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Tokyo shopping guide: What and where to shop in Tokyo

Here is our curated handy shopping guide for when you visit Tokyo, a shopping hotspot that offers anything and everything from traditional delicacies to high-quality products. From the best malls to the best streets for shopping, here are the spots you must visit when in the capital city. 

Japan’s tourism industry has already recovered to pre-pandemic level. That’s quite a feat to achieve in less than two years. Undeniably, the Land of the Rising Sun is one of the most popular destinations in Asia and even the world. It has incredible architecture, quaint and bustling streets, majestic natural landscape, top-class hospitality, amazing cuisine… and the list goes on. 

The country also stands out as a shopping hotspot, offering anything from traditional snacks to high-quality products. Tokyo alone is a shopping mecca and likely most people’s first stop when they visit Japan. So, read our handy shopping guide to Tokyo and become an expert at navigating the complex yet fun shopping malls and streets of the city.

First things first. Shotengai or shopping streets is the bread and butter of the Tokyo (and Japan) shopping experience. The capital alone has over 2,400 shopping streets, each with its set of independent shops and stalls that sell anything from food, clothing, electronics, and anything else you can possibly think of. Plus, most of them also come at an affordable price, except for when you’re exclusively looking for high-end ones.

Then, there are the shopping malls and the ones in Tokyo are humongous. The best option is always to head to one of the big outlets whether it’s Seibu, Odakyu, or Mitsukoshi. Chances are, you won’t leave empty-handed. With so many options available, it can be difficult to pick. That’s where we come in. We break down Tokyo’s best shopping malls, and the unmissable shopping streets. So, get packing because your next (or first) trip is about to become super memorable.

Save the list and also prepare your feet for a lot of walking (we’re talking 20,000 steps).

[Hero and featured image credit: Jezael Melgoza/Unsplash]

Shopping in Tokyo: What to buy and where to shop?

tokyo shopping japan guide
Image credit: Jezael Melgoza/Unsplash

The best items to buy in Tokyo


This is a no-brainer. Tokyo is home to the trendiest fashion brands as well as luxury names. So, no matter your preference or style, you’ll likely find something that fits your taste and budget. Other than the usual clothing, we also recommend purchasing your own pair or traditional wear whether it’s a yukata or something as simple as a sukajan (vintage bomber jacket).

Food, snacks, and condiments

We all know tourists are likely to spend time roaming around Don Quiote for the best Japanese food, snacks, and condiments. And for the right reasons. Just thinking about the numerous flavours, often unique, is enough to get anyone excited. Bring back a taste of Japan to your home turf with the various kinds of ramen, mochi, sweets, and other snacks. Don’t have time to shop at Don Quiote? Then, just drop by the supermarket or any convenience store, though don’t expect the same discounted prices.

tokyo shopping guide souvenirs
Image credit: Vicky Ng/Unsplash

Traditional souvenirs

Oh, where do we even start with this? It’s practically impossible to list down all the traditional souvenirs that are worth buying. It also totally depends on your preference. But among the popular ones include traditional Japanese treats called wagashi, the cute waving maneki-neko cats, the good luck charms found in temples, anything matcha, bento boxes, and the list goes on. Omiyage (or souvenir) is a serious business in Japan, with each prefecture having its own speciality. So, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to the souvenirs you can bring home.


If there’s something to love about Japanese beauty products, it’s the emphasis on using natural ingredients. At the same time, they’re of high quality and easily affordable. In Tokyo alone, you’ll see products that have anti-ageing components and natural oils. Rice is a common ingredient in products like moisturisers and face masks and that’s as natural as it gets.

Anime, manga, and games

So, did you really visit Japan without browsing or better yet, buying anime-related products? We just have to put it out there. For big-time anime fans, secondhand stores are selling vintage items such as playing cards that can either cost a fortune or come at a bargain. Otherwise, figurine collectables are also plenty along with manga and other themed goodies.

Kitchen goods

The kitchen goods and tableware in Japan are always of great quality. Everything from knives to chopsticks and cups comes in a variety of types and designs. If you really take knives seriously, you can also get them engraved. Not only will you get a high-quality knife, but you’ll also be supporting local artisans who make them—by hand.

tokyo shopping guide stationery
Image credit: Camille San Vicente/Unsplash


Japanese stationery is just another level. Something as simple as a notebook or pen comes decked in adorable designs. Make room in your luggage for some washi tape that comes in different designs or cute stickers. We argue that stationery alone can make for a great souvenir. Department stores like Itoya and Loft have dedicated sections just for the stationery.

The best shopping malls in Tokyo

Shibuya 109

One word to describe Shibuya 109? A landmark. This shopping mall in Tokyo has made its way to numerous photos of its even more iconic neighbour, the Shibuya Crossing. And it has been that way for quite a while now—in fact, since 1979. Shibuya 109 has been the go-to shopping mall for young people looking for the latest fashion trends. And over the years, celebrities from across the world also wanted a bit of its fame… and products. Get lost in the floors with cutting-edge fashion, from apparel to footwear and accessories and everything else in between.

Ginza Mitsukoshi and Ginza Wako Department Store

Ginza is the place to be for luxury shopping. There are plenty of shopping malls in the area but there are only two to keep on your radar: Ginza Mitsukoshi and Ginza Wako. Firstly, Mitsukoshi is the oldest and one of the most luxe department stores in Japan. Its history dates back to the 17th century and has stood the test of time. The Ginza branch was built in 1930 and is unsurprisingly, home to high-end brands. But we definitely recommend checking out the kimono section as well.

On the other hand, Ginza Wako is difficult to miss. With its neo-renaissance architecture and trademark cock tower, it’s become the symbol of Ginza. Built by the same team behind Seiko watches, the mall houses only the best of the best. Its exclusiveness equals high prices, making it a truly luxury shopping experience.

tokyo shopping guide shinjuku
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Find yourselves lost in Shinjuku? We won’t blame you for just trying to exit the train station, the busiest in the world by foot traffic. Also, probably the one with the most number of exits. The area on its own is already a famed tourist spot so it’s not surprising that it also has numerous shopping malls that we simply can’t pick one to recommend. Lumine Est, Shinjuku Takashimaya Isetan, Keio Department Store, and Odakyu Department Store are among the best. You won’t get lost getting to some of these as they’re actually connected to the train station. So, whether you’re looking for high-end brands or affordable items, we’re sure something will tickle your fancy in one of these malls. Happy shopping—we mean it.

Omotesando Hills

Want to skip Ginza? Omotensando is a worthy alternative to luxury shopping. This chic shopping area has shopping malls that house renowned fashion brands. You know, anything from the likes of Jimmy Choo to Yves Saint Laurent and more. The six-storey Omotesando Hills is a visual feast of its own because it’s designed by award-winning architect Tadao Ando. Other than boutique stores, visitors can also drop by the cafes and restaurants to try the latest treats.

Venus Fort

If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience (not that uncommon in Japan), we recommend Venus Fort. Part of the colourful Palette Town, this shopping mall in Tokyo will make anyone feel like they’re shopping in the streets of Venice. From the shop facades to the neon-lit ceiling and detailed street corners, you’ll come for the full Venetian experience. The mall boasts more than 100 boutiques from popular brands to local ones.

Decks Tokyo Beach

It’s not strange to encounter unique things in Japan so of course, there’s also a ship-themed shopping mall. Given its location in Daiba, it only feels right that Decks Tokyo Beach has ship-related motifs and designs. From the outside, the open walkways resemble the decks of an ocean liner. If you’re missing Hong Kong a little while you’re travelling to Japan, well, here’s some good news. Inside the mall is a food theme park called Little Hong Kong. There’s also the popular Sega theme park called Joypolis and of course, a whole range of shops selling everything from toys to apparel and home decorations.

tokyo shopping guide
Image credit: Daryan Shamkhali/Unsplash

Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku

You’ve perhaps seen the exterior of Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku floating around Instagram. You know, the one filled with mirrors from all angles also known as the kaleidoscope. That itself is already a hotspot but inside this Tokyo shopping mall, there’s even more. After all, it is located in Harajuku, the hub of fashion in Tokyo. Look for the latest fashion trends here and shop for various tax-free items. Make a pit spot on the sixth floor for a break at the outdoor park Omohara no Mori, which boasts plenty of greenery.

Mitsui Shopping Park Urban Dock Lalaport Toyosu

Fancy shopping with a nice view of the ocean? Count us in. Over at Lalaport Toyosu’s Mitsui Shopping Park Urban Dock, you’ll get treated to the scenic views of the Tokyo Bay area. The Tokyo shopping mall has more than 180 brands ranging from well-known lifestyle names such as Uniqlo and Zara to Nike and more. You’ll also find KidZania Tokyo here as well as cinemas, and restaurants. It’s a true shopper’s paradise that’s worth a daytrip on its own. Plus, the mall even has a Pokemon Centre.

atré Akihabara and Ueno

Did you really go to Japan without shopping for anime-related products? Akihabara is the centre of all things anime and game culture in Tokyo. And while there are so many shops and malls in the area, we highly recommend atré. Conveniently located next to the station, you’ll likely be lost for hours just browsing through different products. Other than anime and games, discounted cosmetics, watches, and sportswear are also available inside the mall. There are also restaurants and cafes to stop by in case you need to replenish. If the Akihabara mall is too crowded, you can always go to the nearby Ueno branch.

The best shopping streets in Tokyo

tokyo shopping ueno amyeokocho
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Ueno Ameyokocho

The king of all shotengai or shopping streets in Tokyo is undeniably Ueno Ameyokocho or Ameyoko. One of Ueno’s buzziest areas, the street is lined with around 500 stores in the narrow alleyways. The shopping street is large enough that it extends all the way from Ueno Station to Okachimachi Station. On one hand, you’ll find little shops selling affordable and sometimes, secondhand goods and on the other, there are restaurants and outdoor dining places beneath the railway tracks. Plus, the shopping street even sells fresh produce, especially seafood. One round around the shopping street (or streets) is not enough so get ready for a day filled with lots of walking.

Takeshita Street

Talking about fashion, Takeshita Street is the epicentre of it. It’s only a short 250-metre street but it has become synonymous with Japanese fashion. While not as trendy as it used to be back in the old days, Takeshita Street put Japanese fashion on the map. It’s the place to be for dressing up, with several Japanese fashion sub-cultures from visual kei to gyaru, street style and kawaii. These days, many people still flock to Takeshita Street for its undeniable influence on Japanese fashion. Rumour has it that even Lady Gaga likes to shop in the area. The street is home to several boutiques specialising in unique fashion items as well as purikura (sticker photo) booths and snack stalls.


Shimokitazawa? Do you mean where the cool kids hang out? That’s probably how we’ll best describe Shimokitazawa. It’s one of Tokyo’s coolest neighbourhoods, home to various hipster and vintage stores that will put a smile on any thrifter’s face. The shopping street outside the station and Ichiban Gai are filled with even more independent stores as well as buzzy cafes and bustling bars. We also give extra points for the intricate street art popping here and there. While we don’t judge anyone’s fashion preferences, come prepared because you might feel a little underdressed among all the cool dressers in the area.

tokyo shopping guide nakamise dori
Image credit: Benjamin Wong/Unsplash


Just a stone’s throw away from Ameyoko is another popular shopping street. Before you get to the beautiful Sensoji Tower and right after passing the iconic Kaminarimon Gate is Nakamise-dori. The famous shopping street has a history dating to the 17th century, being one of the oldest shopping streets in the capital city. The narrow street is filled with small shops and stalls selling souvenirs and traditional snacks and goods. The snacks are actually more popular than the products especially hand-bakedfi rice crackers, red bean-filled buns, and palm-sized strawberry mochi. Don’t forget to also look into the nooks and crannies of the street because even the side alleys have plenty of hidden gems you’ll miss. Given its popularity, the street can get crowded especially on the weekend, but it’ll be an experience like no other.

Nakano Broadway

What’s the first thing you’ll see when you walk out of Nakano Station? Nakano Broadway, a shopping street (unintentionally) decided to geeks. Whether you’re looking for second-hand manga, anime DVD collections, gadgets, or film cameras, you’ll find it here. While Akihabara of course is the top spot for anime-themed products, Nakano Broadway doesn’t fall behind. If you’re looking for a quieter vibe in a quaint neighbourhood, Nakano Broadway provides can be a great alternative. Collectable anime figurines are also all the rage here and if you’re lucky, you might even discover some out-of-print books.

Kappabashi Street

While other shopping streets have a little bit of everything, Kappabashi Street stands out when it comes to kitchen-related goods. We’re talking about everything from cutlery to utensils, mugs and cups, and all the things you need for your kitchen. You’ll be impressed with the range of high-quality knives and chopsticks here too. Also known as the Kitchenware Town, the street is unsurprisingly popular among chefs, and it is just a mere walking distance to Asakusa. There are more than 160 shops just offering kitchen goods including lacquerware and stoves. We also recommend stopping by the food sample shops where you can admire (and salivate) the realistic-looking plastic recreations of dishes and ingredients.

tokyo shopping guide
Image credit: Nakaharu Line/Unsplash

Yanaka Ginza

Not to be confused with Togoshi Ginza, this charming shopping street is one of the few remaining ones that still has a nostalgic vibe. Maybe it is because it’s located in an old-town district, also known as shitamchi in Japanese. It’s the perfect place to shop if you’re looking for a rustic vibe. Here, you’ll appreciate the mom-and-pop shops and stalls that have been around since the late 1980s and 1990s. Despite only being 175 meters long, there are plenty of local shops selling souvenirs, cafes, and food stalls to see. Leave room to try menchi katsu (mince couchette), a popular snack in the area that even locals line up for.

Togoshi Ginza

Of course, Tokyo’s longest open-air shopping street is also one of the best. About 1.3 kilometres long, Togoshi Ginza has well over 400 stores to explore and dig through. Fashionistas are welcome here but foodies, are even more so. The shopping street is known for its street food whether it’s yakitori, croquettes, or yakisoba. You’ll also notice the lack of utility poles as they are built underground instead. The result is a cleaner and more spacious shopping street. But wait, this shopping street isn’t actually in Ginza but in Shinagawa. It added “Ginza” to its name after the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. During that time, Ginza had a difficult time disposing of bricks from the damaged area, which eventually ended up in Togoshi. And since, the shopping street took on the name, one of the first to do so. Some of the actual bricks are on display along the street.

This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

-Is Tokyo good for shopping?

Tokyo is a great place for shopping thanks to the huge variety of shopping malls and streets available.

-What is the most popular shopping area in Tokyo?

Shinjuku, Harajuku, Ueno, Akihabara, Ginza are some of the most popular shopping areas in Tokyo.

-Should I carry cash in Tokyo?

While most shops in Tokyo accept credit card it is a good idea to carry shops especially when purchasing at independent stores.

-Does Tokyo have tax-free shopping?

Tokyo has tax-free shopping however, it is only available in certain shops and has a minimum amount of spending to qualify.

Tokyo shopping guide: What and where to shop in Tokyo

Jianne Soriano

Digital Writer - Dining, Culture & Travel

An introvert at heart, Jianne has an immense passion for storytelling. This Filipino, Hong Kong-born native is a certified foodie and cinephile. When she’s not writing, you can find her chilling at cafes, watching movies, or travelling solo.

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