Archives for posts with tag: shopping

Tokyo: a vast city, with so many things to see; so much to do. What follows is one of dozens of possible “best of” to do lists for this city. Individually, these places and experiences offer glimpses of Tokyo’s unique culture; taken as a whole, they should provide a multi-faceted view of the city to a first-time visitor.

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Tokyo is not only one of the world’s great cities, it is also the best shopping destination on the planet.

We’ve just published an e-book guide to the best shopping in Tokyo’s most dynamic district, Shinjuku.

iSHOP TOKYO shinjuku, a NEW iPad e-book published by mapp : : tokyo, is now available FREE on the Apple iBooks store through iBooks on your iPad.

iSHOP TOKYO shinjuku has useful general information on Tokyo, from transport to holidays, it provides Japanese language tips and authentic gift and souvenir suggestions, hotel and dining ideas and general shopping information as well as detailed notes on Shinjuku’s most interesting stores – with address details, maps, pictures and website links.

Published with Apple’s iBooks Author, iSHOP TOKYO shinjuku is compatible with iPad and iBooks 2.0. You can download iSHOP TOKYO shinjuku from Apple’s iBooks store via the iBooks app on your iPad. We hope you like it.

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Tokyo’s Marunouchi is well-heeled, dignified and connected to royalty, the Imperial Palace gardens spread out along its fringes. For shopping and dining, the Maru Biru and Shin Maru Biru opposite Tokyo Station are the district’s two gems.

marunouchi building

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Yodobashi Camera, ヨドバシカメラ, with its imposing flagship stores in Shinjuku and Akihabara, is like Disneyland for geeks. This is a store that has practically everything and anything that works with a power cord or batteries. 

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Tokyo’s Shimokitazawa is a center of the city’s undergound culture. It’s one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods, but in an unselfconscious way and with an easy rock’n’roll attitude. It’s a rough gem, lacking the polish of its neighbors, but unique and all the more appealing for it.

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Tokyu Hands is a retail wonderland; the ultimate window-shopping venue. Check out Hands in Shibuya, Shinjuku or Ikebukuro to find everything from souvenirs and giftware to home wares, stationery & art supplies, models & other hobbyist goodies, DIY supplies, grooming & healthcare items and just about anything else you can think of.

An initial visit to Tokyu Hands is good for about four hours of in-depth browsing and a solid denting of wallet-plastic.

William Gibson

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The retail landscape in Japan is full of stores selling eyewear – or megane めがね. The focus is not on sunglasses, which aren’t as widely worn by the Japanese as they are in many other countries; these stores prescribe contact and corrective eyeglass lenses and frames for the estimated 40 percent of the country’s population that needs some form of visual aid.

As with most things they work on, the Japanese have refined the science of the optics and made an art of the creation of frames to produce some very high quality eyeglasses. Customers have in turn transformed what was long considered a nerdy product into personal style statements and created a huge market that is serviced by a vast array of domestic and imported eyeglasses.


Mykita – meiji-jingu; Muji Megane – yurakucho; Blinc Aouama, Facial Index New York – Marunouchi.


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The +J label was only introduced in the fall of 2009, but with the release of each collection it has increasingly grabbed the world’s fashion headlines and consumers’ imagination. The fashion line created by German designer Jil Sander for Fast Retailing’s Uniqlo empire won the Brit Insurance Fashion Award this year with its Autumn/Winter 2010 collection. In an era of fashion collaborations – some more than a little cynical – the +J concept is a perfect fashion fit.

All original images copyright Uniqlo Co Ltd : : Spring/SUmmer 2011: Women’s : double-collared shirt jacket, stand collar l/s dress shirt, V-neck 3/4 sleeve short cardigan; men’s : knit jacket, full zip hoodie, slim fit dobby l/s shirt.

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Shibuya 109, or marukyu to the young gyaru fashion tribes who gravitate to the cylindrical tower with its ever changing mega-posters like moths to the proverbial flame, is a Tokyo landmark. It is an intense Japanese retail space where cutting edge global youth fashion trends for women are born. The tower, marked and its gyaru-kei fashions generate more than 25 billion yen in sales each year.

egg magazine cover march 2010 edition : : copyright 大洋図書 (taiyo tosho)

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Japanese street style is as much about the accessories and details as it is about the trends and statement pieces; bags & wallets, hair color & accessories, watches & jewelry, stockings & socks, music players & headphones, scarves and headwear are all chosen and co-ordinated each season with great care by the inner-city style leaders.

CA4LA, pronounced ka-shi-ra and translated as the head or top, is the place for hats, caps and other headwear, both classic and creative. The British bohemian ambience shared by the various CA4LA stores combines with the funky millinery on display – from boaters to bowlers and berets to baseball caps, cloches to chullos, trilbies to tuques – to create a charming shopping experience.

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