Following on from our article “A unique shopping experience at Japan’s department stores” (https://tourist-note.com/20170709163224), we’re taking a look at four more to satisfy your shopping cravings.
While many of Japan’s department stores originated as small shops selling kimonos, they have now expanded to sell a broad range of items, with branches across the country and even internationally. They often include food courts and restaurants, beauty salons and exhibition spaces, as well as facilities for changing nappies and breastfeeding, making them a one-stop shopping destination. They are usually open from 10 am to 8 pm seven days a week and foreign tourists may be eligible for a consumption tax refund for purchases over 10,000JPY.
So if you want a one-stop shopping experience on your trip to Japan, plan a visit to one of these popular department stores.
First established in Nagoya in 1611, Matsuzakaya is one of the oldest department stores in the world. It originally sold wholesale silk kimonos and Japanese lacquerware, before expanding into cotton and linen kimonos and opening a second store in Kyoto in 1745. During the industrialization of the Meiji era, it was transformed into a western-style department store and its Ginza branch became the first store in Japan where customers could keep their shoes on. Today there are branches in Ueno, Shizuoka, Toyota, Aichi and Takatsuki, with its flagship store in Nagoya. It features an impressive Canadian-made pipe organ which is played for shoppers on weekends and special occasions. It also houses the Matsuzakaya Museum which showcases a range of topical exhibitions.
Matsuzakaya Nagoya Address: 3-16-1, Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi
First opened in Kyoto in 1831, Takashimaya originally specialized in selling formal kimonos known as gofuku. A second store opened in Kyoto in 1893, followed by branches in Tokyo and Osaka four years later. During the 1930s, it expanded with a “10, 20 and 50 sen store” (which preceded today’s 100 yen stores) and opened its flagship branches in Namba (Osaka) and Ginza (Tokyo). Takashimaya was also responsible for the country’s first American-style shopping mall which opened near Tokyo’s Futako-Tamagawa Station in 1969. It has a reputation for luxury and opulence, with many visiting to soak up the elegance and dine at its high-end restaurants.
Takashimaya Nihombashi Address: 2-4-1, Nihombashi, Chūō-ku, Tokyo
When Hankyu opened in Umeda in 1929, it was the world’s first department store at a railway terminal. It has made a name for itself by being a fashion trendsetter, with its international boutiques featuring luxury designer brands. It also features one of the largest cosmetics sections in Japan, with both domestic and overseas brands, and a three-floor food section with Japanese, Chinese and Western choices. There are also stores in Yokohama, Tokyo, Fukuoka and Nishinomiya, as well as two franchises in Taiwan.
Hankyu Umeda Address: 8-7, Kakudacho, Kita-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Osaka
Selling designer fashion for both men and women, as well as high-end goods for the home, cosmetics and accessories, Tokyu’s flagship store is at Shibuya Honten in Tokyo. There is a good selection of local street wear brands and the company also operates the Tokyu Hands multi-level hobby, stationery and home goods store. While Tokyu is Tokyo-based, with another store in Kichijoji, there are also branches in Tama Plaza and Sapporo, and international stores in Bangkok at the MBK Center and Paradise Park.
Tokyu Shibuya Honten: 2-24-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo
(top picture source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Matsuya_Ginza.jpg)