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27 November 2010 @ 04:10 pm
The Complete Guide To Harajuku J-Shop  
Finally, the guide takes us to Tokyo, the last installment until I have the chance to go to Fukuoka, which won't be quite a while yet (a few years, more like.)

With no further ado, I present you:


  • 営業時間 (Hours) : 10:00am~7:00pm
  • 〒150-0001
    渋谷区神宮前1-14-21 イルサリチェビル1F (Il Salice Building, 1F, 1-14-21 Jingu-mae, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo)
This is by far the most popular one, I would say, especially for us international fans. Located (again off a small side street) in the world-famous Harajuku (原宿) district in Tokyo and a neighbor to the numerous idol merchandise stores along Takeshita-dori (竹下通り), it's extremely conveniently situated in terms of trip planning and everything.

However, this also means that a lot of other people will have the same ideas as you and flock to the store in droves, especially on weekends, holidays, near any concerts and events, and not to mention when new sets of shop photos come out. Of course, the same goes for every location, but the Harajuku one, especially, often requires you to get there first thing in the morning and get number tickets with the designated time for your entry to the store from the staff. When I was there in September, it was a normal weekday, and I made sure to avoid the Arashi concerts in the beginning of the month, and I got a bit lucky too, so I didn't have to get a ticket and wait for my time slot, but don't assume that will be the case. If you know that you will be going on a day that might be crowded or if you're running on a tight itinerary and wants to be sure that you can get the shop photos taken care of on a specific day, I suggest getting there at around 8, or slightly earlier if it's on a day like during the new year holidays or perhaps the golden week in May. I've heard tales of people getting there at 7 or 8 and getting the number ticket for around 4 in the afternoon around New Years. So the moral of the story is: avoid weekends, holidays, and con/events if possible, and get there early and walk around Takeshita-dori while you wait instead of making it the last thing on your list for the day.


(Map and information courtesy of Johnnys-net.jp)

Now, I would strongly suggest you take the Metro Chiyoda Line (千代田線) or the Fukutoshin Line (副都心線) to Meiji-Jingumae Station (明治神宮前), since if you do so and take exit 3 (which is on the Chiyoda side of the station), the side street where the J-Shop is located will be pretty much right in front of you. On the other hand, Harajuku Station (原宿駅) on the JR Yamanote Line (山手線) is still not that far away, but it will be harder to navigate for people not already familiar with the lay of the land.

So, if you're taking the Metro, then exit through exit 3, which will be on the Chiyoda Line side of the station. You will exit out to a small park area surrounded by buildings and stores. There should be a Takoyaki store (pictured above) on the left when you enter the small street where the J-SHOP is located.

On the other hand, if it's more convenient for you to come by ways of JR Harajuku Station, take the Omotesando (表参道) exit and walk towards the direction Shibuya/Yoyogi/main entrance of Meiji Shrine, to the opposite direction of the people heading towards Takeshita-dori. There should be a pedestrian footbridge right down the street close to the nearest crosswalk, cross the street there towards the direction of a small park area and look for the Takoyaki store pictured above.

If it's a busy day, the line for entering the store should be around the small park area in front of the Metro exit and the pedestrian footbridge, so be on the look-out for girls waiting in line and staff passing out number tickets. If you don't see any lines or staff around passing out number tickets, head down the street towards the store. It's in a building called "Il Salice," and the "Johnny's" sign should be pretty hard to miss. Scroll up for the first picture if you need a picture reference. I didn't get the chance to take a picture of the actual store front though.

The store will consist of the ground floor and the basement floor; both carry exactly the same things, so decide which floor to go to based on the length of the line at the register and the size of the crowd on each floor, but if it's an extremely busy day it won't make much of a difference.

Follow the fake cut to advises on how to proceed inside the store:

( Buying Photos/Merchandises )

And after you're done and/or while you wait, don't forget to check out the numerous stores carrying paparazzi photos and merchandises, and not to mention the AU store in the area for CM fliers if you're an Arashi fan! 
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