A Shopaholic's Guide To Tokyo

From its high-end couture and off-beat fashion to its tacky trinkets and out-of-this-world electronics, Tokyo is a mesmerising mecca for shopaholics everywhere. One problem? Tokyo is seriously huge. If you want to make the most of your trip and the money you have in your wallet, you have to know where to shop.


Think Oxford Street in London. Think Fifth Avenue in New York. If you’re looking for upscale shopping in Tokyo, Ginza is where it’s at. As the city’s most affluent shopping district, Ginza is where you’ll find grand department stores and stylish boutiques, with almost all prominent Japanese and international fashion and cosmetics brands finding a home here. Look past the likes of Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton though, and you’ll see where old meets new, in some of Tokyo’s finest traditional craft shops, such as Takumi.


Another upscale shopping district, Roppongi received a facelift with the opening of the Tokyo Midtown and Roppongi Hills complexes. Here you can discover a vast range of upmarket shopping and dining destinations, with most stores specialising in fashion, accessories, interior design and household goods. Why not take some time out from your retail madness? Chill out while you check out the awesome works of public art and beautiful Edo-style Mohri Garden near Mori Tower.


One word you would never use to describe Shibuya is ‘relaxed’. As Tokyo’s liveliest shopping neighbourhood, this vibrant hub is the heart of Tokyo’s youth culture, buzzing with people and glowing with giant video screens. Mostly catering to young female shoppers, this district is packed with department stores and shopping complexes, such as Shibuya 109, ShinQs, Tokyu, Shibuya Mark City, Seibu, Loft and Parco. Be sure to check out dazzling shopping streets Koen Dori, Spain Zaka and Center Gai, but be warned, you may feel ever-so-slightly ancient if you happen to be born pre-90s.


Blessed with something of a split personality, Harajuku features two parallel shopping streets appealing to two distinctly different types of shoppers. A spectacular tree-lined avenue, Omotesandō is known as Tokyo's Champs-Elysees, complete with glamourous boutiques, cafes and designer stores. On the flip-side, Takeshita-dōri is a magnet for admirers of youth fashion and counter culture, packed with eccentric fashion, vintage stores, and the world famous Harajuku girls (and boys). Check out 6% Doki Doki, Laforet, and Sou-Sou for clothes and accessories, Tokyo's Tokyo for souvenirs, or RagTag for pre-loved fashion.


Another of Tokyo’s enormous shopping districts, Shinjuku can seem somewhat overwhelming to first-time visitors. Simply step out of the train station to be immersed in the chaos and noise of an unimaginable number of malls and department stores. Looking for one-stop shopping? Shinjuku is the place for you, with countless variety of stores stocking almost everything you could possibly need. Don’t miss Don Quijote and RanKing RanQueen!

Of course, there is much more to Tokyo than these five districts. If you have the time, be sure to visit Asakusa for gifts, Shimo-Kitazawa for vintage clothes and vinyl, Nihonbashi for traditional goods and local foods, and Akihabara for electronics. So much shopping, so little time!

If you’re planning to travel to Tokyo, don’t forget to purchase a travel insurance plan from Chubb Insurance Hong Kong Limited prior to your trip.


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