Ginza is the affluent shopping district in Tokyo, home to the city's posh boutiques and gleaming department stores, such as the classic Mitsukoshi and avant-garde Dover Street Market Ginza. But tucked in between some of the more imposing facades are simpler pleasures, like the fine crafts at Takumi, and the shelves full of ingenious toys at Hakuhinkan. Stationery fiends shouldn't miss the nine floors of supplies at Itōya. Shopping options in this neighbourhood reflect the breadth and depth of the city’s consumer culture, which is equal parts high-fashion glitz and down-to-earth dedication to craft.
Though Roppongi is traditionally known for wild bars and pick-up joints, it’s also home to a few of the city’s most interesting and idiosyncratic shops and showrooms, and the shopping, dining, art and entertainment complexes of Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Midtown and Toranomon Hills. Of special interest in Roppongi are the Axis Design collection of galleries and shops, showcasing contemporary interior design; and Japan Sword, the place to come for your samurai weaponry.
Daikanyama & NakaMeguro
Daikanyama is a residential enclave of cafes and boutiques, with fashion and accessories specialists such as Harcoza and Okura. Bibliophiles should head to Daikanyama T-Site. Naka-Meguro, a stroll away, is Daikanyama's more bohemian neighbour and is home to secondhand stores and hidden lounge bars.
Shibuya is the fountain of teen trendiness in Japan. If you’re over 30 you might feel way too old, but just cruise and amuse yourself in the madness. Music shops and cheap, outrageous apparel are everywhere, as are the hip kids who come to primp and pose. Check out the youth-focused fashion at Shibuya 109, new designers at Fake Tokyo, and don't miss browsing the floors of homewares, gadgets and accessories at Tokyu Hands.
Harajuku & Aoyama
The twin neighbourhoods of Harajuku and Aoyama are home to the famed Harajuku girls (and boys), the youthful shopping strip Takeshita-dōri and the stylish boulevard of Omote-sandō. Sophisticated, high fashion rules the Aoyama end of Omote-sandō, while the experimental hipsters of Harajuku layer haute couture with vintage finds. And then there is Ura-Hara, the maze of backstreets behind Omote-sandō, where you'll find eccentric little shops and secondhand stores. There are countless shopping options: get started atLaforet, 6% Doki Doki and Sou-Sou for clothes and accessories; Tokyo's Tokyo for souvenirs; or RagTag for pre-loved fashion.
Shopping in Shinjuku can be a little overwhelming. From the moment you step out of the train station (ringed by malls and department stores), the lights and noise make the whole place seem like the interior of a bustling casino. But there are some great shops amid all the chaos, and Shinjuku is handy for one-stop shopping. Here you'll find Isetan, one of Tokyo’s most revered department stores; the something-for-everyone 'variety' stores Don Quijote and RanKing RanQueen; and Disk Union, where music lovers can lose a day browsing the eight storeys of secondhand vinyl and CDs. Shinjuku is also a good place for electronics if you’re not motivated to go to Akihabara. Tip: just a couple of stops from Shinjuku is counterculture Kōenji – don't miss the collection of fashion stores at its Kita-Kore Building.