Harajuku is the must-see spot for counter-culture fashion, which means it's also home to plenty of vintage stores, perfect for a rummage, too. While Omotesando boasts designer brands, Takeshita Dori is all about youth fashion and a quirkier aesthetic, making it the ideal spot for retro fashion hunters. Flea markets are held across the city in temples and shrines each Sunday and are another great source of second-hand goods.
The Ginza is Tokyo's most prestigious shopping district, home to designer brands and flagship stores selling everything from high-end fashion to cutting-edge electronics. Virtually every major Japanese and international brand has a retail space in this glitzy corner of Tokyo.
Again, the Ginza is a great spot for designer labels from the world's finest fashion houses, but you may also like to explore the Marunouchi and Roppongi districts to find even more big names and designer products from all over the globe.
For a taste of authentic Japanese shopping, without a Starbucks in sight, a trip out to the historic neighbourhood of Yanaka is well worth the train fare. Crammed with food stalls, textile shops, vintage clothing stalls and exquisite traditional crafts the little streets of this area are a brilliant secret shopping spot away from the tourist trail. Afuri Nakameguro, a young and quirky but charmingly leafy corner of Tokyo is another great spot to find cute little boutiques and (reportedly) the very best ramen in Tokyo.
Exploring the alleys of Harajuku is another shopping essential, including the low-key Cat Street on the opposite side of Omotesando. Meanwhile, over in Koenji, the locally favoured Look Street is a haven for thrift stores and cool little boutiques. Don't forget to check out a traditional Tokyo shotengai where you can buy everything from tea and fruit to crafts (and get your umbrella fixed too!). Yanaka Ginza is one of Tokyo's best examples.
The bloggers at Why So Japan recommend Tokyo’s Harajuku area. They love the “little boutiques along Takeshita Dori and could easily spend hours browsing the shops”. For something a little different, head to Shibuya 109. A trip to this collection of shops in the Shibuya district is a “great way to see what kind of fashion Tokyo’s youth is into”.
Travel bloggers Elin and Oliver, who run the Tales Like These blog, say the “hipster heaven” Shimokitazawa area is great for vintage clothes. “Everything and everyone in this area look cool. You'll find vintage shops everywhere and some great places to have lunch/drinks.”