Copyright: Areep J/Shutterstock.com
DESTINATIONS japan tokyo Shopping Akihabara


Welcome to neon land. Akihabara is the electronics capital of Japan and walking through its streets you can barely see in front of you for the amount of flashing shop signs and video screens. Street stalls sell the latest high-tech computer devices, while huge electronic retailers flog televisions at duty-free prices. Head for the duty-free stores if you want to speak to English staff, and bring your passport with you to qualify for tax exempt goods. Akky (1-12-1 Soto Kanda) is one of the best shops for this. Come out of Akihabara station and look for the glaringly obvious Electric Town exit.


Shopping in this city has become more of an art than a simple pleasure. If you’ve got cash to spend then this is the paradise of all shopping paradises. Shopping malls and department stores abound and specific areas are often devoted to certain wares to make life easier. Roppongi is more than just hundreds of shops - it is a mini city of restaurants, clubs, cafés, cinemas, hotels and museums. It is where the expat crowd in particular, party, eat, drink, shop and hang out and is about as far from traditional Japan as is possible. Roppongi Hills, a mall comprising most of the above, is at the centre of this hive of activity and attracts a good percentage of Tokyo’s serious shoppers. Housing high street, boutique and designer brands, you can safely expect to find everything you’re looking for. . If you want to avoid more mainstream bookstores and spend some time looking for some hidden literary treasures, Kanda is where to go. Browse among the second-hand shops that line Yasukuni Dori and you’re bound to stumble upon a few gems. Good Day Books is Tokyo’s oldest and most famous used English book store and you can spend hours here among the 40.000 second hand and new copies.