WHERE TO SHOP IN TOKYO

Tokyo is one of the world’s financial “superpower”; joining London and New York City, it is considered one of the three headquarters for the global economy. Various kinds of industry, trade, and commerce exist in the city: banking, insurance, electronics, fashion, food industry, beauty and health, apparel, telecommunications, entertainment, and automobiles.

Many of the companies had established their bases in Tokyo, making it one of the busiest and densely populated cities not only in Japan but also in the world. The locals share the “metropolitan prefecture” with the immigrants, the expats, and the tourists every day, giving birth to the unique character the city is most known for — the overwhelming sea of people. One of the famous spots to witness this incredible phenomenon is the Shibuya Crossing, where restaurants and retail shops abound.

Tokyo has a lot more to offer when it comes to shopping; you can score great deals, especially during the sale seasons like summer and winter sale, New Year Sale, and also the Golden Week. Also, many stores offer tax-free shopping for foreign visitors whose items exceeded the amount of ¥5000. There are shopping districts and establishments aplenty. Here are some of the shopping destinations in Tokyo.

Tokyo Essentials


Tokyo Pocket Wi-fi
Stay Internet-connected while in Tokyo!
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Japan Local SIM
Local SIM Card with data plan!
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Tokyo Subway Ticket
Unlimited rides to all subway lines in Tokyo!
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Tokyo Pocket Wi-fi
Stay Internet-connected while in Tokyo!
➡️ RESERVE HERE

Shinjuku

This is where you will find one of Tokyo’s two biggest and busiest train stations — the Shinjuku Station. Connected to this massive train station are equally huge retail establishments like Takashimaya, Isetan, Keio, and Lumine, and underground shopping haven. You will find many fashion brands here, both high-end and casual, as well as unique clothing shops. Other finds are appliances and electronics.

Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku Station


Shibuya

As mentioned before, this special ward in Tokyo is known for its large intersection, the Shibuya Crossing. Not too far away is the famous statue of a dog named Hachiko. And just like a heart beating fast, Shibuya boasts seemingly endless department stores, offering a wide array of products and services to different types of shoppers, sustaining Shibuya’s lively atmosphere. The tourist favorites are Shibuya 109, Shibuya Hikarie, and Loft.

It is the home of the world-renowned Japanese designer brands like Issey Miyake, Acne Studios, Undercover, and Beams. It is also where you can feel the youthful vibe and quirky fashion of Harajuku district. Other popular streets and districts are Takeshita Street, Omotesando, Center Gai, Koen Dori, and Spain Slope.

Nearest Station: JR Shibuya Station


Ginza

If you are looking for international luxury brands, the right place to be is at Ginza. Here, upscale department stores boast expensive brands such as Chanel, Christian Dior, Prada, and Louis Vuitton among others. Issey Miyake has found a niche in one of Ginza’s posh streets. Some of the popular high-class retail complexes are Tokyo Plaza Ginza, Matsuya, Mitsukoshi, Marronnier Gate, and Hankyu Men’s Tokyo. Casual brands, like Uniqlo, can also be spotted here.

Nearest Station: JR Yurakucho Station or Ginza Station (subway)


Akihabara

If you are looking for electronics and gadgets, Akihabara will drown you with seemingly inexhaustible choices. Some of the well-known electronics shopping complexes are Akihabara Crossfield and Yodobashi Camera. Most of the electronic shops are concentrated along Chuo Dori street. These shops sell all gadgets and electronic devices that you can think of — cameras, phones, personal computers, laptops, television, appliances, and spare parts. Some stores are small, while others are as huge as one whole building, offering specific kind of electronic products per floor level. Some sell brand-new stuff, others sell second-hand items.

Aside from the electronics, Akihabara has been gaining a lot of attention from the otaku population. If you like reading manga or watching animé, Akihabara got you covered. Find interesting memorabilia and merchandise of your favorite animé or manga. Other interesting features found in Akihabara are the themed cafés, particularly the “maid cafés”. Want more kinky goods? The shopping complex also has adult shops mingling with the electronics and otaku; one such shop is M’s Pop Life Sex Store. Naughty!

Nearest Station: JR Akihabara Station


Ameyoko

This busy open-air street market in Ueno offers a various selection of cheap products: clothing, fresh and dried food, cosmetics, accessories, and souvenirs. The street market is close to Tokyo’s sightseeing spots; therefore, it’s not surprising the place is teeming with tourists. Not only tourists enjoy the great deals in Ameyoko but also the locals. As long as you like bargain shopping, Ameyoko is the right place for you. Stores normally open at 10 AM and close at 8 PM.

Nearest Station: Ueno Station


Sugamo

Just five minutes walk from Sugar Station, you will easily reach the famous Jizo Dori street, spanning 800m of about a couple of hundreds of shops and food stops that mainly cater to the elderly. As the more mature counterpart of the youthful Harajuku, Sugamo’s Jizo Dori has gained the moniker the “Old Ladies’ Harajuku”. Some of the sought-after products are the traditional sweets Shio-Daifuku, which is made of pounded rice with red bean paste filling, and the different styles of RED UNDERWEAR, which is believed to bring good fortune to the wearer. Other goods sold here are clothing, trinkets, and souvenirs.

Nearest Station: JR Sugamo Station


Nakano

Another Otaku destination is Nakano, where various manga and anime products are sold. The Nakano Broadway shopping complex is where you can find plenty of manga, animé, and Japanese idol collectibles and merchandise such as key chains, playing cards, action figures, DVDs, video games, and other merchandise you can think of relating to otaku culture.

Nearest Station: JR Nakano Station


Don Quijote

You will find countless products here, from food to beauty products to electronics to clothes and accessories to luggage and kitchenware to toys — both kids and adults’ toys. Aside from the brand new ones, it also offers pre-loved luxury brand items such as LV, Prada, Coach bags and wallets, and more. Don Quijote is a department store chain with branches scattered around Japan.


Odaiba VenusFort

Odaiba is an attraction in itself because it is located on a man-made island in Tokyo Bay. If Odaiba is part of your itinerary, you might want to visit VenusPort. The design of the shopping mall was inspired by the 18th-century South European town. The entire third floor is dedicated to outlet stores of well-loved brands such as Levi’s, Puma, United Arrows (Women), Beams, Citizen, and Samsonite.

Nearest Station: Aomi Station (Yurikamome Line), Tokyo Teleport Station (Rinkai Line); both are operated by Tokyo Waterfront Area Rapid Transit


Reminders

  • Know the guidelines on how you can get tax-free shopping experience. For instance, the products purchased exceeding ¥5000 should be either all consumable OR non-consumable, not a combination of both.
  • If you are a foreign visitor, always bring your passport with you. You may need to present them to avail discounts and promos exclusive only to foreigners, like the tax-free shopping experience.
  • During sale season, most of the items sold cannot be returned or exchanged, so examine the products before paying for them. For regular seasons, it’s best to know the return and exchange policies of the shops.
  • Some shops don’t allow fitting of clothes on sale. Make sure you know the equivalent of your size to that of the Japanese standard of measurement for apparel.
  • When trying on shoes, it is rude to do it barefoot. Wear socks or ask the staff regarding this.
  • Do not be shy to ask the staff for assistance. They are attentive to the customers’ needs.
  • When shopping for electronics and appliances, make sure that it is compatible with the electrical outlet back home. Some products are only compatible with Japan’s electrical outlets. Check also the warranty coverage.
  • During winter, particularly December and January, some stores have shorter operation hours than usual.

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