Travel guide: Tokyo – Episode 01

Traveling is a unique experience that allows us to broaden our cultural background and come into contact with realities that are more or less distant from ours. In the same way, however, one of the most widespread customs is that of returning home, bringing back even material memories.
For this reason, in this new episode of our special guides, we want to show you where, how and what to buy in Tokyo!

We do not want to nourish the spirit of consumerism in you, but rather to lead you on the path of unique, cute, useful, necessary, satisfying purchases. In fact, the human being also needs to feel pampered and to spend some extra money for the sake of it.
So here is our little trip to the Tokyo shopping world!

Walking through Asakusa: Nakamise Dori

photo credits: thejapanesedreams.com

The Nakamise Dori is one of the most characteristic pedestrian shopping streets in Asakusa. Lined with numerous stalls where you can find traditional souvenirs and snacks, it is a perfect stop for last-minute purchases. The shops that line the street are a real paradise for those looking for washi, the Japanese paper for origami.

In the heart of Shinjuku: Okadaya

Tokyo shopping

photo credits: shinjuku-guide.com

The Okadaya store offers 6 floors of craft items, yarns, sewing kits, DIY guide books, linings, traditional Japanese materials, and other special fabrics. A destination much loved by students attending the design and fashion school nearby!

100 Yen or so: Daiso

Tokyo shopping

photo credits: planetyze.com

Daiso today is a brand known in many countries around the world and there are plenty of shops throughout Japan. In Tokyo, it’s the ideal place to spend little and find a lot of objects more or less useful, cute, funny, particular and so on. Despite the extremely low cost, they are of a surprising quality!

Cuteness overload: Aranzi Aronzo, Character Street, Sunshine City e Yamashiroya

photo credits: matcha-jp.com

In the Tokyo sky tree shopping center, Aranzi Aronzo was opened, a store where everything is “cute, strange and cuddly”. Here we can find tender characters in the form of toys, household items, stationery, accessories and craft books.

On the lower level of the Tokyo station, from the Yaesu and Marunouchi exits, the Character Street peeps out on First Avenue. It is an entire commercial street overflowing with shops dedicated to the most beloved characters in Japan. Here we find Hello Kitty, Rilakkuma, Totoro, Miffy, Tamagotchi, Rement, and Pokemon! Also at the Okashi Land, it is possible to stock up on the most famous sweets and desserts known as Pocky!

Tokyo shopping

photo credits: happyjappy.com

Instead, near the Ikebukuro station, there is a skyscraper of 60 floors inside which we find two shopping centers! In Sunshine City, there are wonderful shops like Donguri Kyowakoku, where you can find anything with a Studio Ghibli theme. And let’s not forget about Dagashiya, where you can buy all kinds of sweets in lovely packages. HAPiNS, where you can find unique and delicious utensils and objects for the home and the plush toys of Hannari Tofu and Alpacasso. In addition, we also find the Pokemon Center, the Sanrio Vivitix, Kutsushitaya, the Village Vanguard, Swimmer. In short, there is certainly plenty of choice!
Yamashiroya is right in front of the entrance to Ueno station. A splendid store of 6 floors to be explored that offer all kinds of toys, collectors’ items, action figures. But also stuffed animals of every kind and brand, souvenirs and lots of gacha-machines that supply some of the most beautiful gashapons!

The Creative Life: Tokyu Hands

Tokyo shopping

photo credits: gotokyo.org

The Tokyu Hands has really many branches scattered around Japan and here in Tokyo, they are easily traceable to Ikebukuro, Shibuya, and Shinjuku. It is the store par excellence where you can really find everything and everything typically Japanese! Whether they are creative, artistic and craft items, household items, beautiful stationery. Or suitcases, pots, furniture or tools for DIY, Tokyu Hands is a paradise. This is probably the place for which I would recommend an absolutely mandatory visit!

Which of these stores struck you most? Do you already have in mind a list of things that you absolutely must buy once you arrive in Tokyo? I believe that you will go crazy and you will probably spend money on absurd objects that you never thought you needed … at least until that moment!