Walk into any Tokyo shop and you’ll hear “irasshaimase” (a big welcome). One of the most exciting and diverse metropolises in the world, Tokyo presents a treasure trove of unique shopping opportunities. Traditional arts and craft stores stand next to shops brimming with contemporary and imported items; the tiniest family-run businesses compete with the huge national chains.

    Generally, each area of Tokyo specializes in a particular form of shopping, whether it be fashion, electronics or interior decoration, however each district presents an interesting array of boutiques, specialty shops and larger department stores awaiting exploration.

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    Tokyo shopping malls and department stores

    Find a wide range of products, cuisine, and entertainment

    Tokyo's shopping malls and department stores are retail palaces where you can shop, eat, try out the latest electronics, catch a movie, and see Japan's latest fashion. The most stylish malls are mostly in Harajuku and Shibuya. Malls like Harajuku Quest and Omotesando Hills appeal to young crowds looking for cutting-edge trends.

    Visit Japan's oldest department store, Mitsukoshi, at its flagship branch in Nihonbashi, to hunt for handmade Japanese crafts and regional foods. In upmarket Ginza, it's all about the slick electronics stores and major international designers. Finish your shopping trip at Odaiba, an island in Tokyo Bay that's filled almost entirely with shopping malls.

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    Designer stores on Omotesando Street

    Aoyama is one of Tokyo’s premier upmarket areas with many top international designer brands calling this neighborhood home. A walk down Omotesando Street will enthral those who are interested in architecture and fashion. The flagship store for Rei Kawakubo’s Commes des Garçons brand is extraordinary, with its many small blue glass hubs. Issey Miyake, Gucci, Michael Kors and Costume National also have big stores on Omotesando Street in Aoyama.

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    The Prada Building Aoyama

    One of the most iconic buildings in Tokyo, the Prada Building was designed by Pritzker prize-winning Swiss architectural team of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. The exterior polygraph is covered in unique bubbly windows that together resemble a shiny quilted blanket. Its chic, white-on-white interior houses the top brand’s full collection of men’s and women’s apparel and accessories. You might even find limited edition items that are largely unavailable in other Prada boutiques.

    Location: 5-2-6 Minamiaoyama, Minato, Tokyo 107-0062, Japan

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 8 pm

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    Spiral Market

    The Spiral Building is a complex of cultural facilities established by Wacoal aimed at bringing together life and art. The Spiral Market on the 2nd floor presents simple, high-quality home furnishings based on an ‘eternal design’ principle. The store has 6 self-explanatory zones – lounging, eating, healing, working, wearing and wrapping. The market also regularly hosts the ‘Spiral Market Selection’ which displays clay, glass and fabric artifacts made by hand-picked, up and coming designers.

    Location: 5-6-23 Minamiaoyama, Minato, Tokyo 107-0062, Japan

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 8 pm

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    Oriental Bazaar

    Oriental Bazaar is a great place to pick up some souvenirs for those back home. Located on Omotesando street close to Harajuku, you’ll find 4 floors of typical Japanese items here, including new and antique kimonos, hand fans, stationary, homeware and cheap key rings – great gifts for distant cousins. Though a little touristy at certain times of year, the bazaar remains very popular for Japanese shoppers. The shop is walking distance from Omotesando Station and Meiji-Jingumae Station.

    Location: 5-9-13 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo, 150-0001, Japan

    Open: Friday–Wednesday from 10 am to 7 pm

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    Ameyoko street market

    During the war, Ameyoko was the place to get black market American goods such as liquor, chocolate, tobacco. it has long since traded as a black market, but is now Tokyo’s largest open-air bazaar. Wth more than 500 stores selling everything from foreign brand name clothes to sporting and electrical goods to fruits and vegetables, and almost always at a discounted price, Ameyoko street market buzzes with a distinctly Asian market vibe and is a nice counter-point to the clean modern parts of the city.

    Location: 4-9-14 Ueno, Taito, Tokyo 110-0005, Japan

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3832-5053

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    7

    Mandarake Shibuya

    Mandarake Shibuya is a second-hand store popular with Tokyo’s youth. This cavernous store offers a wide variety of retro manga, anime mobile phones, toys, stereos, books, and more. The store has a cosplay stage and karaoke box in keeping with the overall otaku theme of the store. You never really know what you’re going to find in Mandarake and that’s half of the fun.

    Location: BEAM B2 fl., 31-2 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0042, Japan

    Open: Daily from 12 pm to 8 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3477-0777

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    8

    Shibuya Maruara Watanabe

    Maruara Watanabe is a popular antique store in Shibuya stocking a range of traditional Japanese items. It’s an interesting place to shop for gifts for loved ones at home, as it stocks a range of unique items hailing from Kyoto. On any day, you’ll find a mix of kimonos, geta (wooden shoes), tableware, bags, aprons and other everyday items that make good souvenirs.

    Location: 16-8 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya, Tokyo, 150-0042, Japan

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 7 pm

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    9

    Tokyo Midtown

    As one of the tallest buildings in the entire city, Tokyo Midtown is easy to spot. Launched as part of a huge redevelopment project, it’s home to 130 upmarket shops, offices, museums and the Ritz Carlton Tokyo Hotel on the top floors. Most of the shopping is located in the Galleria section, a 4-storey arcade, that offers high-end, spacious shopping. Along with plenty of fashion boutiques from Japan’s most esteemed designers, you’ll find some incredible homeware shops to pick up some stand out art pieces for your home.

    Location: 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo 107-0052, Japan

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 9 pm

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    10

    Apple Store Ginza

    The Apple Store Ginza was the first Apple store to be opened outside of the US and it's amazing. With 7 floors of Apple’s most innovative technology to explore, you could spend an entire afternoon in here, and there's a theatre which screens regular tutorials on Apple products. You can walk to the Apple Store from Ginza Station. 

    Location: 3-5-12 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo, 104-0061, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5159-8200

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    11

    Marui Jam

    Aimed predominately at the female market the Marui Jam department store has an extensive collection of clothes, accessories, shoes and bags. Sporting goods, yoga products and swimsuits are to be found here. There is also a famous hair and nail salon located on the top floor. Marui Jam is just behind Shibuya 109 shopping mall and is walking distance from the subway. 

    Location: 1-22-6 Jinnan, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0041, Japan

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm. Sundays from 11 am to 8.30 pm.

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3464-0101

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    12

    Roppongi Hills

    Roppongi Hills is a simply massive development that contains a shopping mall hosting many top Japanese and international brands. There are also many smaller boutiques, cafes, restaurants and variety shops located within this upmarket labyrinth. If you fancy a change of pace from shopping, Roppongi Hills also houses an excellent movie theater complex and the Mori Art Museum.

    Location: 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-6108, Japan

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 9 pm

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    Carré Moji

    Presenting the visual aesthetic of Japanese calligraphy, Carré Moji has an extensive variety of over 1,000 original pieces exhibiting modern interpretations of calligraphy as its own art form. The all-original pieces are pricey – the cost of an original artwork at Carré Moji ranges from ¥40,000 to ¥500,000 – but even if you are not looking to purchase a piece, the gallery is well worth a visit to appreciate this ancient Japanese skill.

    Location: 3F 5-11-24 Minami-Aoyama, Minato, Tokyo 107-0062, Japan

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11.30 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5766-7120

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    Hakuhinkan toy store

    Hakuhinkan toy store is a wonderland of toys, teddies, and creativity. Just a short walk from Ginza toward Shimbashi, this 8-storey mega store is split into different sections. There’s a fun park, a toy museum and each floor has a theme. You can skip from stuffed toys to computer games to character and action figures. A great place to browse or just embrace the inner child. You will find this children's fantasy land between Shimbashi and Ginza stations.

    Location: 8-8-11 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3571-8008

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    15

    Kawano Gallery

    If you are looking for a more valuable keepsake from your trip to Japan, the Kawano Gallery is the place to buy antique Japanese fabrics, hand-painted and embroidered kimono, haori and obi. The store also has a variety of the Japanese cloth room-dividers called noren also exquisitely hand-made. Kwano Gallery have English signs explaining many of the products, which is very helpful and quite rare in Japan. 

    Location: 4-4-9 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo, 150-0001, Japan

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3470-3305

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    16

    Okura Oriental Art

    Okura Oriental Art is an adorable little store on the outskirts of Roppongi has a reputation for dealing in antiques that are not just for looking at, but can be incorporated into the functions of your everyday living spaces. From bento sets to ink-stone boxes with built-in abacuses, the items in this store are out of the ordinary, intriguing and each has a rich history which store owner Mizue Sasa will be happy to relate. Okura Oriental Art is walking distance from Roppongi-itchome Station.

    Location: 3-3-14 Azabudai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0041, Japan

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    17

    Inaricho district

    This is the Tokyo headquarters for wholesale religious and funeral goods. The type of items being produced in the Inaricho district include Shinto household shrines, Buddha images, paper lanterns, and every sacred item required for home-worhsip. All of these items are available here in a range of models. To find this fascinating neighborhood, head south-west of Ueno station.

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    18

    Yamashiroya

    This is an enormous 7-storey toy shop specializing in everything anime, manga or Disney. Manga ‘comic pictures’ are hugely popular in Japan. The content is as diverse as politics to baseball, martial arts to romance, and people of all ages enjoy reading comics. Searching for a vintage publication? Or some Mickey Mouse plush toys? This toy mecca is worth a visit just for the sheer scope of it.

    Location: 6 Chome-14-6 Ueno, Taito, Tokyo 110-0005, Japa

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 9.30 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3831-2320

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    19

    Cospa Gee Store Akiba

    Cospa Gee Store stocks a range of fantasy costumes and fancy dress outfits. Japanese teens love to dress up in costumes and whole stores are devoted to kos-pu-re or costume play. This store has a great variety of costumes from the Lolita look to more risqué outfits.

    Location: 3-15-5, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 8 pm

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    20

    Don Quijote

    Don Quijote Shinjuku is one of those enthralling all-night stores that stocks just about everything you never thought you would want. Nicknamed "Donki" by Japanese, this discount store is laden with cheap, gimmicky and irresistible items, from gifts and souvenirs, to travel goods and car supplies. This iconic store is open 24 hours a day and serves cheap food, making a popular spot to refuel after a few beers in the bars of Shinjuku.

    Location: 1-16-5 Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

    Open: 24 hours a day

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    21

    Kurodaya

    Located at the Sensoji Temple, Kuroda is a craft store that has been in business since 1856. You can find beautiful Japanese washi – delicate hand-made paper sheets – which is this shop’s specialty. Traditional woodblock prints onto paper is one of Japan’s most admired forms of artistry, and the staff at Kuroda are considered experts. Traditionally, themes included beautiful women, kabuki actors, landscapes and the supernatural, but nowadays more modern imagery is creating using the ancient methods. Kurodaya also stocks a wide range of traditional masks, clay figurines, kites and calligraphy equipment.

    Location: 1-2-5 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3844-7511

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    22

    Takeshita Street

    There are so many tiny shops and boutiques lining Takeshita Street, to single any out is pointless. Clothing, shoes and accessories, jewelry, character goods, pop idol stores, the street has basically everything a teen could want. During the week is the best time to go if you actually want to buy anything otherwise the weekends, particularly Sundays, are the best people-watching times.

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    23

    Harajuku Kiddy Land

    Harajuku Kiddy Land is the flagship store of this toy brand and a wonderful experience for the young at heart. Across 6 storeys, the beautifully decorated store presents colorful interactive displays and a huge number of toys, games and figures of all varieties, plus all the kitsch character items – think Hello Kitty – that are so popular with children around the world. Kiddy Land is next to Meiji-Jingumae Station on the Chiyoda Line.

    Location: 6-1-9 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

    Open: Monday–Friday from 11 am to 9 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 10.30 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +81 3-3409-3431

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    24

    Kappabashi-dori

    Kappabashi-dori is known mainly for producing the miniature foods that are present outside most Japanese restaurants to tempt potential diners. These miniatures can be quite exquisite and are, in general, much pricier than the real foods they depict. The street also contains shops selling all kinds of kitchen appliances and utensils. A map can be found at the Asakusa tourist information center.

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    25

    Togo Antiques Market

    An amazing counterpoint to the cutting-edge fashion on Harajuku streets, Togo Shrine hosts the Antiques Market on the first, fourth and fifth Sunday of every month. From 5am to 3pm, the quiet compound of the historical shrine is the perfect setting for this grand-daddy of all flea markets offering an enthralling array of Japanese antique furniture, crafts and memorabilia.

    Location: 1-5-3 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

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    26

    Take no Megumi Bamboo

    Carrying a charming assortment of authentic Japanese goods, Take no Megumi is Tokyo’s only specialty bamboo store. The name Take no Megumi translates as "bamboo blessings" and all the items pay homage to this natural icon of Japan. Displayed items match the seasons so it’s always worth a visit to pick up some attractive light-weight tokens of Japan. The interesting chopsticks are popular items, but you can find anything from steaming baskets for cooking to laundry hampers here. 

    Location: 1-1-11 Motoazabu, Minato, Tokyo 106-0046, Japan

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    27

    Yodobashi Akiba

    With stores all over the country, Yodobashi is one of the Japan’s largest electronics chains and the Akihabara store is the biggest in the country, possibly one of the world’s largest electronics stores. Across 9 floors and 23,000 square meters, you’ll find every kind of electronics item you could think of – from computers to digital cameras, music accessories, TVs, to video games and fun gadgets. It doesn’t end there though, as this shop also stocks toys, bicycles and anime related items.

    Location: 1-1 Kanda Hanaokacho, Chiyoda, Tokyo 101-0028, Japan

    Open: Daily from 9.30 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5209-1010

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    28

    Bic Camera Shibuya Hachikoguchi

    Bic Camera Shibuya Hachikoguchi consists of 7 floors of discounted digital cameras, videos, computers and other home appliances. You can wander around and see gadgets you never even knew you needed. This national chain of electronics stores often include such diverse items as toys and jewelry in addition to the dizzying array of electronics. Bic Camera Shibuya Hachikoguchi is connected to the subway station, making it convenient in any weather. 

    Location: 2-5-9 Dougenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0043, Japan

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 10 pm

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    29

    LAOX Akihabara

    LAOX is a tax-free shop in Akihabara that offers visitors a huge range of souvenirs and Japanese products. If you’re looking for 1 shop to pick up all your gifts for the family, LAOX would be a great choice. In addition to the Japanese-made electronics products, LAOX also stocks cosmetics, handicrafts, jewelry and novelty items. Staff at LAOX Akihabara can speak English, Chinese and Korean and are able to assist you with the duty-free paperwork.

    Location: 1-2-9 Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo, 101-0021, Japan

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 7.30 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3253-7111

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    30

    Akihabara Gachapon Kaikan

    For a real taste of otaku style, head to this capsule toy (gachapon) haven in Akihabara. With more than 400 capsule toy machines you could win anything from Godzilla, to Ultraman or Dragon Ball Z. You should visit Akihabara Gachapon Kaikan as much for the experience as purchasding a capsule toy. Punk staff and blaring rock music seems to go down well with the customers.

    Location: 1F MN building, 3-15-5 Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11 am to 8 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm

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    photo by Guilhem Vellut (CC BY 2.0) modified

    Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveler

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