Japan is famous for its shopping. From designer brands and luxury items to the best beauty and cutting edge electronics you could think of, Japan has everything!! Here is a quick guide to what some of the best suburbs in Tokyo have to offer!
Around Shibuya Station you can find a large shopping district which has a main focus on youth fashion tends. It is home to some well known Japanese fashion clothing stores, such as Shibuya 109 as well as many big international labels such as Forever 21, Adidas and H&M. There are also many small boutiques featuring local and designer brands. The streets are bright with flashing signs and tall buildings! Definitely check out Shibuya 109, which has endless levels of womens fashion and super sales all the time!
Ginza is the high end suburb of Tokyo, featuring high end department stores, boutiques, art galleries and designer brand stores. Almost all leading Japanese and international brand name fashion and cosmetics company has a presence here as well as major electronic brands such as Apple. The shopping extends into the nearby Yurakucho area with more department stores, boutiques and electronic retailers.
Asakusa, and specifically Nakamise Dori, the shopping street that leads up to Senso-ji Temple is the best place I found to buy souvenirs and gifts. There are heaps of different stalls offering all kinds of products, such as yukata, kokeshi dolls and woodblock prints, as well as traditional food, clothes, and regular souvenirs such as magnets, keyrings, mugs, bags and umbrellas.
Shinjuku Station is the busiest train station in the world and all around it you can find endless shopping options. There is a great mix of major department stores, as well as international and local brands and outlets of Japan’s largest electronics retailers combined with boutiques and underground shopping arcades.
I think Harajuku was my favourite suburb in Tokyo. From the minute we stepped off the train, I was in love. Harajuku feels like it has a split personality with two parallel shopping streets that cater to very different shopping styles. Omotesando is known as Tokyo’s Champs-Elysees, a tree lined avenue with upscale boutiques, cafes and leading designer brands, while Takeshita Dori is centre of youth fashion on a very narrow street bustling with market stalls, souvenir gift shops and tiny little cafes full of plastic food in the window!
Ameyoko is a busy market street along the Yamanote Line between Okachimachi and Ueno Station.You can buy all kinds of things from this market, including clothes, bags, cosmetics, fresh fish, dried food, spices, fruit and chocolatey treats. The stores open around 10am and close around 8pm, and many stores stay closed on Wednesdays.
Another large shopping district centered around Ikebukuro Station, Japan’s second busiest train station. Ikebukuro competes with Akihabara as an electronics centre, with big electronic retailers aggressively expending in this area. It is also the home of Sunshine City, Tokyo’s first city within a city which includes an observation deck, an aquarium, a small indoor theme park and countless shops and restaurants, as well as a hotel.
If you’re spending the day shopping, plan your route on the subway to make sure you can fit everything in. You must visit Harajuku, Shinjuku and Shibuya when you visit, and depending what else you’re looking for I would recommend Asakusa for the best markets and Ginza for the best high end fashion.