Harajuku is a great and convenient place for the tourist to visit; all those kids dressed up in weird Lolita-goth outfits, young trendy shops, a nice temple and a park, it has it all. But the one true destination must be the 6 storey toyshop located roughly in the middle of the large street, Meiji Dori, that leads away from Harajuku station.
Though Kiddy Land has a lot of branches here and there, the Harajuku shop I think is biggest and attracts crowds of kids and old-enough-to-know-better foreigners. Its 6 floors are separated into themes, from general toys and holiday themed items on the ground floor to video games and merchandise, character goods, girls’ toys, five foot tall Tororo dolls, Super Mario Bros. key chains, Barbie, Miffy, army-themed Lego rip-offs, real American porn-star talking figurines, toy karaoke microphones, once even a solid gold 1 million yen miniature Porsche model, you name it… It truly is a paradise of play, a mecca of merchandise, and other alliterations too!
If you’re looking for specialized manga or anime figurines or toys there are better places to go, in Akihabara for instance, but if you’re up for a general drinking in of ambiance, a giddy shopping tour to buy your kids or yourself something only available in Japan, or if you’re just sick of visiting temple after temple, Kiddy Land Harajuku is the place to go.
Location: Harajuku Station is on the central Yamanote line, one stop from Shibuya. If you walk there from Shibuya you can follow the narrow trendy shopping street which ends on Meiji Dori right next to Kiddy Land.
NOTE: There once was a time when you could have a rest and a drink to recuperate from your shopping spree at Rodney’s Café in the backstreets across the road from Kiddy Land. This happy, colourful café was designed by Rodney Greenblat, the genius designer behind Parappa the Rapper and many other fantastic characters. They served things like “Probably the world’s best coffee” or sandwiches shaped like Thunder Bunny. Even the toilets were bright and happy and had toilet paper holders shaped like crocodile mouths and whatnot. Sadly it seems to have closed down a few years ago, probably because, even with a highly detailed map, it was impossible to find.