Omotesandō (表参道) is an avenue, subway station and neighborhood in the Minato and Shibuya wards in Tokyo stretching from Harajuku Station, specifically, the foot of Takeshita Street, to Aoyama-dori where Omotesandō station can be found. Zelkova trees line both sides of the avenue. Around 100,000 cars drive down the main street daily. Omotesandō was originally created as the frontal (表, Omote) approach (参道, Sandō) to Meiji Shrine, when the Shrine was dedicated in the Taishō era.
Today, Omotesandō is known as one of the foremost 'architectural showcase' streets in the World, featuring a multitude of fashion flagship stores within a short distance of each other. These include the Louis Vuitton store (Jun Aoki, 2002) Prada building (Herzog & de Meuron, 2003), Tod's (Toyo Ito, 2004), Dior (SANAA, 2004), Omotesandō Hills (Tadao Ando, 2005) and Gyre (MVRDV, 2007), amongst others.
It is an upscale shopping area featuring several international brand outlets, ranging from Louis Vuitton and Gucci to Gap, The Body Shop, Zara, and others. It is one of two locations, in Tokyo, considered by Chevalier to be the best location for a luxury-goods store. Omotesandō is also home to the Japanese toy store Kiddyland, a shopping center geared primarily toward young women, Laforet, Oriental Bazaar, and Gold's Gym. It is sometimes referred to as "Tokyo's Champs-Élysées". Its latest development, Omotesandō Hills, opened in 2006. Omotesandō's side streets feature a range of trendy cafes, bars, and restaurants, as well as boutique stores specialising in everything from handbags to postcards to vintage glass bottles. Every year, Omotesandō is the venue for Tokyo's Saint Patrick's Day Parade.