I’m not gonna deny – shopping is a big reason why we visited Tokyo this year. It’s no secret that Tokyo is a shopping mecca. From high-end department stores or chic boutiques, the city has something for just about anyone. Coupled with Japan’s tax refund, you can really save a lot!
We had done hours of research prior to our trip to help us navigate Tokyo’s shopping scene, and it’s now time to pass on that knowledge to you. Check out this comprehensive Tokyo shopping guide for the top shopping areas in Tokyo and the best place to shop based on what you’re looking for!
Ginza is Tokyo’s centre of luxury, equivalent to the Fifth Avenue in New York City. You can expect to find designer boutiques and luxury brand outlets here at Tokyo’s most high-end shopping district.
Ginza shopping is centered around Chuo-Dori – the main street stretching approximately 1 km long. This buzzing shopping street is home to luxury stores such as Bvlgari, Chanel, and Prada. Between them are massive department stores including Ginza SIX, Ginza Mitsukoshi, Matsuya Ginza, Ginza Wako, Tokyu Plaza Ginza, Barneys New York, and Marronnier Gate Ginza where you can shop for fashionable items.
Even if you’re not into luxury, Ginza holds flagships stores for many affordable brands like Uniqlo, Zara, and H&M—often with tax-free counters.
Shopping tips: To take advantage of Japan’s tax refund program, bring your passport with you. Most department stores and large retail chains have dedicated tax refund counters that will help you claim tax refund so that you can enjoy tax-free shopping!
Best for: high-end luxury goods
How to get there: take the subway to Ginza station, accessible on the Marunouchi, Hibiya, and Ginza lines. Or to Higashi Ginza Station on the Asakusa and Hibiya subway lines.
A man-made island in Tokyo Bay, Odaiba is a popular shopping destination for local and foreign tourists.
Shopping in Odaiba is an experience unlike any other in Tokyo. While it is true that Odaiba is filled with numerous shopping malls, each comes with a theme, giving you a resort-like shopping atmosphere.
For instance, the Odaiba shopping mall, Venus Fort at Palette Town. The 3-level outlet mall distinguishes itself from other Tokyo shopping malls by mimicking a medieval European town.
DiverCity Tokyo Plaza, designed under the concept of “theatrical city space,” is a popular spot for manga and anime fans. Home to a Gundam-themed store (known as Gundam Base Tokyo) and a life-size Unicorn Gundam statue, DiverCity has become a place for many to release their inner geek.
While you’re in Odaiba, don’t miss out on other noteworthy spots such as DECKS Tokyo Beach (a ship-themed shopping center) and Aqua City Odaiba (built with the theme of a Tokyo resort island and has a ramen theme park on the 5th floor!).
Best for: international designer brands at discounted prices
Dubbed as Tokyo’s Champs-Elysee, Omotesando is an upscale fashion district.
The main street, Omotesando-Dori (aka Omotesando Avenue), is lined with luxury fashion brands like Tod’s, Dior, and Miu Miu. Serious shoppers would make a stop at chic shopping malls such as Omotesando Hills and Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku for trendy fashion and lifestyle items.
It is true that Omotesando shopping is very luxury-oriented just like in Ginza. But what makes Omotesando appealing is the eye-popping contemporary buildings designed by prominent architects, many of them are winners of the prestigious Pritzker Prize! Head over to the kaleidoscope-like escalator entrance at Tokyu Plaza or Prada’s bubble glass building, and you’ll know what we mean!
What we loved most about Omotesando is shopping for household goods. Awesome Store, Flying Tiger Copenhagen, and Sostrene Grenes are filled with cute lifestyle good items and knickknacks that will give your room some personality!
Best for: luxury fashion and home accessories
How to get there: take the subway to Omotesando station on the Ginza, Chiyoda, and Hanzomon lines.
Tokyo’s Harajuku district is always on the forefront of the next big trend in fashion. If you’re interested in Japanese street fashion, or anything fashionably kawaii, Harajuku is the place to be!
Takeshita-Dori, aka Takeshita Street, is Harajuku’s main retail artery and the busiest shopping street in Tokyo. This popular street in Harajuku is overloaded with clothing stores, boutiques, and shopping malls – all catering to fashion-conscious teens and quirky subcultures.
Take a tour inside the Laforet Harajuku department store, the capital of youth fashion, and you will quickly get a sense of the trend of the current generation.
Vintage and secondhand shops are tucked away in the small alleyways – perfect for budget shoppers! Look for Cat Street in Tokyo, a hipster paradise connecting Harajuku to Shibuya. Not only are there vintage shops, you can also find local designer boutiques and outdoor clothing stores in this trendy area. Even if you don’t find anything that suits your needs, it is a pleasant place for strolling and window shopping in Harajuku.
Best for: Tokyo teen fashion and vintage clothing stores
How to get there: take the subway to Meji-jingumae station, served by the Chiyoda and Fukutoshin lines. Or to Harajuku station on the JR Yamanote line.
Oh, Shibuya – it is my absolute favorite!
Shibuya shopping district is a fashion paradise for young adults, with a wealth of shops targeted towards men and women in the 20s and 30s.
Yes, it can get a bit overwhelmed with that hectic vibe and crazy crowds. But there are so many fun things to do in Shibuya. It is always so lively and full of energy. I mean, where else can you find stores that open 24 hours a day?!
Start your visit at Shibuya Crossing – the iconic intersection in Shibuya, Tokyo. This all-way pedestrian crossing has appeared in countless movies and is a must see in Tokyo! From there, you will come across many Shibuya shopping malls, including Shibuya Mark City, Shibuya Hikarie, Shibuya Marui, and Shibuya 109.
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Besides fashion, Shibuya has a variety of shops that will make you empty your wallet. We recommend:
- Tokyu Hand Shibuya: a lifestyle goods store spanning 8 floors, selling everything from stationery, crafts, to home decor.
- Matsumoto Kiyoshi: worth visiting if you’re interested in cosmetics, beauty products, and medicine. It has 2 buildings (Part 1 and Part 2) located across the street from one another.
- Mega Don Quijote (aka Donki): a discount store that opens 24 hours. You can find almost everything you can possibly think of, from household items to beauty products. They even groceries and alcohol!!!
- LOFT: a lifestyle department store spreading over 7 floors. Great for those looking to buy stationery, homewares, and variety goods.
- Bic Camera: a popular electronic store where you can find cameras, PC, TV, and household appliances. The best part is that they have English-speaking staff!
- Tower Records: a 9-storey music retail store, carrying books, records, and CDs of Japanese and world music. A must-visit for music enthusiasts!
Best for: Japanese fashion, souvenirs, and household goods
How to get there: take the subway to Shibuya station, served by Hanzomon, Ginza, Fukutoshin and JR Yamanote lines.
Let your obsession run wild in Akihabara, anime and manga fanatics! This is your little piece of heaven to shop for anything that is animation and videogame-related, and a gateway to all sorts of weird things in Tokyo.
Akihabara is Tokyo’s prime area to get a glimpse into the otaku culture (i.e. obsessive nerds with an interest in anime, manga, cosplay, or games). It goes without saying that shopping in Akihabara centers around anime and gaming goods. Hence, you’ll find countless electronic stores, themed restaurants, costume shops, and even maid cafes in Akihabara!
Start at Chuo Dori (the main avenue) to ease into the vibe of this geek paradise. As you stroll along the street, you’ll encounter hundreds of electronic shops. They sell everything from computers, electronic parts, TVs, to cameras and home appliances. Stores to watch out for are Yodobashi (a 9-storey electronic store), Labi, Sofmap, Akky Duty Free (with multilingual support), Ishimaru Denki, and Laox.
For manga and anime related goods, the best place to shop in Akihabara is Mandarake. This 8-floor complex is a great place to find collectible manga, artworks, action figures, character goods, video games, card games, and a whole lot of collectibles.
Gamers is another popular store in Akihabara to shop for anime or manga-related merchandise.
Best for: electronics, manga and anime-related goods
How to get there: take the subway to Akihabara station, served by JR Keihin-Tohoku, JR Yamanote, JR Chuo-Sobu, Hibiya, and Tsukuba Express lines.
My first impression of Shinjuku was that it is SO confusing to navigate. It is impossible not to feel that way given that Shinjuku station is the busiest train station in the world.
But similar to Shibuya, Shinjuku will spoil you for choices when it comes to shopping. Major Tokyo shopping centers gather here, above and underground, building a dense retail network. Whether you’re looking to buy fashion goods, cosmetics, or electronic gadgets, Shinjuku has everything you would ever need. Our only advice is to be prepared to get lost in this Shinjuku shopping jungle!
Okay, here’s what you need to remember to not get completely lost: Shinjuku station has 4 major access points – West Gate, South Gate, East Gate, and New South Gate.
- West Gate exit will take you to an area with offices and government buildings, as well as major department stores (Lumine 1, Odakyu, Odakyu HALC, Keio, Mylord), electronic stores (Bic Camera, Yodobashi Camera), and skyscrapers.
- South Gate exit connects to Lumine 2, Flags, Kinokuniya Bookstore, and the Shinjuku Southern Terrace shopping area.
- East Gate exit will lead you to Lumine Est, Isetan Shinjuku, Shinjuku Marui Honkan (OIOI), and BICQLO.
- New South Gate is conveniently connected to NEWoMan and Takashimaya Times Square.
Some of these Shinjuku shopping malls are directly connected to the station by passageways while the others are just a short walk away. This map of the Shinjuku Subway Exit will clarify what I mean.
If you’re looking to buy souvenirs, head over to Mosaic Street, a narrow pedestrian shopping street that connects Mylord and Keio department store. It takes you from the West exit to the South exit.
Best for: mid to high-end fashion for men and women, beauty products
How to get there: take the subway to Shinjuku station via Keio, Oedo, Shinjuku, or Odakyu lines. JR Yamanote, Chuo, Chuo-Sobu, Shonan-Shinjuku, and Saikyo lines will also connect you to the Shinjuku station. Alternatively, get to Shinjuku-Nishiguchi station via Marunouchi or Oedo line.
Want to do some boutique shopping? Then you’ll love Jiyugaoka!
This shopping district on the southern end of Meguro is only 10 minutes away from Shibuya and has a wonderful selection of fashion boutiques and homeware stores. Unlike other Tokyo shopping districts we’ve mentioned above, Jiyugaoka is more peaceful and exudes a chic European feel.
The main shopping streets here are Marie Claire Street and Green Street, consisting of trendy shops, salons, galleries, and cafes. We loved wandering around the neighborhood as it is quite easy to come across stylish Japanese brands.
Our favourite stores include Popeye Camera, pual ce cin, Hotch Potch, Today’s Special, Koe House, and La Vita. Trainchi is a shopping mall worth checking out – we bought some adorable kitchen tools and accessories here!
Best for: Japanese designer brands, homeware goods
How to get there: take the subway to Jiyugaoka station, served by Tokyu Toyoko and Oimachi lines.
Daikanyama, one of the most affluent districts in Tokyo is home to high-end boutiques. If you want to escape the madness of Tokyo, Daikanyama’s low-key, uber-hip atmosphere serves as a great alternative.
Shopping in Daikanyama concentrates on three major streets: Hachiman-Dori, Kyu-Yamate-Dori, and Komazawa-Dori. You’ll find a myriad of local designers’ shops, quaint cafes, and vintage shops.
Popular clothing stores you might want to stop by are cocca, UES Clothing, High! Standard, Okura, Bonjour Records, and Hollywood Ranch Market. Make sure you pop in at Daikanyama Tsutaya Books (aka Daikanyama T-site), a beautiful gallery-like bookstore, and consider hunting for a new outfit at 17 dixsept (a shopping mall featuring local Japanese brands)
Best for: high-end Japanese designer brands
How to get there: take the subway to Daikanyama station via Tokyu Toyoko line.
Located right next to Daikanyama, Nakameguro has a similar laid-back vibe, except with a more boho-chic lifestyle. This delightful little town has plenty of clothing boutiques, specialty shops, cool coffee shops, and refined eateries for you to explore.
Shops dot along both sides of Meguro River near the Nakameguro station. We recommend a visit to the lifestyle shops 85/Hachigo, Migratory, and Brick and Mortar, as well as Japanese handicraft store SML, and stationery shop Traveler’s Factory. For clothing, 1LDK, vendor, Telepathy Route, and Saturdays Surf NYC.
Note: If you come here in late March/early April, you will see cherry blossom goes into full bloom by the riverbank!
Best for: lifestyle goods and menswear
How to get there: take the subway to Nakameguro station, served by Tokyu Toyoko and Hibiya lines.
Tokyo is such a great destination to satisfy your shopping addiction. We hope this detailed shopping guide helps you plan your next shopping trip to Tokyo!