flag Shibuya

Shibuya is located in central Tokyo on the Yamanote Line between Harajuku and Ebisu in the Shibuya Ward of Tokyo. Shibuya is one of Tokyo’s most lively and colorful areas, packed with all kinds of shops, restaurants and nightclubs. Because it is particularly popular among younger people it is sometimes referred to as ‘Teenager Town’. Indeed, Shibuya is the center of new fashion and culture for the younger generation. The most famous street is Center Gai, birthplace of many new Japanese fashion trends. The street is lined with various shops, clothing boutiques, karaoke establishments, and other businesses. From Center Gai you can walk up to Spain Slope which is a narrow, 50-meter long pedestrian street. In addition to the dozens of smaller stores in Shibuya, there are many large department stores. The most frequented are Seibu, Tokyu, Parco, Marui and Tokyu Hikarie. All said, you can enjoy any kind of shopping you desire in Shibuya.

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flag Shinjuku

Western Shinjuku
a-Shinjuku sky scrapers for webIn Tokyo, there is one main commercial and administrative center and three sub-centers. The main center is located in the Otemachi-Marunouchi district close to Tokyo station. One of the three sub-centers is located in the western part of Shinjuku, the center of which surrounds Shinjuku station. This sub-center, which has been developed since 1970, houses a row of high-rise buildings such as Tokyo City Hall, several prestigious hotels and office buildings. There are roughly twenty skyscrapers standing 100 to 200 meters high, some of which have observations decks that provide a panoramic view of Tokyo. This area of Shinjuku used to be a filtration plant but it was relocated so that the sub-center could be developed.


Shinjuku Shopping Area

a-shinjuku shopping areaYou can find excellent shopping and nightlife in Shinjuku on the eastern side of Shinjuku station. Unlike the western side which is characterized by office buildings and hotels, this side of Shinjuku is filled with all kinds of small stores selling goods such as clothes, shoes, books and so on, in addition to famous department stores like Isetan. You can also find a mini-Akihabara district where various electronic goods are sold. There is a wide variety of cultural restaurants to enjoy, both pricey and cheap.


Entertainment Area

a-kabukichoShinjuku’s entertainment district is called Kabukicho and is home to Japan’s largest and wildest red light district. Located next to the Shinjuku Shopping Area, there are hundreds of bars, restaurants, strip clubs, hostess bars, specialty cafés, and pachinko parlors. You can also find many movie theaters.

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flag Ginza

a-ginzaThe Ginza district, located only a mile from JR Tokyo station, is the most luxurious shopping area in Japan replete with high-end brand shops and prestigious department stores.  Ginza is about 1.2 kilometers long and less than a kilometer wide.  The intersection of Ginza Street (officially named Chuo Street) and Harumi Avenue represents the center of the Ginza district.  Famous department stores such as Mitsukoshi, Matsuya and Matsuzakaya line Ginza Street.  Brand shops including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, and Chanel reside in gorgeous buildings which can easily be identified.  Walking along narrower streets, you will find dozens of smaller shops selling expensive but very attractive items.  You can also find a wide variety of restaurants serving, for example, Japanese, Chinese or western food, from gourmet meals to fast food such as McDonald’s. On holidays or at weekends you can experience a Tokyo’s version of a pedestrian’s paradise.  A section of Ginza Street is closed to vehicular traffic and opened to pedestrians for 4 to 6 hours during the afternoon.  Outdoor seating with parasols are provided free of charge for the weary.

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flag Akihabara

a-AkihabaraAkihabara is an area of Tokyo and the largest place in the world for electronic appliances and devices.  Located just five minutes by train from Tokyo station, there are over 300 shops in an area of roughly 5,000 square meters selling items including personal computers, electronic parts, home appliances, anime, manga and otaku goods.  The newest items are found mostly on the main street of Akihabara while many kinds of used items can be found on the back streets.  Akihabara, which started from ashes after the Second World War selling radio and other electronic parts illegally brought in by U.S. military personnel, prospered during the 1960s with home appliances such as televisions and washing machines.  Japan’s Golden Age of Electronics continued during the 1970s with audio components followed by personal computers during the 1980s.  Today, we can see a new trend in town with the growth of manga and animation shops.  Akihabara reflects the technological and creative spirit of Japan.

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flag Odaiba

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOdaiba is an artificial island located about ten minutes from JR Shimbashi station using the Yurikamome monorail.  Since the 1990s, it has developed into a major business, shopping and leisure area, and a hot spot for young people.  Odaiba literally means cannon battery.  In 1853, Commodore Perry came to Japan and threatened the Tokugawa Shogunate to open its ports for American whale catchers.  Shogunate officials panicked and quickly built six island fortresses installing them with cannons.  One of the original island batteries remains.

Among its many attractions, there are three large amusement complexes called Aqua Cities, Decks, and Palette Town.  In Palette Town, you can test drive the latest Toyota models on a 1.3 kilometer test course.  Aqua City has many attractive points such as movie theaters and a large shopping center (especially for kids goods). The Decks holds an indoor amusement park operated by Sega.  All of them provide visitors with a wide variety of entertainment and places to dine.

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flag Oriental Bazaar

a-Oribaza for webThe Oriental Bazaar is a delightful store selling a wide variety of traditional Japanese goods mainly to overseas visitors although the store is popular with Japanese too.  Opened about 100 years ago, the store is located about seven minutes from JR Harajuku station by foot and close to Meiji Shrine. Typical souvenirs available include antiques, porcelain, pottery, Japanese lacquer ware, yukatas (informal cotton kimonos), screens, folding fans, traditional furniture, traditional toys, and dolls. You can find souvenirs in other areas of Tokyo such as Ginza, Asakusa, and Shinjuku but it may require a little more time finding what you need.  The Oriental Bazaar is a “one-stop shopping” store covering three floors and selling goods at very reasonable prices.

Open: 10am to 7pm

Closed:  Thursdays

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