Shopping In Tokyo
Name a brand and chances are you'll find it in Tokyo. From luxury items to the 100-yen stores dotted across every neighbourhood in the city, this sprawling metropolis is one of the shopping capitals of the world. Whether it's electronics in Akihabara, high-end couture in Omotesando or the high street brands found everywhere along the Ginza, Tokyo is the sort of city in which an extra suitcase comes in decidedly handy.
Shop 'til you drop in Shinjuku, hit the fashion hotspots of Shibuya or simply hang out with the hipsters of Harajuku. From major department stores like Mitsukoshi, Seibu and Isetan, to popular brand names like UNIQLO and COMME des GARÇONS, there's no reason to leave empty-handed in this one-stop shopping paradise.
Our Top Picks
1-3-15 Aomi, Koto, 135-0064
Don't let the drab exterior fool you; Venus Fort is one of Tokyo's premier shopping destinations. Why? The stunning European-inspired interior certainly helps. So too does the artificial setting sun, which rises and falls every half hour. But it's the staggering variety of outlets on offer that attracts bargain-hunters and boutique shoppers alike to this veritable citadel of Odaiba commerce.
Takashimaya Times Square
5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya, 151-8580
Looking for a retail space that has it all? Look no further than Takashimaya Times Square. If you've ever set foot in Shinjuku, you'll know all about this multi-storey behemoth, which looms high above neighbouring Shinjuku Station. Boasting high-quality restaurants, a well-appointed food hall and countless big-name brands, this spectacular shopping emporium is a favourite for tourists and locals alike.
Shop Like A Local
When it comes to shopping like a Tokyoite, you can't get more authentic than a trip to the Tsukiji Fish Market. The largest wholesale fish market in the world, Tsukiji is a veritable smorgasbord of all things seafood and a great place to enjoy the freshest sushi you can possibly find.
If Tsukiji sounds all too fishy, why not try your hand at some vinyl record shopping? Tokyo is the place to find rare and out of print records, with the city boasting hundreds of dedicated record stores catering to even the most discerning of music fans.
With a spacious, airy layout and lovely lacquerware goods, this fashionable shop is a must for souvenir hunters—and anyone else who appreciates fine design. Rice bowls, sushi trays, bento lunch boxes, hashioki (chopstick rests), and jewelry cases come in traditional blacks and reds, as well as patterns both subtle and... more »
Founded in 1673 as a dry-goods store, Mitsukoshi later played one of the leading roles in introducing Western merchandise to Japan. It has retained its image of quality and excellence, with a particularly strong representation of Western fashion designers. The store also stocks fine traditional Japanese goods—don't miss the art... more »
This chain carries a wide and varied assortment of goods, including hobby and crafts materials, art supplies, and knitting and sewing materials, as well as jewelry, household goods, stationery, even cosmetics. There's a new café and exhibit space on the 7th floor with an ever-changing selection of small goods from... more »
This chain features generically branded housewares and clothing at reasonable prices. You'll find a large selection of furniture, appliances, and bedding at the massive Ginza store, all in the signature Bauhaus-inspired simplified designs. If you're a bit overwhelmed by all the options, relax at the dining area that boasts—what else?—Muji... more »
On the fourth floor, the gleaming Matsuya houses an excellent selection of Japanese fashion, including Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, and Comme Ça Du Mode. The European-designer boutiques on the first and second floors are particularly popular with Tokyo's brand-obsessed shoppers. Subway: Ginza, Marunouchi, and Hibiya subway lines, Ginza Station... more »
Vinyl junkies rejoice. The Shinjuku flagship of this chain offers Latin, rock, and indie at 33 rpm. Be sure to grab a store flyer that lists all of the branches, since each specializes in one music genre. Oh, and for digital folk: of course CDs are available, too. Subway:... more »
This fashion "epicenter," designed by Herzog & de Meuron, is one of the most buzzed-about architectural wonders in the city. Its facade is comprised of a mosaic of green glass "bubble" windows: alternating convex and concave panels create distorted reflections of the surrounding area. Many world-renowned, nearby boutiques have tried... more »
Kokichi Mikimoto created his technique for cultured pearls in 1893. Since then his name has been associated with the best quality in the industry. Mikimoto's tower in Ginza is a boutique devoted to nature's ready-made gems; the building, like the pearls it holds, dazzles visitors with a facade that resembles... more »
Wannabe samurai can learn how to tell their toshin (blades) from their tsuka (sword handles) with help from the English-speaking staff at this small shop, which has been open since the Meiji era (1868–1912). Items that range from a circa-1390 samurai sword to inexpensive or decorative reproductions will allow you... more »
These vertical malls filled with small retail shops and boutiques are all in walking distance of one another in the commercial heart of Shibuya. Parco Part 1 caters to a young crowd and stocks many trendy "it" brands from the local runways, though Comme des Garçons Black and the curiously... more »