From high end to high street, you can definitely get your shopping on in Tokyo. But the areas and streets are hard to navigate. Luckily I did some serious research for you. Let me present my ultimate shopping guide to Tokyo.
When I researched the areas from home, I had a feeling Aoyama would be my favorite – and I was right. From the iconic Prada glass store (6 stories tall, designed by Herzog & De Meuron, start from the top!) and the Comme des Garçons flagship store (spacy interior, definitely worth a visit) to Maison Kitsuné (it’s like walking into a Paris store) and, the just opened and very first, N.21 store – you can definitely spend some yen here. Don’t miss Super A Market, a multibrand store carrying Isabel Marant, Rag & Bone, Gianvito Rossi among many others. They have a nice selection of accessories, and a cafe upstairs.
Also here: Marni, Alexander Wang, Acne, A.P.C., James Perse, Marc Jacobs, Dries van Noten, Reed Krakoff, Helmut Lang, Jil Sander, Chloé, By Malene Birger, Tsumori Chisato, Issey Miyake.
Get there: Take the metro to Shibuya and walk up Aoyama Dori, (or save time and go to Omotesando Station) and make a right at Minami Aoyama. Don’t be scared to go down small streets, that’s where you’ll find the best boutiques.
Pitstop: Start your day with breakfast at Daylesford Organic (yes, the same as this) or Le Pain Quotidien, go for coffee at Café Kitsuné and have a classic Japanese lunch at A to Z Café.
Shibuya is one of the more crowded areas, and home to the famous Shibuya crossing, where all lights for traffic turn red at the same time, so all pedestrians walk at the same time in all directions to cross the street. It’s a crazy sight! It’s definitely worth a visit, and if you want to spend some yen, do it at Tokyu Hands. Where else than Tokyo will you find a 20+ stories big mall selling all you can imagine for your creative DIY project? Pens, paper, stickers, you name it – and most importantly masking tape! The store Do (that’s also situated in Hotel Claska) also has a store here, go visit for well selected ceramics, stationary and other small Japanese stuff.
Also here: Apple, Nike and the japanese brand Le Ciel Bleu.
Get there: Take the metro to Shibuya station.
Pitstop: Starbucks is said to have the best view of the Shibuya crossing, but serves the best revolver lattes (extra strong) in a cool atmosphere on a quiet back street.
Harajuku is a mix of high street and high end, and you can definitely get your credit card glowing here. Don’t miss Cat Street, it’s not the official name, but the street got it’s nickname because it used to be filled with, yes, cats! It’s one of the main shopping streets with many shops, including Opening Ceremony. You’ll also find the Omotesando Hills mall that has a lot of nice stores (including Japanese beauty brand Shu Uemura, famous for their oil cleansers), Isabel Marant and the Chanel store that specialises in sports gadgets such as skis, snowboards etc.
Also here: Band of Outsiders, Bookmarc, Rag & Bone, Dior and Louis Vuitton.
Get there: Go to Omotesando Station.
Pitstop: Go for coffee at The Roastery in Cat Street, and if you’re feeling hungry and adventurous, there’s a takoyaki truck down the street – that’s octopus balls (as in meat balls), in case you’re wondering.
Ginza looks like what I imagined all of Tokyo would: huge skyscraper buildings, lights blinking, a lot of cars – and even more luxury boutiques. Besides the classic megabrand and jewelry stores, you’ll also find Dover Street Market, the worlds biggest Uniqlo and the worlds smallest Barneys New York. Okay, the last one might not be true, but if you’ve been to the one in New York, this two story-branch is very cute in comparison.
Also here: Christian Louboutin, Hermès, Chanel, Prada, Lanvin, Miu Miu, Balmain.
Get there: Go to Ginza Station.
Pitstop: Go for lunch or coffee at Rose Bakery in Dover Street Market – nice and familiar if you’re missing European food, don’t miss their amazing carrot cake! And for dinner, you’ll get the best and most authentic yakitori sticks here.
Your main reason to go to Shinjuku is the world famous department store Isetan. I’ve already mentioned it here, and it definitely is a must. From the food hall to the custom made kimono department, you’ll find everything in between and everything you didn’t know you needed. Muji also has a huge store in Shinjuku.
Also here: Lumine (metro shopping mall) and Tokyo’s other Barneys branch, this one a little bigger, but don’t be fooled by the 9 floors, they’re crazy small – but cute!
Get there: Take the metro to Shinjuku station.
Pitstop: The Muji store has a café in the basement, and the iconic american breakfast place Sarabeth’s also has a Tokyo restaurant here.
Photos borrowed from , , , .