In Tokyo, even the thrift stores and flea markets have a uniqueness that transcends retail. Rag Tag has stores all over Tokyo and stock nothing but the best designer labels at bargain prices. They are a hipster magnet full of quirky items.
In Japan, used clothes are no longer second hand, they are recycled. Harajuku Chicago in Kichijoji is a vintage paradise with over 100,000 items in stock. They have a fantastic selection of vintage Japanese and European fashion that will keep you rummaging for days.
During the weekend many of Tokyo’s large parks become giant flea markets. The hippest of the hipster flea markets is Yoyogi Park, where everything is vintage and outrageously cool. You can expect to find everything from old jazz records to designer sneakers.
Mottainai is a pop-up flea market with a philosophy. Their markets appear all over Tokyo with a concept of being less wasteful. Check Facebook for the location of their next event.
If the thrift stores and flea markets sound painfully cool, how about a real-life ebay experience. In Shibuya behind the giant Zara store, you will find the incredible Don Don Down On Wednesday. This is a vintage clothes stores where the price of each item gets lower until someone buys it, or it reaches 100 Yen.
The upmarket district of Jiyugaoka is home to Cou Cou. This vintage store is the place for all things cute and fluffy. They have some beautiful gifts that are all made in Japan.
Shopping Streets and Shopping Districts in Tokyo
Tokyo is a shopping mecca, on every street corner there is another department store to tempt you through its doors. Every district in Tokyo feels cooler than the last with an incredible selection of vintage and unique fashion. Shinjuku is one of Tokyo’s busiest neighbourhoods and one of its major retail hubs.
Shinjuku station is not only the worlds largest train station but also one of Tokyo’s largest shopping complexes. Here you will find two giant underground shopping malls and the Lumine department store that is spread across three buildings.
Tokyo’s world famous youth culture is based in Harajuku. Every weekend the streets are packed with thousands of youths expressing their unique and often extreme style. It’s a fantastic shopping experience and the perfect opportunity to pick up something completely unique.
The district of Shibuya is a shopaholics dream, its an area dedicated almost entirely to ladies fashion. Shibuya Hikarie has a ten-story mall dedicated to Japanese career woman. If you make it to the top floor, there is a restaurant complex with incredible views. Most of the department stores in this area target ladies in their early twenties.
Ginza is Tokyo’s most exclusive and shopping district. This is the place to come for couture and high-class International brands. Hidden away between the grand malls and department stores you will find some beautiful craft stores and the fascinating Dover Street market where you will see new experimental designs from Tokyo’s most outrageous designers.
Department Stores and Malls in Tokyo
Tokyo is dominated by department stores that cater for every taste and budget The oldest and most iconic is Mitsukoshi, it’s Shibuya flagship store is over 100 years old and worth a visit if only to soak up its rich history.
Tokyo Mid Town is more than a shopping mall, it’s a mini city and home to the Suntory Museum of Art. This incredible urban space offers a complete day out and an exciting concept in mall culture. The Mid Town mall has a simple idea, the higher you go, the more exclusive the shopping experience.
Takashimaya Times Square is a mall and department store comprising of fifteen floors dedicated to all of your retail needs. The mall contains some excellent bookstores, with local and international fashion brands.
For a genuinely Japanese shopping experience, Kite is a mall situated in the old Tokyo post tower. The name Kite literally translates as the stamp. Kite’s seven floors are made up of local Japanese stores and restaurants. The mall is also home to one of Japans most fascinating museums, Intermediatheque.
If you think museums and malls don’t mix. Marui offers a shop until you drop experience catering for 18 to 35-year-olds. This fashion-conscious department store sells street fashions from Japan and all over the world.
Outlet Malls in Tokyo
If independent fashion isn’t your thing. Tokyo’s outlet malls are the best places to find branded style at affordable prices. The outlet malls are an excellent place for tourists as they often carry western sizes with tax-free prices.
The Venus outlet can be found on the top floor of the Venus Fort Mall in Odaiba. There are over fifty stores carrying big western brands that include Levi and Samsonite luggage.
A Southern Californian, Asian fusion can be found at the Grandberry outlet mall opposite the Minami-Machida Station. This outlet mall is home to large American brands and large western sized clothing. Here you can expect low prices, western food and a movie theatre making this a great day out for all the family.
With over 240 stores Mitsui Park is the largest outlet mall in Tokyo. Here you will find much more than clothing, in fact, there is everything from kitchenware to gardening equipment. There is an excellent selection of Japanese and western brand stores with some absolute bargain clothing and footwear to be found.
If your an extreme shopaholic who has any cash left on your credit cards. The Shisui Premium Outlet Mall is a stone’s throw from Narita Airport, meaning any flight delays can be met with a final shopping fix. This giant mall carries a vast selection of western and Japanese branded clothing at incredible prices. Just be careful not to miss your flight home.
Shopping For Electronics in Tokyo
Japan is famous for its gadgets and electronics, and Tokyo is home to entire malls and districts dedicated to every device you can imagine. The two central electronics districts are Ikebukuro and Akihabara where you will find thousands of stores stocking everything you can think of at competitive prices.
BIC Camera is a huge electronics store selling much more than cameras. There are nine floors of electronics and gadgets. BIC Camera will also deliver your goods to the airport in time for your flight home.
Edion AKIBA is a giant electronics store designed with tourists in mind. They cater mainly for Japanese, Chinese and English speakers with a vast selection of PC’s, Tablets, Phones and Beauty gadgets.
If you want to step outside of the conventional electronics stores, then Akihabara Electric Town is both a gadget lovers paradise and a place of amazement for curious tourists. Here you will find giant electronic stores that will leave you gasping. Some of the most exciting stores can be found in the many alleyways, where you will see small stores dedicated to obscure gadgets.
Akihabara is home to Yodobashi Camera, this giant electronics store is impossible to miss. It’s a legend of a store with a reputation for low prices.
Shopping For a Kimono in Tokyo
Finding a beautiful and authentic Kimono can be the highlight of any Tokyo shopping trip. If you are shopping on a budget, many of Tokyo’s thrift stores and flea markets offer some beautifully embroidered Kimonos at affordable prices.
There are hundreds of Kimono designs ranging from contemporary to beautifully embroidered traditional. Whatever your budget you will be able to find a beautiful Kimono in most of Tokyo’s shopping districts.
Takahashi Hiroko sees a kimono as art. Her work is displayed in her art studios and two city stores. Her work is renowned across Japan for its bold prints and designs. Surprisingly her work is reasonably affordable with Kimonos starting at $550.
If spending over $500 on a kimono is outside of your price range, then Tansu-Ya is a chain of stores that sell second-hand kimonos. They stock all sizes and styles to meet all budgets. If you are looking for luxury at affordable prices, then Tansu-Ya is a fantastic choice.
If you want to mix vintage flare with contemporary kimono styles, then Gallery Kawano have some genuinely unique gift. Their kimonos start at $70 and come in some truly unique and beautiful designs.
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