Here’s a quick guide on where to shop for affordable yet durable products in Tokyo and what’s offered at the shops.
Asakusabashi Station (East Exit) – There is a chain called Shimojima that has about 5 different buildings full of items from traditional Japanese to supplies, food, housewares and more. Their main building is approximately 3 minutes from the East exit and has about 8 floors of things to look through.
The Asakusabashi area is great to find many different traditional items from toys, food, kimono accessories, faux flowers and decorations and Japanese party supplies. There are many shops that sell inexpensive Japanese gifts, even little stalls run by very old Japanese grannies (I used to buy traditional Japanese furoshiki and tenugui 70% cheaper than anywhere else from one granny in this area).
Harajuku (Takeshita Exit) – Walking down Takeshita street will certainly be an interesting experience. Here you will find many clothing shops (mainly for younger people) but also the largest 100 yen shop in Tokyo. Daiso is famous for many people as the cheapest place for souvenirs and this one has about 5 floors full of stuff from housewares, stationery, decorations, to toys, clothing, snacks and more.
Asakusa – Also a great place to buy traditional items. The entire area is filled with sweet shops, small toy shops, souvenir shops and many stalls, but because it’s a very common tourist spot, some things may be more expensive than Asakusabashi.
Shibuya (Hachiko Exit) – If you are looking for Japanese fabrics (like kimono style fabric) there is a great little shop near the station. When you exit from Hachiko, walk towards the l’Occitane shop on the left (when facing the giant Starbucks), you’ll see tons of fabric on the street and a small shop filled.
Clothing/Accessories – If you would like to find some nice clothing, try Uniqlo and Muji. They are near all of the major stations (like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Akihabara, Ginza and Omotesando ) throughout Tokyo. They have many different styles, great quality and inexpensive compared to most other places. Muji also has many different items for home, stationery, toys and also fun snacks and food.
Train Stations – There are many train stations that have a shopping area in the basement area where items are usually cheaper than normal. Some of the stations are: Shinjuku, Shibuya, Tokyo, Ikebukuro and Ueno.
* Avoid large malls like Isetan, Marui (0101), Takashimaya or Daimaru because they are very expensive.
japanese market shopping in japan