If you are heading to Harajuku – Takeshita Street to be precise, don’t forget to check out Sweet Box Crepes. We have been to the Harajuku thing with our kids more than once and I do have a separate post on how to make it worth your while with kids this post is just going to address our visit to Sweet Box Crepes for the most part.
Crepes are THE thing on Takeshita street. Santa Monica Crepes seems to be what tourists know about and like to wait in line for. We however always avoid Santa Monica Crepes. Not because it is not good, but just because the line is always a mile long. It is even a mile long on the weekends… when it is rainy. With a squirmy toddler we look for the area with no line no matter what trendy thing we are going to miss out on!
Sweet Box Crepes was about $5 for a Chocolate ice cream with Banana and whipped cream. It was really good. The chocolate ice cream was so good infant that we probably would have just ate that all by itself! It was not overly sweet and the whipped cream was really fluffy and fresh. It was worth our $5 and it was big enough that we got to split the treat between all of us.
They also supplied us with tiny plastic spoons so we could eat it while walking (although eating while walking is a no-no in Japan) and then we all got to share while using our own tiny spoon.
We did not get napkins although they were probably available. We didn’t have too much of a mess considering four of us were sharing – including a toddler- while walking in a crowd. We just peeled the paper down that held it all together to finish eating the actual crepe.
Another good point about picking out your crepe from Sweet Box is that you can see all the ordering possibilities in big plastic cases on the sides of the building. Each type of crepe available has a plastic replica made and on display so that you can see what exactly is in every kind. This made it really hard for our kids to decide and in the end I took them to wait on the side of the street so our stroller was not in the way of the line and the Dad did a great job deciding on a great flavor without our extra 3 indecisive minds!
The staff worked quickly and the order was made fresh. So your crepe will come out still hot and delicious… not rubbery! Also – if you have limited Japanese skills or none at all this is no problem. You can pretty much point to what you would like to order if necessary and the staff will help you out. As it is made fresh though be prepared to wait a few minutes for your order to be ready. It doesn’t take long but you will have a couple minutes of wait time.
You can find Sweet Box on Takeshita Street just as you enter from the Harajuku station side. You will enter through the main colorful side and walk down the hill. Look for Sweet Box on the right side of the street. If you miss it, it is across the street from Paris Kids hair accessories shop. If you pass La Pass you have walked too far. It is easy to spot as it sits on the first corner you will come to on Takeshita street entering from the station side on the right.
The above photo is looking down the street from the Sweet Box Crepes Shop. You know if you pass these landmarks you have gone too far!
There is an area in from of the shop that you can sit down on the street and enjoy your treat if you want or you can just keep shopping and walking down the street. We came here on a weekday and found a spot to eat our treat easily, although we choose to keep walking to enjoy our shopping time! Plus we felt that we were in a time crunch as our parking was on the expensive side!
Most shops and food stalls on the street are open from 11:00 to 8:00. This can be different form shop to shop but this is the general operating time. I suggest getting there at opening time and enjoying things before the crowd gets really heavy in the late afternoon. The earlier you get there on the week days the most you will actually get to see. On the weekends it can be so crowded that we had to ship many attractions just because we couldn’t even get from one side of the street to the other with kids due to the crowd.
Strollers and Baby Wearing:
If you are going to visit Harajuku on the weekend I highly advise you to not bring a stroller. It is very crowded. So crowded in fact that you will literally be bumping into people the entire time. If it was the weekend I would still baby wear my toddler. I would be afraid that she would get lost just holding our hands in the crowded area, SO that is my suggestion.
However if you go on the week days it will still be crowded but you could use a small umbrella stroller. We did use a stroller on our last trip and it seemed to be fine. However this week day was not on a holiday and it was not very warm yet. So be aware of the weather and the time of year that you will be visiting as this will effect the crowd size on the street.
For those traveling with a wheel chair be advised that the street is very steep when coming from Harajuku station side. If you are using a wheelchair or have a handicapped or elderly visitor in your party you may want to enter Takeshita street from the opposite end near forever21 as this area is at the bottom of the hill and not steep. Actually this would be advised with strollers as well. I had to keep a really good hold on my umbrella stroller when walking down from the station side.
How to get there :
To visit Sweet Box Crepes you can drive or use the train.
if you do take the train you will want to take the JR Yamanote route and exit at the Harajuku Station stop. Takeshita Dori street will be right across from the station with a large colorful sign showing its entrance.
.If you drive you can just simply type in “harajuku station” into your google maps. It will easily get you there. We have used this multiple times and had no issues finding this location.
The difficult part you will face is parking. If you are driving just get to the area early so that you do not spend an hour looking for an open parking spot (happened to us!).
We drove and parked at a 7/11 area just down the road. Much of the parking in the area is about 20-30 minutes for between 300 or 400 yen. We stayed for around 2 hours and had to pay 1200 yen to park. ($12.00 for 2 hours of parking).
Also take note if you are traveling with little ones that bathrooms can be a bit difficult to find here. We had to make a bathroom stop and used the 7/11 down the road. We did not see bathrooms in most of the shopping area or most snack shops. Most snack shops on the street were for take away (take out) orders and there was not inside seating. There are coffee shops and small restaurants if you walk a little further off of the main Takeshita area but I would advise a bathroom stop at the train station or another area before you actually enter Takeshita street itself. If you do locate one you may have too long of a wait for a young child.
We will share more about Takeshita Dori in Harajuku in another post. We wanted to really focus on Sweet Box Crepes so that you and your kiddos could have a plan in place for your visit here. We did try out other crepe venues on previous trips but we found this to be the easiest for families with children. Shorter line, on the corner offering space for a larger group to eat, reasonable price, lots of variety of flavors to pick, and some shades to stand under while in line. It was also English friendly ordering so don’t be intimidated! If you want to check out their full menu just check out www.crepes.jp however it is in Japanese only. Please leave a message if you want to know more and we will get back to you as soon as possible if you need help with your trip to Takeshita Dori!