As any true shopper will tell you, shopping isn’t just about the stuff you buy. It is the journey. Scouring through the highs and lows, appreciating the artisan’s touch, optimizing value, imagining a loved one’s reaction, getting insights into the way a local resident lives – shopping has so many intricacies! Why not embark on a vacation where shopping and travel merge seamlessly for an unforgettable experience? In other words, how about a shopcation?
If you are considering a trip to Tokyo, let this be the start of something truly unique. With its high-end fashion, its traditional art and crafts, toys, and unbeatable choices in electronics, there is no better place to go on a shopcation than the stunning and ever-buzzing capital of Japan.
Why you should shop in Tokyo
1. Something for everyone
Feel like royalty at the impressively constructed Tokyo Solamachinn with its top brands and variety. Visit high-end boutiques with no price tags or enjoy the revelry of street markets like the Ameya Yokocho. It doesn’t matter what your taste or budget is; Tokyo’s dynamic shopping scene caters to everyone.
2. Quirky collectibles
Thanks to globalization, you can find most international products in your home country but there are still some quirky objects you will only find here. Traditional Japanese clothing like Haori and rare manga collectibles are a treasure to take back home.
3. Unique shopping experiences
If shopping in upscale markets only conjures up images of a concrete jungle, you should visit the Futako Tamagawa Rise. The mall has a serene river right next to it! Tokyo is steeped in history, so you don’t have to wonder what shopping in the 17th century looked like. Visit the Nakamise market that feels like another era altogether! Here you can browse through a selection of vintage Kimonos and replica Samurai swords. Don’t forget to visit the Venus Fort mall to experience what being in a medieval European village feels like.
What you should buy in Tokyo
The concept of Wabi-Sabi is an inspirational one; finding beauty in imperfection! Mugs, plates, bowls or vases, these elegantly made ceramic sets are a must buy. Bento boxes, personalized knives, and teapots make wonderful gifts too. Hit the Kappabashi Street for a sure-to-impress collection.
Mudpacks, nail polish removing strips, eye shadows, oil absorbing paper, organic lipsticks — Tokyo is a treasure house of cosmetics. If you have an eye on the budget, drug stores are a boon! From high-end brands like SK-II to organic ones like Kotoshina and everyday wear like Canmake, you have a lot to choose from!
3. Tech gadgets
This one is a no brainer. Mobile phones, cameras, gaming consoles and accessories, this is the capital of technology. Be prepared to get lost in mind-boggling shops like the Yodobashi which has everything tech ever conceived. For offbeat tech wonders, don’t miss the Yamada-Denki Labi store. Heated toilet seats, multi-tasking rice cookers, and whatnot – you will find it all here.
Best time to visit Tokyo for shopping
If shopping is on your mind, you should be in Tokyo during the first week of January. The New Year brings a unique sale where shops sell ‘mystery bags’ full of undisclosed branded products at a big discount. Designer outfits, jewelry, even manga merchandise, you can get anything! Stay over for the February clearance sale, the best time to stock up on winter clothes. For stationary and art supplies, March and April bonanzas are your best bet.
Key shopping areas
If only the streets of Asakusa could talk! From the world famous Sensoji Buddhist temple to the stories from World War II, a visit to Asakusa is like a History lesson. Nakamise Dori, on the way to the Sensoji temple is its most famous shopping street. For handmade crafts, you can visit another shopping street called Denboin Dori. The world famous Kappabashi Street or cooking street is located here too. The Matsuya department store is ideal if you are interested to take home contemporary Japanese fashion merchandise.
Looking for a place to stay nearby? Check out these fantastic HomeAways:
1. Asakusa Traditional Apartment
This spacious HomeAway for six guests features traditional Japanese furniture style and decoration. But when it comes to its well-stocked facilities, there is nothing outdated about it. The home also comes with a Kotatsu, a Japanese heater table, which is one of our favourite Japanese innovations. Snuggle in after a long day out shopping! The Asakusa station is a short walk away as are several convenience stores and shopping complexes like the Rox.
Average price per night: SGD 102
2. Home with a great view
If you are looking for a tastefully decorated and well-equipped place, this HomeAway for four guests is perfect. There is a lot to like about this home but what stands out is the stunning view of the city from its windows. Recently renovated, this studio apartment is just a minute away from the Asakusa station. That makes this HomeAway close to popular stores like the Matsuya.
Average price per night: SGD 112
3. Apartment a minute away from Sensoji
Consider this. You get to live at a stone’s throw from the renowned Sensoji Temple and the jewel of street shopping, the Nakamise Street is under a minute by foot. Too good to be true? Here’s the good news. It exists. Check into this brightly done up apartment. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the city from the best seats in the house.
Average price per night: SGD 90
When it comes to shopping for contemporary fashion aimed at teenagers and young adults, nothing can beat the Harajuku district. Takeshita Dori is its most famous shopping street. T-shirts, hats, sunglasses, trendy accessories and everything that screams contemporary can be found here! To its south is the Omotesando, a Parisian looking street, for those with a refined taste of fashion. The area also has upmarket malls with high to mid brand stores like the Omotesando Hills and LaForet.
Here are some impressive HomeAways in the area:
1. HomeAway next to fashion street
Compact and elegant with all kitchen and household appliances and pocket WiFi, this quiet suite is a great choice. Traveling with a child? There is no charge for kids under 6. Can’t wait to get started at the dynamic Takeshita market? You will be located just thirty seconds away!
Average price per night: SGD 154
2. Shibuya Twin Room
Plenty of natural sunlight, eye pleasing interiors and ample storage space, this sunny studio apartment for upto three guests is an attractive choice. The hosts are happy to interact and spend time with guests in the evenings, so get to know more about local haunts and where you can get the best deals. Just around the corner is the Takeshita Street, several apparel and shoe shops, and a charming mini mall called Cute Cube.
Average price per night: SGD 154
3. Design Studio
Bold, contemporary designs with a base of monochromes and subtle beiges, this is one posh looking HomeAway. Reviewed as ‘clean, modern and very spacious for a family of four, it was exactly as described and better that imagined.’
Shop your heart out when you stay here. The architecturally acclaimed Omotesando Street housing the flagship stores of several brands including Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Dior is just a few minutes away.
Average price per night: SGD 180
Few places can match the energy of this bustling shopping and entertainment district, home to the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world. Enjoy the iconic Shibuya 109 mall, a favourite hangout of teenage girls. If edgy fashion interests you, you will love the Cat Street with its hipster vibe. Find exquisite Japanese craft items from the Seibu Shibuya department store, famous for its specialty crafts from Japan. Come to Center Gai for a spot of street shopping. Apparel, cosmetics, watches and accessories, there is lots of novelty here for you to explore.
Check out these HomeAways in the vicinity:
1. Modern Japanese Home
Fancy an aesthetically designed loft with a view? You will love this two-bedroom luxurious apartment. Enjoy staying in this HomeAway with all modern amenities and large windows that give you an unparalleled view of the shopping district. You also get a restaurant guide, specifically prepared by the host. This place is just minutes away from the Yoyogi station and has several upmarket restaurants and bars right next to it.
Average price per night: SGD 300
2. Newly built apartment
This brand new HomeAway ticks all the right boxes. Stylish, well-furnished and equipped, and only a few minutes away from Ebisu station. Browse through the boutiques, bookshops, and the surprisingly vast categories of products in the department stores of this area.
Average price per night: SGD 212
3. Apartment in Centre of Shibuya
With contemporary designs and relaxed ambience, this HomeAway for four guests is a nice place to stay in the centre of the shopping hub. The Shibuya station is just five minutes from here. Enjoy the proximity of the best shopping sites like the Shibuya 101.
Average price per night: SGD 130
Over the last few decades, Shinjuku has made a name for itself as a cultural, commercial, and entertainment center. An important link of the city’s railway network, Shinjuku’s shopping is divided into three categories; the West Exit for major department stores and electronics like Keio and BIC Camera, the South Exit for the high to mid-range outlets like Lumine 1 and NewoMen and the East Exit for a mix of the mega luxury names to mid budget brands and discount department stores like Don Quijote. You will also find some well-known international brands like Forever 21 and H&M here. If you like crafts and books, you will love the multi storied shops devoted to them.
Interested to look at HomeAways in Shinjuku? Here are some we recommend:
1. Spacious apartment ideal for families
Comfortable and roomy for a family or a small group, this HomeAway comes with a hot tub, washer/dryer and other home amenities. Close to some of the renowned department stores, you can also visit smaller boutiques for a taste of local trends.
Average price per night: SGD 159
2. Classy apartment with abundant space
In this HomeAway, you will find attention to the finer details. Polished wooden floors, squeaky clean rooms and well-manicured houseplants, all adding to the relaxed atmosphere. There is plenty of room here, perfect for a party of eight and a mountain of bags! Located near the Don Quijote, a mega discount shop that sells almost everything, the shopping bags will pile up by themselves!
Average price per night: SGD 318
3. Cosy HomeAway close to the best shops
This cozy and clean one bed/one bath apartment gives you a ringside view of the shopping action. From Chanel to several popular department stores like Odakyu and Keio, your shopping will just be a stroll away. If traveling to other districts is on your agenda, you can take the train. The Higashi-Shinjuku station is just a five-minute walk away.
Average price per night: SGD 94
4. Well-equipped three bedroom apartment
This attractively furnished HomeAway with an organized kitchen is the perfect complement to your dream shopcation. Step out of this home and the top stops in your must-see shopping agenda like the Shinjuku Marui Annex, Lumine and Isetan department stores appear before you! Don’t miss the nearby Isetan Men’s building which has eight floors devoted entirely to men’s fashion.
Average price per night: SGD 496
Ginza is an ultra-modern and high-end shopping paradise where every brand worth its salt has its presence. Check out the sprawling architecture of malls like Ginza Six that is the headquarters of haute couture. Perhaps the most famous symbol of the area is the Ginza Wako, a luxury department store that stocks the best of cosmetics, apparel, watches and porcelain ware. Itoya, for stationary supplies, is a special establishment in this district.
Looking for a HomeAway here? Check these out:
1. Luxurious stay
Start your day in this beautiful apartment perfect for a couple, with a bike ride around the lively streets of Ginza. The bike is complimentary during your stay and so is a gaming console, should you fancy it. For just five minutes away by foot are the famed vast department stores of this region. You may not have enough time to explore them all!
Average price per night: SGD 236
2. Artistic home
This lovely artistic home has a lot going for it. It is clean, well designed and spacious with two bedrooms. Close to Higashi-Ginza station and highbrow outlets, you can find some hidden gems in the souvenir shops nearby. Perfect gifts to take back home. Find a great deal, try out a sushi place, and pick up fresh fish from the Tsukiji, the world’s largest fish market, which is just a five-minute walk away.
Average price per night: SGD 215
3. Colourful studio apartment
Solo traveler or party of four, this vibrant HomeAway will certainly brighten your spirits. Don’t bother about international sim cards or phones; you will be provided free mobile internet with unlimited download. Located just two minutes away from the Higashi-Ginza station, you can enjoy Ginza’s boutiques and multi-faceted department stores with just a ten-minute walk.
Average price per night: SGD 143
4. Two bedroom in East Ginza
Enjoy the revelry of East Ginza. Craft supplies, books, authentic Japanese costumes, branded apparel, sneakers and jewelry, they are all here and in walking distance from this cosy apartment done up in Japanese style. If you have kids, you must visit the Hakuhinkah Toy Park, one of the best toy shops in the country if not the world.
Average price per night: SGD 308
- Several stores have floors dedicated to tax free shopping. Do check them out before you pay.
- Bargaining on price tags isn’t the norm here. You may try flea markets but don’t expect a significant price reduction.
- If you plan to buy souvenirs, don’t just visit the street markets; check out the museum gift shops too. You might be surprised at the quality and variety of merchandise on offer.
Special HomeAway shopcation deal! Use promo code SHOP17 to get 5% discount on HomeAway properties on your shopcation.
HomeAway is the world leader in vacation rentals. The HomeAway network of sites represent more than 1.2 million listings of vacation rental homes in 190 countries and is part of the Expedia group family of brands. Visit www.homeaway.com.sg or download the HomeAway app to choose the ideal holiday homes and homestays for your next holiday.