Everything You Need To Know About Shopping In Tokyo

Published by: BouncePosted

Originally named Edo, Tokyo is a booming city with a long history that stretches back hundreds of years. Its culture and architecture are a unique blend of Western modernity and Eastern traditions you’ll see everywhere. It was previously a small castle town and is now one of the world’s largest cities with stunning scenery, fascinating heritage, and intriguing historical sites.

Tokyo is a wonderful tourist destination with plenty to offer its visitors. Whether you’re looking to discover more of its ancient past in a thrilling museum, meditate in an old temple, or soak in a bath in the middle of gigantic trees, incredible experiences await you in this diverse city. Some of the activities in Tokyo are free as well! And if shopping in Tokyo is your primary reason for visiting, you’ll be delighted with the endless options worth spending your savings on.

From one-of-a-kind Japanese souvenirs, traditional crafts, and anime-related items to high-end fashion and vintage wares, Tokyo has everything to meet your shopping needs. Head to any of its bustling shopping streets filled with large department stores, fashion boutiques, and shopping malls. When you’re done exploring the shops and still have somewhere else to go, leave your bags at luggage storage in Tokyo for maximum flexibility and comfort during your trip.

Best Tokyo Shopping Areas

Ginza

Ginza is the city’s most famous upscale dining, shopping, and entertainment district. Its main streets are home to high-end restaurants and several large department stores, while the backstreets offer boutique shopping and small yet exquisite cafés and bistros. There are also nightclubs, art galleries, and flagship stores.

Most shops in the Ginza shopping district are open daily. But the best time to visit is during weekend afternoons, as central Chuo Dori street transforms into a pedestrian paradise. You’ll see countless visitors window-shopping, dining, and watching people from tables. It is also home to the iconic Mitsukoshi, Japan’s oldest department store chain, founded in 1673. It houses many top brands and an incredible kimono department.

Don’t miss the chance to explore GINZA SIX, a modern shopping complex and the district’s largest commercial facility that opened in  2017. It boasts around 241 shops and restaurants, contemporary art installations, a Noh Theatre, a rooftop garden, and other features to complete your shopping and entertainment experience in the heart of Tokyo.

Asakusa

At the center of Tokyo’s low city, or ‘shitamachi,’ is another beautiful shopping district where you’ll still feel the atmosphere of the city’s colorful past. Asakusa is the ideal place to buy quirky and memorable souvenirs at small stalls. They sell an array of authentic Japanese items, including wooden kokeshi dolls, traditional fans, masks, and t-shirts with kanji characters.

Stroll through Nakamise, Asakusa’s main shopping street lined with souvenir shops on every side selling lovely local gifts, sweets, and snacks. It runs for about 250 meters on the main approach, leading you to Sensoji Temple, the district’s main attraction. It’s a notable Buddhist temple established in the seventh century. You can easily explore Asakusa on foot, providing lots of opportunities to browse craft stores and sample local delicacies at Japanese restaurants.

Shinjuku

Considered one of Tokyo’s best shopping districts, Shinjuku is a bustling area with numerous stylish shopping malls and department stores. From renowned international brands to local retailers, there’s no shortage of options for every style and budget.

Start your adventure at Isetan, a trendsetter with an extensive display of luxury brands and limited-edition items. Directly linked to the west side of Tokyo’s busiest train station, the Shinjuku Station, is Keio Department Store. It sells many different items, including kids’ toys, fashion, cosmetics, accessories, household items, traditional Japanese goods, and many more. Another notable shopping spot in the area is Shinjuku Takashimaya, with many retail outlets offering popular products and things in sports, lifestyle, food, and fashion.

Harajuku

One of the must-visit shopping districts in Tokyo is Harajuku. It is located around Harajuku Station, between Shibuya on the Yamanote Line and Shinjuku. It appeals to the young generation with its booming cosplay culture and teenage fashion but also offers some historical points of interest.

The district’s iconic shopping spot is Takeshita Street, a pedestrian shopping area lined with trendy fashion boutiques, chic shops, used clothing stores, fast food outlets, and cafes. Most shopping outlets here are geared toward trend- and fashion-conscious teens, but there are also shops to buy homeware, house décor, art, jewelry, and furniture.

If you’re here to eat, tucked in a quiet backstreet is Tamawarai, a Michelin-starred soba noodle restaurant that entices the crowd with its delicious and fragrant noodles. There’s also a natural wine store, restaurants, donuts, and snack shops.

Omotesando

Lovely restaurants, funky cafes, and beautiful shops are waiting for you at Omotesando, a major shopping destination and a pleasant neighborhood in Tokyo. If Harajuku attracts a younger crowd with trendy fashion, Omotesando boasts magnificent architecture and shops that draw in more luxurious spenders. Its runs between Aoyama and Harajuku, with wide, tree-lined sidewalks.

The area is always packed with shoppers, especially on the weekends. It’s not unusual to find lines of customers eagerly waiting for the newest shop, event, or fashion line to open. If you’re here for luxury shopping, visit Omotesando Hills, stretching 250 meters down the main street. It is home to famous international fashion labels like Chloe and Valentino and a selection of local designers, such as Jun Hashimoto and Yohji Yamamoto. The shopping complex is also close to several flagship stores like Dior and Louis Vuitton.

You may not find many bargains on Omotesando boulevard, but it’s still a good place to look for nice souvenirs. Stop by Oriental Bazaar, which has everything from green tea cups to kimonos for your loved ones.

Shibuya

No shopping in Tokyo is complete without discovering the stores at Shibuya, one of the city’s best and busiest shopping areas. Along with Shinjuku, Shibuya is a major hub on central Tokyo’s west side. It is especially popular among young people, with huge department stores, nightclubs, and never-ending places to dine, entertainment, and things to enjoy.

This vibrant district can be pretty crowded. It’s a center for youth fashion and with streets giving birth to many of the country’s entertainment and fashion trends. Its most important landmark is the buzzing intersection in front of the Hachiko Exit. This intersection is heavily decorated with neon lights and massive video screens.

Check out Shibuya19, an impressive fashion shopping mall offering an outstanding selection of the hottest local and international brands. You can discover many reasonably-priced products and fashion items here, making it a favorite spot for tourists and Japanese shoppers. Walk along the street, and you’ll find numerous restaurants serving gourmet specialties and handmade Japanese food by artisan chefs.

Marunouchi

Nestled between Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace is one of the country’s most prestigious business districts, Marunouchi. It was home to some of Japan’s most powerful feudal Lords in the Edo Period and is now the headquarters of many of the country’s most prominent companies. For the past decades, the district has been receiving a significant facelift by replacing older buildings with new skyscrapers, dining areas, and shopping complexes.

One of its landmarks is the Marunouchi Building (Marubiru), dominating the area’s skyline. It opened in 2002 in front of Tokyo Station with restaurants and shopping opportunities on the lower six floors. The central station is also a place to shop, crammed with retail outlets both outside and inside the ticket gates.

If you want a break from the tall office buildings in the area, swing by Marunouchi Brick Square. It’s a charming square courtyard with a small garden, green lawn, fountain, and benches for relaxation and to allow you to embrace the atmosphere.

Akihabara

For those looking for gadgets and electronics, go to Akihabara. It’s the country’s electric town and the epicenter of otaku culture. It’s a haven for cosplayers and diehard fans of pop idols, manga, anime, and gaming, offering a unique cultural experience in Japan.

Akihabara was once a hotspot for sellers of electronic parts in the black market. Today, its streets have become densely packed with industry experts and legitimate electronics retailers up-to-date with the latest trends. Electronics megastores are in fierce retail competition, and specialty parts shops are lining the streets.

The atmosphere here is like no other, with buildings in bold colors and music. If you visit on weekends, don’t be surprised to find huge crowds of cosplayers and performers transforming into their chosen characters. Maximize your experience and join the fun by entering one of the photo and costume studios.

Odaiba

Complete your shopping at Odaiba, a stunning area on Tokyo Bay, offering shopping, dining, cruising, and general seaside adventure. The man-made island was built in the 1850s by the Edo shogunate to protect the city from the threat of possible marine attacks. Today, the defensive fortress is an ultramodern residential and entertainment area with so much to offer locals and visitors.

For shopping, your options include DECKS Tokyo Beach, AquaCity, and DiverCity Tokyo Plaza. They feature well-known apparel stores, specialized Japanese souvenir shops, high fashion brands, entertainment facilities, and food courts. After shopping, relax at Odaiba Marine Park, a spectacular space for a leisure walk and to enjoy some city nature.

Top Tokyo Markets

Ohi Racecourse Flea Market

Also referred to as Tokyo City Flea Market, Ohi Racecourse Flea Market is one of the city’s most beloved and biggest flea markets. On busy days, it can feature up to six-hundred vendors, making it an excellent spot for bargain hunters in the capital. Used clothes and second-hand items are laid out in piles, but you’ll also discover household goods, Japanese antiqued, and electronics. If you get hungry, several food stalls sell street food and local treats.

Entry to the market is free, but bring enough cash in case you find treasures worth taking home. It is open from 9 AM to 3 PM, but most sellers start packing up around noon. So come early to have more chances of discovering gems among the piles of different items.

Location: 2 Chome-1-2 Katsushima, Shinagawa City, Tokyo 140-0012, Japan

Tsukiji Outer Market

For anyone shopping for fresh produce and delicious seafood, check out Tsukiji Outer Market. It is considered the country’s food town, where you can sample all kinds of traditional Japanese food and delicacies. It includes retail and wholesale shops and restaurants along the narrow lanes.

The fish and seafood sold and served at the restaurants at Tsukiji Outer Market are guaranteed fresh. There are also ready-to-eat sushi meals, bite-sized egg rolls, and street food you can munch on while discovering more of the market’s offerings. Overall, it’s a place to buy locally-sourced ingredients, enjoy a delicious meal, and appreciate food varieties.

Location: 4 Chome-16-2 Tsukiji, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan

Shinjuku Chuo Park Flea Market

Located in the shadows of the district’s prominent landmarks and tall office buildings is a treasure trove of bargains. Shinjuku Chuo Park Flea Market is a bustling oasis home to nearly 200 stalls featuring amateur vendors. It is close to tourist spots and modern shopping destinations, offering a nice break from the city's wild luxury shopping offerings.

Vintage products and home items abound, but it’s also known for its clothing, including kid’s apparel and pre-loved traditional clothes. Take your time browsing through the stalls to find top treasures and gifts. Market time varies, though it typically opens from 9 AM to 3 PM. Check the park’s schedule to know when it will host the market to avoid disappointment.

Location:2 Chome-11 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan

Shop in Tokyo!

Tokyo is a hotspot for fashion lovers and stylish dressers, and it isn’t hard to see why. No matter which area you go to, you won’t run out of shopping options to suit your budget and style. Whether you’re looking to change your look, spruce up your wardrobe, buy gifts and souvenirs, or update your home décor, Japan’s buzzing capital has got you covered. There are high-end fashion brands everywhere, as well as bargain stores, outdoor markets, and second-hand shops offering quality items to take home.

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