Generally, Tokyo is an excellent place to buy luxury items, Japanese fashion, Western fashion (particularly if Japanese sizes will fit you), traditional Japanese Arts and Crafts, electronics, food, toys, anime and manga and other odds and ends.
There are not many American style shopping malls in central Tokyo. If your shopping for fashion the main attraction are the Japanese Department stores(depāto デパート) such as:
The best neighbourhoods for department stores are:
- Shinjuku (south JR exit)
- Shibuya (hachiko exit)
However, there are hundreds of stations in the greater Tokyo area that have at least one large department store. You will not find it difficult to find department stores in Tokyo.
The typical layout of a Japanese department store is like this:
|top floors||There may be a floor or two of restaurants at the top of the department store. Often there will be one floor of cheaper restaurants with another floor of expensive restaurants at the very top|
|near the top||a floor or two of mens wear followed by a floor of household goods or books|
|above luxury goods||There are usually several floors of womens fashions from floor 2 and up. There are normally far more womens fashions than anything else|
|first floor||The first floor is normally reserved for top end brands such as Tiffany's and Louis Vuitton. What the top end brands are depends on the department store but the money makers get the first floor. Women's cosmetics are very often on the first floor.|
|Basement||Large Department stores very often have a food market in the basement with many food vendors selling boxed lunches, fresh food, chocolates and cakes|
There are also specialty department stores such as Marui Men that only have men's clothing or 109 that targets clothing for young women in the 14-20 age group.
If you get tired of department stores there are many other options in Tokyo:
|Akihabara||This is Tokyo's electronics hub. It is also famous for nerdy stuff such as manga and anime. It attracts so many tourists that shop staff may speak english and you will be more likely to find english manuals. There are even quite a few souvenir shops that have sprung up in this area.|
|Harajuku||An odd mix of hip hop and lolita fashion shops for young people.|
|Shimokitazawa||Small odd shops for japanese street fashion|
|Jimbocho (between Ogawamachi and Jimbocho subway stations)||Famous spot for shopping for sporting goods in Tokyo. Great place to pick up the latest snowboarding or surfing equipment|
Actually there are dozen more neighborhoods for specialty shopping for everything from fish to luxury cars.