Five Unique Experiences at Harajuku’s Latest Development Harakado

Harakado, opened on April 17, 2024 at the Jingumae intersection along Omotesando Street in central Tokyo. The shiny, brand new facility was designed by architect Akihisa Hirata, whose interest in tangled, organic structures, is on full display in his rendering of the facade and outdoor spaces. The reflective surfaces are a nice complement to its sister site’s kaleidoscopic entrance of mirrors.

But where Harakado really differentiates itself is on the inside, occupied by an unusual selection of non-profit spaces and low-margin businesses. From public hot baths to a free magazine library, below are the five ways we would spend our time inside Harajuku’s latest development.

1. Relax in the Kosugiyu Sento

The sento revival is real, ya’ll. We’ve written extensively about Japanese public baths making a comeback but this is the first time one is opening inside a major shopping complex. And It’s the outpost of Kosugiyu in Koenji.

Open from 7am – noon and then again from 6pm – 11pm, for just 520 yen anyone can head to the basement level of Harakado and unwind in the baths. Note the during the pre-open period of April 17 to May 12 the baths are only available for those who live and work in the neighborhood.

2. Flip through thousands of free magazines

On the 2nd floor of Harakado is COVER, a space stocked with over 3000 magazine titles all available to flip through for free. From current titles to vintage magazines dating back to the 1960s, COVER is dedicated to the bygone era when magazines were the purveyors of culture.

The space is operated by the Bunkitsu bookstore with support from over 30 different magazine publishers who are hoping visitors who stop by will rekindle their love for magazines.

3. Sit around the bonfire of the sun

The HARAPPA public space on the 4th floor is inspired by an open field of greenery. The centerpiece is “Bonfire of the Sun,” a giant digital public art installation created by PARTY.

Fourteen moving lights installed inside the sun, totaling approximately 70,000 lumens, are controlled to create the flickering of the bonfire and the grandeur of the sun. “By sitting around this sun as if by a bonfire, we feel appreciation for the sun on an even more personal level,” say the creators. “The gentle, warm light even evokes memories of lying in a field and basking in the sun’s rays.”

4. Feast in the food hall

The 5th and 6th floors are a melting pot of different food stands, cafes and eateries, many of which were sourced locally, and promise something for everyone. There’s the beloved Zijin which has been serving chinese favorites in Harajuku since 1966. There’s also a new famiresu concept called FAMiRES operated by the chic sio, one of the hottest restaurants of the Yoyogi-Uehara neighborhood.

5. Hang out on the 7th floor terrace

The roof terrace on the 7th floor is a luxurious, open space overlooking Jingumae intersection, as well as Harakado’s sister site Omohara. With trees, shrubs and a green wall, it’s a welcome escape from the crowds down below and the perfect place to sip a cup of coffee and waste an afternoon.

1 Comment

  1. Nigel Coates

    May 6, 2024 at 4:21 am

    What an exciting addition to the Tokyo cityscape. It makes me want to fly bac k to Tokyo tomorrow!

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