Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Tokyo Shopping Tips: Where Do Local Girls Shop?

(Update: Please also check out my Facebook page Japan Travel Tips on everything and anything you need to know about visiting Japan!)

Any Tokyo travel guide can help you find where the shopping malls are, but where do local Japanese girls like to shop in Tokyo for Japanese brands? While I was studying Japanese in Tokyo, I tried to ask my Japanese friends who live there where they like to shop, and here are the top 3 places I hear most often:

Please also check out my Facebook page Japan Travel Tips on everything and anything you need to know about visiting Japan!

1) Splurge: Laforet

Located in the fashionable area intersecting Harajuku, Omotesando, and Meiji Dori, Laforet is definitely where the fashionable Tokyo girl shops! This shopping complex has all the most 'oshare' (meaning fashionable in Japanese) brands you can think of and those you see in Japanese fashion magazine. All the super trendy Japanese girls I know cited this as their #1 shopping destination. Plus did I mention their sales in January and July are MASSIVE!?

2) Mid-range: Shibuya 109

This is the place on every 'gyaru's' shopping list. Landing a store in Shibuya 109 is THE indicator for any Japanese Fashion Brand that they've made it! I found the prices at Shibuya 109 more friendly than Laforet, but still have all the Japanese brands you memorized: Egoist, Emoda, SLY, dazzlin, CECIL McBEE, moussy... you name it, it's here! Bonus: Check out the style of staffs at the popular stores, one of the criteria of being a store staff is your sense of fashion!

3) Budget: Venus Fort

Photo: Venus fort shopping complex
This actually caught me by surprise because I have never thought of going to Venus Fort myself. Venus Fort is kind of like an outlet where most stores sell past seasons items at a great discount.  Located in Odaiba, it is close to a few other attractions and shopping malls. I do found the items in Venus Fort just like other outlets, i.e. sometimes it's your luck whether you can find great pieces at a discount as there is really no way of telling what stock an outlet has at a particular time. Prices are good though other than the Burberry Blue Label store which I found similar to outside. I think if you live in Tokyo and Venus Fort is easy to get to it's great to hunt for bargain, but if you are only there for a short time as a tourist, I'd rather spend my time on other shopping destinations selling in season items.

So there are the top 3 shopping locations most local Japanese girls seem to go based on my totally non-statistical survey :) Bear in mind that most of my friends are in their early 20's and hence they are looking for certain types of styles that may not be your cup of tea. Check out my Tutorial Section for more tips on shopping in Japan. I hope this list will be helpful to you though! Do share with me what's your fav Tokyo shopping spot is! 

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