Back Streets of Harajuku Contrast with the Main Street
Ura-Harajuku is the common name given to the network of smaller Harajuku backstreets. Ura literally means ‘back’ in Japanese. Ura-Harajuku contrasts with the main vehicle thoroughfares and retail offerings of Harajuku, being mostly pedestrianized and showcasing smaller independent shops and restaurants.
Cat Street, a long, narrow road following the course of the main Shibuya River tributary, is the principal route through this district. The street was established above the Shibuya River in 1964, when the Tokyo Olympics were held. It is considered the center of Ura-Harajuku, which features many street fashion shops. Cat Street is the spiritual home of Tokyo’s vibrant street fashion culture. It is called Cat Street because there used to be a lot of cats that lived in the area in the past.