Few other places are as fashionable and eclectic as Omotesando Street and Harajuku. From numerous high-end world renowned brands on either side of Omotesando Street to the colourful and emerging Japanese fashion of Harajuku, there is sure to be an outfit in the crowd that will make you glance at least twice. There is a little of everything when it comes to fashion. It is also particularly convenient for travellers as free WiFi is readily accessible when walking down Omotesando Street. This key fashion hub of Tokyo also has an array of cafes and restaurants with a variety of other stores to ensure plenty of entertainment for everyone.
Omotesando regularly attracts the upscale fashion conscious eager to browse through the numerous iconic stores in the area. Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren are just a few of the labels that have a presence on the street. The relatively new addition (in 2005) of Omotesando Hills boasts 130 stores, including an array of fashion outlets with numerous cafes and restaurants offering fatigued shoppers a comforting respite. Omotesando is also known as Tokyo’s Champs-Élysées, the famous fashion street in Paris, and was designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando. Between the fashion stores are little cafes and restaurants and other retail stores providing a fairly eclectic mix of themes on the street, including Kiddy Land, which has a massive range of toys and even has a Snoopy Town Shop inside.
The general Omotesando area rivals Ginza in terms of designer labels and is just a short walk away from the teenage fashion hub of Harajuku, a trend setting teen hangout with an abundance of colourful fashion. Visitors are sure to set eyes on stylish, cool and sophisticated patrons usually in their 30`s or 40`s walking down Omotesando Street. Just up the road on Takeshita Street, visitors are treated to more emerging and alternative fashion styles (and the occasional weird and gaudy outfits) of Harajuku. There are also plenty of fashion stores that are a little more affordable in the area. The variety of styles has turned Omotesando and Harajuku into key fashion hubs in Tokyo.
Omotesando literally means “path leading to a shine” and in this case the road leads to Meiji Shrine (one of the most famous shrines in Japan). Beside the shrine, the Yoyogi Park is a popular hangout, especially during spring and summer when people make their annual hanami pilgrimage to drink and eat under the sakura. Omotesando Street itself is lined with zelkova trees, also known as the Japanese elm, which is commonly used as an ornamental tree for bonsai. The zelkova arch over the wide Omotesando Street, creating a more open feel compared to many of the narrow streets and alleys commonly found in Tokyo.
Fortunately, Omotesando Street has free wifi which can be accessed along the street from Omotesando Station to Meiji-jingumae Station, on both sides of the street. Unfortunately there are a few “dead zones” and the internet can be a little slow at times. So you may have to wander a little to pick up a connection. Right after you have picked up a connection, it is sometimes best to stay there in case the reception drops out.
If you are looking to delve into the fashion of Tokyo and explore the range of styles or looks, then Omotesando and Harajuku are a must. It is a place where you can mingle with some of Tokyo’s most fashionable and also be intrigued by all the colorful, cute and emerging fashion trends in Harajuku.
Conditions of use: Accept all terms and conditions, and provide an email address.
Connection time available: 30 minute sessions, unlimited sessions.
Usable area: Omotesando Street, from the A3 Exit at Omotesando Station to the end of Omotesando Street near the Nike store, with a few “dead spots” where it can’t connect.
Please refer to the map below:
Disadvantages: As mentioned above, even along Omotesando Street there are several areas where you may not be able to connect. Furthermore, the network isn’t available on Takeshita Street or on any of the interesting side alleys branching out from Omotesando Street.
For fast, interruption-free internet use, you might want to consider a portable “pocket wi-fi” solution such as Ninja Wi-Fi.
Steps to connect to Omotesando Free Wifi:
- Search the available WiFi networks and select “Omotesando_Free_WiFi”.
- Open an internet browser and click on the English menu.
- Click on “Access the internet here”.
- Click on “Register now”.
- Read and scroll down the page titled “Terms of Service” and click “Agree” to continue to the next step.
- Enter your email address and click “continue”.
- Click “I agree” on the page detailing security warnings.
- A page will confirm that the device is connected and then a subsequent page will open with information about the area titled “Harajuku Omotesando”.