A fine example of Japanese planning and ingenuity, Odaiba is an artificial island located on the Tokyo Bay. The name 'Odaiba' finds its origins in the network of six artificial islands which were built in 1853 by Egawa Hidetatsu to protect the city of Edo, former name of Tokyo, from the American Commodore Matthew Perry, whose fleet of Black Ships posed an imminent threat. In modern times, this island has become a major attraction for leisure and entertainment, withstanding the economic collapse of Japan and other adversities. Today, Odaiba is home to a range of shopping, dining, and entertainment destinations, also being home to a replica of the Statue of Liberty, which sits gloriously against the backdrop of the Rainbow Bridge.
First opened in 1935, the historic Tsukiji fish market created an outer market region, thanks to its massive popularity. Known as the Tsukiji Outer Market, this vibrant landmark sells a variety of items like fresh produce, fish, utensils as well as ready to eat food. The market came into existence as a need to cater to non-wholesale customers, who were initially barred from entering the area for it was solely commercial. Even though the historic inner market has shut shop, you can still enjoy the unique shopping culture at the Outer Market.
Maruzen is one of the major bookstore chains in Japan. The Nihonbashi store is the flagship of the line, located in the center of Tokyo near the Imperial Palace. Maruzen has a voluminous collection of titles in English and of course an almost unparalleled collection of books, CD-ROMs and microfilms in Japanese. There is also a broad selection of periodicals and newspapers in English and Japanese. Photo buffs will find a superb assortment of books in English on photography and the visual arts.
Akihabara refers to the eastern side of the Chiyoda section of Tokyo. A vibrant and trendy hub, it is sometimes referred to as "Electric Town" because of the high concentration of stores selling all things electronic. Find the latest video games, gadgets, iPods, and cameras at Yodobashi Akiba, a multi-storied flagship store, or peruse the Tokyo Animation Center where you can watch showings and demonstrations on gaming and animation. Almost every shop here sells electronics, so the possibilities for technology enthusiasts are limitless. Akihabara is best known for its association with otaku culture, a term that encompasses people's all-consuming love of anime and manga. It's not surprising that all kinds of associated imagery are prominently reflected in a number of businesses, buildings, and even sidewalks in the area.
Established as a replacement for the Tsukiji Fish Market, the bustling Toyosu Market combines the old-school charm of its predecessor with a contemporary flair that is characteristic of Japan's capital. Overlooking the pristine waters of Tokyo Bay, this expansive market was first inaugurated in 2018 and since then, it has served as the go-to destination for delectable seafood and traditional specialties for locals and tourists alike. Sprawled over an area of 408,000 square meters ((4,391,675 square feet), the complex comprises a variety of stalls and shops purveying a wide range of food items, vegetables and fruits, as well as souvenirs and other enticing goods. The market's second floor features a viewing deck that enables visitors to survey all the activity unfolding below, while a rooftop offers an opportunity to soak in the city's stunning landscape. Those wishing to sample some tasteful local dishes can head to one of the many restaurants that form a part of the market.
Landmark Tower is located in the ultra modern Minato Mirai 21 development on Yokohama's waterfront. It is Yokohama's showcase community of sleek high-rise buildings, ultramodern shopping malls, museums, hotels, convention centers, office buildings, and homes. There's even an amusement park with a huge Ferris Wheel that's perfect for sightseeing. As Japan's tallest skyscraper, Landmark Tower is the centerpiece for Minato Mirai 21 and is home to the Yokahama Royal Park Hotel Nikko, the Sky Garden Observatory, Landmark Mall with 190 shops and boutiques, a medical clinic, 48 floors of office space, a 230-meter moving walkway that connects Landmark Tower with Sakuragi-cho Station, and three floors of underground parking that accommodates 1,400 cars! Landmark Tower also features one of Japan's important cultural properties, the Dockyard Garden—an authentic replica of the stone dockyard originally constructed in 1896. This is a playful reproduction with scores of restaurants "hidden" behind the huge stone blocks of the drydock.
Do you like confectionery made in Japan? If so, visit Tokyo Okashi Land! Tokyo Okashi Land is a shopping zone where you can enjoy various kinds of candy produced by popular Japanese companies such as Glico, Morinaga and Calbee. In addition, there are some limited items which are sold only in Tokyo Okashi Land. Don’t miss them! Tokyo Okashi Land is directly connected to Tokyo station, so you can readily visit it when you are passing through Tokyo station.
For all you choco lovers, Pierre Hermé's Bar Chocolat is almost like a mini Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. You will be absolutely amazed by the variety of chocolates available here. Located in an old flagship store, this is definitely one of the best places to try out some of the richest chocolate in the Orient. The profiteroles filled with vanilla ice cream and mint leaves drizzled with chocolate will send your taste buds into a trance. The Macaroon Plenitude is rich and coconutty. Some of the best chocolates available here are Makassar, Garance, Mogador, Ouvre toi and Truffes Nature.
The Yaesu Book Center is located just outside Tokyo Station. Every month, millions of travelers pass through Tokyo station, and Yaesu Book Center is a favorite stop for many of them. Yaesu Book Center has an immense collection of books, dictionaries, photo books, maps and travel guides in Japanese and English. They have a very broad selection of foreign magazines in English.
This branch of Takashimaya is the largest department store in Japan. Bright and modern, it feels like a huge, classy shopping mall. Inside are three restaurant floors, a Sega amusement center, an Imax theatre and the famous Tokyu Hands hardware store. With an annex building housing the Kinokuniya Bookstore as well as all the Japanese gift products you could ever need, it is not surprising that Takashimaya has become a favorite with foreigners and locals alike.
Well-known and respected luggage manufacturers Yoshida Kaban opened this store in up-scale Marunouchi in 2002. The classy, muted atmosphere of the store encourages peaceful shopping; the hushed dark wood tones and thoughtful displays have an almost reverent feel. One of the main attractions of this particular branch is you can purchase limited editions here.