Tokyo is the ultimate shopper’s paradise and happens to be ScrubySnacks’ number one shopping destination. From stylish clothing and accessories, to quirky electrical appliances and gadgets, the hardest part will be trying to fit everything into your suitcase at the end of the trip.
Here’s a few suggestions of where to start your very own Tokyo shopping adventure.
The infamous shopping area of Ginza in Tokyo offers everything from international designer brands (Dior, Bulgari, Prada etc) to high street essentials (Zara, H&M, Uniqlo) as well as a personal favourite for affordable fast fashion, GU. It’s also worth checking out the large fancy department stores such as Mitsokoshi and Matsuya which have a super selection of more high-end, traditional Japanese offerings.
Near Ginza and right outside Yurakucho Station, you’ll find the enormous Bic Camera store. Here awaits a huge array of tax free goods from phone accessories to golf equipment, and electrical appliances to famous Japanese whisky. This is also a good place to purchase your Japan Travel Sim. For around 2800 YEN, you’ll receive 1GB of data for 30 days which is pretty good value and is particularly handy for all those Google translations you may find yourself in desperate need of.
ScrubySnacks Tip: There is complimentary WiFi available if you happen to be located in the main Ginza shopping area and in need of an internet injection. Also worth noting is that on Sundays, Chuo Dori Avenue is closed to traffic which makes shopping down the strip an even more enjoyable experience.
Feeling hungry? If all that shopping leaves you particularly peckish, one must visit the highly acclaimed Ippudo ramen restaurant in Ginza, which is open from lunchtime ‘til the wee hours of the morning. This is the perfect place to slurp your way through big bowl of sensationally steamy noodles, served in the most delicious 18 hour brewed broth you will ever taste. Ippudo Ginza Shop, Central Building 1F, 4-10-3 Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo Prefecture 104-0061.
If you’re a big fan of outlet shopping, Odaiba is a must. Easily reached by Tokyo’s highly efficient rail and subway network, you can also take the scenic Tokyo Water Bus from Hinode Pier straight to Odaiba Seaside Park for just 480 YEN for a great view of Tokyo Bay and Rainbow Bridge.
Once you reach Odaiba, you can take your time and wander around the wonderful shopping centres including Aqua City, DiverCity and Palette Town (home of the fabulous Nike Outlet Store).
You can easily lose an entire day there by also checking out the History Garage Car Museum, the huge towering Gundum robot which is said to protect the city of Tokyo, and even the island’s very own Statue of Liberty.
Apart from watching the flurry of pedestrians shuffle their way across the infamous pedestrian crossing, Shibuya is also a fantastic shopping destination. Along with the usual high street shops on offer, Shibuya 109 is just a hop, skip and jump away from the crossing. Here you’ll find over 100 boutiques, and an interesting insight into the alternative and younger fashionistas of Tokyo (you will see girls with every hair colour under the sun here!).
My personal highlight when it comes to shopping in Shibuya is an incredible second hand store called Ragtag which houses the largest and most impeccably kept collection of second hand, high-end designer gear.
For more information on Shibuya as well as a super restaurant recommendation, check out the ScrubySnacks Discover Shibuya blog.
The eye-opening area of Harijuku is a great place if you want to see the completely crazy side of Japanese teen culture. At the famous Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street) you can expect to see anything from locals dressed up as baby dolls, pooches dressed up as princesses and even Japanese goths.
Of course, if you feel like something a little more sophisticated, take a stroll down the tree-lined streets of Omotesando where you find an array of fashionable brands, Japanese boutiques and inviting coffee shops.
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