Harajuku is a mix of the weird and wonderful. On one hand, there are the mothers and their teenaged daughters shopping for lolita outfits together. On the other hand, there are the tall (and somewhat scary) African men touting their hiphop shops’ oversized wares.
Somewhere along the middle are shops geared more towards our tastes then the above mentioned subcultures: Kiddyland Harajuku, and the Evangelion Store Tokyo 01. Offering items you didn’t know you needed but definitely wanted, they are absolutely terrible places for people with poor impulse control.
Case in point: Kiddyland Harajuku (MAP). It offers five (five!) themed floors showcasing toys, collectibles, and character merchandise. The basement houses the recently relocated Snoopy Town. The ground floor is a general space that displays the newest in franchises — the flavor of the month appears to be Nameko, an oddly pahllus-shaped character based on the Japanese nameko mushroom.
The second floor is geared towards boys toys (but nothing wrong with us girls nabbing a few of them). You can find a variety of toy cars, action figures, trading card games, and personal gear from lines such as The Avengers, Pokemon, Lego, and Tomica. There are even Tokyo exclusive merch for some of these lines — such as the ukiyo-e-style graphic tees for Star Wars. The third floor showcases girls toys such as Hello Kitty and Disney, while the top floor is Rilakkuma Land — featuring all-Rilakkuma, all-the-time.
Another place that’s bad for your wallet is the Evangelion Store Tokyo 01 (MAP), located off a side street down Takeshita Doori. The store is divided into two sections: the Radio Eva section featuring streetwear and merchandise geared towards the fashionista set, and the Evangelion goods section for the more traditional (hardcore?) fans on the second floor.
One could easily drop tens of thousands of yen in this money pit without one noticing, but if I have one tip for you it’s probably this: pick one nice thing from Radio Eva, and spend what’s left of your change upstairs. Radio Eva goods are not cheap, but they’re quite nice to look at and are cleverly-designed so they are worth the investment. Whatever’s left, you can blow on stickers and notebooks and biscuits of whatever else that floats your boat, in the cheaper but no less dangerous Eva goods section.