Tackle your Tokyo shopping spree district by district to discover glitzy department stores, traditional markets and even street-side vending machines. More of a window shopper than a go-getter? If you’re sightseeing in Tokyo, chances are good that you’ll be in the center of a shopping district anyway. Tokyo’s shopping districts are built around some of the city’s most popular landmarks, notable attractions and convenient subway stations.
AGODA EXTRA: Tokyo streets are lined with vending machines that sell almost everything you need to survive a holiday in Japan. Stock up on toilet paper and tank tops, or grab a burger and a beer!
1. Hunt for electronic gadgets, luxury brands and camera supplies in SHINJUKU
Arrive at the busiest train station in the world to discover the city’s most chaotic, crowded and colossal commercial district. A shopping spree in Shinjuku will lead you to department store stars like Isetan and Odakyu. If electronics are your thing, head west of Shinjuku Station to find an entire neighborhood packed with Yodobashi Camera shops, gaming stores and multimedia outlets. Other flagship stores in the district include Keio Department Store (Keio Hyakkaten) and Lumine 1 and Lumine 2.
2. Discover elite malls in a traffic-free zone in GINZA
Join Tokyo’s Hi-So circle in one of the most decadent shopping regions in the world. Find most of the district’s most impressive malls and boutiques along Chuo Dori, a 1-kilometer strip known as Pedestrians’ Paradise, popular on weekends because it’s closed to traffic during the afternoons. Even if your wallet isn’t fat enough to take home much from Ginza, browsing through elite shopping centers like Ginza Six and Ginza Mitsukoshi is an eye-popping experience. For something a little different, sift through 18 floors of stationery at Ginza Itoya, or take the kids to Hakuhinkan and Don Quijote (DONKI) to find a toy paradise and a dizzying assortment of souvenirs.
3. Immerse yourself in Tokyo’s otaku subculture and Japanese anime at AKIHABARA
Take an electrifying excursion through Akihabara to uncover the heart of Tokyo’s otaku subculture, or die-hard fans of anime, manga and Japanese pop culture. Weave through the district’s alleyways to locate dozens of local shops filled with electronics, camera gear, video games, collectibles and the latest in cosplay apparel. Also known as Akihabara Electric Town (Denki-gai), the district’s most popular attractions include Yodobashi Camera, Yamada Denki LABI Akihabara and LAOX (Akihabara Main Shop). Visit 2k540 Aki-Oka Artisan to shop under the train tracks, and venture to neighboring Jimbōchō to get lost in the district’s more than 170 bookstores.
4. Travel back in time for second-hand clothing and vinyl records at SHIMOKITAZAWA
A major draw for Tokyo students and young artists, Shimokitazawa, also called Shimokita and sometimes just “Shimo,” features scores of independent retailers, second-hand clothing stores and record shops. Shop at Shimokita garage department for quirky vintage fashions, and drop by Best Sound Records to enjoy a flashback to the glory days of vinyl. The district is located conveniently around Shimo-Kitazawa Station, and the narrow alleys that make up the neighborhood can only be explored on foot.
5. Do some sightseeing while shopping with young artists at HARAJUKU
Due to its vast shopping venues and proximity to some of Tokyo’s most notable historic landmarks, Harajuku is one of Tokyo’s most popular destinations for locals and tourists alike. Located next to Yoyogi Park, between Harajuku Station and Omotesando Hills, Harajuku caters to young adults but also offers less extreme options for adults and families. Find trendy shops, vintage clothing stalls, hip cafés and bars along Takeshita Street and Cat Street. Young children can find all the entertainment they need at Kiddy Land, and for upscale shopping, try Omotesando Hills.
6. Dig through recycled bargains with locals at Tokyo’s most popular FLEA MARKETS
Tokyo’s dedication to recycling has created a culture obsessed with second-hand merchandise. While schedules are a bit sporadic, flea markets are scattered throughout the city, enticing locals with cheap prices, loads of street food and charming atmospheres that can’t be found anywhere else in Japan.
Popular Flea Markets in Tokyo
Tokyo City Flea Market (Ohi Racecourse Flea Market): open two or three times a month on weekends near Ōikeibajō-mae Station (Tokyo Monorail).
Oedo Antique Market: open twice a month on Sundays, the market near Tokyo Station features up to 250 shops specializing in post-war items and propaganda material.
Yoyogi Park Flea Market: generally open every Sunday, this flea market is considered one of Tokyo’s trendiest and most popular. Located on the southern edge of Yoyogi Park, the market also hosts the Yoyogi Park Earth Day Flea Market once a month.
Shinjuku Mitsui Building Flea Market: open once a month in the Shinjuku Mitsui Building near Shinjuku Station.
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