Tokyo

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Tokyo has always been the most fashion-forward city in this nation of shoppers, and something will likely catch your eye at every turn. Rather than list individual stores, we’ve included the best shopping districts in the city. In addition, large shopping complexes are located inside and just outside all major train stations. Should you need a last-minute gift before your flight home, there are large shopping arcades at Narita Airport.

Shopping in Tokyo

Akihabara

Legendary center for Japanese electronics: audio, visual, home and more. Find the latest and greatest at multi-story electronics department stores, or get your geek on buying components to create your own. Note: some products are programmed for use only in Japan, but many stores have export departments.

, akiba.or.jp/english/
Tags: shopping | things to do | walking district | electronics

Ameyoko

This narrow alley is the diametrical opposite of the hoity-toity designer boutiques of Ginza and Omote-Sando. Hawkers hawk and crowds crowd over reasonably priced clothing, knick-knacks, and foods sold in bulk.

Between Ueno and Okachimachi stations on the Yamanote Line,
Tags: budget | shopping | things to do | souvenirs | eclectic | walking district

Asakusa

Amid the touristy souvenir stalls you’ll find shops (some centuries old) selling high-quality traditional products: knives to Noh masks to noren (shop curtains), plus festival products (drum, happi coats, and more) and kimonos. Along the way, sample bean-paste snacks and sembei (rice crackers).

Nakamise-dori,
Tags: shopping | things to do | souvenirs | crafts | walking district

Ginza

It’s easy to spend an afternoon or more perusing the department stores of this world-famous shopping district: for starters, Mitsukoshi, Mastuya and Wako are all neighbors. Most department stores feature art galleries, restaurant floors and elaborate food stalls in the basement.

Ginza Chuo-dori, www.ginza.jp/eng/index_e.html
Tags: luxury | shopping | expensive | things to do | designer | department store | walking district

Kappabashi

You know those good-enough-to-eat plastic food models you see in restaurant windows? Buy them here! The artistry is amazing: kids love the spaghetti, complete with fork suspended above the plate, and the sushi makes an excellent keychain.

Kappabashi-dori,
Tags: family | shopping | things to do | souvenirs | home | walking district

Manga District

Long Japan’s proving ground for the next big thing in electronics, the Akihabara neighborhood has also evolved into a center for manga (comic books) and anime (animation). You’ll find all of these in megastores and piled high along main streets and side streets. Expect lots of noise and the occasional teen dressed in cos-play (costume play) as their favorite anime character.

, www.akiba.or.jp/english/index.html
Tags: shopping | things to do | culture

Omote-Sando

Boutiques of major international designers line this wide boulevard near Harajuku Station. You may be able to find the same fashions elsewhere, but the buildings, many by Pritzker Prize winners, are unique and fascinating, particularly Dior, Tod’s, Prada and the astounding Omote-Sando Hills. On neighboring Takeshita-dori, teens and tweens buy fashions inspired by anime.

Omote-Sando,
Tags: shopping | expensive | editor pick | things to do | designer | walking district

Roppongi Hills

Part of the fun is getting lost in this swirling, multi-level architectural marvel (maps are available but not much help). We haven’t heard complaints, probably because the shops, restaurants and cafés are so alluring. Fashions here take their cues from both east and west, and restaurants do the same.

The Mori Art Museum; The National Art Center Tokyo; The Suntory Museum of Art, Roppongi & Akasaka, www.roppongihills.com/en
Tags: shopping | expensive | things to do | walking district

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