Where to shop in Tokyo Lisn

Where to shop in Tokyo

From luxury department stores to bespoke tailors and cult designer boutiques, Tokyo's got it all...

Whether you are looking for cutting-edge fashions, timeless works of art or a touch of the Japanese aesthetic for your home, Tokyo has got what you need and more. The luxury department stores like Mitsukoshi and Isetan are where you will find your big-name brands, but try digging a little deeper in the city's many smaller shops and boutiques for something truly unique and maybe even tailor-made.

Lisn

Originally opened in Kyoto in 1705, this innovative incense shop has a beautiful branch in upscale Aoyama with a sunny showroom filled with washi paper columns by artist Eriko Horiki. They stock hundreds of different scents, releasing a handful of new ones each year, and a vast selection of stylish modern holders.

You can even have a special message printed along the colourful sticks. Needless to say, these unique, compact creations make excellent and easy-to-transport gifts for the people back home.

5-47-13-202, Jingumae , Shibuya-ku, +81 (0)3 5469 5006, www.lisn.co.jp

Ginza Motoji

Ginza Motoji

Photo courtesy of Ginza Motoji

What better souvenir from your Tokyo sojourn than a kimono? For over 30 years, this venerable shop in the posh Ginza shopping district has been making elegant women's and men's kimono that combine traditional craftsmanship with modern styles.

Choose from a variety of exquisite handcrafted fabrics, including their unique Platinum Boy silks made solely with superior male silkworms. The staff will not only tailor a kimono to fit you perfectly but will also assist in choosing the various required accessories and accouterments to achieve a harmonious and seasonally appropriate ensemble.

Women's kimono at 4-8-12 Ginza, Chuo-ku, +81 (0)3 3538 7878, Men's kimono at 3-8-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, +81 (0)3 5524 7472, www.motoji.co.jp

Onitsuka Tiger

Onitsuka TigerPhoto courtesy of Onitsuka Tiger

Dressing down is no excuse not to have killer style. When you swap your Steigers for sneakers, you'll still be razor sharp with this high-fashion Japanese brand maybe most famous for its appearance on Uma Thurman's feet in Kill Bill.

Beyond just looking cool, these are highly functional, highly comfortable athletic shoes, so you are sure to find something that matches both your style and your activity of choice at their flagship store in popular shopping mecca Omotesando.

4-24-14 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, +81 (0)3 3405 6671, www.onitsukatiger.com/ja-jp, other locations available

Toga

TogaPhoto courtesy of Toga

Toga is the cult label of young Japanese designer Yasuko Furuta, a multiple winner of the Mainichi Fashion Award who has shown her collections in recent years in London and Paris as well. Her avant-garde designs balance interesting contradictions, for example bringing elements of traditional Asian garments into Western silhouettes or combining unlikely materials like rubber and shimmery organza, but the overall effect is absolutely chic. Try out her designs for men and women at the Toga shop in youth hangout Harajuku.

6-31-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, +81 (0)3 6419 8136, www.toga.jp

Carré Moji

Carre MojiPhoto courtesy of Carré Moji

For an elegant and meaningful piece of art to decorate your home or office, Carré Moji can create a custom piece of Japanese calligraphy by a master artist using the characters and style of your choice. They will create multiple pieces to choose from and then assist you in creating a matching frame design for your selection. The process takes about four weeks. At their gallery in Omotesando, you can consult with their staff and see examples of their work on display, as well as purchase existing calligraphy and sumi-e ink wash pieces.  

5-11-24 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, +81 (0)3 5766 7120, www.carremoji.jp

ICHO

IchoPhoto courtesy of ICHO

Designer and tailor Toru Icho will go to any length to make you the perfect tailored garment, even going so far as to custom-weave the fabric if necessary.  With that kind of attention to detail and one-of-a-kind craftsmanship, it should come as no surprise that his shop ICHO has a legion of devoted fans and that some of Japan's celebrities will wear nothing else. He even provides made-to-measure shoes to match. Do yourself a favour and make an appointment while you are in Tokyo for the quintessential bespoke experience.

5-5-25-B102 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, +81 (0)3 5766 5680, www.icho-tyo.jp