Jimbocho, or 'old book town', gets its name from the 140 secondhand bookstores located in the Kanda area. There are also 30 bookstores specializing in new publications, and nearly 500 publishing houses, one of them being the Isseido Shoten. Since many of Japan's foremost universities are located in this area, this bookstore is even more significant. A trip to Jimbocho wouldn't be complete without a stop at Isseido Shoten, known for an extensive collection of old and rare books and manuscripts. Browse for bargains or just to soak up the rich wealth of stored knowledge. English volumes as well as Japanese editions are available.
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 the "Electric City" because of the high concentration of stores selling all things electronic. Find the latest video games, gadgets, iPods, and cameras at Yodobashi Akiba, a nine-story flagship store, or peruse the Tokyo Animation Center where you can watch showings and demonstrations on gaming and animation. Almost every shop here deals with electronics, so the possibilities are endless for technology lovers!
A replacement for the Tsukiji Fish Market, Toyosu Market consists of two buildings, where one is used for fruits and vegetables and the other, for seafood. Overlooking the Tokyo Bay, the market opened its doors to the public in October 2018. Stretching over an area of 408,000 Square meters ((4,391,675 square feet), the fish market building serves as a host to approximately forty food stalls that are accessible to the visitors. Also found here is a viewing deck on the second floor and rooftop overlooking the city's picturesque landscape. More than just a market, one can also enjoy tours, events and seafood restaurants in this market.
On the first and second floor of Yokohama More's is Ships, a stylish clothing shop for men and women. Both the shops are uncluttered and well lit with wooden flooring and plenty of space. Women's wear includes dresses, tunics, shirts, sweaters and some party wear, as well as jewelry, hats, bags and comfortable designer shoes. The men's shop has a suit section, with formal shirts and ties, as well as a more casual range of sweaters, shirts and T-shirts. Men also have a wide selection of accessories to choose from, such as shoes, bags, leather wallets and watches. -AH
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.
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.
The motto of Patisserie Hidemi Sugino states that "You won't find our pastries anywhere else;" a brave promise in light of the hundreds of high-class, highly inventive patisseries scattered around Tokyo. It is, however, a statement the store lives up to, for it has garnered such a reputation that there is a queue before the store even opens. The patisserie specializes in mousse cakes, in a variety of flavors that are usually seasonal and the deceptively simple appearance of the pastries melt away to reveal layers of flavor within. This is a must-stop for any dessert lover; just be prepared to wait for your turn to try the unique confections.
Named after a quaint French village that makes the finest butter in France, Échiré specializes in delicate eats and baked goods such as croissants, madelines, ice creams and fermented butter products. Located inside the Marunouchi brick building near Tokyo Station, this lovely store is almost always thronged by fans who rush in to buy fresh croissants in the morning.
The main store of this five-store chain, BIC Camera claims to have the cheapest cameras in Japan. The store maintains a policy that they will refund the difference if one finds a cheaper deal on the same article elsewhere in Japan. They also have a good selection of video equipment, audio equipment, computers and other electrical and digital devices.