Kichijoji might ring a bell for Ghibli fanatics who head west to visit the famous animation studio’s museum, or to those drawn to romantic strolls through the luscious Inokashira Park. However, the charming area – an ever-present on lists of Tokyo’s ‘most desirable neighbourhoods’ – is also a treasure trove for those looking to spend a little cash, offering up a selection of stores capable of satisfying the most ardent shopaholic.
Make your way through Nakamichi-dori just west of the station for cute cafés and zakka shops selling a variety of miscellaneous knickknacks, or head on down the path which leads to Inokashira Park for vintage wear and the lively restaurants which line the street. Here are our favourite Kichijoji stores.
Five shops to check out
Looking like an outlet store, the expansive Sippo will delight bargain hunters with its wide range of reasonably priced goods. The selection may seem random but everything is either made in Japan or features Japanese aesthetics. There’s homeware, fashion, jewellery, accessories, gourmet food items and even antique furnishings. Some of the best deals can be found just outside the entrance, where the shelves stock pre-loved tableware, crockery and pottery items with prices as low as ¥100. Also, don’t disregard the display shelves and tables – chances are, they are for sale too. You could easily lose an entire day browsing, so it’s a good thing there’s an in-house café, which serves healthy and delicious teishoku (set meals), desserts and coffee.
Situated just off of the popular Nakamichi-dori shopping street, Markus is home to a fine array of Japanese objects of desire sourced from all across the country. The shop owner personally picks out everything in the shop and goes around the country to visit various craftspeople to learn about their unique products. You’ll see that items are categorised by area and artisan, with small descriptions accompanying each and every one. Our favourites include beautiful handmade fans from Kagawa, tea leaves from Shizuoka prefecture and stunning pottery and kitchenware from Okinawa.
Head on up to Nico for a well-curated collection of vintage duds for both sexes and unique lifestyle accessories you never knew you needed. Located a stone’s throw from Kichijoji Station’s south exit, the shop is conveniently open late on weekdays to catch shoppers after work hours. Sift through classic clothing staples including striped boatneck shirts and denim button-ups, many of which are categorised by the year they originated. The collection is heavy on the ’90s and early 2000s, but there are a few well-kept pieces from earlier years, and everything is still in great condition. There’s also a small lineup of jewellery and accessories, including a nice selection of pre-loved Ray-Bans.
Outbound is the sister store of popular lifestyle shop Roundabout in Yoyogi-Uehara and showcases a beautiful selection of items collected from all around Japan. With gorgeous cloths, carved furniture, woven baskets and fine jewellery to explore, browsing through this ‘select shop’ is always a peaceful and soothing experience. Outbound also plays host to various exhibitions which change regularly. Be sure to check their website for news on the latest shows and happenings.
If you’re not looking hard enough, you might miss this cult bookshop tucked away on the second floor across from the Tokyu department store. It’s worth seeking out though: inside you’ll find a grand selection of both secondhand and newly published books, magazines and ’zines as well as DVDs and a small range of records. There’s even a handful of children’s books on hand in case you have your little ones in tow. The shop also hosts exhibitions and Q&A sessions where readers can meet with authors and various artists who have work showcasing at the bookshop.
A haven for sneakerheads, Skit carries everything from the latest models and limited-edition versions to dead stock amongst which you might rediscover a pair of past favourites. Sift through rows upon rows of colourful, wrapped-up shoes which line the store walls classified according to brand. The focus here is on men’s shoes from the old favourites (Adidas, Nike, Reebok, Onitsuka Tiger etc), but there are a few pairs for women and kids as well. Make sure to follow the store’s Twitter feed, as they’re frequently updating it with new arrivals. The shop selects products on a pair-by-pair basis, so if you see a shoe in your size you better make a quick decision.