Tokyo Shopping Guide
Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, is one of the largest city in the world with 17 million population. Ironically, as one of the most expensive cities in the world, Tokyo has gained a reputation as a consumer capital with its rampant and flamboyant consumer cultures. Most of Tokyo people have taken fashion seriously and branded minded as well. You may also meet men or women in extravagant outfit, colorful hair and bots on the streets easily.
Tourist attractions in Tokyo consist of many enormous shopping complexes in addition to the cultural favorites. Shopping around in Tokyo can be a challenge if you go without local guide. Although Tokyo people are genuinely friendly to show you the right direction, the street addresses are not friendly at all. However, as guidance we list 10 ‘hot’ shopping spots that you do not want to miss while you are in Tokyo.
The Ginza, a famous shopping district in the eastern of Tokyo, reigns supreme for ostentatious spending habits, with thousands of mega-stores, boutiques and an excessive array of non-functional novelty stores. There are two main department stores in two buildings:
- Wako, a classic department store in Hattori Building
- Mitsukoshi Department store on the other building
This is the place where wildly dressed teenager hang around and show off their Harajuku’s style. You can visit Laforet, a multi-storey building containing dozens of shops of the latest fashion for young people.
Aoyama is the city’s shopping district for high fashion of Japanese designers with boutiques like Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Hanae Mori. Other high-end boutiques are Prada, Louis Vuitton.
Omotesando, together with Harajuku and Aoyama, has been an attraction to everyone for 80 years and it continues to be a cultural center today. Omotesando today is still a place where all aspects of cutting-edge intelligence reside, be it fashion, culture or art with its new mall of Omotesando Hills at Omotesando Street that accommodates high-end shops like Yves Saint Laurent, Jimmy Choo, Emporio Armani, etc.
Shops in Daikayama are combination of vintage stores, chain boutiques and young-designer boutiques.
Shibuya is rife with higher-end shops, shrines, King-Kong-sized plasma TV screens and the busiest pedestrian street crossing in the world.
As opposite to Ginza shops, you will not find famous boutique names on this Bohemian neighborhood shopping street. This is place where you can find cheap vintage clothing store and surplus store or discounted stores.
Roppongi Hills complex, a modern shopping buildings bursting with shops, restaurants, a nine-screen cinema and art museum. It is one of the best shopping in Japan. The Hillside section of Roppongi Hills is known for upscale shopping with shops facing to beautiful garden. The upper-end international designer boutiques are located in the Keykaizaka Dori section.
The two newly opened shopping and dining complex in prestigious business district of Marunouchi (around Tokyo Station and Imperial Palace) are Marubiru and Marunouchi Oazo.
Tokyo Midtown is another Tokyo’s new modern shopping complex (after Roppongi Hills and Ometesando Hills) in a mixed use development of office, residential, commercial, hotel, leisure space in 6 high-rise buildings, completed in 2007. The retail Galleria is a 5-storey building presenting superb high-end restaurants and stylish shops such as Terence Conran restaurant, American food retailer Dean & DeLuca, Via Bus Stop, Chloe, Pleats Please Issey Miyake, and Bottega Veneta. (http://www.tokyo-midtown.com/en/)
Togo Shrine Market
If you like antiques, you may want to visit Togo Shrine Flea Market on the grounds surrounding the Togo Shrine at Harajuku. It is the best flea & antique market in Tokyo that is held on the last Sunday of every month. You can find samurai helmet, wooden dolls, coins, and other antique collectibles. If you lucky, you may find kimono vintage of a famous geisha.