SHOPPING IN SHIBUYA
Quite simply, Shibuya is a shopper’s paradise. From the iconic 109 department store to Udagawacho’s numerous underground records shops, the neighborhood caters to shoppers of a all kinds of tastes. The sheer volume of options can be overwhelming to both visitor and Tokyo resident alike, but the list below can help you get started.
After Hachiko, 109 is perhaps Shibuya’s most iconic landmark. It’s especially popular with young women who follow the ‘gyaru’ fashion and lifestyle, with a heavy emphasis on clothing and shoes. The stores inside have very little, if anything, to offer male shoppers. Nevertheless, it’s a convenient meeting spot and a good reference point to keep in mind in case you get lost wandering around the neighborhood.
2-29-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya
10:00 – 21:00
Book Off is a used bookstore chain that can be found nearly everywhere in Japan. This branch in Shibuya is notable because it’s one of the biggest and also has a sizable English book selection, including novels, travel guides and art books. There’s an even larger English book section at the Shirokanedai branch, but this one in Shibuya is still worth checking out.
32-13 Udagawacho, Shibuya
11:00 – 23:00
Disk Union is a popular record and CD chain found throughout the Tokyo area. The Shibuya branch actually consists of 4 different stores spread across five floors of the same building. In the basement you can find jazz, Latin and soul music. The 2nd and 3rd floors are a mix of all genres and the 4th floor is for DJ’s spinning house, techno and hip hop. Finally, the 5th floor sells punk and heavy metal. While some new music is sold here, most of the focus is on used records. The prices are pretty reasonable compared to other shops in the same neighborhood.
Antena21 Bldg. B1F-5F, 30-7 Udagawacho
渋谷区宇田川町 30-7 アンテナ21 B1F-5F
11:00 – 21:00, until 20:00 on Sun.
This is a store for those who like camping and hiking and want to look stylish while they’re doing it. You can find backpacks, hats, sunglasses, clothing and other outdoor accessories. Be aware that many of the exact same items can be found just next door at Tokyu Hands, so it’s better to check out both and compare prices before making a decision.
12-14 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku
11:30 – 23:00
Loft is one of several competing department stores in central Shibuya, but what sets it apart from the others is its focus on stationary, crafts and interior goods. The sixth floor also occasionally features art galleries. This is a good place to shop for souvenirs.
21-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku
10:00 – 21:00
This chain is very popular with fans of manga and anime culture. Mandarake sells many kinds used and collectible items. Even if you’re not shopping for figurines or manga, this store is worth a look for its unique decoration and funky atmosphere. You can maybe even catch staff members in costume singing karaoke on stage.
Beam B2F, 31-2 Udagawacho
宇田川町31-2 渋谷BEAM B2F
10:00 – 21:00
This is the official shop of the “Super Mystery Magazine” called Mu, popular amongst Japanese enthusiasts of UFO’s and the paranormal. The shop itself has various gemstones, pendants and crystal pyramids for sale. There aren’t too many other shops like this in Japan, which may be one possible explanation for their mysteriously high prices.
1-3-2 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku
11:00 – 20:00, closed Wed.
Parco is yet another department store in central Shibuya, centered around fashion. Parco, however, also features a theatre, a museum and art galleries. Even if you’re not looking for something, it might be worth checking the web site to see what kind of events or exhibitions are taking place.
15-1 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku
10:00 – 21:00
This is perhaps Tokyo’s most popular and prestigious vinyl shop for techno and house DJ’s. They sell new releases from many of the world’s hottest underground labels and there is a large used record section. The best thing about the store is the availability of several listening stations, which means you rarely have to wait in line to preview records. Due to its popularity, however, stock runs out very quickly so you might want to reserve new releases online in advance.
33-14 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku
渋谷区宇田川町33-14 久保ビル 2F
12:00 – 22:00, until 21:00 on Sun.
Tokyo Hands is one of Shibuya’s most popular places for either shopping or just looking around. You can find nearly everything here, from souvenirs to bicycles to pet toys. The quality of the products are high but some things are a little overpriced.
12-18 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku
10:00 – 20:30
The iconic music store has been around in Shibuya since 1995. While other branches of Tower Records have since gone out of business in other parts of Japan, the nine-story tall Shibuya flagship store is still standing strong. Floors are divided by musical genres, and there’s also a cafe, a bookstore (featuring English books) and a place to see an occasional live performance. Keep in mind that this is mostly a CD store, so vinyl collectors should try elsewhere in Shibuya.
1-22-14 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku
10:00 – 23:00