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Urahara (sometimes Ura-hara or Ura-Harajuku) is part of Harajuku that literally translates as “back gate” or “wrong side”. Made up of the back alleys and streets hidden behind the front side of Harajuku where fashion boutiques line the streets and Gyaru teenagers spend their time, Ura-hara is home to a collection of creativity and artistry, small cafes, murals, and a large number of back alley fashion, accessory, jewelry, and other independent shops.


Getting to Ura-Hara

Urahara is basically the entire area of Harajuku to the east of Meiji Dori and the north of Omotesando Dori. So, if you left Harajuku Station at the Takeshita Dori Exit and walked down Takeshita, you would reach Urahara after crossing Meiji Dori. Once you crossed Meji Dori, the entire area on that side of the street is Urahara.

One of the technical entrances to Ura-hara begins at the graffiti wall art on the Kyu Shibuya-gawa promenade. Located on Cat Street, this mural has art work by Satoshi Rocca, one of Harajuku’s early trend-setters and artists in the 1980s. The region, still described by its inhabitants as purely bohemian survives despite the flashy trends of its upscale neighbor.


Urahara Fashion Shops

In Urahara, visitors will find a collection of independent Japanese designers and artists such as No Dead Artist, Junkyard and Scare who have set up shop to sell their clothing and accessories, as well as small Japanese cafes and other indie shops. Clothing lines, while as trendy and highly regarded as the Harajuku counterparts are commonly seen here with the likes of Candy Stripper, Putumayo, Nowhere, and the Clockwork Gallery. Combining the graffiti style art of the area with pip sculptures and galleries of art and clothing, Urahara is a combination of bohemian roots and modern fashion sense, described by some as a 1980s style East Village art scene.

Urahara Cafes

Urahara also has a large number of small cafes that are popular with the young trendy crowds that frequent the area. Many of the cafes serve tea and coffe, food, and alcohol and some even feature live music or other live events in the evenings. There are also restaurants serving anything from traditional Japanese good to exotic ethnic dishes. On of the most famous Mexican food restaurants in all of Japan is located on the outskirts of Urahara - Fonda de la Madrugada.

Urahra Art

Probably the most famous small art gallery in Japan is the Design Festa gallery in Urahara. This gallery is the host of the huge and world famous twice yearly Design Festa Event at Tokyo Big Sight in Daiba. The actual Design Festa gallery in Harajuku hosts several revolving shows of different small artists every week. The gallery's philosophy is that any artist can show at the gallery and they do not judge the quality of the work as most other galleries do.



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