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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).