An insider’s guide to shopping in Tokyo

Japan is one of 2019’s hottest destinations and the world’s largest small group adventure company, Intrepid Travel, has seen a 44 per cent increase in Australians departing for Japan in 2019 compared to the same time last year. The latest from the Australian Bureau of Statistics also found Japan recorded a 17 per cent increase in visitation from Australians in 2017, meaning it’s now our seventeenth most popular international destination.

“Many travellers know Japan for their incredible skiing opportunities, however this country is gaining more popularity for its adventure, culture, history and cuisine. Once here, our travellers say they also get a thrill out of the quirky and fun shopping opportunities across the country from gadgets to traditional handicraft and contemporary art,” says Tara Kennaway, Regional Product Manager for Asia at Intrepid Travel. 

The most popular place to shop is Tokyo, according to Kennaway. And, because everyone loves shopping tips from those in the know, she has shared her guide to shopping in Tokyo:

An insider's guide to shopping in Tokyo


Most famous for its upmarket shopping, the Ginza district features numerous leading brand names in fashion and cosmetics where travellers can also find the infamous $10 cups of coffee. Road closures take place between 12pm and 5pm on weekends, turning central Chuo Dori street into a large pedestrian zone for easier, more pleasant shopping experiences.


Offering some of the world’s finest and trendiest fashion pieces, this is the location for younger travellers who love fashion. Although they do have luxurious brands, they also have plenty of stores where travellers can get an outfit for a more realistic budget. Shibuya is also home to music shops, outrageous apparel, the famous Shibuya pedestrian crossing and Hachiko statue.

An insider's guide to shopping in Tokyo


Travellers can’t visit Japan and not have a shop in the district devoted to anime, manga and electronics. Whether travellers are into the otaku (diehard fan) culture or not, Akihabara is an experience not to miss. In this area, visitors can find everything from new computers, cameras and electronics tax-free to a wide range of manga, anime goods, toys, video games and even cosplay outfits.


Also known as the centre for craftspeople, Kuramae is packed with arts, crafts and trendy hidden cafes. Artisans have been inhabiting this particular area since the Meiji Period and due to its retro charm it has become a popular attraction for arts and craft lovers. Travellers can find lots of young designers who often use traditional techniques as well as unique knick-knacks and lifestyle goods.

An insider's guide to shopping in Tokyo


The area of Asakusa was once well known as the entertainment district, however was heavily destroyed during World War II. Now, this area is known for its rich history, Japanese crafts and kitchenware. Asakusa offers travellers the chance to get their hands on traditional crafted items such as pottery, Japanese washi paper, tenugui hand towels, glassware and some super kawaii (cute) gifts.