Shopping in Tokyo is a whole other experience. Forget what you know about shopping sprees, in this neon-lit city anything goes. You probably already know that Tokyo is shopping mecca. I mean, you are reading this aren't you? The question is if you are planning to visit my home town, where do you even start? The tangle of streets are lined with shop upon shop. From cutting edge stores selling products you didn’t even know were missing from your life until you laid eyes upon them, to markets where you can find traditional kimono, the issue isn’t if the product exists, it’s where exactly to find it. With this in mind, I have rounded up 10 of the best places to shop in Tokyo to make things a little easier for you. Whether you want to browse the luxury stores in Ginza or grab some souvenirs, I've got you covered so you can get shop like a local!
If you’re looking for a department store but wondering where to shop in Tokyo for something a bit more luxurious, Mitsukoshi is my first recommendation. Mitsukoshi started their business back in 1673 in the Edo period, and its European style building is designated as a nationally important cultural property. It’s not only a picturesque place to stroll and see the architecture, but great for high street fashion, traditional Japanese items, jewellery and furniture - it’s huge and houses some incredible shops in Tokyo. Their food hall is great too! They sell Japanese brands along with the most of the famous fashion labels from all over the world. It can be a little pricey to shop there, but I find it worth it for their good quality and service.
Oedo Antique Market - Tokyo International Forum
Next stop on my Tokyo shopping guide is Oedo Antique Market. This is the spot if you like antiques and vintage and feel like some treasure hunting. There are not as many markets in my city as there are in the UK or France, but antique and vintage markets do exist so you can still have an authentic shopping experience in Tokyo. Oedo Antique Market is my favourite market in Tokyo. It usually opens every two or three weeks on Sunday. The location is walking distance from Tokyo station (the nearest station is Urakucho), so you can also visit Tokyo station or The Imperial Palace before or after shopping if you feel like. There are lots of shops for Japanese, European, and Asian antiques, secondhand clothes, kimono, bags, and so on. Even just walking around the market is a fun experience, but it gets busier in the afternoon and sometimes things go quickly, so if you find something you really like, just get it!
Seria 100 yen shop -Shinjuku Marui Annex
You may want to get something for your own daily use, or souvenirs without spending too much money. Then 100 yen shops are the best places to go. There are many big and small 100 yen shops in Tokyo, but I would recommend Seria in Shinjuku Marui since most tourists would visit this area, and it has a huge range of items. You can find stationary, household items, toys, and more! Some of my friends bought chopsticks for their souvenirs there, and they also have some seasonal items for sakura (the cherry blossoms), Halloween, Christmas. And don't forget that everything is 100 (+tax) yen in these uniquely Japanese stores. I sometimes go to get daily use items there, and their goods are usually quite good quality for the 100 yen price!
Kyukyodo - Ginza
This is a pretty shop in Tokyo which has a beautiful collection of traditional Japanese papers, cards, fans and notebooks. Kyukyodo is worth a visit for its lovely paper and card collection for every occasion and season! It is very close to Ginza station where many big department stores and luxury brand shops are, so you can make this a stop if you’re checking out the stores in Ginza, one of the best places to shop in Tokyo. When I visited there in summer, it was so hard to choose one from a variety of fans, so I bought two at the end. Why don't you try to find your favourite pattern?
Loft - Shibuya
If you’re looking for something a little different, Loft in Shibuya is the store for you. If you are looking to find modern and innovative Japanese goods - some cool, some funny, some kinda silly - then is the best place to shop in Tokyo. They have a big variety of stationary, interior, kitchen, health and beauty goods and more spread over the seven floors of their huge building. You can find traditional Japanese design, but this is definitely more a place for modern Japanese style. I always find something new or interesting when I am shopping in Tokyo and make a stop here!
Archive Store - Shibuya
I had to put this super cool place on my Tokyo shopping guide. This hotspot is hidden away from the bustling crowds in a basement. It is like transcending into a different world as you enter the doors and into this edgy, hip shop in Tokyo. Here you will find the best local and international designers and clothes upon clothes laid out in exhibition-like order. The best part is that the prices are not that bad considering the high-end labels you can find here. And you can find the latest fashion and iconic pieces as well as an incredible collection of vintage and antique pieces collected from the world. This trendy Tokyo shop is almost like a museum for shoppers.
Ma-suya - Azabu-Juban
This is something a little different but still worth mentioning in this Tokyo shopping guide. You will not find clothes or souvenirs in Ma-suya Azabu-Juban but you will find salt. Yes, you heard me right. Salt. But before you shrug this little Tokyo shop off hear me out. This is not about table salt - you will find walls stacked with salt from all regions of Japan, and the world. This citrus salt blended with sesame, matcha green tea salt and even a salt-based soft serve ice cream, which is yummier than it sounds. Here, salt becomes an art. You heard of wine, coffee and tea connoisseurs? Well now salt has its own culture too.
Asakusa Tatsumiya - Asakusa
When shopping in Tokyo at some point you may have toyed with the idea of buying a kimono but, if you want something a little less extravagant to take home with you then visit Asakusa Tatsumiya, which specialises in high quality kimono-covered tumblers. Cool right? It is definitely the best place to shop in Tokyo if you are looking for souvenirs. Tatsumiya was founded 80 years ago and has remained a family business since. Their tumblers are made with Nishijin silk bands produced by skilled. The most beautiful patterns of the band are selected for each handmade tumbler. They are truly beautiful!
Ume Labo - Shimokitazawa
At some point your Tokyo shopping adventure will lead you to food. Why not go for something a little different, like plums. Doesn't sound too tantalizing? Don't be misled. At Ume Labo you will uncover gourmet plums and plum based products, which are an important part if Japanese cuisine. This Tokyo shop has a range of delicious items from plums fermented in sugar, honey or salt. You can buy whole plums, dried plums and even syrups that you can drink. It's such a sweet deal.
Who doesn't like stationary? You may have noticed, in Japan we certainly do. Your Tokyo shopping spree is not complete without exquisite Japanese stationary, which you can find at Haibara. This shop is Tokyo's historical outlet that has been trading for 200 years. Here you will find letter sets made from traditional washi paper, fans (uchiwa), beautiful notebooks, envelopes and much, much more. One of this store's pride and joy is its Gampi paper, made from thee “gampi” plant. A very fine high quality paper with silk-like glossy surface, this is perfect for writing. It’s not really your everyday writing necessities, but it’s a unique thing to do in Tokyo to splurge on some luxurious writing sets, and something Japanese people love.
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