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A Tokyo Shopping Guide: 4 Must-Visit Neighborhoods

A trip to Tokyo’s shopping districts is more than just a spending spree. It’s an opportunity to explore unique facets of Japanese culture with Conrad Tokyo as a relaxing base. | By Elizabeth Wellington | June 25, 2021
Tokyo’s shopping districts are as diverse as they are plentiful. Some of them are electric with lighted signs and a cacophony of sounds, while others lay off the beaten path on tree-lined streets. They all have one thing in common: shopping in Tokyo is a terrific way to discover Japanese culture on a trip to the country’s capital.
When you set off on your adventure, note that many small businesses in Tokyo’s shopping districts are still cash-centric, and it’s important to bring Japanese yen with you. If you bring your passport with you, too, you can receive discounts because many shops give international visitors tax reductions.
Here are three things to expect when shopping in Tokyo:
  • Authentic cultural experiences: It’s impossible to separate Japanese culture from its thriving commercial hubs, and in Japan’s shopping districts, you can experience both up close.
  • Local businesses: By supporting unique businesses steeped in heritage, you can make unexpected discoveries and benefit from a local perspective everywhere you go.
  • Personal souvenirs: From handcrafted washi paper to designer jeans, you’ll go beyond generic trinkets and find authentic treasures that are ethically made.

Ginza

One of the top things to do in Tokyo is to shop in Ginza. Its glamorous shops and department stores lure people from around the world to this neighborhood near the Imperial Palace. Visit during the afternoon on the weekends, when the Chuo-dori – the district’s most famous street – morphs into a pedestrian zone.

Conrad Tokyo is a five-minute drive or a 20-minute walk to Ginza’s bustling streets. In fact, you may be able to see Ginza’s streets out of the tall glass windows of your hotel room, which also gives you unparalleled views of the city.
Before you head to the neighborhood, have lunch at Kazahana to sample modern interpretations of traditional Japanese fare. From its 28th-floor vista, you overlook the spectacular Hama-rikyū Gardens.

Ginza

Experience high-end shopping and chic restaurants in Tokyo’s first western-style shopping district.

Kazahana

Savor innovative sushi, kaiseki and teppan dishes at this skyscraper restaurant in Conrad Tokyo.
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Earlier in your visit to Tokyo, ask the concierge to make a reservation in advance for tea at Higashiya Ginza. Here, you can savor an exquisite cup of tea and traditional Japanese wagashi sweets. Trust us that it’s worth planning ahead.
For fashion-forward designs, head to Dover Street Market (6 Chome-9-5 Ginza) after your meal. This avant-garde destination feels like an art gallery in the shape of a mall, featuring groundbreaking artists from around the world and up-and-coming designers. Nearby, Ginza Six (6 Chome-10-1 Ginza) is another sophisticated mall with more than 200 high-end shops and one of the city’s most breathtaking rooftop gardens.
Although it's known for expensive splurges, Ginza is also home to, arguably, Japan’s best stationery shop. Itoya Ginza, upholds Japanese tradition of fine papers in its slim, 18-floor building. You don’t need to be an artist or a writer to get lost in the sea of pens, art supplies and notebooks here.

Harajuku

This colorful shopping neighborhood is a hub for Japanese pop culture.

Mizuki Spa & Fitness

The full-service spa at the Conrad Tokyo features an indoor pool and fitness center, as well as dry and steam sauna, whirlpool, a Hinoki bathtub made from Japanese cypress, and relaxation chairs for you to unwind before your chosen treatment.

Harajuku

World-renowned Harajuku is the heart of Japanese pop culture and a top destination for desserts. You’ll see vibrant street art and small alleyways lined with quirky shops that lead to Omotesando Avenue, a wide boulevard that’s been compared to Paris’ Champs-Élysées. A haunt for the younger crowd, there’s a colorful energy here that peaks on Sundays, when cosplayers hang out and pose for photos.

Although it’s a fun destination for adults, the vibrant streets are particularly appealing to the younger crowd. If you’re traveling with kids — or you’re a kid at heart — make your way to Kiddy Land on Omotesando Avenue. This tax-free shop bursts with five floors of character-themed toys. The magical shop is bound to spark feelings of nostalgia for anyone who loves TV and movies.
While you’re on Omotesando, dip into Tokyu Plaza (4 Chome-30-3 Jingumae) and its “diamond cave,” an architectural marvel that’s frequently photographed by visitors. From there, head onward to Eiswelt Gelato (1 Chome-8-5 Jingumae) for animal-shaped gelato or to Marion Crepe (1 Chome-6-15 Jingumae) for a famous Harajuku crepe stuffed with whipped cream.
After a long day of shopping, wind down with a blissful body treatment at Mizuki Spa & Fitness, a full-service spa on the 29th floor of Conrad Tokyo. The hot shell massage uses essential oil and a heated shell, harnessing the power of the ocean to soothe any stress. Unlike many other luxury spas, Mizuki also gives you the option to reserve time in advance without needing to commit to a specific treatment in advance. That way, you can choose the right one for you in the moment.

Nihonbashi

Home to two of Japan’s oldest department stores, Nihonbashi is a mecca for traditional goods. Its legacy as a center of commerce has only grown as redevelopment continues to bring people together in a central location, right around the corner from bustling Tokyo Station.

A 10-minute drive from Conrad Tokyo takes you to Nihombashi Mitsukoshi (1 Chome-4-1 Nihonbashimuromachi), Japan’s oldest department store with roots that extend back to 1673. After a visit to Nihombashi Mitsukoshi walk to Nihombashi Takashimaya (2 Chome-4-1 Nihonbashi), another historic department store that’s known for its beautiful architecture and manually operated elevators.
Even though you’re in Nihonbashi to shop, take the opportunity to eat at Nihonbashi Yukari (3 Chome-2-14 Nihonbashi). Watch a world-renowned chef prepare a multicourse lunch or dinner worthy of the Imperial family. Foodies and chefs will also love Nihonbashi Kiya (2 Chome-4-1 Nihonbashi). At this family business that dates back to 1792, you can purchase handmade kitchen knives with wooden handles and recreate some of your favorite meals at home.
Return to the hotel for a cocktail at TwentyEight, which boasts expansive views of the Tokyo skyline. Select one of the bar’s craft gins, made by Japanese artisans, as the base for one of the city’s best cocktails.

Nihonbashi

Soak in the history of this city district that is the perfect blend of modern and traditional style.

TwentyEight

Mingle with friends and enjoy live music while sipping cocktails on the 28th floor at Conrad Tokyo.
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Daikanyama

Wake up each morning at Conrad Tokyo in a tranquil room decorated with paintings of Japanese cherry blossoms. A sleek minimalist design and lantern-style lighting draws your eye out to either the skyscrapers of Ginza and Shiodome or Tokyo Bay through panoramic windows. Order a traditional Japanese or American-style breakfast for room service through the hotel’s app, which gives you the opportunity to enjoy the reposeful atmosphere.

Room with a View

With beautiful views and plush bedding, you will feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud.
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Daikanyama

Stroll in style through Daikanyama, a neighborhood full of arts, eats and boutiques.
This relaxed morning sets the tone for a day in Daikanyama, where you’ll wander down tree-lined pedestrian streets dotted with open-air cafes and independent boutiques. Many refer to Daikanyama as the “Brooklyn of Tokyo,” and with posh small businesses and a relaxed vibe, it’s ideal for window shopping. Given how calm the neighborhood is, it’s difficult to imagine that it’s a brief walk from Shibuya Crossing, one of the world’s busiest intersections.
Spend your time in Daikanyama as the locals do, beginning at T-Site Daikanyama (16-15 Sarugakucho, Shibuya City). This remarkable bookshop in a neo-modernist building is a bibliophile's paradise that extends over three buildings. You can bring books up to Anjin, a bar run by the same team, to browse with a cocktail in hand. Both are open late for night owls.
While you’re in the neighborhood, make sure to visit Okura (20-11 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku), which sells handmade clothing made with traditional indigo dyeing techniques. In this charming old building, you can pick up modern clothing with a meaningful history. Both at Okura and elsewhere in the neighborhood, you’ll also find high-end denim made with impeccable craftsmanship. Japanese denim is prized both locally and internationally. Nearby Warehouse & Co. models all of its denim based on vintage clothing. Its jeans are so tempting that you may need to pick up another suitcase to bring a new wardrobe back with you.

Make Your Next Travel Memory in Tokyo

Shopping in Tokyo is a thrilling way to embrace Japanese culture and explore the capital city whether you’re interested in luxury brands or quirky finds. Either way, Conrad Tokyo is a unique base that gives you access to all the authentic experiences Tokyo has to offer. This Tokyo shopping guide can serve as your treasure map to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs that stand the test of time.
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Elizabeth Wellington is a travel writer and brand copywriter whose work has appeared in Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure and BBC. When not writing in her Vermont farmhouse, she's usually en route to a new destination with a notebook in hand.
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Property Spotlight

Property Spotlight: Conrad Tokyo

Located 37 floors above the Tokyo Shiodome area, Conrad Tokyo guests can enjoy panoramic views of picturesque Hamarikyu Gardens, a former feudal lord's residence, and the impressive Tokyo Bay skyline. This Tokyo hotel provides a convenient base for exploring the city located just 5 minutes walk from the famous Ginza Shopping Street.
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