This is mainly just a shopping guide for Tokyo, not as much a guide for what to do for your whole trip (unless you love shopping of course!)
a few random things :
If you are flying to the Narita airport take the train to Tokyo (if you feel overwhelmed while buying a ticket at the airport, don’t worry, you aren't alone! Look for the person standing by the ticket lines as they will be ready to help you!).
If you are looking for a hotel, look at the Granbell in Shinjuku (our usual go to hotel), which is reasonably priced and extremely comfortable.
Never cut in line in Japan... (one of my favorite things about Japan)
The metro is a cheap way to get around and is super easy to figure out so don’t be intimidated! The people who work at the stations care so much and make sure you get to the bottom of it all.
If you don’t feel like taking the train around Tokyo, take a taxi. They are pretty inside and you can pretend you are Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation.
leave extra room in your suitcase or bring a duffle bag for things to bring back (we always end up having no room in our bags and have even had to buy a suitcase, (which if you need, you can get late at night at Don Quijote - see below)) and usually have to check a box at the airport 🤷🏼♀️
Department stores :
• 109 Girls Mall in Shibuya - super girly cute everything that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. I love to visit but it can get overwhelming quickly. I mostly like to buy socks there at a store called Dollkiss
150-0043 2-29-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0043
Stand alone stores :
6-23-12 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo B1, 1F, 2F
Non clothing :
• Don Quijote is a store that has literally everything (including a really good drugstore makeup meets a few higher end products beauty section) and that is open either all night or super late (depending on the location) and is worth checking out.
28-6 Udagawachō, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0042
• Tower Records : music store that has a cafe and a really cozy book/magazine section
1 Chome-22-14 Jinnan, 渋谷区 Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0041
• LoFt - (I like the one in Shibuya the best) has a bunch of home stuff, beauty stuff, stationary…everything
21-1 Udagawachō, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0042
There are so many good department stores in Shinjuku but my favorites are :
• NeWoMan - might be my most favorite department store, it is so pretty and has really cool shops like Isabel marant and Aesop
4 Chome-1-6 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 160-002
• Isetan in Shinjuku (it just kind of has everything)
〒160-0022 3-14-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Also in Shinjuku, right near NeWoMan, there is an area connected to the train station called Times Square, where there is a really good pressed juice place called JUICERY by Cosme Kitchen if you are looking for something fresh.
3 Chome−38−1, JR 新宿駅, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Non clothing :
• Tokyu hands - the craziest home/travel/craft/stationary store, I'm not sure how to explain it even. I prefer the one in Shinjuku (it is less overwhelming)
〒151-8580 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Sendagaya, 5 Chome−５−２４−２ タイムズスクエアビル 2～8F
• Takeshita Street : the street you are probably imagining when you think of Harajuku (the street where you can buy the pretty angel crepes)
Department stores :
• I really really really love La foret, it has a bunch of cool stores in it and things you wouldn't find anywhere else. Look for : E Hyphen World Gallery Bonbon and GR8
1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
Stand alone stores :
• Sretsis Inn - my favorite store, located in Aoyama in Omotesandō
3 Chome-15-15 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062
• Bubbles and Liz Lisa (both have stores in other department stores but there stand alone stores in Harajuku are worth going to as well)
• Kiddyland : like Character Street (see below) packed into one store.
6 Chome-1-9 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
• Katie : one of my favorite stores, located in Ebisu.
1-29-7 Ebisunishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 496-4885
• WEGO : it is sort of everywhere and it has cute and cheap things. Especially useful if you need more socks, or a sweater…or a hat/choker/shoelaces/anything really.
Non clothing :
• Tatsuya in Daikanyama : the best book store in the coolest neighborhood. At night it is especially cozy.
17-5 Sarugakuchō, 渋谷区 Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0033
• Village Vanguard : a book/magazine store meets everything store.
〒155-0031 Tōkyō-to, Setagaya-ku, 世田谷区Kitazawa, 2 Chome−2−10−15 マルシェ下北沢 1F
• Character Street (located in Tokyo Station) : has individual stores for characters like Rilakumma, Miffy, Hello Kitty, etc., which sell character themed home items as well as the characters themselves. It is a little hard to find (for maybe just us?) but don’t give up on finding it!
〒100-0005 Tokyo, Chiyoda, Marunouchi, 1 Chome−9−1, 東京駅一番街
• Yodabashi Camera : An electronics/camera/everything store. There are a few but the best one is in a neighborhood called Akihabara (the entertainment district). I usually won't go near this area unless I'm going to this camera store because I personally find all of the weirdly over sexualized anime stuff there to be way too creepy and upsetting.
〒101-0028 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kanda Hanaokachō, １−1
Look for (at any electronics store) :
Fuji instax film
phone cases and chargers
Buy Japanese beauty products, naturally they are so much cheaper in Japan. I highly recommend buying :
Babyfoot : an all natural chemical peel for your feet and you just shed a layer of skin, it is amazing!!
Tsubaki oil for your hair and skin
Mascara (Japanese mascara is truly truly black)
Dollywink fake eyelashes
Shisedo eye pencils (they are extremely inexpensive)
Sui sai powdered face wash, idk why but I think you would be into it
Honestly anything and everything
Also, most things are tax free with a passport.
Food in Japan is next level and I honestly cannot say that I have ever had a bad meal there. Do not hesitate to try new things and if you see a place that looks intimidating and like locals only go anyways because someone will help you.
• sushi no midori : it is on the 8th floor of a department store called Shibuya Mark City. It might be my favorite place to go for sushi, there is always a wait but it moves quickly and is cheap.
〒150-0043 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Dōgenzaka, 1 Chome−12−3, マークシティイースト 4F
• Depachika : basically a food hall underneath department stores or train stations. My favorite is Tokyo Food Show in the Shibuya JR station (you don't need a ticket to go in). Make sure to go to at least one of these, they are so amazing. They also make like to go bento boxes that you can take and eat on the train, which is so fun when you are on the long train rides.
• Tokyo Food Show : 〒150-0002 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Shibuya, 1 Chome−2−24−1
• Convenience stores : this sounds super weird but convenience stores (7-11, familymart, Lawson) have really good food in Japan. The onigiri (triangle rice balls) are one of my favorite things to eat in Japan, if you don't try one then you are missing out. In my opinion, the tuna mayo flavor is the best (something I wouldn't have ever tried but so many people love them I just had to). Also, in Japan, people do not really eat while walking so onigiri are perfect for if you are feeling faint and need to eat something quickly.
Be sure to try :
Okonomiyaki - look for a place that serves okonomiyaki, which is like a pancake. It is hard to find anywhere else in the world.
Shochu : to me, it is somewhere between vodka and sake. It is like the hard alcohol of Japan and (in my opinion) it is best with ice.
Suntory highball : it's like a casual drink of Japan made with whiskey, sparkling water and lemon (or yuzu).
Kaiseki : a several course meal in Japan…considered to be like, the ‘fanciest’ meal and most skillfully prepared type of meal
Go to a spa or get your hair blown out, it is so worth it.