The best toy stores
Kiddy Land is a Tokyo institution. The main Harajuku shop is a noisy, crowded maze of mascots, dolls, cuddly toys, furry toys, action figures, Disney, Kitty, Doraemon, Godzilla and more. Warning: this much cuteness may cause dizziness.
This multi-storey emporium in Ginza, one of Tokyo’s biggest toy shops, is a showcase for the wacky, the cuddly and the cute, all with a Japanese twist. The basement is the headquarters of the Licca-chan (the Japanese equivalent of Barbie) Club. There is also a tax-exemption counter on the fourth floor, and gift-wrapping service is provided free with purchase.
Increase your collection at this well-stocked hobby shop in Shinbashi, which carries every Tamiya product you could possibly imagine. The range totals around 6,000 different items, including toy cars, model planes and accessories. There's even an event space above the shop, which often hosts item announcements, model exhibitions, workshops and seminars.
Sanrio’s flagship store offers the largest selection of Sanrio goods in Japan, amassing all the brand's characters together in one epicentre of saccharine cuteness. A statue of Hello Kitty standing on a white globe greets shoppers, and the store is systematically divided into five zones with seven distinct categories including a Hello Kitty Store, and Kiki and Lala themed boutiques modelled on the characters Little Twin Stars. The store stocks a staggering 10,000 items – perfect if you’re looking for that special Sanrio gift, but be careful you don’t get overloaded with cuteness.
Housed in the Solamachi shopping mall adjoined to Tokyo Skytree, the flagship store for popular toy maker Medicom – the folks behind the ultra-collectible Kubrick and Be@rbrick dolls – shows a commendable respect for its surroundings. There's a local flavour to many of the products on sale here, including Be@rbrick figures decorated to resemble kabuki actors, daruma dolls and maneki-neko cats.
Originally established in 1950, this is one of those venues that’s become a symbol of Akihabara’s tech and fictional character culture. It closed down for renovation in 2011 but was relaunched in 2014, with a bigger and better selection of stores selling all sorts of ‘electric town’ goods such as figurines, idol merchandise, trading cards and pretty much any electronic equipment you need.
Die-hard Pokémon fans will relish the exclusive merchandise sold here as well as the chance to test their video-game skills by battling against other customers at the shop's in-store games. Shoppers can browse through fluffy plush toys, themed kitchen and beauty goods, plus an entire area dedicated to trading cards, which can keep you entertained for hours.
Looking for something else?
Pick up the perfect gift or indulge in a little self-pampering with the help of the beauty experts at these popular specialist shops across town. From makeup and skincare to bath and other beauty products, you're bound to find what you need at one of these shops.
Tokyo has a store or shopping district for almost anything you can imagine, whether it be professional-grade kitchen supplies or speciality coffee and tea purveyors dedicated to one particular craft or category. Here's our pick of the best places to deck out your kitchen and pantry in the latest gadget, or to gift your foodie friend with a local Japanese delicacy.
There's no doubt Tokyo has some of the best shopping in the world, but one of the more unique aspects of the city's shopping scene are the great shops found in museums and galleries. Some of these stores even function as galleries themselves, with a curated selection of unique and often limited edition designer and artisanal products from across the country.
Tokyo is one of the most stylish cities in the world: the city has its own fashion week as well as flagship stores of the world's trendiest brands. Another thing Tokyo does extremely well is the mix of high and low fashion. You'll find an impeccable range of vintage and consignment stores, alongside well-curated select shops that stock cult brands and products not commonly found anywhere else. Tokyo is also home to a select range of A-list Japanese designers who have taken over the international fashion scene – many of them have stores right here in Tokyo.