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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 30 July, 2023
Expert travel writer: Rob Goss

As the capital of a country where shopping counts as a legitimate hobby, Tokyo has all the retail bases covered.

When it comes to fashion, many boutiques and department stores carry imported goods, but to get a sense of local trends head to youthful fashion hubs like Harajuku or Shibuya.

Or take a shopping deep-dive into otaku culture in the Akihabara district – the place to pick up manga and anime-related goods, or gadgetry.

For something traditional, Japan produces superb crafts, such as Edo kiriko glassware, Wajima lacquerware and Bizen pottery.

And don’t skip the slick urban complexes – Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown were the forerunners, but from its design through to its stores, Ginza 6 epitomizes contemporary Japanese style.

Recommendations

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Akihabara

Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

Crowds pass below colorful signs in Akihabara. The historic electronics district has evolved into a shopping area for video games, anime, manga, and computer goods.

This buzzing district in north-east Tokyo is the centre of otaku (geek) culture, with hundreds of shops for anime, manga and gaming fans.

Best for ages 6+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Frequency: annually

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Ameya Yokocho

Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

Ameya Yokocho is an open-air market in the Taito Ward of Tokyo, Japan, located next to Ueno Station.

Tokyo’s most bustling street market under the train tracks in Ueno is full of energy and sells a range of things, from teas and discount clothing. It’s a great place to try some street food. In an expensive city, this is one place you can find bargains.

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Frequency: annually

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Don Quijote

Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

Don Quijote in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. Don Quijote is a discount chain store that has over 160 locations throughout Japan.

Called ‘donki’ by most, this cluttered discount chain with near cult-like status sells all sorts – snacks, tee shirts, cosmetics, fancy dress and even adult toys.

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Frequency: annually

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More details >

Ginza Six

Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

Ginza Six is a luxury shopping complex located in the Ginza area of Tokyo, jointly developed by Mori Building Company, Sumitomo Corporation.

A swanky retail complex in Ginza – a plush district in the heart of the city, home to high-end department stores and boutiques.

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Frequency: annually

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More details >

Kappabashi-dori

Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

Japanese colorful dishes at shop in Kappabashi, Tokyo, Japan. Shiney blue, green and brown colors are beautiful.

Pick up chopsticks, knives or even chef outfits at this street between Asakusa and Ueno, serving Tokyo’s catering industry.

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Frequency: annually

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More details >

Harajuku district

Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

Crowds walk through Takeshita Street in the Harajuku district at night.

The place to come to discover the latest urban street fashions on Cat Street, as well as the colourful teen trends on the narrow and frequently ram-packed Takeshita-dori (street).

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Frequency: annually

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Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square

Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

wooden mosaic work is a traditional craft often seen at souvenir shops in the town of Hakone Kanagawa Japan as well as in countries overseas.

The best one-stop option for fine crafts, with ceramics, lacquerware, ironware, and many other traditional products from around Japan.

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Frequency: annually

Website >
More details >

Shibuya

Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

Shibuya

Shibuya has the youthful boutiques of 109 Building, but also the slick Hikarie mall, department stores, and fun variety stores like Tokyu Hands.

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: March, May and Sept

Frequency: annually

Website >
More details >

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
Frequency: annually
When: March, May and Sept
Duration: -

Destination guides

1

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Tokyo

Kanto, Japan

Tokyo

A dizzying mixture of old ways and modern style, crowds and calm, and arguably the best food scene on the planet.