Omotesando Street 表参道 (pronounced Oh-moh-tay-sahn-doh)
Omotesando Street is an unusually wide avenue (by Tokyo
standards) lined by Zelkova trees giving shade to top designers' shops like Chanel, Prada and Dior (shown below).
It even has cafes with outdoor seating, for these reasons it's sometimes referred to as Tokyo's Champs-Élysées.
Here's a short YouTube
video we took while visiting in 2010:
Omotesando is filled
with the gigantic versions of the upscale boutique stores that line the streets of areas like Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills
or Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. In many cases, the store will be the largest store owned by a particular designer.
Omotesando is also home
to its own legendary toy store called "Kiddyland", much like the famous FAO Schwartz in New York it has
just about every toy a child or adult can imagine, but with its own Japanese flair.
Inside Kiddy Land you might find it decorated for a holiday or special event.
It's also famous for its hard to find limited edition toys and dolls. Pictured
above are customized NEO Blythe dolls: Johnny Depp's "Captain Jack Sparrow" from "The Pirates of the Caribbean"
on the left and Hayden Christensen's "Anakin Skywalker" from "Star Wars: Episode III" on the right, from a display at
Kiddyland has been here for 60 years and is arguably the
most enduring icon of toydom in Tokyo.
The latest and greatest project completed in Omotesando
is a shopping center called "Omotesando Hills"
Omotesando Hills 表参道ヒルズ
in 2005 at a cost of nearly $330 million, Omotesando Hills construction was met with some controversy as it took the place
of some historic Dojunkai apartments. Despite this, the moment the complex
opened it became an instant success.
Omotesando street is set at a slight incline, so Tasao Ando,
the designer of Omotesando hills, featured ramps indoors to mimic the famous slant of the street.
Omotesando Hills Ramps He also made sure that the building was not higher
than the famous trees lining the street, by constructing several floors underground, which would normally block
out sunlight, but his brilliant construction and position of the skylights also ensured that natural
sunlight could spread all the way down to the lowest floor. Making Omotesando Hills a naturally bright and uplifting
What's shopping/window shopping without great food? Well,
if the sun's out and you want to continue basking in the sunlight you can check out one of Omotesando's Parisian inspired sidewalk
Anniversaire Cafe アニヴェルセル
recommend window shopping in beautiful Omotesando and saving your money for a nice tea and dessert at Anniversaire Cafe.
What could feel more luxurious than looking at expensive Prada, Chanel and Dior merchandise in possibly their most beautifully
appointed settings and then ending your day at a sidewalk cafe with a delicious dessert (pictured below) and a gorgeous
Check out a video of our trip to Anniversaire Cafe in 2010:
To get to Anniversaire
Cafe, take the Tokyo Metro (Ginza or Chiyoda line) to Omotesando station and go south on Omotesando road (on the right hand
side of the street) just past the Fendi store (the Gucci store is on the opposite side of the street), you'll see the cafe
(as pictured above), make a right under the stone arch to get to the entrance. :-)
Getting There - Omotesando
中野 - Take the Chuo 中央 line or Chuo-Sobu 中央
総武 line to Shinjuku
新宿 and transfer to the Yamanote 山手 line to Harajuku 原宿
and follow signs to the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda 千代田
Line and take that to Omotesando 表参道.
Time: 19 minutes
新宿 - Take the Yamanote 山手 line to Harajuku 原宿 and
follow signs to the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda 千代田
Line and take that to Omotesando 表参道.
Time: 12 minutes
Alternatively, if you happen
to be in Shibuya 渋谷,
you can take the Tokyo Metro Ginza 銀座 line
directly to Omotesando 表参道.
For more upscale shopping and restaurants,
please click the link below: