Shibuya on the Yamanote line is well-known for its youth fashions, but visit the Shibuya 109 store, and you’ll really see what young Tokyoites buy when they go shopping. Spread out over seven floors with restaurants at the top, it is easy to spend half a day or more in here just wandering around the different shops and trying to figure out what half the items are that are on sale! It’s a lot of fun and a must visit if you can. One thing though, if you are of average Western body size, don’t be surprised if you have difficulty finding items in here that fit. From the Hachiko exit at Shibuya station you need to head towards the tall building you can see with 109 in big numbers across the top.
A Funky Day Out
Odaiba is a mixture of funky malls, young trends, classic styles, and local stalls with a great mix of restaurants when you’re feeling peckish. Built on a 100% man-made island, this area looks over the famous Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo and also has a replica Statue of Liberty outside the Decks shopping mall. You’ll find a building called Joypolis sandwiched between Decks and Aqua City, where you can play video games and enjoy some whacky rides if you need a break from the bargain hunting hordes. Take the Rinkai Line, get off at a station called Tokyo Teleport, then just follow the English signs that show you the way.
Top Designer Fashion
If it’s top end fashion you are looking for, Ginza is a must visit. Set in the high class Marunouchi district of Tokyo, this area is dripping in money and the latest fashions emerging from the catwalks. Browse the windows of the likes of Coach, Gucci, and Chanel, or do some marathon shopping in the numerous department stores. On Sundays, the roads are closed to traffic on the main shopping streets so you can stroll at your own pace and grab a chair under one of the many parasols set up down the middle of the thoroughfare. Don’t forget to check out H&M which opened on September 13 this year, 2008. Stores in Japan often have some special opening bargains, so if you’re in Tokyo don’t miss out.
Electronics and Gadgets
Tokyo is the city of high tech and all things computer related. As a tourist there are duty free shops that allow you to take advantage of your holiday status and claim back the tax that a normal resident would have to pay. The best place to go to find all these things under one roof is Akihabara on the Yamanote Line. When you get off the train, follow the signs for the ‘Electric Town’ exit and then just follow your nose. There are electronic shops everywhere you turn so it’s difficult to go wrong! My personal favorite for duty free goods is Laox as they have a broad range of products available and friendly staff who can help you in English, Chinese and other languages.
Finally, also located on the Yamanote line, pay a visit to Harajuku the home of Hello Kitty, goths and lolitas, and accessories for all. electronics store As you come out of the station, take a moment to take in the sights and sounds of the cosplay, goth and lolita fans that generally congregate outside. When you have had your fill, continue down the small shopping street called Takeshita Dori and look out for Hello Kitty and other cute characters adorned on accessories for clothes, hair, bags and more.