Nowhere else on the planet can match Tokyo for shopping. When it comes to customer service, choice and sheer quality, the city is without parallel. Whether you’re shopping in a giant department store, a traditional sweet shop or a cult fashion boutique, staff will be polite and attentive.
Twelve years after they started the fashion brand Yaeca, Tetsuhiro Hattori and Kyoko Ide decided to showcase their clothes in a home setting. They rented a 40-year-old house in the residential Shirokane area and stripped back the interior to create the stunning Yaeca Home Store. Here they sell their men’s and womenswear alongside a selection of vintage furniture, plates and jewellery that dates from the 1930s to the 1970s. The clothes are made in Japan, mostly in Tohoku, and the range includes denim, knits and a line called Stock, which uses organic thread.
To complete the homely feeling there is an open-brick fireplace and a pantry corner for Plain Bakery, selling eggs, biscuits and granola. You might want to move in.4-7-10 Shirokane, Minato-ku
+81 (0)3 6277 1371
If you visit just one shop during your stay here, make sure it is Tokyu Hands. It’s a Tokyo institution that sells thousands of products for home and travel, from light bulbs to planks of wood. There are numerous branches but the heart and soul is the original shop in Shibuya. The store attracts more than five million visitors a year and among its roughly 150,000 items of merchandise are 14,000 pens and 18,000 kitchen goods.
There are more than 270 members of staff kitted out in green aprons and white shirts, their pockets loaded with notebooks and tape measures. Tokyu Hands is an egalitarian space: a shop for young and old, specialists and dilettantes, locals and tourists. Here you will find everyone from builders looking for tools to young design students searching for creative materials.12-18 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku
+81 (0)3 5489 5111
Tsutaya Books, at Daikanyama T-Site, is a bookshop with few equals. Designed by Tokyo-based architecture firm Klein Dytham, the shop consists of three two-storey buildings that opened in 2011. More than 140,000 books and magazines line the walls and sit on display tables; upstairs there are 80,000 DVDs and 100,000 CDs.
Don’t miss the Anjin lounge, which has armchairs, art and a magazine archive, with waiters serving drinks and light meals. Also on the premises are a convenience store, café, restaurant, toy shop, electric-bicycle shop and speciality camera shop.17-5 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku
+81 (0)3 3770 2525
In 2016, Japanese retail giant Beams celebrated its 40th anniversary by calling on top Tokyo firms, including Torafu Architects and Jamo Associates, to overhaul its six-storey shop in Shinjuku. Each floor has a different focus: the second features domestic brands such as Loopwheeler and limited-edition pieces from Beams Japan; the third has pieces from Beams’ collaborations with the likes of Porter. Once you’ve had your sartorial fill you can head to the upper floors, where the shelves are lined with photobooks and Japanese ceramics.B1F-5F, 3-32-6 Shinjuku
+81 (0)3 5368 7300
This is where you will find every issue of the magazine dating back to the beginning (March 2007), our annual look-ahead publication The Forecast, summer special The Escapist and business handbook The Entrepreneurs. The shelves are stocked with products that we have developed in collaboration with our favourite brands from around the world. You can also pick up a copy of The Monocle Book of Japan here, which represents the culmination of Monocle’s years of reporting throughout the country. It delivers a unique insight into the people, places and products that define Japan.
1F, Luna Rossa, 1-19-2 Tomigaya, Shibuya-ku
+81 (0)3 6407 0845
Images: Kohei Take, Ben Richards, Tetsuya Ito