It’s not all Prada and Louis Vuitton, there are plenty of fun and cheap places to be a consumer in Tokyo.
What to buy
You could be hunting for souvenirs for friends or just a treat for yourself. Either way, Tokyo and Japan are known for having unique items that are hard to find anywhere else.
Best Tokyo souvenirs
Finding that perfect gift that gets your co-workers saying “Oh! You went to Japan!?” isn’t easy. First of all, it has to be unique. And second, it shouldn’t be too expensive (unless it’s for someone truly special *cough* yourself *cough*). Luckily, we have a pretty comprehensive list on the subject. Some highlights include:
- unusual Kit Kat flavors
- Japanese antiques
Worried the ¥100 key ring from Daiso is killing the environment? It might be time to try sustainable souvenir shopping.
Fashion & Accessories
Shopping for Kimono
Tokyo is a great place to get yourself a kimono, yukata, or other traditional Japanese dress. Luckily, we’ve made it easier by compiling a list of tips and places you can find cheap kimono and yukata in Tokyo.
Makeup and skincare
Japan is known for having good brands for makeup and skincare. There are many places to get inexpensive, good value makeup that doesn’t only include rocking up to the drugstore. Spoiler: Some of our favorites are Muji and Loft.
Kitchenware and Knives
If you know your gyutou from your nakiri knife (or if you want to learn), it might be time to head to Kappabashi Street for a browse — just remember to declare them before boarding your plane.
They also have plenty of other knick-knacks lining shop stalls, including the plastic food that has become synonymous with many Tokyo restaurants’ windows. Also, don’t miss out on the kitchenware festival that happens every October.
Thrifting in Tokyo
Finding a bargain is already thrilling, but getting one-of-a-kind pieces from another country releases a new kind of endorphin.
Best neighborhoods for thrifting
Harajuku is a good place for vintage and used clothing. You can try out Kinji or Mirror in Harajuku, stroll down the road to Bingo in Shibuya or head to nearby Shimokitazawa.
For a taste of ye olde Tokyo, fill your boots at Ameyokocho Market in Ueno. Don Quijote with stores everywhere is another Cheapo shopping experience you shouldn’t miss.
Flea markets and antique fairs
Tokyo Cheapo is known for getting the scoop on the latest discount markets and fairs. Here’s our top 15 flea markets to get started and don’t forget about the antique fairs too.
Where to shop in Tokyo
This depends on what you’re looking for, but here’s the main shopping Meccahs and what they’re known for:
- Shinjuku: Department stores, arts and crafts, and a little bit of everything.
- Shibuya: Teenage trend fashion in Shibuya 109, high-rise shopping centers, and cheap records.
- Omotesando and Ginza: Fancy designer stores.
- Harajuku: Underground fashion, vintage stores, stickers, and souvenirs.
Please see our thrifting section above for places to buy second-hand clothes in Tokyo.
Shopping Online in Tokyo
We are living in the 21st century, so if you’d rather spend your time going through the things to do list than shopping, then taking it online just might be for you.
Japanese Online Shopping Site DOKODEMO is a good place to start.