Before leave for my vacations (finally, I'd say!), another appointment with "I love shopping around the world". This month, I'll talk to you about one of the most beautiful cities in the world: Tokyo! Birthplace of the modern technology, is cool, lively, frenetic, in constant motion... the perfect union between ancient culture and passion for fashion. It's also a true paradise for shopping and, if you have the chance to go there, you'll see it for yourself. Since I've seen it, it was love at first sight.
Like any other self-respecting metropolis, even Tokyo has its fashion areas. I'm talking about the biggest and coolest districts of the city: Shibuya, Ginza, Harajuku and Minato. In these areas you'll find everything: from electronics to jewerly, from biggest fashion brands to low cost ones. Whatever you're looking for, is there!
Shibuya is one of the 23 special districts of Tokyo. Is one of the most dynamic areas of the city, with wide variety of fashion stores and restaurants. It's also the bornplace of cosplay and ganguro and kogal trends, that make it so colorful and characteristic. Here you'll find the fashion preferred by young japanese.
In here, you cand find the flagship stores of the brands like Gucci, Prada, Dior, Hermes and many others. But, if you can't afford a so expensive shopping session, I suggest you to visit: Three minutes happiness (Shibuya-ku, 3-5 Udagawacho), using some abandoned freezers, they show off their goods in a funny and original way. Another point in favor: the prices are very small!
|Chanel flagship store|
Restore (Shibuya, 3-2-2 Ebisu-Minami), an amazing store of second hand and vintage clothes, and other pieces of great brands like APC and Yohji Yamamoto; Hysteric glamour (Shibuya-ku, 6-23-2 Jingumae), where you'll find the true Tokyo style with a ironic but glamour soul, typical of Japan; Frapbois (Shibuya-ku, 19-5 Sarugakucho), a famous brand among the young japanese: his creations are inspired by the hippy aesthetic; Journal Standard (Shibuya-ku, 4-1-7 Shinjuku), is a local brand that creates elegant and original collections; Daiso (Shibuya-ku, 1-19-24 Jingumae), a kind of second-hand market in which you can find everything: from souvenirs to kitsch junk. If you're looking for something particualr, go to Don Quijote (Shibuya-ku, 1-16-5 Kabukicho), a store that sells thousands of brand name products: from electronic to design, form food to sexy shop's items. Open 24 hours on 24; Atelier magic theatre (Shibuya-ku, 3-20-21 Meiji-jingumae), sells alternative style accessories inspired by nature. They sell from simple silver items from wood sculptures, stones and gold; Kasukobo (Shibuya-ku,4-28-14 Meiji-jingumae ), jewerly that works especially silver creating jewels inspired by floral themes.
|Three minutes happiness|
Laforet (Shibuya-ku, 1-11-6 Jingumae), free identity and individuality are the key words that represent the products present. See this store is a nice exprerience and don't forget to take a look to the exhibition at 6th floor of the building. On sundays (Shibuya-ku, 3-7-6 Jinguname), linked to Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, in here you'll find selling advanced artworks and paints; Parco 1, 2 and 3 (Shibuya-ku, 15-1 Udagawacho), if you are a fan of Japan school style and Vivienne Westwood's punk style, here you'll find a personal and economic version of them. I suggest you to see itif only for the art galleries that propose paints, installations and screenings inspired by fashion world. If you don't want to spend a fortune, you can go to the most famous international low cost brands like Bershka and TopShop.
If you like japanese culture and manga in particular, I suggest you to visit Book off (1-8-8 Jinguname), where you'll find every manga has ever been published. In Shibuya don't forget to see the shopping centers like Shibuya 109 (Shibuya-ku, 2-29-1 Dogenzaka), with its several stores it has the most coolest trends among the youth; Hacknet (Shibuya-ku, 1-30-10 Ebisu), is smaller than Shibuya 109, but it worth to see it if only for the design...
Ginza is the one of the focal points of the shopping in Tokyo. Many international brands like Armani, Prada, Gucci and the most recent Chanel, opened flagship stores in here in these high buildings, where there aren't just fashion stores but also art galleries, restaurants, bars and night clubs. Center of the shopping in Tokyo, Ginza is the perfect place for luxurious stores, an uffordable area for those on a thigh budget. Here, I suggest you to see Matsuya, a true godsend for tourists. They offer services like packing, shipping, support for the tax exemption and english guides for tourists. Another place to see is the department store Mitsukoshi, the japanese version of the english Harrods.
|Mitsukoshi department store|
Harajuku is the youngest district of the city, where ther are two main streets: Omotesando (the biggest fashion street, with several stores of international brands. There also is Omotesando Hills, the japanese answer to Rodeo Drive of L.A.) and Takeshita. The first one is dedicated to youth's trends and presents some stores that sell clothes and accessories typical of gothic lolita style, visual kei, rockabilly, punk and cyberpunk. The second one, instead, has seen an increase of flagship stores of brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Tod's and many others. In here, I suggest you to visit Takeshita-Dori, where you'll find the coolest stores of the city, Hanae Mori Building (Harajuku, 3-6-11 Kita Aoyama), this building conteins more of 30 stores fo antique shops with a section dedicated to clothing.
|Hanae Mori Building|
Other great stores you should see are: Maroui Young (Shinjuku-ku, 3-18-1 Shinjuku), here you'll find the typical ghotic lolita style; Mikimoto Pearl (Chuo-ku, 4-5-5 Ginza), founded in 1899, this is the most famous pearl store in Tokyo; Ohya Shobo (Chiyoda-ku, 1-1 Kanda Jimbocho), come in this library is great experience: here you'll find the famous ukiyo and hold maps; Undercover (Minato-ku, 5-3-18 Minamy-Aoyama), what happens if an the leader of a punk music group, totally out of mind, decides to focus on fashion? That's how was born the store that proposes a personal reinterpetation of the streetwear dedicated to youth. If you want to see more about it, visit his Undercover Lab, designed by the architect Astrid Klein; Uniqlo (Chuo-ku, 5-7-7 Ginza), the famous japanese low cost brand that have more than 80 store just in Tokyo; Venus Fort (Koto-ku, Palette Town Aomi 1-chome), if you're a woman and you love shopping you can't not to go here. Located on a building inspired by the baroque Rome, they proprose 170 boutiques and restaurants dedicated to women, with a bit of kitsch touch.
If you are in Tokyo you can't not to visit the flagship stores of the most famous Japanese brand: Comme des garçons (Minato-ku, 5-2-1 Minami-Aoyama), Yoji Yamamoto (Minato-ku, 5-3-6 Minami-Aoyama) and Issey Miyake (Minato-ku, 3-18-11 Minami-Aoyama).
|Issey Miyake flaghsip store|
As always I hope I've been helpful. I wish you a nice trip and see you next month!