5 Shopping Spots to Visit in Tokyo for Japanese Pop Culture Lovers
When speaking of Japanese pop culture, there are many varieties like kawaii, otaku, character and so on. Even if you already buy many pop culture related items in Tokyo, here are some shopping spots you shouldn’t miss.
The place with a huge gathering of Japan’s KAWAII, Harajuku’s “Takeshita Dori”. The current fashionable state of this street is said to have begun around 1974. It’s appeal lies not only in fashion but also the great number of unique-to-Japan shops like celebrity shops, 100 yen stores and drug stores all gathered together in one place. Yet another of its prominent characteristics are the many media outlets who see it as a launchpad for Japanese fashion trends, attracting many teens who wish to be fashionable. In recent years, the many restaurants and apparel shops opening around Takeshita Dori have become a hot topic both locally and globally. Increasingly, it has become a spot where many people flock to regardless of age, sex or nationality. The bustling Takeshita Dori is a place that is bursting with energy.
Located right in front of you from Shibuya’s Scramble Crossing is “109”, the Holy Land of girls’ fashion. The apparel tenants here target girls from their late teens to early 20’s and every day, shoppers from not just Tokyo but all over the region visit. There’s also an event space located before the front entrance and a portion of the cylinder-shaped tower displays the latest, attention-grabbing advertisements. 109 is also famous for being a typical meet up spot. It’s the best spot for watching people come and go on the streets of Shibuya.
Akihabara is famous for being the world’s leading electric district. After WWII, the area flourished as a black market and when Japan entered their period of rapid economic growth, it became a place with many shops that dealt with electronic machinery, tools, software etc. Nowadays, games, anime, personal computers and the like have become the main focus. Maid cafes, where customers are served by women dressed like maids looking like they came straight out of the virtual world, are also popular. Although Akihabara’s electric district has a reputation for being the Holy Land for otakus who prefer anime and games, there has been a recent surge of building complexes that have apparel stores, drug stores, restaurants and so on. Although it has become a district frequented by persons from all walks of life, the original shops that cater to the electronics enthusiasts are still going strong.
3.The Otaku’s Toybox: Akihabara Electric Town
If you want to buy character goods in Tokyo then we recommend “KIDDY LAND”. KIDDY LAND opened in Omotesando in 1950 as a shop aimed for foreigners that sells things like books and toys. There are many chain stores throughout Japan but the assortment of goods in the Harajuku store is exceptional with 4 floors above ground and a basement floor crammed with rows upon rows of characters waiting to greet you. Characters loved throughout the world like “Snoopy”, “Miffy” and “Disney” as well as the first Sanrio character, “Hello Kitty”, the mascot “Funassyi”, “Rilakkuma”, “Doraemon” and on and on. One of the secrets to its popularity is their ample stock of characters that originated in Japan, that you won’t see anywhere else.
From “Hello Kitty” to “My Melody”, “Cinnamoroll”, “Pom Pom Purin”, “Little Twin Stars” and recently “Gudetama”; it’s the super popular KAWAII character heaven “Sanrioworld GINZA”. In the extensive space of Japan’s largest Sanrio shop, you can take your time carefully looking through all the character goods. Many kids as well as adults visit the same shop. A great about the Sanrio goods is that no matter what age you are, they can make your “cute~♪” dreams come true. If you go shopping, you will find a small bonus item inside your shopping bag as a treat from Sanrio. Adults and children alike can lose themselves in this highly recommended Japanese pop culture spot.
If you go around the shopping spots that we are introducing this time around, you will immediately recognize the leaders of Japanese pop culture. Even if you only look at the tons of items available, it’s guaranteed to be fun. Of course, if there’s anything that strikes your fancy be sure to buy it.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.