Souvenir Shopping, Tokyo (Self Guided)

It would be a pity to leave Tokyo without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Tokyo, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.
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Souvenir Shopping Map

Guide Name: Souvenir Shopping
Guide Location: Japan » Tokyo (See other walking tours in Tokyo)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 km
Author: Daniel
1
Shibuya 109

1) Shibuya 109 (must see)

Shibuya 109 is a shopping center located in the Shibuya District of Tokyo operated by the Tokyu Group. It has over a hundred boutiques selling trendy clothes for women.

Shibuya 109 is located in a street that was once called Koibumi Yokocho or Love Letter lane. It was designed by architect, Minoru Takeyama and built in 1979. The name 109 is from the Japanese characters To meaning 10 and Yu meaning 9 and stands for the Tokyu Group. It has a cylindrical shape and shoppers move in a loop on each floor through the elevators with a full view of all the shops. There are ten floors, eight above the ground and two below.

Small designers and manufacturers who sell the latest trends in clothing for young women have outlets at the 109 Building. It is very popular with young women between the ages of 15 and 20. The building is famous for creating a new culture among young Japanese women called the Kogal subculture. Kogals wear platform boots, plenty of makeup, color their hair blond, wear miniskirts, artificial suntans and plenty of fashion accessories. The stores attract customers from all over the country and their popularity among young Japanese women has not faded since 109 Building opened its doors.

Why You Should Visit:
Very cute and trendy Japanese fashion for the younger generation. Most of the clothes are somewhat pricey and small in size but certainly worth having a look.
The accessories are gorgeous and you can stock up on some of the cutest necklaces and hairpins.

Tip:
Make sure you check out all the levels if you go.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-9pm
2
LOFT (ロフト)

2) LOFT (ロフト)

What to buy here: Lacquer Obento boxes.

Japan’s small servings and petite style of eating are directly displayed through their Obento boxes. Obento boxes are used for pickled vegetables, rice, beans, curd and other lunch items. Obento boxes are made environmentally friendly or from recycled laquerware. Japanese homemakers spend their time and energy on their children (as the tradition states), making a tasty lunch for their children. The most popular styles vary from panda bear faces to popular Anime characters to scenic views of the Tokyo skyline. Because Obento boxes are so popular, most stores, and even train stations sell these items, but a popular shopping destination is LOFT, open between the hours of 10:00AM and 9:00PM, ranging in prices from $15-30.
3
Mandarake

3) Mandarake

Mandarake is the largest seller of Manga collectibles in Japan and there are three major stores stocking them in Tokyo. Manga are comics and cartoons created in Japan.

There are three major shopping places where one can find Mandarake products in Tokyo. Products offered by the stores include second hand Doujinshi or comics created by amateurs, manga comics, toys, anime cels, Shitajike or pencil boards, Cds, Lds, posters and art books.

There is a small shopping mall with 12 specialized Mandarake shops in Nakano. Each stocks specific items relating to manga anime or video games. Items available include model cars, idol goods, anime song cds, videogames and costumes for cosplay. There are three used manga stores where comics are sorted by size and publisher. There is also a typically Japanese Maid Café at the mall. The Shibuya district of Tokyo has a single large Mandarake store located two floors below the ground. The store also features a karaoke stage for the performance of popular anime theme songs. Another popular Madarake store is the Ikebukuro Store near Tokyo Hands. All three stores attract many customers looking for used and new games related collectibles, retro US toys from the 1960s and 1970s and action figures related to Japanese anime.

Business hours: 12:00 to 20:00.
4
Kiddy Land

4) Kiddy Land

What to buy here: Rilakkuma bear.

This cute stuffed animal bear is always in a relaxed mood. The included sleeping bag made out of a soft boa will let you tuck your bear in at night and say good morning when the sun comes up. The Rilakkuma bear simply snuggles with your child to help remedy tranquility with children. The sleeping bag is also reversible with an adorable polka-dot fabric for the inside. Bears such as the Rilakkuma became popular in Japan in around 2008 when Kiddy Land underwent remodeling. Since then, the stores have housed the collection of these bears as an iconic symbol of the typical Japanese child. Kiddy Land, located 6-on 1-9 Jingu-mae in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo houses numerous furry friends, perfect for small children.

Operation hours: Monday-Sunday: 11:00-21:00
5
Oriental Bazaar

5) Oriental Bazaar

What to buy here: Geta Sandals | Hashi (ivory chopsticks) | Kokeshi Dolls | Traditional fan (uchiwa) | Yunomi tea set.

-Kokeshi dolls are handcrafted wooden folk art dolls made by Kokeshi artists in Japan. Traditional Kokeshi dolls are now made only in the Tohoku area, which is in the northeastern region of Japan. There are many places in the Tohoku area where Kokeshi dolls are made as a special product of the region, and Tsuchiyu is one such place. Dogwood and pear trees (mizuki and nashi in Japanese) are used to create the original design by hand. 
Because of the nature of the wood, the older the Kokeshi doll, the more "mature" and "ripened" its wooden body has a more distinctive, vivid and sophisticated look to it. Very old Kokeshi dolls are considered antiques and some are priced as high as $1,000 or more in Japan. However, in a more traditional sense, Kokeshi dolls may be purchased for $30 or 3,000 to 3,500 Japanese Yen. The Timeline Trading Co. in Sendai-shi, Miyagi, Japan crafts and sells these unique dolls between the hours of 10AM and 7PM.
6
Daiso (ダイソー)

6) Daiso (ダイソー)

What to buy here: Japanese calligraphy set | Sake set | Tabi socks.

Calligraphy is a type of visual art: the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner. The local name for calligraphy, better known as Shufa, is appreciated throughout the island of Japan. It’s shape, size and brush material determines the overall quality of the calligraphy pen. Although this art has died out in recent generations, the market for calligraphy pens still remains alive.

Calligraphy has influenced ink and wash panting, which is one reason the art remains alive today throughout the homes and temples of both east and west Japan. Today, calligraphy has its roots linked to Buddhism and is taught to elementary school children before pursuing higher education.

Daiso (ダイソー) from 10:00AM to 9:00PM sells calligraphy sets, ranging from brush styles of horse hair to bamboo. More expensive calligraphy sets can be custom ordered and range between $100-300, depending on the manufacturer.
7
Tokyu Hands

7) Tokyu Hands

What to buy here: Furoshiki | Lacquer Obento boxes.

A furoshiki is a distinctive wrapping cloth used to wrap, transport and decorate gifts. This item has become closely related to a bathing cloth, deriving from the Edo Period. Silk, rayon, cotton and nylon are among the fabrics used to eloquently decorate the cloth. Furoshiki’s are on the more expensive side of Japanese gifts as the many uses of this product dictate the market. Shinagawa Station, located in proximity to Japan houses a collection of originally designed Furoshiki’s. In addition, Tokyu Hands (located outside of almost every train station), houses this gift-wrapping iconic item of Tokyo, marginally priced at $50-100 U.S. dollars. However, custom made furoshiki’s range in a more expensive range from $200-300.

Walking Tours in Tokyo, Japan

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Create Your Own Walk in Tokyo

Creating your own self-guided walk in Tokyo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Kitanomaru Park Walking Tour

Kitanomaru Park Walking Tour

The Chiyoda district is steeped in history and is a reflection of the city’s culture, both past and present. Besides several prominent historical landmarks like the Imperial Palace, the place boasts of some of the best museums in the region. The Kitanomaru Park, part of the outer gardens of the Imperial Palace, houses the National Museum of Modern Art, Science Museum and the Nippon Bodokan. The...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km
Ueno Park Walking Tour

Ueno Park Walking Tour

The Ueno Park, next to the Ueno station is a public park that offers visitors a large number of attractions. The area is home to many of the famous attractions in Tokyo. They are the Ueno Zoo, major museums like the Tokyo National Museum, The National Science Museum and The National Museum of Western Art. This walking tour would provide you an insight into old Tokyo. The museums here preserve the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Shibuya Walking Tour

Shibuya Walking Tour

This place is a melting ground for the fashion conscious and trendy teenagers and is lined with trendy shops, boutiques and some historic sites. On Sundays, crowds of young people converge here dressed up in myriad colors and styles to socialize and have fun. Other significant sites here are the Meiji shrine and the Yoyogi Park. Take time off to experience the fun and frolic that marks the place.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
Religious Sites Walking Tour in Takanawa

Religious Sites Walking Tour in Takanawa

Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines dot Japan’s landscape. These temples and shrines are an architectural splendor and many of these can be found in every part of Tokyo. This guide will take you to the smaller Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in the Takanawa neighborhood of Tokyo. Most often overlooked by tourists, these temples and shrines are a beauty and should not be missed.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
Best of Asakusa Walking Tour

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The Asakusa district in Tokyo is famous for the Senso-ji temple and is one of the few places in Tokyo that retains the old world charm. The temple markets, narrow streets, traditional shops and restaurants provide a glimpse of old Tokyo. It is also known as Tokyo's oldest geisha district. Take a walking tour and live the carnival atmosphere that pervades this place.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 km
Tokyo Imperial Palace Walking Tour

Tokyo Imperial Palace Walking Tour

The Imperial Palace, residence of the Japanese Emperor was once the site of the Edo Castle in the 17th – 19th Century. Located in the heart of the city, it is a vast expanse of green and is surrounded by moats. The palace is open only for two days a year - January 1st and December 23rd. However, walking tours of the inner palace grounds is conducted on weekdays except on special occasions. Prior...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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Time to tap glasses and share laughs in Tokyo, a city of wondrous variety! In this app is an insider's guide to attractive drinking bars, and places nearby that are worthy experiences (theatres, shrines, shopping districts, etc). Each bar has been carefully chosen throughout this endless...
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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Tokyo for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Tokyo has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes


To save yourself time and money getting around Tokyo and visiting the city's multiple highlights, you may want to resort to the Greater Tokyo Pass.

Among other conveniences, this pass allows bearer to explore Tokyo's metropolitan area with unlimited rides on railways of 12 private railway companies in Kanto area, as well as buses of 51 companies in metropolitan Tokyo and surrounding 3 prefectures for 3 days!

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels


Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Tokyo hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Toshi Center Hotel, The Capitol Hotel Tokyu.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Tokyo, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours


We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Tokyo typically costs somewhere between US$40+ and US$120 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of Tokyo from the open top of a bus listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get on and off at any of the stops along the route. The ticket is valid for one day (24 hrs).

- Attend a traditional tea ceremony, an integral part of Japanese culture, in Tokyo to perceive its sophisticated philosophy and to soak up the atmosphere and cultural highlights of this fascinating city with the help of a local guide on a jam-packed day of sightseeing in Japanese capital.

- Another good chance to absorb Tokyo's atmosphere within a shortest possible time is a 4-hour morning sightseeing tour embracing all of the city’s top highlights including major historic sights, shopping districts and otherwise colorful areas. Ideal for those on a first-time or short visit to Tokyo.

- Forget skyscrapers and transgress into the old-time, slow-paced Tokyo on a 3.5-hour guided walk through Yanaka, the historic part of the city dating back to the the Edo period, replete with charming temples and cherry blossom trees.

- Pedal your way around Tokyo on a 3-hour E-assist bike tour visiting the city's most spectacular sights and some hidden spots that you otherwise wouldn't have found or reached by public transport, stopping from time to time at some of the sights for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning interesting facts about the attractions en route from a knowledgeable group leader.

- No visit to Tokyo is complete without savoring authentic Japanese cuisine. Embark on a night food tour of Tokyo to appreciate the city’s nighttime culinary scene by getting a generous dollop of delectable local treats from selected pubs and restaurants under the watchful guidance of a local expert.

Day Trips


If you have a day to spare whilst in Tokyo, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Mt Fuji and Lake Ashi, Nikko National Park, Kamakura and Tokyo Bay, or Hakone. For as little as circa US$100 to US$300 per person you will get a chance to discover highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites and Japan’s other most famous locations, explore the breathtaking countryside outside Tokyo including one of the best sightseeing spots in the country with lots of hot springs, visit the centuries-old center of Shinto and Buddhist mountain worship, see the Great Buddha statue, tour the ancient temples and scenic shrines, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in Tokyo, and transported either by a comfortable air-conditioned coach, bullet train (Shinkansen), boat, or a private vehicle (whichever is applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.