Heading off to see Yoyogi Park and walk around the streets of Harajuku makes for a very satisfying day trip to Tokyo. It is easy to get to this area by train from Yokota – requiring no transfer to the subway. The trip offers a walk through beautiful park grounds and dense shopping streets; and showcases a nice juxtaposition between tradition and ultra-modern. The Meiji Shrine is located in the huge Yoyogi Park. According to Japan-Guide.com, the forest surrounding the Meiji shrine was planted when the shrine was constructed in 1920 and the trees were donated from all over Japan. The Meiji Shrine is very impressive. Try visiting on the weekend in the summer to catch a glimpse of a wedding procession. Come late October through November to see kids dressed up for 3-5-7 day. So beautiful. Then, for s0mething totally different, head back to Harajuku Station and then across the street to Takeshita Street. Come on the weekend to see teenagers dressed in anime and punk costumes. Go shopping in the trendy boutiques and used clothing outlets.
DIRECTIONS: Get on the train at Fussa or Akishima and head toward Tachikawa. Transfer to a Shinjuku bound train on the Chuo line. From Shinjuku, Harajuku is just 2 stops away on the JR Yamamoto Line heading toward Shibuya. Both the grand entrance to Yoyogi Park and the entrance to Harajuku shopping are located right outside Harajuku Train Station. Also note: Harajuku station is just one stop away from Shibuya Station making it easy to add Shibuya to a day trip to Harajuku/Yoyogi park. Enjoy! -Sarah Straus, October 2013