Tokyo is a shopping mecca and our Tokyo shopping guide will help you find your place, whether you’re in search of the latest technology, quirky fashion, cosmetics, anime, or bric-a-brac. Tokyo has a store, and maybe even an entire street, devoted to almost everything imaginable, and more. With a varied and vast shopping scene scattered among its many districts, you can, quite literally, shop until you drop. Here are the best places to go to get your shopping on.
Shopping in Daikanyama and Nakameguro
The quaint neighborhoods of Daikanyama and Nakameguro have been termed Tokyo’s Brooklyn by some, thanks to its quiet, neighborly character, contrasting nearby Shibuya. The area is full of ultra-trendy boutique retailers where local designers such as Minä Perhonen and Okura sit alongside international fashion names such as Maison Kitsuné and APC, as well as niche international brands such as Le Labo and Saturdays NYC. Look for Sarugakucho street and start walking in and around the neighboring streets.
The Daikanyama T-Site, home to Daikanyama Tsutaya Books, is possibly the world’s most beautiful bookstore, whose design won an award at the World Architecture Festival, and a must-visit.
Shopping in Shibuya
Shibuya is one of the biggest shopping spots for trend-setting youth. Young and hip teens are everywhere, as is outrageous clothing and music shops. Although your age might make you a bit outdated, coming for a stroll and a browse is worth it for the culture alone. Other than the youth-crazed department store, Shibuya 109, in this electric district you can find small boutiques including local and international high fashion and designer brands. Many international brands make Shibuya the location of their Japanese flagships which is quite meaningful when considering the importance of Tokyo as a fashion center. Often these flagships are experiential; the Diesel flagship includes a downstairs gallery, for instance.
Shopping in Harajuku
Harajuku is divided into two distinct shopping areas. On the swanky Omotesando, you will find a gorgeous boulevard with high-end boutiques and designer brand stores. On the complete other hand, you can visit Takeshita Dori, a vibrant street swarming with bold fashion statements and photo-worthy foods.
Shopping in Harajuku and Omotesando
Harajuku is divided into two distinct shopping areas. On the swanky Omotesando Street, you will find a gorgeous boulevard with high-end boutiques and designer brand stores. The flagship stores for many of the biggest European fashion names such as Moncler, Stella McCartney, Prada and MiuMiu, can be found in pavilion-like buildings at the eastern end of the street, designed by leading architects such as Herzog and de Meuron.
Meanwhile, world-famous Japanese brands such as Bathing Ape and Comme des Garcons can be found in the neighborhood. At the Omatesando Heights mall, some of Japan’s most fashionable locals can be found
On the complete other hand, for the Harajuku made famous in the late 90’s by Britney Spears, visit Takeshita Dori, a vibrant street swarming with bold fashion statements and photo-worthy foods. Small boutiques and vintage stores contain retro-fashion and a glimpse into the incredible sub-culture and brand of Harajuku.
Shopping in Ginza
Ginza is one of the most popular luxury shopping areas in Tokyo, for Japanese and foreigners alike. If you’re an upscale shopping, Ginza is the area you’ll want to base yourself in. In Ginza, there are long-established high end department stores, boutiques, cosmetic stores, and art galleries. You can find practically every big Japanese and international fashion brand as well as leading electronic brands like Sony and Apple. Be sure to check out the Dover Street Market and the department store, Ginza Six.
Shopping in Shinjuku
Around the Shinjuku station, you will find one of Tokyo’s biggest shopping and entertainment areas. The Shinjuku station is the world’s busiest train station, with over three and a half million people passing through the station every day. In Shinjuku, you can find anything and everything your heart and imagination desire. There are all the leading department stores, high-end fashion stores, big electronic retailers, and boutique stores. For luxury brands, Isetan is the best department store to spend the big bucks, Lumine Est is the hottest spot for teenagers, and Disk Union is popular among music lovers.
Shopping in Ikebukuro
Ikebukuro is one of the most popular shopping districts in Tokyo and has one of the biggest selections of electronic stores. Its shopping district is based around Ikebukuro Station, the second busiest train station in Japan. Among the stores that are here are BIC Camera and Yamada Denki Labi.
Shopping in Nihonbashi
Those who are in the market for more traditional crafts and regional foods will find pleasure in Nihonbashi, a district that was once a leading center of trade. Japan’s first department store, Mitsukoshi, is located in this district as well as smaller shops that have been in existence for hundreds of years.
Shopping in Roppongi
Roppongi is another district that offers buyers many different upscale stores. There are shops ranging from fashion to accessories and household items.
Shopping in Akihabara
Akihabara has the biggest concentration of electronic stores in Tokyo. It is home to retailers like Yodobashi Camera, Laxos and Sofmap and hundreds of smaller discount electronic stores located along the streets and back alleys. Other than electronic goods, the area is also famous for its underground geek culture where you can go to find unique items like gaming, manga, and anime.