor to the ceiling.
- Behind Mushroom Disco is an area for Gossiping Ladies. Giant red lips cover the gray and white zigzag walls surrounding red tables and chairs.
- Next to Mel-Tea Room is Bar Experiment, underneath a giant, blue glowing jellyfish reaching from the floor to the ceiling.