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Tokyo: Where to shop

  • Story Highlights
  • Ginza offers world-class shopping - check out the food hall in Mitsukoshi
  • Takeshita-Dori is where teenagers pick up their "cosplay" costumes
  • Omotesando is lined with boutiques, including Louis Vuitton and Prada
  • Akihabara, or "Electric Town," is the place to buy electronics and manga
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(CNN) -- For a world-class shopping experience you should head to glitzy Ginza. As well as flagship fashion outlets, the area boasts one of the city's best department stores, Mitsukoshi (4-6-16 Chuo Dori). The real treat here, as at many Tokyo department stores, is the fantastic basement-level food hall ("depachika"). For the complete Mitsukoshi experience, there's an ever bigger store in Nihombashi.

Akihabara shop

The "Electric Town" of Akihabara is tech-head's heaven.

Next door is Matsuya, another big department store, and while you're in the area don't miss the Sony Building (5-3-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku). Your inner games geek won't be able to resist the entire floor devoted to the PlayStation.

If you've ever wondered where Tokyo teenagers buy their wacky cyber-goth manga-inspired attire, the answer is Takeshita-Dori, a narrow street in Harajuku. On Sundays the street fills with fashion-conscious teens, dressed to impress.

For the less adventurous, but more discerning shopper, Harajuku's main thoroughfare, Omotesando is lined with elegant boutiques, including Louis Vuitton, Prada and Loveless (3-17-11 Minami-Aoyama). Looking unlike any shop you've seen before, Loveless has three floors of hip Japanese clothing and a basement decked out like the dungeon of some deranged medieval aristocrat. Harajuku is also home to six-floor Kiddy Land (6-1-9 Jingu-mae), one of the city's best toy stores, with a huge selection of Hello Kitty products.

The area around Shibuya Station is a buzzing epicenter of shopping activity. Among its highlights are Tokyu Hands (Takashimaya Times Square, 5-24-2 Sendagaya), a department store that sells everything you could ever need, and plenty of stuff you had no idea even existed (electrically heated pilllows anyone?). A Bathing Ape (1 - Rise Bld. 13-17 Udagawa-Cho) offers funky T-shirts and trainers in an art gallery-style space, and Mandarake (Shibuya Beam B2 31-2 Udagawacho) is the place to satisfy your manga cravings, should you have any.

For more manga, and a glimpse into the future, you'll want to go to Akihabara. Also known as Electric Town, Akihabara is a district of electronics stores clad in illuminated signs. Visit after dark for the full "Blade Runner" experience. Yodobashi Camera sells everything from next generation cell phones to cameras that aren't yet available outside Japan.

For something more sedate, Daikanyama is a refined area popular with in-the-know fashionistas, while Jimbocho is the city's used-book quarter.

Marunouchi was once a drab business district but is fast becoming the city's hottest shopping area. Shin-Marunouchi (just opposite the Marunouchi exit of Tokyo Stations) is a huge building, with the lowest seven floors devoted to chic shopping. The basement "depachika" is a feast for foodies.

Tokyo International Forum (5-1 Marunouchi 3-chome, Chiyoda-ku) is a vast space used for art exhibitions and as a concert hall. It also boasts excellent shopping and hosts a flea market every other Sunday.

Where to stay | What to see | Where to be seen | Where to eat | Where to shop


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