Japan Diaries: Shopping in Japan
Now that I've been to Japan, I could say that it's one of the best shopping destinations in Asia. At every turn in the city, you'll find shopping boutiques, from local to international, affordable to expensive, and anything unique and interesting. In this post, I'll take you around the top shopping destinations in the country namely Ginza, Omotesando, Shibuya, and the famous Takeshita Street of Harajuku, the place where Cosplay started.
Ginza is considered as the "Rodeo Drive" of Japan. A haven for shoppers, this huge district is like a ginormous mall where you'll find boutiques right at the street. There are also offices in this area, but looks to me that the shopping culture is the highlight here. If ever I'll go for a corporate job, I wanna work here! :)
At the main road, you'll find entry premium to high end brands. This is where Shiseido's flagship store and restaurant are located too.
H&M, the first place where I went shopping. :)
Matusya Ginza, a premium mall.
Mitsukoshi is where you'll find a mix of affordable and expensive lifestyle, beauty, and fashion brands.
TIP: All establishments close at 9pm, except some coffee shops, restaurants, drinking pubs, and karaoke bars.
Click READ MORE and let's go shopping! :)
At the back part of the high end road in the same district, there's this shopping arcade called Ginza INZ, a block- long area where you can find bargain clothes, foods, beauty products, and home stuff. This one's impossible to miss!
At the alleys of Ginza, you'll find more shopping boutiques, normally Japanese beauty and fashion labels.
Here's one of the interesting stores I spotted in one of the alleys: Sétu
Sétu sells exquisite knitted clothing and vintage handbags and accessories. The dainty cardigan you're seeing in this photo costs a whopping Y82,500 or P41,250.00. Guess it's for those who are mad about knits!
Neal's Yard and Remedies, a skin care brand. It's located right beside a Kiehl's store and a Starbucks coffee shop.
Stairway to heaven! :D
Matsumoto Kiyoshi is a drugstore chain, packed with affordable Japanese drugstore brands (And some international brands too) Definitely my most favorite store in the district because it's like a beauty universe! The MK branch I visited is very near Ginza INZ, but there are a lot around Ginza-it's like Sasa of some sorts. Brands to be found here are Shiseido's Japan- exclusive brands such as Aqualabel, Perfect Whip, Anessa, Shiseido Integrate, Maquillage and Ma Cherie, Biore, Lavshuca, Chiffure, Canmake, Imju Fiberwig, and a whole lotta brands that I couldn't comprehend. :p
TIP: Shu Uemura eyelash curlers cost P400.00 only in Matsumoto Kiyoshi! :)
DON-KI is a 24- hr. supermarket with an impressive beauty section as well.
This is the best place to go to for cheap Shiseido Tsubaki hair care products and even Kerastase products, and a place where you can find the best local delicacies such as Kitkat Green Tea, Kitkat Black, Rice Crackers, Seaweed Flakes, Mixed nuts and crackers, and instant Ramen. During sale seasons, even the food products go on sale here!
TIP: January and July are the sale seasons in Japan. If you want to go on a smart shopping spree in the country, book your visit on any of these months.
Just like Ginza, Omotesando is another high- end shopping area. Brands that can be found here are Sisley, Shu Uemura, The Body Shop, Paul Smith, etc. We didn't have time to check it out though.
Harajuku is another great shopping place in Tokyo where you'll find a bevy of local and international fast retail brands, but it's more famous for the Cosplay culture.
Welcome to Takeshita Street, the place where all the cuteness and wackiness called Cosplay was born! Actually, methinks the more apt term for this way of dressing would be Takeshita since this is where it all began, but Harajuku sounds nicer. When I was moseying in this place, I felt so underdressed: from young and old boys and girls, everybody's donned in their cutest attire and costumes of their favorite cartoon characters! I even saw a guy who was wearing a Pikachu mascot under the scorching weather all for the love of Cosplay! :)
TIP: July is summertime in Japan and it's pretty hot! Wear something light and easy if you're gonna stroll around the city.
Takeshita is a very long street where you'll find TONS of Cosplay paraphernalia.
A store that sells all sorts of socks.
A big Daiso store.
Dreamy, frilly, and romantic clothes for young girls or the young at heart.
There are ground level stores, second- floor stores, and even underground stores in Takeshita!
For the daring, there are extreme costume shops like this one too.
I got tired when I reached the end of Takeshita so I stopped by this super cute Milk Tea and pastry boutique. :)
Here's Harajuku proper.
OH! A Godiva café. Gosh, I wanted to check it out, but we were on the move! :p I love Godiva chocolates! :D
A huge Charles and Keith store.
For our last shopping destination, we went to Shibuya, home to Hachiko, the ever loyal dog in the namesake movie that made us all cry. Oh, Hachiko is not a product of fiction-his story is real and he has a statue in this district, near that huge Tokyu mall-Hachiko's statue was erected on the original location of the Shibuya train station. I wasn't able to visit him because we were only given 30 minutes to roam around Shibuya before heading to the airport, and I still had to buy more presents for my family!
Shibuya is an affordable shopping paradise. Tokyu, from what I heard, is a huge and nice mall, but I think the part that you'd have to visit if ever you'll go here is this maze- like area of boutiques-it's just right across Tokyu mall. You might think that it must be dizzying to be in here, but once you actually get to visit this place, you'll only feel excited and pumped to explore the area! It's that interesting! :)
A local clothing brand. Check out that cute mannequin! :D
Other must-visit shopping area: Shinjuku
TIP: Bargain lover? Look for the Y100 Stores!
So that's my Japan shopping diary and I hope you liked this virtual tour. For the last Japan diaries post, let's go to the forest in the middle of Tokyo and visit the National Noh Theatre! :)
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Beauty. Fitness. Fashion. Food. Travel. Unicorns. World Peace. Digify Corporation.