10 Most Popular Shopping Malls and Department Stores in Tokyo
World-renowned as a shopping paradise, Tokyo attracts countless visitors who are fascinated by trendy fashion and novel technology every year. Japanese artisans and craftsmen are adept at synthesizing traditional methods with contemporary sensibilities, so be prepared to shop until you drop. Since an exciting multitude of shopping centers awaits you, you may be wondering just which ones should you patronize? We have compiled a list of the ten most popular shopping malls that cover a wide gamut of shopping, dining and entertainment options, which will help you customize your itinerary based on your needs!
Jan 15 2020 (Jan 14 2021)
1. Ginza Mitsukoshi
Established since 1673, Ginza Mitsukoshi has maintained a stellar reputation for offering an eclectic mix of luxury retailers and world-class restaurants. If you are a savvy shopper who prioritizes quality, this is the shopping mall for you.
Fashionistas will enjoy shopping to their heart’s content as the first five floors feature fashion items from 200 domestic and international brands, including lingerie, dresses, skirts, shoes, accessories. Plus, those who love makeup will squeal in detail at the astronomical mix of cosmetic products at the Ginza Cosmetics World. Brands like YAMAN, JILLSTUART and BOBBI BROWN are duly represented and ready to embellish your skin.
Male shoppers should not feel neglected as the fifth and sixth floors feature a plethora of shops dedicated to fulfilling their varied needs. Need to have a haircut? Check. Need to get your shoes repaired and polished? Check. Need to update your wardrobe? Check.
One fascinating aspect of Ginza Mitsukoshi is Salon de kimono, a shop that pays homage to kimono, an indispensable aspect of Japanese culture. Here, shoppers can buy kimono that seamlessly fuses the old with the new: time-honored techniques and modern aesthetic sensibilities. It boasts a wide collection of kimono suited for the entire family, so enjoy taking in the exquisite designs and colorful fabrics. Who knows, you may just fall over heels in love with a design such that you wish to make bespoke kimono for your entire family!
2. Shinjuku Takashimaya
Integral to Shinjuku's vibrancy is Shinjuku Takashimaya, which is strategically situated on the southern part of Shinjuku Station. Like Ginza Mitsukoshi, this humongous shopping mall serves fashion conscious customers by having many floors dedicated to renowned brands that ramp up the style of stylish women.
Apart from fashion, Shinjuku Takashimaya also appeals to foodies as it comprises a basement that offers a tantalizing assortment of confectionery, bento sets and other freshly prepared foods. Not only that, you can also have a whale of a time buying limited edition KitKat flavors at the KitKat Chocolatery.
If you are a parent, Shinjuku Takashimaya is especially suited for you, for you can bond with your children by patronizing the shops on the 9th floor. Here, various shops selling merchandise related to characters well-loved by children will vie for your attention (and wallets). Consider Disney, Hello Kitty, and Anpanman as part of the mix. You can also spice up your children's wardrobe by shopping for irresistibly cute clothes at Miki House, a prominent Osaka-based children's fashion brand.
3. Tobu Hyakkaten Ikebukuro
Another dynamic shopping mall that is located near a train station is Tobu Hyakkaten Ikebukuro, which is linked to Ikebukuro Station. Beckoning shoppers with its alluring stores, restaurants and entertainment options, Tobu Hyakkaten Ikebukuro should be on the travel itinerary of couples and families. Particularly, athletic travellers will jump at the chance to immerse themselves in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 official shop and bring home the attractive merchandise as souvenirs for their family and friends. If you are into golf, be prepared to spend a lovely time at the golf section and stock up your gear.
Regardless of whether or not you are into sports, you will definitely have a wonderful time browsing through the myriad shops that sell a comprehensive selection of goods ranging from clothing and jewellery to furniture and household appliances. Your taste buds are also in for a treat, for Tobu Hyakkaten Ikebukuro is noted for its slew of 45 restaurants. These eateries fill the air with the aroma of culinary delights. If you love Japanese cuisine, be sure to try out the succulent pork cutlet at Tonkatsu Wako or crispy gyoza at Ginza Tenryu. On the other hand, if you are keen to experience how Japanese chefs interpret other cuisines and put a uniquely Japanese spin to them, head over to Shisen Tanten for its Sichuan dishes or Marche de Paris for its seductively scrumptious French food!
4. Isetan Shinjuku
Gentlemen, rejoice! Most shopping malls invest heavily in female shoppers as they devote the majority of their floors to selling ladies' items. While this is the same case with Isetan Shinjuku as it dazzles female trendsetters with its dizzying array of clothing, fine jewellery and beauty accessories, this department store still stands out from other malls by targeting the male populace as well. It boasts a men's building called Isetan Men’s that comprises NINE whole floors of chic fashion dedicated to the urban male.
This means that you and your female friends can shop separately, without fear of boring one another. Have fun exploring the treasure trove of achingly cool designer labels. If you wish to project a regal feel, you will do well to patronize the premium brands like Jimmy Choo, Berluti and Christian Louboutin on the fourth floor. Otherwise, if streetwear is more your cup of tea, you will surely come across funky items on the sixth floor where brands like Neighborhood, Adidas and Humanmade® reign.
Another outstanding feature of Isetan Shinjuku is its central Park space, a special area that introduces the latest in-season arrivals and promotional campaigns. So once you step inside, your shopping journey begins with grabbing highly coveted items at wallet-friendly prices!
5. Daimaru Tokyo
Another iconic mall that will captivate your attention is Daimaru Tokyo, which can be found right next to Tokyo Station. Occupying the basement as well as thirteen floors of the GranTokyo North Tower, it offers an unparalleled shopping experience. Sophisticated women will definitely gravitate towards Its ritzy conglomerate of high-end exclusive brands and characterful cafes. Why, every floor has a cafe, so after soaking up the trendy designs at branded stores like Herve Chapelier, Burberry and Lauren Ralph Lauren, you can regain your energy by tucking into the delectable desserts at cafes like Cafe Eikokuya and Inoda Coffee. What a great way to indulge in retail therapy and enticing eating.
If you are an aficionado of Japanese cuisine, be prepared to gawk at the impressive variety of bento boxes sold at the basement food hall. It is said that because Tokyo Station is the gateway through which many travellers enter and/or leave Tokyo, this creates an environment where different bento boxes gain flavor with different segments of customers, thus catering to diverse palates. Whatever the reason, your taste buds are in for a treat as you tuck into these offerings that are full of compelling textures and flavors.
6. Keio Hyakkaten Shinjuku
For travellers who have a tight schedule, fret not, for Keio Hyakkaten Shinjuku will come to their rescue. Located at the northwest corner of Shinjuku Station, this shopping mall enables busy travellers to squeeze in a hasty shopping trip as they can then board buses in front of the mall and travel directly to Narita Airport. As if that isn't reason enough, they can easily apply for tax rebates at the Foreign Customer Counter on the second floor. Thus, shopping at Keio Hyakkaten Shinjuku helps you save time and money, which lets you channel more energy towards sightseeing.
Also, Keio Hyakkaten Shinjuku showcases many artisanal snacks and cakes that feature the best techniques in Japanese confectionery. For instance, you could buy tasty baumkuchen (a German cake) from Juchheim or biscuits filled with matcha and chocolate from Kasane-Yaki. Tissage also makes for a great choice, as its signature chocolate-coated mille feuille will have you and your loved ones hankering for more.
Yet another reason why you should not give this shopping mall a miss is its Keio Asahi Sky Beer Garden that is open in summer. Want to admire the spectacular night scenery of Tokyo while having the feast of your life? With this beer garden, you can just sign up for all-you-can-drink-and-eat deals and have a respite from a hectic day of sightseeing. Surely a magnificent way to create indelible memories!
7. KITTE Marunouchi
Showcasing the white stone facade of the 1931 Tokyo General Post Office building, KITTE Marunouchi quickly gained a wide following after its opening in 2013. Its stunning architecture will appeal to history buffs among us. In fact, you can go up to the former head officer's room on the 4th floor to get a sense of how Tokyo has evolved over the years and how Japan Post has contributed to Tokyo's buzz and energy.
Not only does KITTE Marunouchi preserve the past, but it is also synonymous with the futuristic and fashionable. As it is centered on a theme of "Feel Japan", it offers some one-of-a-kind experiences that cannot be found elsewhere. For instance, there is a bookstore called Marunouchi Reading Style that places specialty products and stationery beside the books so you can immediately buy the products that catch your fancy after browsing through them in the books. Talk about an integrated shopping experience!
Other retailers also display the best of what Japanese craftsmen have to offer. Combining their adept use of traditional techniques with their keen understanding of modern aesthetic sensibilities, these craftsmen make products that will serve as great keepsakes or gifts. Spiral Market and Claska Do are just two lifestyle shops that are noted for its innovative and meticulously handcrafted houseware.
8. Shibuya Hikarie
Brightening up the skyline is the 34-story skyscraper complex, Shibuya Hikarie. It comprises a huge department store called ShinQs, which dazzles women - especially those from their 20s to 40s - with its eight floors of fashion. Of noteworthy mention is a specialist watch shop called TitTac, which not only carries watches from established brands like Casio (G-Shock), but also features designs from trending brands KLASSE14 and Skagen.
After getting their shopping fix, ladies can proceed on to satisfy their sweet tooth at the B2 food hall. Get your hands on killer desserts from Yoroizuka Farm Tokyo - if you are lucky, you might even get to see world-renowned patissier Toshi Yoroizuka in action. Or try out the splendid macaroons from Pierre Herme Paris and enjoy their delightful depth of flavor.
What sets Shibuya Hikarie apart is its Tokyo Theatre Orb on the 11th floor. Shoppers who are passionate about the performing arts will jump at the opportunity to watch Western-end musicals before and/or after their shopping spree!
9. Tokyo Solamachi
Tokyo Skytree will be on the itinerary of many travellers so that they can get up close and soak up its majestic presence for themselves. If this sounds like you, read on. Why not kill two birds with one stone by doing shopping and sightseeing at the same time? Right in front of Tokyo Skytree is a multifaceted complex called Tokyo Solamachi. Hosting more than 300 shops, it is thoughtfully divided into several prominent zones that cater to the varied needs of diverse groups of shoppers.
Couples out on a romantic date could dine at a high-class restaurant at the Solamachi Dining Skytree View so that they can relax themselves by gazing at Tokyo Skytree. Here, you can experience the pinnacle of Japanese and international cuisine alike. Jojoen, Brasserie Aux Amis and Issare shu cielo are some restaurants you should try as they whip up scrumptious yakiniku, French and Italian dishes respectively.
The Tenku Planetarium, on the other hand, will attract parents who are keen to introduce stars and the solar system to their children. Watching a show here is bound to be memorable as it is an interactive, multi-sensory experience, utilizing an array of lights, sounds and even smells to relate interesting concepts. So will the Pokemon Center on the 5th floor. Children will be thrilled to discover all kinds of fascinating Pokemon-related merchandise and memorabilia here!
10. Sunshine City
Coupled with a Pokemon Mega Center, Sunshine City is paradise on earth for parents and children as many of its shops will bring broad grins to their faces. Fans of Disney will flock to the Disney store whereas Japanese anime connoisseurs will leap at the chance to browse through the visually arresting shelves at the Studio Ghibli shop.
After shopping, the fun doesn't end there as you can bring your children to not just one, but two theme parks! J-World Tokyo fuels your passion for Japanese anime as it showcases games and puzzles based on popular characters from legendary series, including One Piece and Naruto. Namja Town is an intriguing attraction that whets your appetite with its food theme parks "Namja Gyoza Stadium" and "Fukubukuro Dessert Yokocho". What a wonderful way to learn about Japanese cuisine through the stimulating world of play.
Don't forget to leave some time to go out to Sky Circus, which is the observation deck on the top floor, so that you can partake in panoramic, picture postcard-worthy views of Tokyo City!
Enjoy Shopping in Tokyo!
As a frenetic hive of activity, Tokyo has a lot of exciting shopping malls you should visit as its entrepreneurial retailers enliven shopping with their ingenuity. We have come up with this comprehensive list of ten shopping malls - different in their target clientele but identical in the way they creatively mesh eating, dining and entertaining into a few hours of unbridled fun and joy. Choose the shopping mall that best fits your needs and remember to have some funds so that you can shop until you drop!
Header credit: Ned Snowman / Shutterstock
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.