Shopping in Tokyo? An essential guide to the Best Malls and Streets
Shopping in Tokyo? An essential guide to the Best Malls and Streets22nd May 2023
Japan’s capital, Tokyo, is the most populous city in the world. The city's districts are known for each specialising in a specific type of shopping that are just waiting to be discovered. Tokyo offers shopping for just about anything you can think of, from cutting edge technologies and anime memorabilia to trendy fashion and luxury brands. Here’s the inside scoop on the top malls and streets for shopping in Tokyo.
One of the expensive shopping districts in Tokyo, Ginza is home to high-end department stores, boutiques, and luxury brands. Major fashion brands from Japan and throughout the world, as well as popular electronic companies like Sony and Apple, are all represented here. Ginza also features more stores and restaurants in a range of price points for everyone to enjoy.
The top three shopping centres in this area are Ginza Six, Tokyo Plaza, and Mitsukoshi. Chuo Dori, Ginza's main street, is a good place to experience street shopping in Tokyo. This kilometre long street is blocked to traffic on weekends making it a walking market bustling with punters and sellers. There are also a variety of smaller stores and art galleries on Suzuran and Azuma Street if that’s more your thing.
Like many shopping districts in Tokyo, Shinjuku has a wide variety of stores that can make it difficult to decide where to start. As shopping streets in Tokyo go, Shinjuku is one of the busiest. This is in part due to its train station, which is famously the busiest in the world and serves more than 3.5 million passengers a day! Don’t be put off by this, instead indulge in your shopaholic impulses and enjoy the unique experience.
You can buy practically anything at one of the several department stores and shopping centres in this bustling area, from electronics to souvenirs. A few of the well-known department stores that carry a broad selection of items are Isetan Shinjuku Store, Keio Department Store, Odakyu Department Store, Shinjuku Subnade, and Shinjuku Takashimaya.
The best shopping centres in Shinjuku, including @Cosme Store, Lumine, and NewoMan Shinjuku, provide the newest styles from over 100 retailers. In addition, NewoMan features a rooftop garden where you can enjoy a well-deserved shopping break. Take your pick from cosy cafés, casual dining spots, izakaya (Japanese pubs), fine dining, and more in this neighbourhood that offers a large variety of both Japanese and international cuisines.
Shibuya is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city and arguably the best shopping area in Tokyo. This part of town is well recognised as a hub for the younger generation and the best spot to look for the newest, on trend apparel. To give you a flavour of the kind of styles on offer, Nike opened the second worldwide store of its Jordan brand in the heart of Shibuya. Basketball fans should definitely stop by World of Flight Tokyo where the store is loaded with sports gear, shoes, and merchandise inspired by the game. At the workshop, you can even add embossing and personalised patches to make your haul more unique.
Shibuya 109 is popular for shopping in Tokyo, and with ten floors brimming with brands it’s easy to see why. You can’t miss its metallic façade and won’t struggle to spend hours in the treasure trove inside. Another shopping mall worth seeing is Shibuya Scramble Square. With its own rooftop observatory, "Shibuya Sky", boasting views of the well-known Shibuya Crossing, you won’t be short of things to do in this Tokyo district.
Ameyoko is well known for its huge 164,227 square foot open-air market. This Tokyo shopping district served as a source of illicit American products including chocolate and liquor throughout the Second World War. The bustling market street today offers deals on everything from freshly caught seafood, dried fruits, and snacks to apparel, shoes, and trinkets.
You ought to set aside a day to visit this market street considering there are more than 400 Tokyo shops to explore. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes and breathable clothing as you will be doing a lot of walking, and expect crowds, especially on weekends and holidays. Carrying Japanese yen is also advised as some shops and vendors in Ameyoko may not take card.
There are many shopping streets in Tokyo, and many of the more well-known ones are in Harajuku. From Harajuku Station, Takeshita Street is easy to find – just follow the smell of crêpes for which the street is famous. Santa Monica, Angel & Hearts Crepes, and Marion Crepes are the three top-rated crêperies in this district. Visit Totti Candy Factory for more vibrant street food options. This Tokyo shop sells enormous rainbow cotton candy making it one of the most Instagrammable places you'll find in Harajuku. The tree lined Omotesando Street, dubbed Tokyo’s Champs-Élysées, will fascinate those who are more interested in architecture and fashion.
Known for clean, modern stores and courteous, accommodating staff, shopping in Tokyo is a real joy. If you really embody a local shopper, you’ll find the crowds will become exciting rather than intimidating; you just might want to clear some space in your suitcase for new goodies. Now that you’re clued up on the best places to shop in each Tokyo shopping district, have a look at the 9 unique laws you need to know before visiting Japan.