For the ultimate one-stop shopping experience, there’s no better place to start than a department store. Known as depato, Japan's department stores are, just like anywhere else, massive mall-like buildings that provide pretty much anything you can think of, from groceries and fashion to accessories and kimonos. Where these giants stand out is in the customer service department – and in that they have expansive basement floors (depachika) dedicated entirely to glorious, impeccably presented food. If you’re itching to spend some money, check out our list of Tokyo’s best department stores below and get ready to shop your day away.
Tokyo's best department stores
Daimaru Tokyo hosts numerous art exhibitions throughout the year following on its theme of ‘the deparment store goes artistic’. Each of the store’s 11 floors specialises in something different – from fashion to flowers. The first and basement floors are dedicated to food. Small comforts have been capitalised upon; announcements are kept at a minimum, and the restrooms also function as spaces to relax.
At Hankyu Men’s Tokyo you’ll find everything from high-end and casual fashion from domestic and international designers to leather goods and skincare, all to suit a fast-paced lifestyle. Whether you're shopping for yourself or for someone else, it's the ideal place for some retail therapy. For those looking for more than just shopping, there's also a hair and nail salon on the top floor for some well-deserved grooming.
Arguably the trendiest department store in Japan, the flagship Isetan Shinjuku is renowned for having its window displays created by leading artists and offers only the finest in food, clothing and homeware. Working from the bottom up, you'll find the 'beauty apothecary' on the second basement floor, food and travel items on the other basement level, and the other seven floors dedicated to ladies' fashion and homeware.
Tokyo certainly matches women's fashion with men's and at this store you'll find eight floors overflowing with clothing, accessories and home furnishings, all dedicated to the gentlemen among us. Along with loads of men's merchandise, the Shinjuku store is also home to an in-house golf school and a men's 'residence area' where you can sit back and relax after a hard day's shopping.
Located in Shinjuku, Keio has womenswear and accessories on the first four floors; menswear on the fifth; kimonos, jewellery and furniture on the sixth; children’s clothes and sporting goods on the seventh; and a range of restaurant options on the eighth. The store also offers a range of clothing in Westerner-friendly larger sizes. The tax-exemption counter can be found on the sixth floor.
One of two Shibuya department stores run by the Marui chain, Modi caters to both male and female shoppers across ten floors of fashion boutiques. You'll find everything from the latest in Japanese fashion to books, stationery and lifestyle goods. A short walk from this building you'll find Marui Jam, the second Marui department store catered to young, stylish ladies searching for the latest trends straight from the pages of fashion magazines.
Matsuya is notable for having in-store boutiques from the famous triumvirate of Japanese fashion revolutionaries: Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Akio Hirata, all of which are situated on the fourth floor. Japanese souvenirs are on the seventh, and shopping services for foreign tourists – tax exemption and overseas delivery – are on the third. The money-exchange counter is on the first floor.
Mitsukoshi is Japan's oldest surviving department store chain, dating back to 1673, and this vast edifice is its flagship store. They provide interpretation and shopping assistance in English and Chinese; have a foreign exchange machine; and can offer advice on tax refunds, delivery of your purchases to certain hotels, free wi-fi spots and how to take advantage of discounts using a guest card.
This Ginza branch of Mitsukoshi has womenswear and accessories on the first five floors, menswear on the sixth, and household goods on the seventh. The B3 floor has toys, childrenswear and a tax-exemption counter. The bronze lion outside Mitsukoshi’s main entrance serves as a popular meeting place in the area.
This department store located near the east exit of Ikebukuro Station carries fashion, food and homewares. It’s one of the busiest shops in Japan in terms of customers, and has a lot of popular in-store concessions such as Mujirushi Ryohin and Loft. There is also a wide range of Japanese, Western and Chinese restaurants and cafés. The basement depachika houses more quality concessions and a high-end supermarket.
This Shibuya store is split into two buildings, Annexes A and B, which face each other across the street. Annex A sells mainly womenswear; Annex B menswear, children’s clothes and accessories. The tax-exemption counter is on the M2 (mezzanine) floor of Annex A. Aimed at a younger crowd, Seibu also runs retailers Loft, Mujirushi Ryohin and Books Kinokuniya.
Here you’ll find menswear on the first and second floors, womenswear on the third and fourth, children’s clothing on the fifth, furniture on the sixth, and kimonos on the seventh. The tax-exemption counter is on the first floor and the overseas shipping service on floor B1. If you want more from Takashimaya, you can also visit the massive Shinjuku branch – Takashimaya Times Square – which hosts another bounty of boutiques, restaurants and shopping indulgence.
The main building houses clothing for all occasions on the lower floors (including kimonos on the ninth), with an enormous selection of restaurants from the 11th to 17th floors. The basement is home to Tokyo’s largest food hall. The central building sells clothing in larger sizes, plus a good range of interior goods and office supplies. The plaza building contains the designer collection. The currency-exchange and tax-exemption counters are on the first basement floor of the central building.
Tokyu Honten sells designer fashion for men and women as well as high-end goods for the home. The gourmet food hall in the basement houses traditional Japanese sweets from Toraya to international specialties like pastries from Dalloyau Paris. The Tokyu Plaza store sells women’s fashion, cosmetics and accessories, and is also home to a pet salon and beer garden up on the rooftop.