Tokyo – the ultimate metropolitan city with anything you need or wish. Many tourists visit to explore the vast Japanese culture or to learn about Japanese history.
But lets face it – everyone goes shopping.
Ikebukuro, Akihabara, Shinjuku, Roppongi and Shibuya are the five most widely visited regions of Tokyo for entertainment as well as shopping.
So here are my personal top 10 places featuring the five regions previously mentioned where you can do your ultimate shopping in Tokyo and definitely find what you need.
Sunshine 60: Ikebukuro
Sunshine 60 is a 60-floor building that is mainly occupied by offices and facilities. However, it does contain two popular shopping centers – alpa and ALTA. It is one of the places where trends start and branch out as the shops usually feature clothes for young adults and teenagers.
ALTA is a fashion and clothing center, which is really well-done and organized. If you are looking for something new and trendy to wear at the start of a season, I am sure that you will find something to fit your taste. This year they feature a yukata festival so you can pop in if that interests you.
Alpa is more of a food and sweets parlor where you will always find something cute and interesting. They are opening a Pokemon restaurant fair this summer, so if you are a Pokemon fan I strongly recommend visiting. What I especially like about Alpa is the fact that it is mom-friendly, and you can see many mothers and children walking around in ease.
However, apart from the two shopping centres, Sunshine 60 features an aquarium and a famous observatory deck as it used to be the tallest building in Tokyo before the Government Metropolitan Building was built.
Junkudo : Ikebukuro
Still in one of the most popular regions of Tokyo – Ikebukuro, this amazing bookstore is a paradise for bookworms.
Junkudo is a chain bookstore (headquarters in Hyogo), which has a large branch in Ikebukuro.
This 9-story building features many different books and reading materials – its just amazing! Textbooks can be found here as well, so if you are looking for some Japanese study material, this is a really good place where you can go.
There is also a foreign book section on the 9th-floor so check in if you are looking for some interesting new reads.
When I was studying Japanese, I bought a lot of kid books to help me with elementary kanji and furigana so I would recommend many to do the same as it really helps you grasp quite a few things.
Tokyu Hands: Ikebukuro
The last shopping place I will feature from Ikebukuro, Tokyu Hands – a multi-purpose department store where you will find many home and lifestyle products. I usually go there to buy stationary and notepads, which I need but you can find many goods ranging from cosmetics to electric toothbrushes.
They also ship internationally so don’t feel left out if you didn’t find the time to visit the actual store in Japan. (Check out their shipping details on their main site).
Tokyu Hands also hosts many different events – such as themed markets and shops opening once in a while for a limited and unlimited time.
As they are branched out nationally and internationally, so it is very common to find a Tokyu Hands department store in a busy corner of a town.
However, the Ikebukuro store also features a Nekobukuro cat café, which allows visitors to come in and play with 20-25 cats and have a rest. It is very cute and popular so pop in if you are an avid cat lover.
Omotesando: Omotesando Hills (Shibuya)
Omotesando Hills is a shopping Centre located in Shibuya with expensive and luxury brands. The clothes are high class and very modern, and usually follow the latest fashion trends.
The building itself is really modern and beautiful as the architecture was design by a famous architect. So its really nice to visit if you aren’t planning on shopping either way – window shopping is really nice (ie not coming in and just observing the different products the shops have to offer). As they have over 120 shops, there is always something interesting you will find that suits your taste.
I especially advise you to visit Omotesando Hills during winter – they have many interesting promotions and sales around Christmas time, as well as a beautiful a Christmas Tree they exhibit in the middle of the shopping mall.
The really popular street light alley is very famous and is a frequently visited place for dates – as it is really pretty and romantic.
Check out Omotesando Hills’ main website below!
Known as one of the trendiest clothing malls you can go to, Isetan doesn’t seize to impress its visitors. The department store branch is spread out nationally, but you can find one of its biggest buildings in Shinjuku. It is easy to access directly from the JR Shinjuku station, and you will find many helpful staff to assist you there.
The department store sells many specialty foods, garden appliances, electronics and clothes for all ages and sizes.
They have a “customer is god” or “customer is first” policy, so hardly anyone disagrees about the friendly atmosphere of the place.
They also provide good discounts and annual sales so be sure to check out their main website below to see if anything special is on right now!
Tokyo Anime Center & GAMERS: Akihabara
Akihabara – an “Electric town” aiming to become full of “reliance and satisfaction” which without doubt satisfies anyone looking for manga or anime merchandise. These are the two stores I personally think fits for anime and manga shopping: Tokyo Anime Center and GAMERS. They are both located in Akihabara and both are of walking distance from each other and the station.
Situated directly next to JR Akihabara Station, GAMERS is a must to visit for vivid anime fans. Also known as “nerd heaven”, this 7-floor building features a shopping center and a game arcade. It is mostly for all ages, but be careful as some graphics or collectibles could fall under the 18+ section.
You will find many anime, manga and cosplay merchandise, as well as some cosplayers shopping around if you are lucky.
The Tokyo Anime Center is as the name suggests one of the most popular anime stores in Tokyo. It is located on the 4th floor of UDX and provides many different facilities for its visitors such as a 3-D screening theatre and live radio interviews with voice actors. It sells a lot of anime merchandise as well, and the place seems to appeal to Japanese and Western visitors.
Oriental Bazaar: Harajuku
Located in Harajuku, the Oriental Bazaar is the ultimate place to do your souvenir and gift shopping for yourself or visitors.
Selling Japanese toys, kimonos, yukatas and screens as well as many interesting T-shirts and products, this 3-floor store will provide you with all the souveniers you might need to buy. Instead of going around different places looking for different products, its so much easier going here and finding it. The prices are really reasonable and relatively cheap (depending on what you buy of course).
I have been here many times with many different guests and they always left happy.
If you are looking for some interesting antique furniture or Japanese sculptures/paintings, this is a good place to go as well. There are print authors on the top floor of the building and they draw/print amazing works.
The store is foreign-friendly, and they will assist you with anything you want.
The building stands out on the Omotseando Dori as it is built in the form of a temple and is really big and colorful.
Check out their main website below if you are looking for something specific or more information.
Takeshita Dori – Meiji Jingumae / Harajuku
This crowded but worldwide famous street is a MUST to visit for fashion lovers! It is said that fashion starts from here – in this vivid and colorful area of Harajuku. Featuring many well known shops as well as independent stores, Takeshita Dori is full of many styles and trends. Goth and Lolita are the two most popular styles, but there are so much more – from US girl clothes to anime merchandise there is definitely everything you would be looking for. On the way you can pop into Daiso aka known as the 100-yen shop and bulk buy stationary or interesting Japanese products for cheap. Many crepe shops are featured along the way and they are a popular attraction.
You can also visit G2? – Kyary Pamyu Pamyu most favorite store where she buys her outfits and looks for new inspirations.
There are so many cute cafes and interesting shops – Kiddy Land and Paris Kid’s, and it is definitely a fashion heaven you must visit at least once.
Roppongi Hills : Roppongi
Moving on to the next shopping region, Roppongi is the place where you would expect to find many well-known high-class stores and luxury brands.
Even though you might find Roppongi Hills the symbol of IT industry because of its numerous offices and departments, it is fair to say that it is just an equal symbol of fashion. Apart from the well-known international shops (such as Adidas and Zara) there are many cute but expensive Japanese fashion clothing brands as well.
Containing more than 200 shops, Roppongi Hills is a very modern and high luxury shopping area. A lot of children based shops are there as well so the whole shopping area is built mom friendly.
They have many different workshops, festivals and sales annually so be sure to check out their main website.
Tokyo Midtown: Roppongi
Last but not least, located in one of Tokyo’s tallest buildings, Tokyo Midtown is a place to that offers ultimate shopping experience to its visitors.
Featuring Galleria – the main shopping center with amazing architecture and even more amazingly varied stores and cafes. You can visit this place with kids, friends or as a couple – there is always something you will find along your way. The brands promoted are mostly Japanese, but there are some internationally recognized clothing lines as well.
Their main goal is to make your shopping experience as comfortable as possible so some cafes even feature dog suitability.
Apart from shopping, the building features Ritz Carlton Tokyo – one of the most expensive hotels in Tokyo with the best view of the metropolitan city.
Tokyo Midtown also features summer firework displays and kid workshops.
It is a very interesting and highly fashion-varied place to visit so be sure to check it out!
In conclusion, these places are just scraping the surface – there are so many more interesting boutiques and stores you can visit situated all around Tokyo. So my advice is, instead of sitting searching for the ultimate store on the Internet – take a train into the heart of Tokyo and walk around. I am sure you will definitely find something that suits your taste and style, as well as have a good and interesting walk.
Good luck and good shopping!