Having grown up in Hong Kong, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Tokyo several times, where the land of sushi and shopping is just a five hour flight away. My fashion-savvy parents used to drag me around to all the most notable shopping spots, like Omotesando Hills (a high-end spiral mall where my mother never fails to visit their Ann Demeulemeester store) or Ginza (where we always stopped for overpriced coffee at the Gucci Cafe). But this past summer, I had the chance to discover shopping in Tokyo on my own, and all I can say is, Tokyo truly is the shopping center of Asia.
It took me several visits to finally get a handle on the many malls and alleys in Tokyo, but fortunately, they’ve also helped me narrow things down for you. Here are the three places you must shop if you only have a day in Tokyo:
1. Aquagirl: Olivia Palermo’s must-shop when she visits Tokyo, the store carries brands such as Sacai, Phillip Lim 3.1, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, and See by Chloe, but I dare say their most interesting items are Aquagirl exclusives. Feminine with a European flare, there’s something for you whether you’re a self-professed chic or bohemian style type.
2. LOVELESS: There is no lack of love for LOVELESS, a two-story gem in the shopping hotspot of Ayoyama (where you can find the Comme des Garcons and Issey Miyake flagship stores). Here you can find Alexander McQueen items that have been sold out everywhere but better yet, some whimsical sweaters or quirky purses like the Marie Turnor lunch bag clutch fit for fun-loving fashionistas.
3. Parco: This is where all the cool kids shop. Sure, you can find Comme des Garcons and Issey Miyake in Paris and New York, but only here will you find their niche sub-brands like Edited Black or Pocket by Comme des Garcons, eYe by Junya Wantanabe and Bao Bao by Issey Miyake. With Y’s (by Yohji Yamamoto), Tsumori Chisato and Opening Ceremony Tokyo in the same mall, this place is avant-garde style type heaven, or at least a great eye-opener for those interested in brands that originated in Japan.
Bonus Tip: Next to the entrance of Shibuya 109 Men’s, there is a tiny storefront where an old man has been selling chestnuts (a popular snack in Asia especially during the winter) for decades. Pick some up during your shopping break!