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Tokyo shops

What a strange thing! / to be alive / beneath cherry blossoms. 
– Kobayashi Issa

$1 - ¥121.34
18:44
22 °
Photo: Courtesy of Muji

Akomeya Tokyo

  • Ginza, Food and Wine, $$$$ $$$
  • 2-2-6 Ginza
  • Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-6601
  • +81-3-6758-0271
  • Website

An entire stand-alone shop dedicated to rice? You're in Japan, so of course. The second floor is filled with a myriad of traditional and modern home goods. Shop for donabe (traditional earthenware pots), furoshiki (versitle wrapping cloth), bamboo bento boxes, and more. Downstairs is a terrific little rice bar/cafe with a showcase displaying premium rice from all over the country. Stay late for a saké tasting.

Bonjour Records

  • Daikanyama, Concept Store, $$$$ $$
  • 24-1 Sarugaku-cho
  • Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0033
  • +81-3-5458-6020
  • Website | Email

For the person whose devout attention to an obscure, independently published arts zine can only be rattled by the unpleasant realization that either the limited-edition vinyl needs to be flipped or the artisan coffee has run dry, this fashionable record and men’s shop is a must.

D-Mall

  • Jingumae, Boutique, $$$$ $$
  • 2-27-6 Jingumae
  • Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0001
  • +81-3-6863-7500
  • Website | Email

When life requires that you wear striped shirts and loose-fit premium denim, pack biologique snacks into primary colored canvas totes, and carry a few delicately illustrated books around, this shop outfits in true Japonaise style. 

Depachikas

  • Ginza, Department Store, Food and Wine, Gifts and Souvenirs

Depachika is a combination of depato (department store) and chika (basement), usually referring to the underground food halls in the numerous department stores around Tokyo. Two of the best are Matsuya and Mitsukoshi, just a few blocks from each other in Ginza. Look for the cutest bento boxes, try desserts too pretty to eat, buy a box of cigar cookies or Tokyo bananas for home. On your way out, stop at the home floor to pick up Japanese ceramics and tenegui cloth. This is why you brought that extra piece of luggage.

Idée

  • Jiyugaoka, House and Home, $$$$ $$
  • 2-16-29 Jiyugaoka
  • Meguro-ku, Tokyo, 152-0035
  • +81-3-5701-7555
  • Website

Known for furniture, the lifestyle retail shop from design star Teruo Kurosaki (you know, the Terence Conran of Tokyo) mindfully condenses all the variety of a high-end department store in one place. Hand-towels, wine glasses, handmade earrings, stationery, a quintessential dining room set: every item increases the desire to move right in. 

Muji

  • Ginza, Department Store, $$$$ $$
  • 3-8-3 Marunouchi
  • Chiyoga-ku, Tokyo, 100-0005
  • +81-3-5208-8241
  • Website

The brand made famous by being brandless applies its philosophy of simplicity as easily to office supplies and utilitarian housewares as it does to clothing and food. Stores big and small, some with their own cafes, can be found without trying. The Yurakucho branch in Ginza is the largest of them all, look for the Found Muji section carrying indie (mostly local) brands.

Origami Kaikan

  • Bunkyo, Specialty, $$$$ $
  • 1-7-14 Yushima
  • Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0034
  • +81-3-3811-4025
  • Website

A six-floor building dedicated to the art of origami where you'll find a gallery exhibiting origami works, a great shop selling washi paper and origami books, and a 4th-floor production space where washi paper is hand-dyed and painted. They also teach classes on the top two floors.

Popeye Camera Shop

  • Jiyugaoka, Specialty, $$$$ $$
  • 2-10-2 Jiyugaoka
  • Meguro-ku, Tokyo, 152-0035
  • +81-3-3718-3431
  • Website | Email

A boutique chain stocking the essentials (cameras, no-nonsense accessories, 35 mm film) and the extras (polka dot photo corners, pocket albums, some of the best-looking camera straps around). Print services and hobby photography classes are offered as well.

Restir

  • Akasaka, Department Store, $$$$ $$$
  • B1F 9-6-14 Akasaka
  • Minato-ku, Tokyo, 107-0052
  • +81-3-6440-9170
  • Website | Email

Futuristic gizmos, niche beauty products, and collectible fashion and art one-offs you've been expecting from Japan fill the first floor. File past the dj booth and head upstairs for the deftly curated men's and women's designer label fest.

Safari Vintage

  • Koenji, Vintage, $$$$ $
  • 1F, 3-57-4 Koenji
  • Suginami-ku, Tokyo
  • +81-3-5378-9230
  • Website | Email

Make this jam-packed thrift store the first stop on a tour of the Koenji shopping district and neighboring Shimokitazawa. Vintage shops cover block after block. A smattering of record shops and sidewalk cafes break up the landscape.  

T-Site

  • Daikanyama, Specialty
  • 17-5 Sarugakucho
  • Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0033
  • +81-3-3770-2525
  • Website

A newish media compound from mega bookseller Tsutaya. Get lost for hours milling about three buildings and a multiuse courtyard. Break for a starbucks coffee, Muji snack, or a breather in one of the many smart-looking seating areas. 

Tenoha

  • Daikanyama, Concept Store
  • 20–23 Daikanyamacho
  • Shibuya-ku, Tokyo , 150-0034
  • +81-3-5784-0741
  • Website

A cafe, restaurant, co-working space, and design store all in one. Pick up a healthy lunch from the wellness-centered cafe and lunch in the Zen outdoor plaza. In the store, peruse beautiful brass trays, fancy hand creams, quirky-but-beautiful instant soup packets. It's a great place to rest, check your email (free WiFi) and refresh.

Today's Special

  • Jiyugaoka, Concept Store, $$$$ $$
  • 2-17-8 Jiyugaoka
  • Meguro-ku, Tokyo, 152-0035
  • +81-3-6434-1671
  • Website | Email

Concept shop and lifestyle resource is the latest destination for inspired housewares, accessories, and tools for everyday living. Take a tea or bite of seasonal fare at Today's Table on the third floor, or take home packaged specialty foods made exclusively for the shop.

Tokyu Hands

  • Shibuya, Department Store, $$$$ $
  • 12-18 Udagawa-cho
  • Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 151-8580
  • +81-3-5489-5111
  • Website

A mecca for DIY-ers and hobbyists, floors are organized by interests: stationery (decorative masking tape has its own section), only-in-Japan grooming goods, kitchen tools, and outdoor supplies. Those with an affinity for quirky paper ephemera might not make it past the free hint file pamphlets (step-by-step mini guides on everything from proper tooth brushing to balloon animal design). 

Tsutsumu Factory

  • Shibuya, Stationery, $$$$ $
  • 37-15 Udagawacho
  • Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0042
  • +81-3-5478-1330
  • Website

An explosion of stickers fill the two-story stationery shop — from pandas and smiling sushi to sumo wrestlers and cats — they have just about everything you can imagine in adorable (kawaii!) sticker form. 

Vacant

  • Jingumae, Concept Store, $$$$ $$
  • 3-20-13 Jingumae
  • Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0001
  • +81-3-6459-2962
  • Website | Email

Orchestrated by No Idea, an events group known for curating arts, music, and culture happenings. The first floor is a mish-mash cafe and curio shop. There's usually something worth investigating on floor number two — an installation, performance, maker's market, or party. 

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