- 3 min read

5 of Tokyo's Best Shopping Streets

From ultra-luxe to laid back local favorites

Japan is a fantastic destination to visit for a myriad of reasons. From incredible cultural sites to diverse natural landscapes, mouth-watering foodie spots and more, there's something for just about anyone's interests. If your idea of a great getaway involves shopping 'til you drop, you won't miss out either – there are plenty of places to get your retail therapy fix.

If you plan on visiting Tokyo in the future, here are five shopping streets to get you started – each of them has a unique atmosphere!

Omotesando Street

For stylish shoppers

Omotesando Street often gets the nickname of Tokyo's Champs-Élysées thanks to its beautiful tree-lined route, but that's not the only nod to France that you'll find here. The street is filled with luxury fashion retailers including the likes of Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton, plus the high-end Omotesando Hills shopping complex which was designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando. If you want a more Japanese feel for your shopping adventures, check out Oriental Bazaar for traditional souvenirs like kokeshi dolls and kimono.

The high-end Omotesando Hills complex was designed by Tadao Ando
The high-end Omotesando Hills complex was designed by Tadao Ando (Photo: IQremix / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Takeshita Dori

For a dive into Japan's youth culture

Just a hop, skip, and jump away from Omotesando Street you'll find Harajuku's Takeshita Dori, which is famous for its trendy youth culture. Here, you'll find fashion retailers that run the gamut of styles, fun accessory shops, and a variety of eateries. If you work up an appetite while you're exploring, be sure to grab yourself a crêpe at one of the several stores selling them - they have both sweet and savory options available.

A pre-pandemic look at Harajuku's Takeshita Dori
A pre-pandemic look at Harajuku's Takeshita Dori (Photo: Laurentiu Morariu / Unsplash)

Nakamise Shopping Street

For a little slice of tradition

There's some debate as to the exact timeframe that Asakusa's Nakamise Shopping Street was founded, with most estimates dated around the late 1600s to early 1700s. These days, almost 90 shops line the route that leads to Sensoji Temple, selling a variety of traditional souvenirs including chopsticks, yukata (a more casual version of kimono), geta (sandals), and more. There are also numerous snack retailers where you can find tasty treats like yokan (a red bean-based confectionery) and senbei (rice crackers).

Charming Nakamise Shopping Street is filled with fun traditional souvenirs and snacks
Charming Nakamise Shopping Street is filled with fun traditional souvenirs and snacks (Photo: Kumiko Shimizu / Unsplash)

Ameya Yokocho

For bargains and a bit of everything

One of Ueno's most recognizable destinations is Ameya Yokocho, which is also affectionately referred to as Ameyoko. This market street truly has a bit of everything for those needing some retail therapy, from snacks to shoes and clothes to cosmetics. It's a short walk away from the Ueno Park area, so there's certainly enough to do in the area to warrant a day-long visit.

Ueno's Ameya Yokocho offers a bit of everything for retail therapy fans
Ueno's Ameya Yokocho offers a bit of everything for retail therapy fans (Photo: Michael Vito / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Jizo Dori Shopping Street

For shopping like a senior

In contrast to the trendy youth scene at Takeshita Dori, Sugamo's Jizo Dori is often referred to as "Granny's Harajuku". You'll find stores specializing in socks, spectacles, and underwear, including Maruji – their dedication to all things red in their product range has a purpose, as the color is meant to promote good luck. If picking up some new underclothes isn't really your thing, never fear - the street is also a fun spot to grab a bite to eat, with plenty of budget-friendly options like taikayi (fish-shaped sweet pastries typically filled with custard or red bean paste) and takoyaki (sphere-shaped battered octopus).

Take a stroll along Sugamo's Jizo Dori, otherwise known as Granny's Harajuku
Take a stroll along Sugamo's Jizo Dori, otherwise known as Granny's Harajuku (Photo: Takayuki Miki / CC BY-ND 2.0)

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Peter Sidell 11 months ago
Yanaka Ginza is also nice and old-timey! And Cat Street (between Harajuku and Shibuya) is good for you stylish young people.
Elizabeth S 11 months ago
The covered shopping streets that intersect with Nakamise Shopping Street are stuffed with shops for souvenirs and fashion, too. Window shopping there is fun, but I always come home with something for me or as a gift.
Kim Author 11 months ago
Covered shopping streets are something I really appreciate in Japan, they're such a blessing when it's ultra hot and sunny, or cold and rainy/snowy!
Elena Lisina 11 months ago
Four of them I know very well! ;)
Kim Author 11 months ago
Nothing wrong with smaller cities! They probably offer cheaper prices than places in Tokyo, too!
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