Tokyo Shopping

 

Tokyo is a shopper's paradise with some of the choicest shopping in the world. From flea markets to designer boutiques, from underground markets to elegant department stores Tokyo shopping has something to offer everyone. Following are some of the major shopping areas and stores of Tokyo. Most stores are open every day from 10 am to 8 pm. Department stores usually close at 7 pm, with different stores closing one day on different weekdays, so at least some are open on all days.

 

 

•  Major Shopping Areas:

 

 

Akihabara

 

Considered to be the world's largest single place in the world to buy electronics, Akihabara is the perfect place to buy such things. Everything from computers, laptops, mobile phones, digital cameras, televisions, music systems, CD and DVD players , to second hand items, electronic parts, tools and wires can be bought here.

 

Aoyama/Omotesando

This shopping area, especially the broad tree-lined Omotesando Avenue, is the epicenter of high fashion. All the big names of designer wear have their boutiques here. Besides the Japanese brands of Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons, Issey Miyake, Tsumori Chisato and Frapbois, such names as Prada, Tod's, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent and Dolce & Gabbana can also be found here.

 

Ginza

 

Ginza is regarded as Tokyo's traditional shopping center. The main thoroughfare of Ginza is Chuo Street , which has a large number of high end stores that sell everything from high fashion to traditional Japanese wares. Some of the lavish stores here, which are attractions unto themselves, are flagships of Hermès, Dior, and Chanel. Tokyo's four largest department stores Mitsukoshi, Matsuya, Matsuzakaya, and Waco - are also located here. Harumi Street , which crosses Chuo Street, also has several brand name stores. The best known here is the 7-floor Sony Building that features all of Sony's electronic gadgets and gizmos. The small and side streets leading from the main roads have distinctive shops of their own. Here you can find everything from paintings and graphics to traditional trinkets and souvenirs. This popular shopping destination's streets are closed to vehicular traffic on Sundays.

 

Jimbocho

 

Jimbocho is Tokyo's bookshop district. There are well over a hundred bookstores in the area. Though most of the books sold are in Japanese, you can find English titles in Sanseido, Tuttle, Kitazawa, Matsumura, and Issei Do.

 

Ochanomizu

Ochanomizu is known for its musical shops, which sell almost every musical instrument; and for its high concentration of sports shops with goods and equipment of almost all sports.

 

Shibuya

 

Shibuya is another major shopping area of Tokyo. It is mainly known for its trendy fashion shops and boutiques. Some of the main big department stores Tokyu, Tokyu Hands, Seibu, Shibuya 109, Parco, and Loft - are also located here.

 

Shinjuku

 

Shinjuku is a bustling shopping area of Tokyo which is always crowded with shoppers. The nerve center is Shinjuku Station with several massive department stores Lumine Est, Lumine 1, Lumine 2, Odakyu, Odakyu Mylord, Odakyu Ace, Keio, Metro Promenade, and Shinjuku Subnade located within the station. The area surrounding the station is filled with shopping complexes. The most prominent of these are Takashimaya Times Square and Flags on the east side, and the many large camera and electronic stores on the west side.

 

 

•  Major Department Stores

 

 

Isetan

 

Isetan specializes in fashions and its prices range from mid to high. Its largest branch is located near Shinjuku Station.

 

Keio

 

Keio is owned by the Keio Railway Company. With prices ranging from mid to high, it stocks a large variety of goods. The largest branch is located near Shinjuku Station, with two floors of food and four floors of fashion, besides stationery, home-ware, and other goods.

 

Matsuya

 

Located on Chuo Street, Matsuya is one of the more popular department stores. Besides designer wear and accessories in which Matsuya specializes, there is also a good selection of Japanese folk crafts items, kitchenware, kimono, and household goods.

 

Mitsukoshi

 

Considered to be the oldest department store in Japan, Mitsukoshi was established as a kimono store in 1673 and became a department store in 1904. Mitsukoshi specializes in fashions and carries many European brands. Its main store is located in Nihombashi. The Ginza branch is best known for its basement food hall which covers two floors and has an atmosphere of a street market.

 

Odakyu

 

Owned by the Odakyu Railway Company, Odakyu has a large array of goods but is best known for its large variety of foods. Its prices range from mid to high. Odakyu's largest branch is located at Shinjuku Station.

Seibu

 

Owned by the Seibu Railway Company, this very popular department store is divided into specialty sections Parco, contemporary labels for the youth; Loft, lifestyle goods; and Wave, a music store. The Ikebukero branch of Seibu is one of the largest department stores in the world. Prices are reasonable.

 

Takashimaya

 

One of the better known stores of Tokyo, Takashimaya specializes in women's clothing. Although the main branch is located in Nihombashi, the most modern branch is the Takashimaya Times Square near Shinjuku Station. This classy store also includes an Imax theater, an amusement park, and three restaurant floors.

 

 

•  Souvenirs, Arts & Crafts

 

 

Beishu

Beishu specializes in traditional Japanese dolls, an important part of Japanese culture. Location: Near Asakusabashi Station.

Beniya

The four floors of Beniya have a broad range of folk and handi-crafts from all over Japan. Location: Near Shibuya Station.

Bingoya

Bingoya has a large and fine selection of traditional handicrafts from all over Japan. Location: Near subway Wakamatsu-Kawada Station.

 

Fujii-Torii

 

Fujii-Torii specializes in arts, crafts, and antiques. Location: Near Meiji-jingumae Station.

 

International Arcade

This shopping arcade specializes in Japanese souvenirs. Location: A short walk from Hibiya and Ginza Stations.

Japan Traditional Craft Center

 

The Craft Center has a large selection of traditional crafts from all over Japan. Location: Direct access from Ikebukuro Station.

 

Mikimoto

 

Mikimoto is the oldest and most famous pearl shop in Japan. Here you can find pearls of all qualities in a variety of styles. Location: Ginza.

 

Nakamise

Nakamise is a pedestrian street stretching between the Red Lantern at Kaminarimon and Sensoji Temple. The street is lined on both sides with colorful shops selling souvenirs at very reasonable prices. Location: Near Asakusa Station.

 

Oriental Bazaar

 

Oriental Bazaar is a popular one-stop souvenir emporium with a large selection of traditional Japanese handicrafts. Prices are reasonable. Location: Near Omotesando Station.

 

Tasaki Pearl Gallery

 

In this Gallery, owned by a Kobe-based company engaged in the cultivation, processing and sale of pearls, you can see how pearls are produced and buy them as well. Location: Ginza.

 

100 Yen' Shops

Found around train stations and some shopping centers, the 100 Yen' shops sell everything from chopsticks, tableware, and fans, to kites, origami paper, and calligraphy all for 100 Yens each. These shops are good places to buy cheap souvenirs.

 

•  Flea Markets

 

Flea markets are a tradition in Japan. They are mainly held on the grounds of shrines and temples, and in the many parks of Tokyo. You can find almost everything here at great bargain prices. They are a good place to buy souvenirs.

 

Arai Yakushi

 

When: First Sunday of every month.

Location: Grounds of Arai Yakushi Shrine, near JR Nakano Station.

 

Araike Jumbo Flea Market

 

When: Once a month, date varies.

Location: Near Yurikamome monorail Ariake Station.

 

Asakusa Sumida Park

 

When: Once a month, date varies.

Location: By the river n ear Gosai Bashi Bridge at Asakusa Sumida Park. Near Asakusa Station.

 

Fuda Tenjin

 

When: 25 th of every month.

Location: Grounds of Fuda Temple near Chofu Station.

 

Hanazono Shrine Antique Market

 

When: Every Sunday

Location: Grounds of Hanazono Shrine near Shinjuku Station.

Harajuku Yoyogi Koen

 

When: Second Sunday of every month.

Location: NHK Hall across from Yoyogi Park. Near Meiji-jingumae Station.

 

Heiwajima Antique Festival

 

When: May 3-5; June 30, July 1, 2; Sept 15-17; Dec 22-24.

Location: Ryutsu Center near Heiwajima Station.

 

Koenji Flea Market

 

When: Second Sunday of every month.

Location: Grounds of Myohoji Temple near Higashi Koenji Station.

 

Meiji Park

 

When: Twice a month, date varies.

Location: Meiji Park near Sendagaya Station.

 

Odaiba Flea Market

 

When: Every month, date varies.

Location: Fuji TV's Grand Stairwell. Near Yurikamome monorail Daiba Station.

 

Shinjuku Nomura Bldg.

 

When: Once or twice a month, date varies.

Location: Along Ome-kaido, before Shinjuku police station. Near Shinjuku Station.

 

Takahata Fudo

 

When: Third Sunday of every month.

Location: Takahata Fudo temple grounds near Takahata Station.

 

Togo Antique Market

 

When: Every first, fourth and fifth Sunday of every month.

Location: Grounds of Togo Shrine near Meiji-jingumae Station.
 
 
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