[2018 Edition] Shopping in Shinjuku? Try These 10 Must-Visit Department Stores!
There are plenty of stores in Shinjuku, but going to a department store can be quite fun as you will be able to buy stuff from different shops all at once. How about about exploring unique department stores in the area? Below are some that you have to check out in Shinjuku. Note that all of these establishments offer tax exemption.
1. Isetan Shinjuku Store
Housed in an impressive Art Deco Western-style building, Isetan in Shinjuku is directly linked to the subway’s Shinjuku-sanchome Station underground. It is filled with high-class brands and cosmetic stores, offering a collection of products for a wide range of age groups. At The Stage on the first floor, various fashion-related events are held and limited-time shops are set up, so it has become the place to feel the “latest” in Tokyo. Designers at Isetan also exercise their ingenuity when it comes to the displays, so this building is recommended even to those who just want to enjoy window-shopping. The main building is mainly for ladies, but right next to it is the Men’s Building, the largest building for men’s fashion in the area.
2. Odakyu Department Store Shinjuku Branch
Odakyu Department Store Shinjuku Branch is directly linked to the West Exit of Shinjuku Station. It offers apparel, daily necessities, interior decorations and other products, and houses many restaurants, too. More than anything, the highlight of this department store is the food hall at the second basement floor. The food hall offers not only fresh food, but also boxed lunch and dishes that are ready to eat, Japanese and western sweets and snacks that are perfect for souvenirs, and many other goodies. If you do not feel like dining out and just want to relax in the hotel, then you might want to consider buying a box lunch here. That ought to give you a slightly different dinner experience.
3. Shinjuku Takashimaya Times Square
Located on the south side of Shinjuku Station, Shinjuku Takashimaya Times Square is a massive commercial facility complex housing the long-established Takashimaya Department Store and major specialty shops. You will find it as soon as you exit the ticket gate at JR Shin-Minamiguchi Exit. Takashmaya Shinjuku Branch is characterized by its huge interior where a wide range of products for men, ladies and children are sold, so the entire family will surely be able to enjoy themselves. Some of the specialty shops here are UNIQLO for casual wear, Tokyu Hands home center that also sells daily necessities, stationery and other products, the handicraft specialty store Yuzawaya, and the enormous bookstore Kinokuniya. This complex is extremely big, so it is recommended to those who have a lot of time to spare. You can even enjoy it like you would an amusement park.
4. LUMINE Shinjuku
LUMINE, which is directly linked to JR Shinjuku Station, is just outside the ticket gate at the station’s South Exit. On the right side of the ticket gate is LUMINE 1, and on the left side is LUMINE 2. You will find a lot of fashion brands targeting young women who are sensitive to trends, and it is open until late at night, so this establishment is quite convenient. LUMINE 1 has a restaurant floor, while LUMINE 2 is home to the PLAZA and other variety shops, as well as MUJI. Even if you have no plans of staying in Shinjuku, when you pass by Shinjuku Station, it might be a great idea to shop a little or drop in for lunch at LUMINE. This place is perfect for the younger generations in Tokyo who know a lot about current trends.
Located near the subway’s Shinjuku-Sanchome Station, BICQLO is a unique store that is the collaboration between the electronic goods store BIC Camera and the casual wear brand UNIQLO. BIC Camera does not only sell cameras, computers and other electronic products, as it also carries cosmetics, medicines, alcoholic drinks and many other products. At UNIQLO, its recommended products are the AIRism (from 990 JPY (incl. tax)), a brand of breathable, cool and comfortable inner wear, and collaboration T-shirts with various companies and characters. You should visit this building if you want to find a very Japanese souvenir.
6. Shinjuku MARUI Main Building
Shinjuku MARUI Main Building is the Shinjuku branch of the MARUI Group that has stores all over Japan. Aside from the Main Building, the Group also has the Annex and Men’s Building in the same area, but the Main Building runs under the concept of “lifestyle fashion building for women past a certain age”. This building has rows of various kinds of shops and restaurants in its vast 15,000 sq.m. selling floor that stretches from the first basement floor up to the 8th floor. If you go to the rooftop, you will find an authentic garden called Q-COURT where you can relax in the middle of shopping. Another appeal of this building is its great accessibility since it is directly connected to Shinjuku-sanchome Station.
7. Keio Department Store Shinjuku Branch
Keio Department Store is a famous department store that is directly connected to Shinjuku Station. It is also known for its location that is right beside the loading terminal for the Limousine Bus to Narita/Haneda Airport, so it boasts superb transportation access. When it comes to products it carries, it has a relatively subdued lineup that targets middle-aged and elderly people. It sells standard women’s clothing, cosmetics, miscellaneous goods, and a wide array of other products. For tourists, the 6th floor of this building is especially recommended because it is filled with shops that sell products that represent the Japanese aesthetic, such as kimono (formal Japanese robes), Japanese-style accessories, Japanese knives, Japanese tableware, and tea ceremony tools. Further, there is a Foreign Customer Counter on the 2nd floor where you can process your tax exemption and exchange foreign currencies. You can also have your goods delivered to your hotel or to the airport.
8. Shinjuku MYLORD
With direct access from the South Exit of Shinjuku Station, Odakyu Shinjuku MYLORD is a fashion building that is comprised of about 120 specialty shops. Aside from the fashion floor that is overflowing with brands that women in their teens and 20s love, it also houses Mosaic Street, an open mall that is lined with hot variety stores and cafes. This building offers tourists a host of services, including tax-free shopping in more than 70% of the shops, telephone interpretation, and multilingual signs using QR codes. It also introduced Alipay, a mobile payment service for Chinese people, in September 2018. Further, there is a Travelex machine for your foreign currency exchange needs.
Flags, which is directly connected to the Southeast Exit of JR Shinjuku Station, is a department store that constantly offers customers a new lifestyle from different angles, such as fashion, music, and sports. Here, you will find refined shops, such as specialty shops offering unique selections like OSHMAN’s and SHIPS, famous brands such as NEW ERA, and a Tower Records that occupy three floors. Another secret to its popularity is that it is open until 10:00 pm (some shops are open until 11:00 pm). They provide telephone interpretation service (English) and an English-language pamphlet.
10. NEWoMan Shinjuku
Offering direct access from the Shin-Minamiguchi Exit of Shinjuku Station, NEWoMan Shinjuku is home to shops and restaurants of various genres. It is also a convenient spot since it is adjacent to the Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal. Inside, there are about 100 famous shops from Japan and overseas offering sophisticated fashion brands, famous cosmetics, and other products. Recommended here is KOKO Lumine Store, which specializes in traditional crafts and food products from all over Japan. The Food Hall that boasts long operating hours (7:00 am to 1:00 am) is also popular. There is a call service that will let you use voice and video calling using a tablet throughout the building, and it is available in seven languages, including English, Chinese, and Korean.
The department stores featured in this article have their own unique traits, so choose the best one for you according to your needs. You can also check out all of them, of course!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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