The beginnings of Harajuku began when World War II ended. During that time U.S. soldiers and their families began to occupy the area known as Harajuku. Harajuku became an area where curious young people flocked to experience a different culture. Soon after in 1958, Central Apartments were built in the Harajuku area and were quickly occupied by fashion designers, models, and photographers. In 1964, when the Summer Olympics came to Tokyo the Harajuku area was further developed and the idea of “Harajuku” slowly began to take a more concrete shape. After the Olympics the young people who hung out in the Harajuku area, frequently referred to as the Harajuku-zoku or the Harajuku tribe, began to develop a distinct culture and style unique to their different groups and the area. From this distinct style grew the notion of Harajuku as a gathering ground for youths and as a fashion mecca.
Located directly across from the exit of JR Harajuku Station, Takeshita Street (Takeshita-douri) is very popular with young teenagers, particularly those visiting Tokyo on school trips, or local young people shopping for small "cute" goods at weekends.
Takeshita Street is a pedestrian-only street lined with fashion boutiques, cafes and restaurants in Harajuku in Tokyo, Japan. Stores on Takeshita Street include major chains such as The Body Shop, McDonald's and others, but most of the businesses are small independent shops that carry an array of styles. The shops on this street are often a bellwether for broader fads, and some are known as "antenna shops," which manufacturers seed with prototypes for test-marketing.
Takeshita Street was a reliable place to go and purchase fake Japanese and American street brand goods from the early 1990s to 2004. Since 2004, a stronger metropolitan government stance on counterfeit merchandise has led to a decrease of such items being available to the public.