From high-end to highly quirky to hundred yen shops, Tokyo never fails to delight serious shoppers! The Japanese capital has long been a world-leader when it comes to cutting-edge fashion and design. Here Renee Lodens, of local shopping guide Travelshopa, shares her five fave places for your next holiday in Japan.
Named Asia’s most upmarket shopping precinct, Ginza is home to the city’s classiest boutiques and department stores. Alongside malls like Tokyu Plaza, Mitsukoshi, Dover Street Market Ginza and Ginza Six are independent stores and local brands. The main roads are closed to cars on Sundays – shopping paradise!
The wealth of malls and department stores in this area can make Shinjuku a little overwhelming. Here you’ll find local and global threads at Isetan, and lots of specialty stores in the surrounding streets.
Shibuya is the epicentre of all things shopping in Tokyo. Just paces from the famous enormous intersection are dozens of department stores, busy pedestrian area Center Gai and the iconic cylindrical building Shibuya 109.
This zelkova tree-lined avenue has been named the Champs-Élysées of Tokyo. Located in Shibuya and Minato, it’s home to international brands and local labels, and is less crowded than Ginza.
Harajuku is best known as the centre of teen culture in Tokyo and has a great selection of vintage stores. Head to the lanes off Takeshita Street for the best boutiques and local wares.
Renee’s Top Tips
• Most stores offer tax-free shopping to tourists spending over ¥5000 (S$60). Bring your passport!
• Carry some cash: not everyone accepts credit cards (especially markets and small stores).
• Buy a vintage kimono from a flea market.
• Bargaining is the norm across Asia, but not in Japan. The only place to try your luck is a flea market.
• Tokyo is short on space so many shops are above or below street level. There’s much more than meets the eye!
26-27 May: Tokyo Nomi No Ichi This huge biannual flea market showcases goods from some of Japan’s finest specialty stores (tokyonominoichi.com
Travelshopa is the curated guide to the best local shopping around the world. travelshopa.com | @travelshopa.
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