What is an Antenna Shop? Souvenirs from All Over Japan

hokkaido antenna shop Food & Drinks

The archipelago of Japan consists of 421 inhabited islands (and thousands of uninhabited ones) and spans more than 2,400 kilometers from north to south. Japan is divided into 47 prefectures, and not only do these prefectures have their own distinctive dialects, they also have their own regional delicacies. Many domestic and international travelers love to sample as many different local specialties as possible, but most don’t have the time or money to travel to all 47 prefectures. But fret not, there is a great solution for the pesky problem of time and money constraints if you want to enjoy a vast variety of Japan’s mouth-watering delicacies, and this solution is called an antenna shop (satellite shop). What is an antenna shop? And where can you find some of the most popular ones in Tokyo?

What is an Antenna Shop?

Castela cake
The tasty castela cake is a specialty of Nagasaki

Back in the days, large department stores in Tokyo regularly hosted fairs where products from far-flung prefectures were sold to curious shoppers. The popularity of local products extends way beyond their places of origin, and when people move to Tokyo for work they often miss the food of their hometowns. This has created sufficient demand for many prefectures to have permanent antenna shops in Tokyo. These stores sell all kinds of products from the prefecture they represent – mainly food and drinks, but also other products that are famous in their respective regions, and you can usually find brochures with interesting travel information about the area, too. A great option for those feeling homesick during their Tokyo job transfer or for anyone who simply wants to try all the different flavors Japan has to offer!

1. Kagoshima (Yurakucho)

Kagoshima is one of Japan’s southernmost prefectures, and its mild climate, rich history and famously active volcano makes it a popular tourist destination. Kagoshima’s most well-known export is the juicy kurobuta pork, and their sweet potatoes and satsuma oranges are loved by many. This prefecture’s antenna shop is also located in Yurakucho, in the Chiyoda Building.

Address: Chiyoda Building, Yurakucho 1-6-4, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0006

Hours: 10 am – 7 pm (every day)

2. Ishikawa (Ginza)

Ishikawa prefecture is located on the west coast of Japan, with Kanazawa as its prefectural capital and most popular destination. This antenna shop is huge and takes up three floors and even has a dining counter where you can sample various products from the area. The top floor is full of local crafts along with a tourism information counter. The main floor has loads of different snacks, frozen ingredients, and candy. In the basement they have a wide variety of different kinds of sake as well as other alcohol from the region.

Address: TH Ginza Building, Ginza 2-2-18, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061

Hours: 10.30 am – 7 pm (every day)

3. Tochigi (Oshiage)

Utsunomiya gyoza
We can never have enough gyoza, and they sure know how to make them in Utsunomiya!

Situated just north of Tokyo, Tochigi Prefecture is especially known for UNESCO-listed Nikko with its elaborate and beautiful Toshogu Shrine, sprawling nature and famous waterfalls. Some of its ‘meibutsu’ (名物), or famous products, include yuba tofu skin, Utsunomiya gyoza and yuzu salt ramen. Aptly located in Oshiage, from where you can board a direct train to Tochigi, the prefecture’s satellite shop ‘Tochimaru’ can be found in the Solamachi shopping complex.

Address: Tokyo Solamachi 4F, 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida City, Tokyo 131-0045

Hours: 10 am – 9 pm (every day)

4. Miyagi (Ikebukuro)

Raw oysters
Straight from the ocean and with a splash of citrus – these deliciously plump oysters are the pride of Miyagi Prefecture

Miyagi Prefecture in the northern region of Tohoku is home to one of ‘Japan’s Three Most Scenic Views’ – dotted with pine-clad islets, the bay of Matsushimakaigan indeed offers truly breathtaking panoramic vistas. With its long coastline, it’s not surprising that one of Miyagi’s most popular delicacies is oysters. The prefecture is also known for Ishinomaki yakisoba which is actually made of sardines instead of buckwheat, and fried beef tongue (gyutan yaki) is a gourmet dish hailing from Sendai, Miyagi’s largest city. The prefecture’s antenna shop is located in Ikebukuro, a Tokyo neighborhood known for its many anime and other subculture-related shops.

Address: Higashiike Building (東池ビル), 1−2−2 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 170-0013

Hours: 11 am – 8 pm (every day)

5. Hiroshima (Ginza)

While most people know about Hiroshima City due to its tragic history, there is actually a whole prefecture called Hiroshima surrounding the city which has a lot of attractions such as awesome cycling roads, a rabbit island and the famous ‘floating’ torii gate of Miyajima. Hiroshima Prefecture is famous for foods like momiji manju, anago (conger eel) and okonomiyaki. This western prefecture’s large satellite shop ‘Hiroshima Brand Shop TAU’ covers 4 floors and can be found in the fancy area of Ginza. Besides food, you can also find crafts and sports merchandise from Hiroshima here.

Address: Ginza Ueichi Building (B1-3F), 1−6−10 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061

Hours: 10.30 am – 7 pm (every day)

6. Hokkaido (Yurakucho)

Melon and corn
Everyone knows it: Japan’s best melons and corn can be found in Hokkaido

The northernmost prefecture of Japan, Hokkaido, is a popular travel destination because of its amazing national parks and winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding. Hokkaido’s comparatively cool climate provides ideal conditions for delicacies such as (fatty) seafood, fruits and dairy products, and many of the local specialties are based on these ingredients. Antenna shop ‘Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza’ in Yurakucho is located in the same building as the Hyogo antenna shop, and it can get quite crowded here because it’s so popular. Their most sought-after item is the melon soft serve ice cream, so don’t forget to get yourself one of those when you stop by!

Address: Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan, 2-10-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0006

Hours: 10 am – 8 pm (every day)

7. Yamaguchi (Nihonbashi)

Sake being poured
Do you prefer your Yamaguchi sake hot or chilled?

Tucked away on Japan’s western coast between Hiroshima Prefecture and Kyushu, Yamaguchi Prefecture enjoys a mild climate and boasts beautiful coast lines. It’s rather off the beaten path, so many international travelers don’t make it all the way here. For a taste of Yamaguchi you can visit the small ‘Welcome to Yamaguchi Shop’ in Nihonbashi where you will find local crafts, sweets such as the popular ‘Tsuki De Hirotta Tamago’ and one of Japan’s most delicious sake brands, Dassai.

Address: Nihonbashi Plaza Building, 2-3-4 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0027

Hours: 10.30 am – 7 pm (every day)

8. Miyazaki (Shinjuku)

Beer being poured
Sample local beers from Miyazaki’s antenna shop

If you’ve ever seen a promotional poster for Kyushu, it quite likely featured the stunningly beautiful Takachiho Gorge. The gorge is located in Miyazaki Prefecture, a rather remote area with a comfortable climate and known for its gorgeous nature spots and shochu production. Hence, it comes as no surprise that you can buy this popular distilled beverage in the ‘Miyazaki Products Shop Konne’ in Shinjuku, as well as other prefectural delicacies such as beer, wine, charcoal-grilled chicken, fish and fresh vegetables.

Address: Shinjuku Southern Terrace, 2-2-1 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0053

Hours: 10 am – 8 pm (every day)

9. Niigata (Omotesando)

Niigata Prefecture is not only a skier’s paradise; its high-quality rice, sake, fresh seafood and flowers, especially tulips, are famed throughout Japan. Not far from Harajuku you can find Niigata’s satellite shop ‘Niigatakan N’ESPACE’. The whole complex is dedicated to Niigata Prefecture with not only shops but also restaurants and an event space.

Address: Tosen Harajuku Building (東泉原宿ビル), 4-11-7 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001

Hours: 10.30 am – 7.30 pm (every day)

10. Okinawa (Ginza)

A subtropical beach and snorkeling paradise with a laid-back atmosphere is one way to describe Okinawa, the island group in the deep south of Japan. Because of its far-flung location and unique history, Okinawa’s food and drink culture is decidedly different from that of mainland Japan. So it’s no surprise that the ‘Okinawan Washita Shop’ in Ginza is one of Tokyo’s most popular satellite shops. Here you can buy all kinds of products coming straight from Okinawa, including beauty products, crafts, fruits, vegetables, beer and of course awamori, Okinawa’s version of shochu. Visiting this shop will surely put you in the mood for a vacation to the islands of Japan’s southernmost prefecture!

Address: Maruito Ginza Building, 1-3-9 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061

Hours: 10.30 am – 7 pm (every day)

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Stefanie Akkerman moved from the Netherlands to Japan in 2013 with her Japanese husband and son. She jumped into the niche of Dutch tour guiding in Tokyo and Kamakura in 2015 and occasionally writes articles about all the great sights and activities Japan has to offer. She loves (Japanese) food, and to work that all off she goes diving, snorkeling, cycling, or hiking.

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