Shopping in Tokyo

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Marunouchi & Nihombashi

    Mitsukoshi

    Mitsukoshi's venerable Nihombashi branch was Japan’s first department store. It's a grand affair with an entrance guarded by bronze lions and a magnificent statue of Magokoro, the goddess of sincerity, rising up from the centre of the ground floor. For the full effect, arrive at 10am for the bells and bows that accompany each day’s opening.

  • Shopping in Marunouchi & Nihombashi

    Ōedo Antique Market

    Held in the courtyard of Tokyo International Forum (check the website for exact dates), this is a brilliantly colourful event with hundreds of dealers in retro and antique Japanese goods, from old ceramics and kimono to kitsch plastic figurines and vintage movie posters.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Ebisu, Meguro & Around

    Okura

    Okura specialises in clothing and accessories dyed with indigo, which has a long tradition in Japan. There are contemporary T-shirts and hoodies and also items that riff on older silhouettes, like the trailing sleeves of a kimono. The natural fabrics are sturdy and/or sumptuous (unfortunately priced accordingly).

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Ginza & Tsukiji

    Muji

    You could hear the collective swoon of all devotees of functional design when this huge Muji flagship opened in 2019. Floors two through five carry the brand's signature clothing, accessories and homewares – simply elegant and utterly affordable. Muji is also particularly great for travel goods.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Kōrakuen & Akihabara

    2k540 Aki-Oka Artisan

    This ace arcade under the JR tracks (its name refers to the distance from Tokyo Station) offers an eclectic range of stores selling Japanese-made goods – everything from pottery and leatherwork to cute aliens, a nod to Akihabara from a mall that is more akin to Kyoto than Electric Town. The best for colourful crafts is Nippon Hyakkuten (日本百貨店; http://nippon-dept.jp).

  • Top ChoiceShopping in West Tokyo

    Same to Esa

    Same (pronounced sah-mé; 'shark') is the super secret flagship store (with limited edition merch) for cult Japanese streetwear brand Lonely. So secret, in fact, they won't reveal their address, instead dropping hints on social media. So how'd we get the scoop? The 'lonely' connection! The brand's look is graphic-heavy, neo-Shōwa (Japan's mid-20th century period) with some self-conscious, tongue-in-cheek Japonisme at play.

  • Shopping in Roppongi, Akasaka & Around

    Toraya

    Founded in the 16th century in Kyoto, Toraya's traditional confectionery has long been patronised by the Imperial Court, giving it a cachet that other sweet-makers can only dream about. This is its impressive flagship store, reopened in 2018. It specialises in yōkan, a jelly made from red bean paste, but also sells other seasonal sweets, all beautifully packaged.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Shibuya & Shimo-Kitazawa

    Tokyu Hands

    This DIY and zakka (miscellaneous things) store is a Tokyo landmark, loved by locals and tourists alike. It has eight fascinating floors of everything you didn’t know you needed – reflexology slippers, bee-venom face masks and cartoon-character-shaped rice-ball moulds, for example. Most stuff is inexpensive, making it perfect for souvenir and gift hunting. Warning: you could lose hours in here.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Marunouchi & Nihombashi

    Coredo Muromachi

    More like a purpose-built town than a mall, Coredo Muromachi is spread over three buildings and a terrace complex. It's stylish and upscale, focused more on homewares and food than clothes: there are branches of many famous artisan shops and gourmet purveyors here – .

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Shibuya & Shimo-Kitazawa

    Shibuya Parco

    Shibuya Parco has been a trendsetter for decades and now, after a renovation finished in 2019, it is back in top form. There are global brands, but also Japanese ones, both internationally known (Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto, etc) and less so (like Toga and Anrealage). You could pound the pavement in search of boutiques, or just come here.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Asakusa & Sumida River

    Babaghuri

    German fashion designer Jurgen Lehl (1944–2014) lived in Japan for decades while building the fashion house Babaghuri, known for its use of natural material and dyes and artsy meets earthy aesthetic. This ivy-covered shop, down an unremarkable side street, is the brand’s Tokyo flagship, stocking the full range of singular clothing, accessories and homewares.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

    Isetan

    Isetan is Tokyo's most fashion-forward department store. Head to the 2nd-floor Tokyo Closet and 3rd-floor Re-Style boutiques in the main building, and the 2nd floor of the men's building to discover new Japanese brands that haven't (yet) hit the big time. Other reasons to visit: the homewares from contemporary artisans (5th floor) and the excellent depachika (basement gourmet food hall).

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Kōrakuen & Akihabara

    Y. & Sons

    Bespoke tailor Y. & Sons creates contemporary kimono that are 100% iki (chic and urbane), tied low on the hips (a style typically worn by men) and designed to look good over a t-shirt and paired with leather trainers. Prices start at ¥50,000 and go up depending on the material (sashes extra). They take two weeks to complete; international shipping is available.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Ebisu, Meguro & Around

    Kapital

    Cult brand Kapital is hard to pin down, but perhaps a deconstructed mash-up of the American West and the centuries-old Japanese aesthetic of boro (tatty-chic) comes close. Almost no two items are alike, and the textiles (particularly the shawls and socks) are gorgeous.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Ueno & Yanesen

    Art Sanctuary Allan West

    Long-time Yanaka resident Allan West, a graduate of Japan's prestigious Tokyo University of the Arts, paints gorgeous screens and scrolls in the classical Japanese styles, making his paints from scratch, just as local artists have done for centuries. Small votive-shaped paintings start at ¥5000; the screens are, uh, a lot more. Non-buyers are welcome to stop in to see the works.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Asakusa & Sumida River

    Kama-asa

    A Japanese knife is not only a highly practical and prized piece of kitchenware, it can also be extremely beautiful in its design. Admire an excellent range at this upmarket store that has been in business since 1908. There are English- and French-speaking staff on hand, and there's a good range of other kitchen implements, including steel pans.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in West Tokyo

    Mandarake Complex

    This is the original Mandarake, the go-to store for all things manga (Japanese comics) and anime (Japanese animation). Once a small, secondhand comic-book store, Mandarake now has some 30 shops just inside the Nakano Broadway shopping centre. Each specialises in something different, be it books, cel art or figurines.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Ginza & Tsukiji

    Akomeya

    Rice ('kome') is at the heart of Japanese cuisine. This stylish store sells not only many types of the grain but also products made from it (such as sake), plus all the classic Japanese pantry items (from artisan producers) and a choice collection of kitchen, home and bath items.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Ginza & Tsukiji

    Imadeya

    Imadeya is a respected sake specialty store, but they carry more than that, including small batch shōchū (distilled alcohol usually made from sweet potatoes or barley), other made-in-Japan spirits (gin and whisky) and wines. Even better: there's a tasting counter (sake flights from ¥1500; wine flights from ¥2000; extra for premium selections; single glass options available). English menu and English-speaking staff.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Roppongi, Akasaka & Around

    Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square

    Supported by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, this is as much a showroom as a shop, exhibiting a broad range of traditional crafts from around Japan, including lacquerwork boxes, woodwork, cut glass, textiles and pottery. There are some exquisite heirloom pieces here, but also beautiful items at reasonable prices.