Mao Goto is a Japanese freelancer who was born in Hayama, Kanagawa prefecture, and raised in Tokyo. Since 2016 she lives in the Taito Ward, home to a lot of Japanese culture hotspots such as Asakusa, Akihabara, and Ueno. She has been interested in the field of English education in Japan and got her Master’s degree in March 2020. A lover of photography, travel, sweets, and cross-stitch. Contact her via Facebook.
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There are plenty of places to go shopping in Tokyo, from small independent boutiques to large international chain stores, but for a high-end shopping experience, a department store is the place to go. Department stores are home to a wide range of luxury brands, selling everything from gorgeous bags to jewelry and watches. The basement floor will often house a fancy deli section selling delicious and very visually appealing foodstuff. In this article, we introduce some of the best department stores to visit on your trip to Tokyo.
Isetan is one of the largest department store groups in Japan, with 20 domestic stores and 29 overseas, and was merged with Mitsukoshi in April 2011. Isetan’s main focus is fashion, offering a wide range of women’s and men’s clothing as well as shoes and accessories. One of Isetan’s stores is located in Shinjuku and can be easily accessed directly from Shinjuku Sanchome Station. Since you can access directly from the subway, you can visit Isetan without having to worry about getting wet in the rain or sweaty in summer. For a fee, Isetan also offers overseas courier services, including options for shipping refrigerated items, which is a very convenient service for international tourists.
Official website: Isetan Department Store
Mitsukoshi operates stores throughout Japan, with its main store located in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district. Its history dates back to 1673 when a kimono store called “Echigoya” (越後屋) opened in Nihonbashi, and in 1904 it was established as a department store. Hence, Mitsukoshi is famous for being the oldest department store in Japan. The interior of Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi is luxurious and almost resembles a palace, with the central hall being especially gorgeous. If you want to go shopping for high-end fashion brands in an upscale and prestigious atmosphere, Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi is the place for you.
Official website: Mitsukoshi Department Store
Matsuya has two department stores in Ginza and Asakusa, known to be two of Tokyo’s most popular areas for tourists, with convenient locations in front of main train stations and both offering a wide variety of goods. For example, Matsuya Ginza has not only fashion and jewelry brands, but also children’s clothing, sundry goods and furniture specialty stores. At Matsuya Asakusa, the deli floor in the basement is highly recommended. Here, you can buy and savor foods prepared by famous restaurants in Asakusa. If you are planning on visiting Ginza or Asakusa during your time in Tokyo, why not pop into Matsuya?
Official website: Matsuya Department Store
Marui is a department store chain operating mainly in the Kanto region, and many stores dealing in fashion, cosmetics and miscellaneous goods are located in Marui. The department stores are located in major downtown areas of Tokyo such as Shinjuku and Shibuya, so it’s very easy to visit them. Many Marui stores also have restaurants and cafes, so once you get tired from all the shopping, you can take a rest there.
Official website: Marui Department Store
PARCO is a chain of department stores located in Tokyo and other parts of Japan. The store has been well received by many customers for its well-stocked fashion and cosmetic floors as well as its convenient locations. PARCO’s strength lies not only in its shopping experience, but also in its focus on entertainment. For example, Shibuya PARCO has a cinema and a theater, so you can combine your shopping spree with watching a movie or a play. Some stores do not have these entertainment facilities, so check the official website for details. PARCO is a place where you can easily spend a full day!
Official website: PARCO
Tokyu Department Store is part of the Tokyu Group which operates railroads, hotels and large department stores in Hokkaido, Kanagawa and Tokyo. All of the stores are located close to train stations for easy access. The main store in Shibuya offers a variety of products – mainly fashion, but also stationery, books and craft stores are available here. The 1st and basement floors of Shibuya Mark City are called “Shibuya Tokyu Food Show”, Tokyu’s gourmet food section. In this area, Japanese and Western sweets are sold on the first floor while delicatessen and fresh produce such as vegetables, fruit and fish are sold on the basement floor. It’s a great place for locals to buy sweets and fresh food when transiting through the station on their way home from work.
Official website: Tokyu Department Store
Hankyu Department Store is a department store group with its main store in Umeda, Osaka, which has expanded to Fukuoka and Hyogo. With a wide range of store locations in this area, Hankyu has an image of being a department store of the Kansai region, but it actually has stores in Tokyo as well. In Yurakucho you’ll find Hankyu Men’s Tokyo which specializes in men’s clothing and shoes. At Tsuzuki Hankyu in Yokohama you can see the full range of Hankyu’s products as the store sells everything from fashion and sundries to gourmet food.
Official website: Hankyu Department Store
Daimaru Department Store is one of the oldest department stores in Japan, originating from a kimono shop that opened in Fushimi, Kyoto, during the Edo period. With its main store located in Shinsaibashi, Osaka, this company now has department stores throughout the country, from Sapporo in Hokkaido to Tenjin in Fukuoka. Adjacent to Tokyo Station, Daimaru Tokyo offers not only shopping but also great options for lunch and dinner on the 12th and 13th floors with restaurants serving Japanese cuisines such as tempura, yakitori and teppanyaki. There are also Chinese and Italian restaurants, so you can easily choose the cuisine that best suits your mood. And the views are outstanding, too!
Official website: Daimaru Department Store
Takashimaya Department Store is a chain operating store nationwide, and its headquarter is located in Osaka. One of the stores you can visit in Tokyo is the large Takashimaya Nihonbashi which is divided into a main building and a new building where you can enjoy shopping and dining all day long. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that Takashimaya Nihonbashi has been designated as an important cultural property by the Japanese government due to the building’s history, and this is the first such designation for a department store building. Inside, you can enjoy the beauty of Showa era architecture with a somewhat retro atmosphere. Free guided tours last around 1 hour and are available at 11:00 am and 3:00 pm on the second Friday of every month (reservation required). If you are interested in the history and architecture of Takashimaya Nihonbashi, we recommend signing up for the tour!
Official website: Takashimaya Department Store
Department stores are usually located in busy downtown areas or in front of train stations which makes them easily accessible and a perfect stop for souvenir shopping on your way home from sightseeing in Japan. With their many floors of shops, restaurants and sometimes entertainment, department stores are also places where you can easily spend a full day shopping and eating. We hope this article has helped you find a department store that you would like to visit during your time in Tokyo!
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