Types of Shops
Shopping Arcades (Shotengai)
Wholesale Stores (Tonya)
In addition to a variety of global Internet shopping sites, there are a number of services within Japan that offer convenient online shopping services in English.
- Gift wrapping: stores will often gladly gift wrap items for you with or without extra charge depending on the store and the type of wrapping.
- Bags: plastic bags are usually free and are used for nearly everything, large or small. Many supermarkets have point systems for customers who bring reusable bags, as part of the environmental movement. You can explain that a bag is not necessary by saying “Fukuro wa irimasen”.
- Rain covers: most department stores offer rain covers for your shopping bags (paper bags) at no extra cost on rainy days.
- Ice packs: when you do grocery shopping at supermarkets or the food section at department stores, many places offer ice packs for meat, fish and dairy products. At department stores they put reusable ice packs with your grocery. Local supermarkets have ice boxes with bags of ice cubes, or where you can fill a bag by yourself. Some stores have dry ice, too. Many places offer these for free, however, at some places you will have to pay a small fee (especially for dry ice).
- Ginza’s streets are lined not only with well-established stores selling Japanese traditional goods, but also with numerous shops and departments stores selling high-end international brands.
- Omotesando is home to many exclusive, designer brand shops and select boutiques. It is also a very popular area for young, fashion minded people.
- Shibuya is a favorite shopping area for young people. You can find almost anything you are looking for at the wide variety of shops.
- In Harajuku there is a street called Takeshita dori where Japan’s youth gather to find the latest and craziest fashion. It is worth a stroll just to see the selection of goods.
- Meguro dori is home to a collection of furniture and interior stores.
- Shin-Okubo has a small Korean Town.
- Jinbocho is the district for second hand books.
- Ameyoko in Ueno offers low budget food and clothing.
- Akihabara not only specializes in electronics, but is the Manga and Anime (comic/animation/video game) heart of Japan.
- Kappabashi is the place restaurants go to get their kitchen supplies as well as the plastic food replicas you see in their displays.
- Yokohama has Japan’s biggest China Town.
There are many outlet malls around Tokyo and Yokohama. Some have direct buses from Tokyo Station and Shinjuku Station. Check their websites for more information.
Togo Shrine Antique Market
Started in 1977, this is one of the largest markets in the Kanto region held at the shrine. Many people refer to these as “shrine sales”.
Location: Togo Shrine, 1-5-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku | Access: 3 min. from Harajuku Sta. | Hours: Every 1st Sunday of the month, from 5:00am to 3:00pm | Number of stalls: 90 | Admission: Free
Nogi Shrine Antique Market
Started in 1976, this is one of the oldest antique markets in the Kanto region.
Location: Nogi Shrine, 8-11-27 Akasaka, Minato-ku | Access: 1 min. from Nogizaka Sta. | Hours: Every 2nd Sunday of the month (excl. Nov), from 5:00am-3:00pm | Number of stalls: 40 | Admission: Free
Below are some other popular markets:
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