Shop the Globe: Tokyo

A trip to Tokyo can sometimes feel like a step into the future, and that extends to shopping. In electronics and toy stores, you will find products that won’t find their way to shelves in America for several more years. At the same time, shopping in Tokyo provides an opportunity to witness timeless Japanese craftsmanship. Writer Erin Bogar selects shopping experiences that are also introductions to the country’s culture, from temple markets to the food halls of department stores.

1−1 Kanda Hanaokachō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 101-0028, Japan
In the Akihabara neighborhood, giant anime billboards, towering Sega arcades, and electronics shops dominate the streets. The area’s denkiya, or electric appliance stores, boast an unparalleled selection of gadgets for gear geeks. The giant among them is Yodobashi-Akiba, an electronics megastore located directly east of Akihabara Station. Yodobashi-Akiba has nine levels of appliances, electronic toys, sports gadgets, and travel items. Check out 700,000 yen (about $7000 USD) Leicas as well as the many non-electronic offerings: lightweight kimonos known as yukata, anime figurines, bicycles, and books. The first and eighth floors offer sustenance and a break from shopping, with restaurants serving up ramen, tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet), soba, and sushi at any hour from the popular Tokyo chain Sushi Zanmai. The ninth floor is devoted to golf and baseball, complete with a driving range and batting center.
Japan, 〒150-0033 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Sarugakucho, 17−5 DAIKANYAMA T-SITE蔦屋書店 1号館、3号館、2号館1階
A short walk from Daikanyama Station is one of the metropolis’s iconic bookstores, Tsutaya at T-Site. Designed by Klein Dytham Architecture, the Tsutaya bookstore is celebrated not only for the beauty of its three buildings but also for the extensive selection of books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs. Tsutaya opens at 7 a.m., perfect for travelers who land before hotel check-in. You can have a coffee or a cocktail in the Anjin Lounge while perusing books. The concierges are specialists in a variety of topics to help guide consumers through the books, music, and movies.
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