The capital city of Japan is one shopping haven. As you stroll from one street to another, there’s definitely something to tickle your fancy.
So, we have made a rundown of various shopping districts along the streets of Tokyo and listed down what they have to offer.
Without further ado, here are the 20 best shopping place in Tokyo.
1. The laid back Asakusa
The Tobu Asakusa Station is where you’ll find trains heading towards the suburbs and prefectures north of Tokyo. Inside the station, the building is the eight-story Matsuya department store. Meanwhile, the Asakusa Underground Street, or the Asakusa Chikaga, is among the oldest underground shopping streets in Japan connecting the Tobu Asakusa Station to the Shin Nakamise Shopping Street. The said passageway has about 20 shops and restaurants.
Meanwhile, the Nakamise shopping street is lined by more than 50 shops offering local specialties and tourists souvenirs. Other shopping locations in Asakusa are Kappabashi, a long avenue of shops selling restaurant tools and equipment; Marugoto Nippon selling made-in-Japan products; and Rox, a shopping and entertainment complex selling fashion items for ladies and kids.
2. The futuristic Odaiba
Odaiba is a shopping and entertainment district situated on top of a man-made island in Tokyo. It was built towards the end of the Edo Period which was between1603 to 1868 and was initially intended to ward off attacks from the sea. It was not until the second part of the 90s decade when hotels, shopping malls, and other establishments started popping up. Since then, Odaiba has become a popular shopping destination in Tokyo.
Currently, Odaiba is home to the Aquzcity, Decks, and the Diver City shopping malls. Aside from that, the Palette Town shopping complex and Venus Fort shopping mall is also a popular spot in Odaiba.
3. The hip Aoyama
High-end retail therapy is the unique offering of Aoyama. It is one of the best shopping neighborhoods in Tokyo that houses famed Japanese designers, the chain of international shops, and specialty shops. Upscale and luxurious, the area offers a great shopping experience through its numerous designer stores such as Maison Kitsune, Louboutin, Miu Miu, Stella McCartney, Dior, and many others. Aside from western stores, local fashion influencers like Issey Miyake, Hanae Mori, Rei Kawakubo’s Commes des Garcons, and Jun Takahashi’s Undercover also found their homes in Aoyama.
An odd street named “Killer-Dori” or Killer Street has been known for its street fashion stores since the 1970s. The stretch runs from the other end of Minami Aoyama to Gaien-nishi-Dori; starts at Aoyama Cemetery, crossing Aoyama-Dori and through the adjacent Jingu-make area up to Senjun intersection.
4. The eclectic Naka-Meguro
Lined with a sakura tree and dotted with a large number of artisanal coffee shops, obscure clothing boutiques, and designer stores, Naka-Meguro is one of the neighborhoods in Tokyo where creative minds go to play. It is a district with an artsy and edgy streak but retains its elegant and upmarket fashion flowing from Daikanyama and Ebisu. Though it is primarily residential, it has a laid back ambiance that is different from its counterparts in the city. Its’ line up of stores include Vase, specially curated stores that stock avant-garde designers and vintage pieces; 1LDK Apartments, a minimalist and abstract clothing brand; SML, selling handmade ceramics and pottery; and others.
5. The base of the Tokyo Skytree—Tokyo Solamachi:
An exciting shopping and entertainment complex boasting of over 300 shops and restaurants, Tokyo Solamachi is located at the base of the Tokyo Skytree. It offers a wide variety of unique and specialized establishments. An entire floor was filled with souvenir shops offering character goods, Japanese interior designs, and snack that interests tourists.
Aside from the shops, the complex also has a large food market, food court, and four floors dedicated to restaurants. Shoppers can also spend their time in other places of interests such as the Sumida Aquarium, the Tenku Planetarium, and the Postal Museum which opened last March 2014. It has a collection of stamps from all over the world and an interactive display and exhibit of the history of Japan’s postal service.
6. The original art of Kuramae
In between Asakusa and Tokyo Skytree on the east side of Tokyo is the neighborhood known for leatherworks and other handicrafts, Kuramae. Artisans have been inhabiting the area since the Meiji Period, and its beautiful retro charm has garnered the attention of craftspeople and other artists, as well. A relaxed, downtown district, Kuramae used to house large warehouses. However, these large spaces were converted into a chocolate factory, tea shop, cafes, and more. The past few years have seen a spring of new generation of designers and independent stores, continuing the artisanal tradition while keeping the understated, relaxed vibe of the neighborhood.
7. The relaxing Roponggi
The opening of the Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown has brought in quite a number of new shopping and dining choices in the district of Roppongi. These shops specialize in fashion, accessories, household goods, and interior design. At the heart of the two shopping complexes stand a towering structure made from steel and glass, the Tokyo City View. It houses two world-class hotels—the Grand Hyatt Tokyo and Ritz-Carlton Tokyo. Aside from the hotels, The Tokyo City view is also home to indoor and outdoor observation platforms offering panoramic views of the city. The Mohri Garden, another attraction in Roppongi Hills is where one can relax with its waterfalls, plants, and trees. The Tokyo Midtown Garden, on the other hand, holds regular open-air events like seasonal markets and outdoor cinemas.
8. The center of youth fashion—Shibuya
The birthplace of Japanese youth fashion, the Shibuya is home to well-known trendsetting clothing stores and small fashion stores. It is one of Tokyo’s most colorful and busy districts, packed with shoppers and diners.
The iconic Shibuya109 is a haven for fashionable teenagers while Shibuya Hikarie and Seibu are for sophisticated shoppers. Around the Jinnan area are the distinctive select shops.
Shibuya also has a place for designers and creators, and the Tokyu Hands or Loft are just two of modern lifestyle megastores that can be seen here. Discount giant Don Quijote also has well-stocked shelves of quirky souvenirs for that ultimate Tokyo shopping experience. Oh, don’t forget to take a picture of Shibuya Scramble Crossing!
9. The extremes of fashion—Harajuku
Another center of fashion in Tokyo, Harajuku is the melting pot where the high fashion, youthful trends, and counter-culture meet. In between Shinjuku and Shibuya, Shibuya is where one will find the most extreme of the teenage fashion culture as well as the adult fashion and historical sights. Tree-lined Omotesando is Tokyo’s Champs Elysees; with its upscale boutiques, cafes, and leading designer shops. Meanwhile, Takeshita Dori is the hub for youth fashion and counter culture cramped together with shops and cafes catering to the younger teenage crowd.
On the other hand, Harajuku is not just about fashion. It also hosts the Meiji Jingu, one of Tokyo’s major shrines, together with the Yoyogi Park. Ota Memorial Museum of Art, and the Nezu Museum.
10. The Old Ladies’ Harajuku—Sugamo
Tokyo’s fashion hubs do not only cater to the trendy youth. The Sugamo’s 800-meter long Jizo Dori shopping street is where elderly customers can get their hands on the latest fashion. With over 200 shops, older shoppers are treated to a wide selection of clothes, traditional foods, and other goods. Among the shopping district’s popular item is the signature red underwear which comes in a variety of designs and is thought to bring good luck to those wearing it.
The Jizo Dori street is elderly-friendly—with its flat streets and textured bricks that prevent slipping. Majority of the shops are barrier-free and are equipped with ramps to accommodate walking sticks or wheelchairs.
11. For the mature yet edgy shopper—Koenji
Once home to Tokyo’s punk scene in the 1970s, Koenji has a vibrant suburban underground culture. This is where shoppers will find retro culture and shops for used records, equipment, and clothing. Thrift store abounds, and those looking for fresh, cutting-edge second-hand clothing will have a field day rummaging the shops for bargains. But unlike the usual thrift stores, the items here in Koenji are well-priced and in excellent condition. Love Soul and Sokkyo are just two of the retro stores carrying a superb range of the 60s and 70s retro fashion. Kirakuya and Mame Budou, on the other hand, offer a vast selection of vintage kimono and beaded bags.
12. One of the largest shopping districts—Shinjuku
A word of warning—stepping inside Shinjuku can get overwhelming. The one-stop shopping destination is home to several major department stores, including flagship stores and outlets of Japan’s electronic retailers, shops, and boutiques. More than three million people walk the streets of Shinjuku every day to buy something.
Among the shopping centers in Shinjuku is Isetan, which was established way back in 1886 to become one of Japan’s most respected brands. There is also the famous fashion mall, Lumine and Bicqlo, a retail space for the unique collaboration between Uniqlo and Bic Camera. If one is looking for Japanese street culture, he or she will never go wrong with the Beams flagship store.
13. The battleground of department stores--Ikebukuro
As Japan second busiest train station, Ikebukuro is also considered as one of the three main shopping centers in Tokyo, home to countless fashion boutiques, furniture stores, restaurants, cinemas, and so much more. Ikebukuro also competes with Akihabara as an electronics center as big electronic retailers just started expanding operations in the area.
Ikebukuro is also a center of the Otaku culture, catering more towards female clients. Cosplay related shops such as Animate, Mandarake, and K-Books are present in the area while the center of the female otaku is located along Otome Road, which is an excellent place to find doujinshi, or self-published manga or novels.
14. The bohemian Daikanyama
Take a leisurely walk along the streets of the hipper-than-hip Daikanyama. Fashion boutiques, burger bars, organic vegetables, designer book stores, and artisanal chocolate enhances the sophisticated and expensive vibe of the place.
It also has a good number of places to eat. People who go here will never get hungry with the abundance of food shops selling gourmet burgers, organic vegetable dishes, pancakes, pastries, burritos, rice balls, and a lot more.
15. The upscale Marunouchi
While it is known as the business district on the west side of Tokyo Station, the Marunouchi district has several office building interstitched with cafes, restaurants, and shops.
The Kitte Marunouchi is the latest shopping, dining, and cultural establishments occupying the first six floors of the 38-story JP, or Japan Post, Tower. Aside from the shopping stores, Kitte is also home to one of Tokyo’s best museums, a post office, a tourist information center, and a terrace overlooking Tokyo Station.
16. Tokyo’s premier—Ginza
With nearly every leading Japanese and international cosmetics and fashion brand present, Ginza has become one of the most glamorous districts in Tokyo. Popular among the affluent, the area is home to posh boutique stores and high fashion labels.
The kilometer-long Chuo-Dori street is where most action takes place. It is closed to vehicles during weekend afternoons and public holidays. But, in between the impressive façade and the glitz and glamor, lies traditional craft businesses such as the folk art of Takumi and the multi-story toy park, Hakuhinkan.
17. The electronic and Otaku culture mecca—Akihabara
Hundreds of electronic shops—from one-man stalls that specialize in a particular electronic component to large electronics retailers—line the streets of Akihabara. From the newest computers, latest gadgets, and second-hand goods, the road of Chuo Dori will surely satisfy shoppers.
On the other hand, the last decade has seen how Akihabara emerged to become one of the centers of Japanese Otaku and anime culture, with dozens of stores selling anime goods, manga, video games, and other collectibles.
18. The historic merchant district—Nihonbashi
The leading center or trade and commerce during the Edo Period, the Nihonbashi district continues to uphold and promote trade and business of Tokyo as its oldest shopping district supporting local retailers. The flagship store of Mitsukoshi, Japan’s first department store, has long-held history here.
The same is true with several centuries-old shops which are still operating in the district up to this day. A lot of these shop specializes in local food and traditional crafts such as lacquerware, gold leaf, knives, chopsticks, sake, and a lot more.
19. The urban cool—Shimo Kitawasawa
With a wide array of an individual second-hand store, the Shimo Kitawasawa district is the center of all things second hand. The area projects vibe of modern urban cool with the number of hipster coffee shops, vintage fashion stores, hole-in-the-wall eateries, recorded music outlets, and live music venues that call Shim Kitawasawa home.
It is also where one can find Victoria-era inspired cosplay costumes. But if you are looking for a place to offload or trade-off some of your clothes, head on to the New York Joe Exchange, the store that sells imported, unbranded used clothing and also buys from or trades with customers.
20. The metropolitan—Kichijoji
Kichijoji is conveniently located and easily accessible from two of Tokyo’s major stations, Shibuya and Shinjuku, and home to one of the biggest parks in Tokyo. It is a residential neighborhood with a lot of unique shops, clothing boutiques, and restaurants.
One does not even need to go out of the station. Inside, the public can already buy fruits and vegetables and grocery items. Outside, one can find the covered shopping arcade flanked by the roads Koen-Dori and Kichijoji-odori.